Cuenca is now less than three and a half hours from the Costa del Sol. :: SUR
The Spanish rail company Renfe recently announced new summer timetables for routes connecting Andalucía with Valencia and Alicante, at the same time as it published figures for the past two years on these routes.
The high speed AVE train from Seville to Valencia, which takes three hours and 50 minutes and was introduced in June 2012, was used last year by 209,500 travellers, representing an increase of 28 per cent in the second year. Passengers from Malaga connected with the train in Cordoba.
From July 2013, travellers from the Costa del Sol at weekends or during the high season also got their own AVE direct to Valencia and this service was used last year by 91,200 people. All trains on this route have stops in Cordoba and Cuenca.
While the Seville to Valencia route is increasingly popular with business travellers, the route has also brought Cuenca to the fore as an attractive - and formerly remote - tourist destination. The 18 weekly trains between Cordoba and Cuenca (12 originating in Seville and six in Malaga) were used last year by 61,900 passengers alighting or joining the train in Cuenca.
As from July 27th and until August 31st this year, Renfe will be running high speed trains between Seville and Alicante. Summer passengers will be able to travel by AVE between the two cities on Tuesday, Friday or Sunday in approximately four and a half hours.
Travellers from Cadiz and Malaga will also be able to connect with the AVE on one ticket, meaning that Renfe guarantees to get them to the destination even in the event that they miss the connection for whatever reason.
All the trains have stops in Cordoba, Puertollano, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Albacete and Villena.
The AVE connection from Malaga will be leaving for Cordoba at 8.40am to arrive in Alicante at 1.35pm. The return trip leaves Alicante at 4pm and connects with an Avant train in Cordoba to reach Malaga. The lowest price available, on Renfe’s “promo” tariff, is 29.05 euros.
Renfe has also announced that in response to passenger demand it is gradually introducing ‘quiet coaches’ on the high speed AVE trains. Those who choose to travel in a quiet coach are not allowed to use their mobile phones, and should keep the volume low if they use headphones to listen to music or watch videos. Long or loud conversations are also banned, the lighting will be kept low, and no bar service will be available in the coach.
This type of ticket will be on sale for Malaga-Madrid trains from July 13th, and Malaga-Barcelona from October 13th.