Tag Archives: spanish culture

How to write a letter in Spanish

There comes a time in our lives when, believe it or not, we have to write letters. Well, even though nowadays letters are more or less a thing of the past, it is still quite important to know how to write this type of text. E-mails have taken the place of letters in the present and they have the same format, except for the address and date. So, as you can see, it is very important to know some common phrases used in letters or e-mails. This post will help you with some common phrases used in formal and informal letters. Let’s begin.

To start, I want to mention one thing that you should keep in mind. When writing a letter in Spanish, the opening phrase, for example Dear Ana (Querida Ana) is not followed by a comma as it is the case for most languages. Instead, in Spanish we use the semicolon “ :” after the opening formula when we write a letter.

Now let’s take a look at the informal letter and its main elements. I will also tell you some phrases that you can use while writing an informal letter.

The informal letter

When you start an informal letter, you usually use the following formulas:

  • Hola X: (Hello..X)
  • Querido / Querida X: (Dear… X)
  • Muy querido/ querida X: (Dearest…X)

When you end an informal letter, you usually use the following formulas:

  • Cuidate (Take care)
  • Saludos (Best)
  • Besos (Kisses)
  • Besos y abrazos (Hugs and kisses)
  • Con cariño (Love)
  • Con amor (With love)

You can start by using the following phrases:

  • Te escribo porque (I am writing you because)
  • Tanto tiempo sin hablarnos (Long time no talk)
  • Espero que estés bien (Hope you’re doing well)

The formal letter

When you start a formal letter, you usually use the following formulas:

  • Estimado señor o señora: (Dear Sir or Madam)
  • Estimado(a) Sr. / Sra. / Srta.: (Dear Mr. / Mrs. / Ms.)
  • Muy señores míos: (Dear Sir or Madam)

When you end a formal letter, you usually use the following formulas:

  • Saludos cordiales, ( Kind regards)
  • Quedo a la espera de su respuesta,(Looking forward to your reply, )
  • Atentamente,/ Cordialmente,(Sincerely, / Sincerely yours, / Yours sincerely, / Yours faithfully)

You can start by using the following phrases:

  • Lo/la estoy contactando sobre…(I am reaching out regarding…)
  • Le escribo porque…(I am writing you because…)
  • Adjunto encontrará…(Attached please find…)

These are more or less the most common phrases used when writing informal and formal letters in Spanish, and here you can see some useful phrases to use in letters in Spanish. After writing your text though, you should ask a Spanish proofreader to take a look over it just to make sure that there are no mistakes. Also, if you do not feel like writing a letter in Spanish, but have to do it, you can always ask a freelancer to translate it.

Great sites where you can read in Spanish and improve your vocabulary

Today, we are going to talk about learning Spanish through texts. They say that you have to hear, say, write or read a word for approximately 80 times in order to permanently learn it. You probably already know that memorizing lists of words is quite hard, no matter how hard you try. This is why, reading is one of the best methods to learn new words, and at the same time you get to improve your writing skills in Spanish, because you also read phrases.

Reading takes you a step further. It makes you more familiar with the language; it is the first step to thinking in Spanish. In addition, you get to learn new words in their context, which means that you will have a harder time forgetting them. For these reasons, below are some websites that I recommend if you want to improve your vocabulary by reading in Spanish.

News is an important part of our lives and it also keeps us informed. This site is actually the most popular newspaper in Spain. The political viewpoint of this site is center-leftist. In addition, you can click on many different options, and you can really read about a variety of topics, from the most serious ones to the funniest. The words are not hard to understand, and the facts are very detailed. In addition, you will most definitely find something that will catch your attention here.

If you are a sports fan, then you have come to the right place. I have not forgotten about you. This website focuses on sports, as its name (Sports World) already suggests it. The main team that the news revolves around is FC Barcelona. However, you can also find out many things about other football teams and read about the latest matches. In addition, you can find information about basketball, golf, tennis, cycling, and other sports. If you are passionate about sports, this site is a great resource for you to learn the specific vocabulary.

Here is a site for those artsy persons, or people who are simply fascinated about art or want to learn more about it. Jot Down mainly centers its articles on contemporary culture and also arts. The texts in this publication are mostly for both intermediate and advanced learners, as the vocabulary is not accessible, and the writing style might sometimes be a bit too artsy. However, you get to learn a lot of things about many types of art, and also sports, science, and even music and TV. The site has opinion blogs and interviews, and topics such as fashion and traveling are also covered.

Trivia is a good ice breaker, and it can also be a great for those awkward moments of silence that we all face. If you are a fan of trivia, this is the place for you. The great thing about this site full of fun facts and interesting bits of information is the fact that the vocabulary is also easy, which means that you will not have to go running for the dictionary every two sentences. In addition, the topics are diverse, which means that you can also expand your knowledge on different domains.

