I wish there was a direct flight from London to, at least, somewhere in Extremadura, but there isn’t. There is no international airport here.
I am not going to lie —Extremadura is not a place easy to get to but, hey, you will not find masses of tourists and big groups of fellow foreign travellers while there, so fair enough! The journey is part of the adventure of travelling there and is certainly worth it.
Here you have a comprehensive little guide with practical info on how to get to Extremadura that I hope you find useful when planning your trip.
THINGS TO BEAR IN MIND WHEN TRAVELLING TO EXTREMADURA
• There is no international airport in Extremadura
• Badajoz Airport, located about 14 km from the city of Badajoz, is the only airport in the region. Currently there are only regular flights operating from and to Madrid and Barcelona
• Train services are scarce, slow and infrequent
• The best cities from which to travel to Extremadura are Madrid, Seville and Lisbon
• Roads in Extremadura are generally excellent and travelling to and around Extremadura by car is the easiest and quickest option
HOW TO GET THERE: THE OPTIONS
By plane. Iberia (Air Nostrum) operates flights from Madrid to Badajoz every day of the week, except Saturdays.
By train. From the Atocha Train Station in Madrid you can take a morning train every day except Sunday that stops in Cáceres, Mérida and Badajoz. Go to Renfe’s website and look for the service 17014 R. EXPRES. (It is the only service not involving changing stations). The duration of the journey to Cáceres is 04:10 hours. You can reach Mérida in 05:05 hours and Badajoz in 05:52 hours.
Address: Pza. Emperador Carlos V, Vestíbulo del Ave, Arganzuela, 28012 Madrid
How to get from the airport to the train station: take the Línea Exprés Aeropuerto – Atocha Renfe bus service from either Terminals 1, 2 or 4 and you will reach the station in 40 minutes.
By bus. From the Estación Sur de Autobuses you can travel by bus to many destinations in Extremadura with Avanzabus and it is a very good option for trips under 3-3,5 hours. Use this service to travel, for example, to Navalmoral de la Mata, Trujillo or Cáceres (Express service).
Address: Calle Méndez Álvaro 83, 28045 Madrid
How to get from the airport to the bus station: take the underground line 8 from the airport to Nuevos Ministerios, where you need to change. Then take line 6 to Méndez Álvaro. The whole journey takes about an hour.
By car. It is, by far, the best option to travel to Extremadura. Rent a car at Madrid Airport with companies such as Europcar, Sixt or Auto Europe, and drive to and around the region avoiding the hassle of bus and train timetables.
By bus. A good option if you are travelling to somewhere in the Southern part of the Badajoz province. With Damas bus services (website only in Spanish) departing from the Plaza de Armas station in Seville you can reach places such as Fregenal de la Sierra or Jerez de los Caballeros in less than 3 hours.
Address: Avda. Cristo de la Expiración s/n. 41001 Sevilla
How to get from the airport to the bus station: Take the bus line EA Especial Aeropuerto. The Plaza de Armas train station is the last stop and the journey only takes 35 minutes.
By car. There are quite a few car rental companies operating at Sevilla Airport. Visit the website to compare prices.
Lisbon is only an option if you are travelling to Badajoz and the surrounding area.
By bus. Use Avanzabus to travel from Lisbon airport to Badajoz (3:30 hours).
By car. Search for the best option for your trip using Rentalcars.com. The journey from Lisbon to Badajoz will only take you two hours.
By plane. Iberia (Air Nostrum) operates flights from Barcelona to Badajoz every day except Saturday.
By bus. You can travel from Barcelona Nord bus station to a number of places in Extremadura using Avanzabus, but be ready for a long journey. For example, travelling to Trujillo by bus takes about 11 hours!
Address: Carrer d’Alí Bei 80, 08018 Barcelona
How to get from the airport to the bus station: take the Aerobús service (A1 at Terminal 1 and A2 at Terminal 2) and get off at Plaça Catalunya. Then take the underground (line 1) to Arc de Triomf.
I was thinking about adding a “by car” section here as well, but then I thought after an 8-hour drive to Trujillo, for example, you might not want to see a car again during your trip. So take a flight instead.
SOME COMMENTS AND ADVICE
• Unless you are travelling alone, renting a car is the quickest and easiest way to travel both to and around Extremadura.
• If you decide to reach Extremadura by bus your best starting point is Madrid, as it offers more frequent services to a higher number of destinations than other cities.
• Flying to Badajoz from Madrid is not really worth it, unless Badajoz is your final destination. If you bear in mind the flight time, the waiting time at the airport, the price of the tickets and the fact that you may need to reach your final destination by bus or car from Badajoz Airport anyway, it may be easier to just rent a car at Madrid Airport and drive down to Badajoz. It will take you less than 4 hours.
• If your trip by bus or train takes more than 3 hours, consider renting a car instead.
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Irene Corchado Resmella
I'm a UK-based independent Spanish legal translator working as ICR Translations. On Piggy Traveller, I share my home region of Extremadura with the world to encourage travellers to discover a different Spain. Serial migrant. Russophile. Married to a Scot. I also blog on The Home Reporter and The Curiolancer. Follow me on Instagram.