Is finding a way to visit Spain on a budget—while also being eco-friendly—has been on your to-do list, then your moment has finally arrived.
Or perhaps even your year.
The Spanish government has just approved an extension of a free country-wide rail ticket program that was slated to end this spring. The program, being run in conjunction with rail operator Renfe, will now run through December 2023. That means you can criss-cross the country all you want for free via train, exploring all of Spain’s beautiful regions to your heart’s content.
To get in on the free ticket action you must specifically purchase a multi-journey ticket. The tickets include a minimum of 10 return trips, The Points Guy reported.
In order to get one of the free multi-journey rail passes, users must register on the Renfe website with an ID card and apply for season tickets. This process will also require leaving a deposit of 10 euros for shorter-distance tickets and 20 euros for longer-distance tickets, the website RailTech.com reports.
The free ticket program began in 2022 in response to the increased cost of living and increased energy costs due to the war with Ukraine. Spain’s government is also promoting train travel more heavily in an attempt to encourage more use of public transportation rather than private cars, in order to cut down on the country’s carbon footprint.
The Renfe program does not include the country’s high-speed trains. However, even here there are discounts to be had. Multi-trip tickets for Spain’s high-speed Avant trains will be available at half-price for all lines that are under “public service obligation” —meaning they are funded by the government. As of 2023, about 13 additional high speed, medium-distance, journeys have been added to the Avant Passes.
And by the way, if you are planning to head to Spain this year. You will hardly be alone. According to Reuters.com, industry group Exceltur found that Spain’s hotels, resorts, transport companies, car rentals and entertainment businesses are experiencing a surge in 2023 bookings.
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