Economy plays a big role in our day to day lives. Whether you are interested about the financial market, or simply want to learn more things about the Spanish economy, this is the place for you. If not, you can always read the texts as an exercise for building up your Spanish vocabulary about economics.

We all like to have a bit of fun once in a while, and why not expand our vocabulary while at it? Well, this fake news website is really funny and provides a lot of humorous articles which you can read and have a laugh. The best part is that it looks like a normal news site. In addition, the vocabulary is simple, making it a great resource for reading materials for both beginners and advanced learners.

This website is a great resource for fans of science. It has many great articles, which range from biology to chemistry, and even astrology or ecology. Basically almost all science related topics are covered on this website. In addition, the articles are all well written, and the information is very interesting. However, there is one catch: this site has a lot of technical vocabulary, which is mostly suitable for more advanced learners. Despite this, you can give it a try if you arm yourself with a lot of patience and a dictionary.

This section of the newspaper El País, is a great resource for people who are interested in travel and in learning about new places. The vocabulary is suitable for all types of readers, and the topics are very engaging. In addition, you can learn a lot of great things, while improving your vocabulary.

If you want to impress your crush with a poem, you have come to the right place. This site is a great resource for poems, and a great way to improve your vocabulary, and maybe even impress the person that you like. It has different types of poems, which range from modern to old. This means that you can learn both contemporary vocabulary, and some archaisms.

As you can see, there are many different sites where you can read a lot of interesting information which is also useful. By doing so, you will improve your Spanish vocabulary, and your writing skills too.

As mentioned above, by putting words into context, you will have an easier time remembering them, and you will learn Spanish in no time. The more you read, the more your language skills will improve. In addition to checking out these sites, you can also start reading books and physical newspapers and magazines.

Christmas traditions in Spain

Whether you are going to spend the winter holidays in Spain this year, you want to incorporate some Spanish Christmas traditions this year, or you simply want to learn some more about Spanish traditions, you have reached the right post. There are many different traditions related to the beloved holiday. However, I will only mention a few of the most important ones.

  1. Lotería de Navidad

This is probably the craziest Christmas tradition in Spain, not in terms of how weird the tradition is, but in terms of the craze around it. Ever since the beginning of the year, people from all around Spain, buy tickets for la Lotería de Navidad, or the Christmas Lottery. They do this in the hope of winning the grand prize, or the so called “el Gordo”, which would translate into the fatty, because the prize is in fa big.

The unofficial start of Christmas holidays in Spain is on December 22nd. Yes, you have guessed right. This is when people start camping in front of the Tv, hoping to hear the lucky numbers that they have chosen in order to win “el Gordo” . On this day, children from San Ildefonso School sing both the numbers and prizes of the beloved Christmas Lottery. This is exactly when you know that the holiday spirit has reached the country.

  1. Día de los Santos Inocentes

While not exactly related to Christmas, but a few days after, el Día de los Santos Inocentes or the Day of the Innocent Saints, is celebrated on the 28th of December. This holiday was originally used to commemorate the young victims of a massacre, which was order by Herodes. He was hoping to eliminate a newborn that supposed to be the “future king of the Jews”, which was a threat to his power.

Despite the sombre background that this holiday has, Spaniards have given it a funny spin. The Day of the Innocent Saints is the Spanish equivalent of, April Fool’s Day. It is the day when the Spanish people prank each other. You should be careful. You either prank someone or you risk being pranked.

  1. Waiting for the Three Kings

The Three Kings or los Reyes Magos visit the Spanish people on the 6th of January. The day before, people rush to the bakery in order to get a traditional Roscón de Reyes, which is a cake shaped like a ring. This delicacy is eaten for breakfast on the 6th.

This holiday is anxiously expected by everyone in Spain from the little ones to adults. In town, you can see parades, where the three kings throw candy to the children. Then, they go to sleep, to find out the gifts prepared for them the following morning.

These are three of the most striking Spanish winter traditions. I hope that you will add at least some aspects in your own celebrations.

Regarding the content writing, knowing this and many other traditions is mandatory if you want to speak about things that matter for the audience just before they will become important through the year.

Are e-books killing paperback editions?

We are witnessing more and more readers nowadays who are shifting towards electronic devices. Likewise, real bookshops are becoming replaced by online digital libraries. Is this an ongoing process where the software takes place over the good old book? Or maybe we shall have more libraries and shelves prettily arranged again?

In any case, there seem to be advantages and disadvantage of both ways.

The spread of digital technology has changed many habits making life easier for the consumers. Booklovers are among those who have experienced the great impact of the digital era.

Once we were used to enjoying the fun of strolling through bookstores to find the favoured title and would spend hours going over the covers, turning the pages, looking for the publishers and ultimately affording only a few editions to pay for paperback or even more for a hardcover. Of course, if we are lucky, we may find the book we are looking for as a used copy which is less expensive.

