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TRAIN TRAVEL

Spain’s Avlo to launch new low-cost train between Madrid and Valencia 

Avlo, the low-cost subsidiary of Spain’s public rail provider, will launch a new high-speed train route between Madrid and Valencia in February, with tickets going for as little as €7. 

Tickets for Avlo's new Madrid-Valencia train route first go on sale on Thursday January 20th. Photo: Renfe
Tickets for Avlo's new Madrid-Valencia train route first go on sale on Thursday January 20th. Photo: Renfe

Great news for those in the Valencia region who fancy a city break in the capital, and for Madrid residents in search of some sun, sea and fun on the Costa Blanca.

There’s a new low-cost high-speed AVE train that will link Valencia and Madrid, with the launch scheduled for Monday February 21st.  

From then on, there will be three daily services in each direction, representing 2,200 seats in total over the six daily journeys. 

The Avlo trains will leave from Valencia to Madrid at 9.28am, 4.15pm and 9.10 pm. The Madrid-Valencia routes will depart at 6.30am, 12.40pm and 6.40pm from the Spanish capital. 

Four out of the six services will stop in the historic town of Cuenca in Castilla-La Mancha region and in Requena-Utiel in the interior of the Valencian Community.

Tickets start for as little as €7, and although there will only be a limited number of seats going for this price, so far Avlo tickets always seem to be cheaper than Renfe’s.

According to Spanish website trenes.com, the average single ticket price of a Renfe Ave ticket between Madrid and Valencia is €45.

AVE trains take on average 1 hour and 38 minutes to complete the 302 kilometres that separate Madrid from Valencia.

There is no class-system onboard Avlo trains, but rather a similar system to that of low-cost airlines where no-frills tickets are cheaper but adding extra services such as choice of seat, cancelling tickets or additional luggage costs more. 

The basic fee does include one suitcase and one piece of hand luggage. 

Tickets first go on sale on Thursday January 20th.

Children under the age of 14 will enjoy a flat fee of €5, as long as an adult ticket is also purchased (maximum of two discount child tickets per adult). 

Large families are also expected to be eligible for further discounts of between 20 and 50 percent on their tickets.

Spanish state rail operator Renfe, which until recently operated a monopoly in Spain, now has a competitor in low-cost train company Ouigo, owned by France’s SNCF. 

Avlo is the cheaper-priced subsidiary of Renfe’s popular high-speed service called AVE — which is Spanish for bird. 

Avlo has enjoyed a lot of success since it launched its Madrid-Barcelona route in June 2021, with occupancy rates above 90 percent. After the Valencia-Madrid route, it intends to connect the Spanish capital to Seville over the course of 2022.

Ouigo is also looking to connect Valencia and Madrid by spring 2022, which could mean competition keeps prices down. 

READ ALSO: The new high-speed Madrid to Barcelona train that costs just €9

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COVID-19 RULES

Spain eases Covid entry for unvaccinated tourists

Spain on Saturday eased Covid entry rules for unvaccinated tourists from outside the European Union, in a boost for the key tourism sector ahead of the peak summer holidays.

Spain eases Covid entry for unvaccinated tourists

Until now travellers from outside the bloc — including Spain’s main tourism market Britain — could only enter with proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19.

But as of Saturday visitors from outside of the EU will also be allowed to enter Spain with a negative Covid test result, the transport ministry said in a statement.

PCR tests must be carried out in the 72 hours prior to departure to Spain or an antigen test 24 hours prior to departure.

Tourism Minister Maria Reyes Maroto said the “new phase of the pandemic” meant the country was able to relax the rules by equating non-EU travellers with those of the bloc.

“This is excellent news, much awaited by the tourism sector, which will make it easier for tourists outside of Europe to visit us during the high season,” she added in the statement.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from submitting any type of certificate.

With sunny beaches and a rich architectural heritage, Spain was the world’s second most visited country before the pandemic, with 83.5 million foreign visitors in 2019.

But international travel restrictions related to the pandemic brought Spain’s tourism sector to its knees in 2020 as it welcomed just 19 million tourists.

The figure rose to 31.1 million in 2021, far below the government forecast of 45 million arrivals.

READ ALSO: Spain lifts Covid-19 checks at French border

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