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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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ENVIRONMENT

What’s the law on camping in Spain?

Spain is full of beautiful spots in nature, but is it possible to camp anywhere you want? What are the rules for wild camping, the potential loopholes and the fines to avoid?

What's the law on camping in Spain?

Camping is a popular pastime in Spain and there are many great dedicated campsites dotted all over the country.

But with so many natural and national parks, mountain ranges, forests and rivers, many people want to make the most of them and wild camp overnight.

So, is wild camping permitted in Spain?

Unfortunately, the short answer is that wild camping in any area in Spain is generally forbidden.

The reasons for restricting camping in natural areas ranging from health and safety to security and respecting the environment.

The general rule is that you must find an appropriate campsite to stay the night.

READ ALSO: Can you camp or sleep over at any beaches in Spain?

What about camping in a campervan or caravan instead of a tent?

Wild camping, even in a campervan, is not allowed, however, you are allowed to sleep in your own vehicle overnight, according to article 93 of the General Road Traffic Regulations and Manual 08/V-74. This means that you can actually park your campervan somewhere and sleep in it, as long as you don’t appear to be camping.

Practically it means that you can’t set up awnings, chairs and tables or barbecues outside your caravan and must look as though you are simply parked.

Be aware that parking by the coast is forbidden. General Traffic Regulations state that they “prohibit parking and circulation, as well as camping and camping sites, 20 meters from the beach in an urban area or 100 meters in a rural area, counted from the seashore”.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Spain’s campervan and motorhome rules

Are there any exceptions? What if I camp without a tent?

Vivac in Spanish or bivvying, as it’s referred to in English, is the practice of sleeping outside in the wild without a tent or a campervan. This is a bit of a grey area when it comes to camping law in Spain and you may be able to get away with it in certain rural areas where you can’t be seen. 

Are there any other situations I might get away with wild camping?

Wild camping is strictly prohibited in national and natural parks, on beaches, or by the coast, but there are similar grey areas when it comes to free camping on private land.

Technically you can camp in someone’s garden or field if you get permission from the owner. Remember, they may ask for a small fee for doing so.

Wild camping may be more accepted in some rural areas such as in the Pyrenees, but remember it’s still illegal so you can be fined if you’re caught.

What are the fines for camping illegally?

If you are found to be wild camping, you can be slapped with some hefty fines. According to the Coastal Law, you can be fined from €40 for each metre square of space you occupy if you’re caught camping near the coast.

You can also be fined between €50 and €150 for not parking properly near the coast.

Like most rules in Spain though, each region has its own when it comes to how much you can be fined. Here’s what you might have to pay for wild camping in nature in certain regions.

Madrid: €60.10 up to €601.01.

San Sebastián municipality: From €50 to €3,000.

Asturias: From €60.10 to €601.01. 

Murcia: Anywhere up to a maximum of €1000.

Valencia: Between €751 and €1500 for camping on the beach during high season. 

Catalonia: A minimum of €60.10, but if you’re found camping in natural areas, such as the Delta del Ebro, this can rise to €6000, the highest camping penalty in Spain. 

Extremadura: From €30 to €150.

Granada provice: €100. 

Be aware that the fines could be higher for wild camping in natural or protected areas.

General camping rules 

Campfires or bonfires are strictly prohibited in wild and natural areas, particularly due to the risk of forest fires, which caused devastation across many regions of Spain in the summer of 2022. Starting a fire is considered a criminal offence and you may get a lot more than just a fine if it gets out of hand. 

Remember to take all rubbish away with you and leave the place exactly as you found it and to bury all human waste away from water sources. 

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