There are several airports in Spain. Each large city has a major airport with flights to areas around Europe (and some to other countries). The smaller airports, some of which are very close to the large cities, have some flights that are only within Spain (and in many cases have flights during the high season only). The smaller airports often offer less expensive airfare than the flights in and out of the major airports and therefore may be a more appealing choice when booking travel.
The only airports that have flights outside of Europe (apart from the occasional north African flight) are Madrid, Barcelona, and Lisbon (in nearby Portugal).
It is important to choose carefully when deciding which airport to fly in and out of. There are many regions, including several islands, and distances between airports can be considerable. Read on to see which airport is best for your travel plans.
Madrid airport is one of the busiest in Spain, offering both international and domestic flights, and more transatlantic flights than any other airport in the country. It is only eight miles away from the city and is easy to get to by car or train.
If the idea of the crowds deters you, there are two minor airports, Valladolid and Zaragoza, but they are 2 1/2 to 3 hours away. If you can't get a flight to Madrid, you would be better off flying into another airport that is connected to the capital by the AVE high-speed train, namely Valencia, Barcelona, Seville, and Malaga.
If you are traveling to Andalusia, the region on Spain's southern coast, you are most likely to visit the cities of Seville (the capital), Malaga, and Granada, each of which has airports. If you can fly into Seville, as this is the nicest city in southern Spain and well connected to Jerez (where sherry wine is from). Malaga Airport is a good choice since it is easy to get to other cities in the area—you can take a bus straight from the airport to Seville or Granada. If vacationing in Granada, then this city's airport is obviously a good choice.
If you're visiting Barcelona, fly into Barcelona airport. Sounds obvious, but there are three airports to choose from: Barcelona, Girona, and Reus. Although all three are referred to as Barcelona airports, it will take you about an hour to get to or from Barcelona to Girona and Reus airports. Barcelona airport is just 13 miles from the city center, while the other two airports are roughly 65 miles away.
Flights to San Sebastian, Bilbao, and Biarritz
These three coastal cities lie on the Bay of Biscay close to the French border. Each city has its own airport, and there is a bus service from both Bilbao and Biarritz airports to San Sebastian.
San Sebastian airport has connections to Madrid and Barcelona; Bilbao connects to all of Europe and is about 65 miles to San Sebastian, while Biarritz is almost 30 miles away and is served by International and French low-cost airlines.
Galicia, Asturias, and the Northwest
All of the airports in the northwest are small and include Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Vigo, and Oviedo. Your choice in airport will depend on where you're flying from or where you plan on going to Spain. Santiago de Compostela is both domestic and international while the others are just domestic. If you are staying near the Portugal border, you may want to consider flying into Porto and taking the train up to your destination.
Flying to Portugal, France, and Morocco
Visiting Spain doesn't mean you have to fly to Spain, as you have such good connections from Portugal, France, and Morocco. In particular, Faro in Portugal has good bus connections to Seville, there are good ferries from Tangiers in Morocco to Spain, and both Perpignan and Biarritz airports in France are well connected to northern Spain.