Best Internal Flights in Spain

  • 01 of 06

    Choosing Train or Plane

    Two trains
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     If you're in a hurry, the best option for getting around Spain quickly is the high-speed AVE train. Journeys from Madrid to Seville, Barcelona, Valencia, and Malaga are quickest by train.

    For most other routes, you'll want to fly. Read on to see recommendations for getting around Spain on internal flights. 

    See also:

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    The Best Internal Flights in Spain

    Ryanair airplane departing
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    Not all flights are created equal. Sometimes the train is quicker (particularly from Madrid). Other times the destination airport just isn't really of touristic value. The routes below are the best flights around Spain.

    Best airline: Vueling for route selection, Ryanair for prices 

    Generally speaking on this page, if a flight is run by Ryanair, it'll probably be the cheapest.

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    Five of the Best Internal Flights (Compared to Taking the Train)

    Flights in Spain generally take around an hour. These routes are where you'll save the most time. Of course, you need to factor in time getting to and from the airports and check in time. Nevertheless, these are still time savers.

    1. Barcelona to Bilbao  (6h30 by train) With Vueling. 
    2. Madrid to Santiago de Compostela (7 hours by train) With Ryanair.
    3. Oviedo to Alicante (8h45 by train) With Air Europa. 
    4. Seville to Barcelona (5h30 by train - with transfer) With Ryanair.
    5. Bilbao to Malaga (No train) With Vueling and Air Europa.

    From Barcelona

    Barcelona has lots of excellent budget flights around the country, which compensates for Barcelona's inconvenient location in the north-east of the country.

    For getting to Madrid, the train is quicker, unless you want to consider the pricey Madrid-Barcelona Air Shuttle. Read more about the high-speed AVE train in Spain. 

    • to Bilbao (Vueling)
    • to Seville (Vueling, Ryanair)
    • to Malaga (Vueling, Ryanair)
    • to Santiago de Compostela (Vueling, Ryanair)
    • to Oviedo (Vueling)
    • to Granada (Vueling)

    From Madrid

    Madrid has fewer good internal flights, largely due to the existence of the high-speed AVE train. For getting to Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga and Seville, the train is quicker. But the following routes are good:

    • to Bilbao (Air Europa, Iberia)
    • to Granada (Iberia Express)
    • to Santiago de Compostela (Ryanair)
    • to Oviedo (Air Europa, Iberia)

    From Valencia

    Again, for getting to Madrid, take the AVE train.

    • to Bilbao (Iberia)
    • to Santiago de Compostela (Ryanair)
    • to Malaga (Iberia)

    From Seville

    Located in the south-west of the country, Seville is well connected to the rest of Andalusia by train and bus, and to Madrid on the AVE train. But these routes are good for getting to Spain's other extremities.

    • to Barcelona (Ryanair)
    • to A Coruña (Vueling) 
    • to Bilbao (Vueling)

    From Alicante

    There aren't so many internal flights from Alicante. Here are a couple of good ones.

    • to Oviedo (Volotea, Air Europa)
    • to Santiago de Compostela (Ryanair)
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  • 03 of 06

    Best Flights Around Spain from Madrid

    Vueling airliner rolling on the apron of the airport, Barcelona, ??Spain
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    There are fewer good internal flights from Madrid, largely because the AVE train is so useful. (See: train journeys that are quicker than flying). 

    For journeys to parts of Spain not yet covered by the AVE, the below routes will save you a lot of time over the bus or train. 

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    Best Routes from Madrid

    • to Bilbao (Air Europa, Iberia)
    • to Granada (Iberia Express)
    • to Santiago de Compostela (Ryanair)
    • to Oviedo (Air Europa, Iberia)

    Fly to Bilbao for the Guggenheim museum, or for access to San Sebastian, perhaps the best city in Spain for food

    Santiago and Oviedo are great for exploring the underrated northwest of the country, with its green hills, great cider, and excellent seafood. 

