With a population of about 70,000 people (140,000 in summer) Sanlúcar de Barrameda is considered a mid-sized town or pueblo. Sanlúcar doesn’t have its own local airport or train station, however it is conveniently located next to some major cities so getting here is relatively easy!
If you’re traveling from the USA there are direct flights from Atlanta, New York, and Miami to Madrid International Airport (I’ve flown Delta and American Airlines). From the UK you can fly into Jerez de la Frontera (direct flights during Spring/Summer) or to Seville. If you’re flying into Madrid you’ve got several options to get to Jerez de la Frontera or Seville.
If you’re flying to seville…
If you fly into Seville you have several options; firstly, you can rent a car in the airport – the drive to Sanlúcar is about an hour. Your other options are to either take a train to Jerez or a bus straight to Sanlúcar;
Take a bus to Sanlúcar
Take the bus or a taxi to the San Prado Bus station to catch a bus to Sanlúcar (usually takes about an hour and a half). I’ve never purchased a ticket online for the bus; I usually get one at the station. Make sure you ask which number “plataforma” or “anden” your bus will leave from. Buses should leave once every hour on weekdays 6am – 8:15pm and weekends 8am to 8:30pm – use this link to check the bus timetables on the dates you plan to travel. Usually there is a direct bus around 4pm on weekdays from Seville to Sanlúcar (with less stops along the way so you arrive faster).
Take the Train to Jerez
Take a taxi to the Santa Justa train station and take a train to Jerez de la Frontera. You can reserve your ticket online ahead of time or purchase one when you arrive – click here to visit renfe.com and review prices/timetables. Once you’re in Jerez you can either take a taxi to Sanlúcar, a rental car or a bus.
How to get from Jerez to Sanlúcar
It would be easiest for you to just get a connecting flight straight to Jerez de la Frontera, Jerez is only a 15 minute drive to Sanlúcar by car or a 45 minute bus ride. From the airport you can take a taxi or the train one stop to Jerez’s train station; next door to the train station is the bus station. Another option would be to rent a car at the Jerez airport (Jerez airport is the only place I know of nearby where you can rent cars).
Get a rental car
If you fly into Jerez you can rent a car (also available: Enterprise Cars – use XRY as airport code). If you’re taking the train to Jerez from Madrid then you should get off the train at the Jerez Airport, “Aueropuerto de Jerez” (it’s the stop before the main train station in Jerez – they also notify you before each stop so you can’t miss it).
Take a taxi to Sanlúcar
Another option is to take a taxi; there’s a taxi stop directly outside the train station and the ride should cost around 30 – 45 euros.
Take a bus to Sanlúcar
If you plan to take a bus to Sanlúcar stay on the train until it arrives at the Jerez Train station. Once you walk out of the train station the Jerez bus station is directly next door on the right. Usually buses run daily from 7am to 9pm; the bus leaves once every hour during the week and once every two hours on the weekend. Bus tickets to Sanlúcar are about 6 euros (last time I checked) and the ride should take about 45 minutes. You’ll ride the bus all the way to the bus station in Sanlúcar (which is just a 5 minute walk to the center), there’ll be several stops along the way in nearby towns (that’s why it takes 45 minutes) so make sure you don’t get off at the wrong stop! Click here for a Sanlúcar’s bus schedule.
You can also take a train from Madrid to Jerez…
Taking the train can be more comfortable than flying; there’s more leg-room in the train cars and you don’t have to pay extra for luggage! From the airport you can either take the Cercanías train or the bus to Madrid Atocha Railway Station
There is an “airport bus” that goes straight to the train station, you should be able to purchase your ticket on the bus for less than 5 euros. The bus pickup is outside the front entrance to the airport to the right…there should be signs or you can ask an airport employee for “autobus a Atocha”.
There’s also a local train stop at the airport in terminal T4 (the local train is called Cercanías) and it has a stop at Atocha. I would recommend purchasing a train ticket ahead of time from Madrid to Jerez; choose a train scheduled for 2 hours after your flight lands in Madrid to make sure you’ve got enough time to get to the station (also with your Renfe ticket you should be able to ride the Cercanías train for free!). Once you get to Atocha figure out what platform you need to be at to catch your train to Jerez.
Train tickets to Jerez de la Frontera usually cost about 70 – 80 euros for the high-speed train from Madrid and takes about 3 hours to reach Jerez. You might need to switch trains in Seville, try to ask an attendant or the ticket checker to be sure. The train has some nice views along the way and the seats are more comfortable than ones you’d find on a plane.
So what’s the best way to get to Sanlúcar?
I would recommend flying straight to Jerez de la Frontera when you first arrive in Spain. When it’s time to head back to Madrid to catch your flight home you can take the train from Jerez to Madrid Atocha Railway Station. If you’re staying in a hotel near the Madrid airport check to see if they have an airport shuttle – if they do you can take the metro all the way to the airport and from there get picked up by the shuttle to your hotel (to save money on taking a taxi to your hotel). It might be cheaper for you to purchase a round-trip flight Madrid to Jerez/Jerez to Madrid (also round trips can be cheaper for train tickets) so see which option works best for you.
My family always stays at the Axor Bajaras Hotel because it’s nice and has a free airport shuttle. Keep in mind if you want to see Madrid the night before your flight it’s best to stay in the city center near the train station; those airport hotels are super far from the center and in the morning you can take the airport bus or metro to the airport.