    And then there's Granada: it's frustrating that it hasn't been included on the AVE, and it probably never will be, so flying to Granada is a great option if the price is right: the trains and the buses are pretty slow. Granada is home to the Alhambra and the best free tapas in Spain!

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  • 04 of 06

    Best Internal Flights from Barcelona

    airplane of Air Europa flying in clouds - Boeing 787
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    Barcelona's location in the north-east of the country means most people consider Madrid to be their best option as a base for an extended trip to Spain. But Barcelona has more internal flights than ever, making it also a great place to start and end your trip. 

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    Best Routes

    • to Bilbao (Vueling)
    • to Seville (Vueling, Ryanair)
    • to Malaga (Vueling, Ryanair)
    • to Santiago de Compostela (Vueling, Ryanair)
    • to Oviedo (Vueling)
    • to Granada (Vueling)

    When planning a trip to Seville, it feels logical to arrive in Madrid and take the high-speed AVE train from Madrid to Seville. But the Ryanair and Vueling flights from Barcelona to Seville are also a great option, perfect if you don't plan on visiting Madrid on this trip. The train all the way from Barcelona is a lot quicker than it used to be, but it still takes five-and-a-half hours.

    Getting to Santiago de Compostela can be a bit of a chore (maybe that's why so many people walk!) Your best bet in most cases is to fly from either Madrid or Barcelona.

    If using Barcelona as a base for a few trips around the country, consider staying near Sants, Passeig de Gracia (in the Eixample district) or near Estacio de Franca (Born and Barceloneta districts) for a direct train straight to the airport.

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  • 05 of 06

    Best Internal Flights from Andalusia

    Plane flying over Malaga
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    Really, you're going to have to choose between Malaga and Seville for flights out of Andalusia. Seville is a far more interesting city than Malaga, so if you are in another city in Andalusia and need a flight, head to Seville instead of Malaga if possible (if Malaga is on your itinerary and Seville isn't, you've made some mistakes in your trip planning).

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    ​Flights from Malaga

    Malaga will give you the most flight options, so if you happen to be Malaga, you can get to pretty much everywhere in Spain from Malaga. 

    Remember that Malaga is connected to Madrid on the AVE high-speed train - it's much quicker to take the train from Malaga to Madrid than to fly.

    Flights from Seville

    Ryanair and Vueling have Seville well covered for flights around Spain. Generally speaking, Ryanair will be the cheaper option.

    Remember that there is also a Madrid to Seville AVE train service, so take the train instead of a flight. 

    Popular routes include:

    • Barcelona
    • Bilbao
    • Valencia
    • Oviedo (Asturias)

    Flights from Jerez 

    Jerez doesn't have many internal flights around Spain: just to Madrid and Barcelona, and the Barcelona flights are seasonal. And with Seville so close, with excellent cheap flights to Barcelona and the high-speed AVE train to Madrid, you'll only want to fly from Jerez if you'll be staying in Jerez or Cadiz.

    Flights from Granada

    As with Jerez, Granada's internal flights are only flights to Madrid and Barcelona. This Madrid to Granada flight is a godsend as Granada isn't on the AVE.

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  • 06 of 06

    Tips for Internal Flights in Spain

    Here are some you should know when booking flights around Spain. 

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    Some Routes Are Quicker by Train

    Flying isn't always the quickest way around Spain.  The following routes are quicker by train:

    • Madrid to Seville
    • Madrid to Malaga
    • Madrid to Valencia
    • Madrid to Barcelona
    • Barcelona to Valencia (no flight available)
    • San Sebastian to Bilbao (no flight available)
    • Santiago de Compostela to A Coruña (no flight available)
    • Malaga to Granada (no flight available)
    • Seville to Granada (no flight available)

    When You Can't Get a Flight to the City You Want, There Might Be Another Nearby

    When you can't find flights to the exact destination you're looking for, look for an airport nearby. These groups of airports are typically an hour's drive from each other. 

    • A Coruña and Santiago de Compostela
    • Barcelona, Girona and Reus
    • Malaga and Granada
    • Murcia and Alicante
    • Seville and Jerez