Also, lending and borrowing is always a convenient way for printed books, not to speak of the leisure of spending the day in a library, surrounded by the tranquility of the area.

Most of all, many of us are proud showing visitors to our homes the sacred place where we keep the colourful front pages with some amazing titles. In particular if we are the owners of some old books in their first edition.

On the other hand, when it comes to digital versions we have the advantage of carrying around thousands of pages on one device. Kindles have become frequently seen in almost every place, from stations to cafes.

We do not spend much time going to get a book, we find it more comfortable to just sit on the computer and order it in a few minutes. There is also an access to a lot of other information this way as we are able to see recommended links with references as well as the option of having other media in an e-book like sounds or videos. For example, if you read a scientific book and you come up with a new word, you may have a hyperlink directing you to a dictionary.

Moreover, you can easily search a passage by using various functions digital editions offer. One of them is the `put my finger` which helps you to scroll over the text and flip back to a certain place.

Above all, there are a number of possibilities to get a virtual version of a book as there are many websites offering free download of books in PDF formats. This may refer to copyright protection and the allowance of literary works. Copyright may have a limited time of duration and the author may agree to give permission their book to enter the public domain. When this happens the book is available on the Internet and can be downloaded.

No matter which opportunity people choose, we can say as long as they read it does not matter how they do it. Though the question is how much we really absorb of what we have read. It has been a long enough time to sum up the results and bring some conclusions. Until then, it is a choice of preference whether we use the paper or an e-reader.

In any case, this is an interesting topic to talk about in a Spanish conversation class.

What is that bull seen on Spanish roadsides?

What is the bull in Spanish roads
“Fighting bull sign flickr photo shared by Steve Slater (used to be Wildlife Encounters) under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Many tourists may assume the bull is related in some way linked to the bull fights that Spain is so well-known for.  However, there is a long and interesting history associated with these gargantuan, artistic statues.

How it all began…

The bull is officially the “Bull of Osborne” or “El Toro de Osborne”.  The Osborne Group was originally a wine vineyard, but also produces brandy and runs a chain of restaurants and hotels.  It is one of the older family businesses in Spain, beginning in 1772.  Over the years, the company has grown and become part of the culture of Spain, largely thanks to unexpected results from a publicity campaign that began in 1956.  The company hired a publicity agency called “Azor”.  The director and artist, Manolo Prieto, created the plans for the famous bull to adorn highways throughout Spain.

The bull went through several transformations over the years, growing from 4 meters tall to a whopping 14 meters tall.  The final roadside billboard that has remained the same since 1961 is made of metal and weighs an impressive 4,000 kilos.  It is anchored into the ground by scaffolding that stands behind the bull.

Controversy

In 1988, changes in Spain’s highway laws ordered that all publicity be removed from state roadsides.  However, this law nearly caused a revolution.  Artists, cultural groups, municipal governments and the community at large banded together to request that the government allow the famous Bulls of Osborne to remain standing.  This large group of supporters insisted that the bulls were no longer simple advertising, but an integral part of the culture itself.  By 1997, a final decision had been made.  The Bulls of Osborne were allowed to remain on the highways in interest of the aesthetic and cultural attributes they contribute to the country.

The Osborne Bull Today

Although many consider it to be a symbol of Spain itself, it is still the intellectual property of the Osborne Group.  It is the company’s official logo.  Recent court rulings have determined that the it’s illegal to copy or reproduce the logo without authorization.

Currently there are around 90 large bull billboards distributed across the country.  However, the Bull of Osborne is also frequently seen on bumper stickers, keyrings, hats, t-shirts and other souvenir items.   The Osborne Group has made these items available, encouraging the spread of this popular symbol.

Despite the fact that the bull is widely accepted and appreciated in Spain, a small number of groups have vandalized the bulls to call attention to their causes.  One group painted the bull located in Mallorca with the colors of the gay flag.  In another instance, a bull in Galicia was painted orange in rejection of the symbol.

Nevertheless, the symbol is well-known on an international level and quite popular.  If you are going to visit Spain, you’re sure to see the Bull of Osborne somewhere, whether on the roadside or on a bumper.  When you do, now you’ll know the story.

3 Good Movies to practice Spanish

If you’re looking for some good Spanish movies to watch, you won’t be disappointed with the three that we are going to share with you. Watch them on a three-day weekend, one for each night, and see what you think. Romantic comedy, adventure, drama, history, and mystery are what you have in store if you get a chance to check out these films. Read on for the titles and full details.

Ocho Apellidos Vascos (Eight Basque Surnames, or “Spanish Affair”) is a 2014 Spanish romantic comedy in which Rafa, a young Andalusian man, has to do what he has never done: leave his beautiful Seville hometown, his so-called finery, his hair gel, his accent, and even his favorite Spanish soccer club (the Real Betis), to get the Basque girl that he loves. Her opposition is what sparks his interest – all the other women in his life have been too easy to get close to. She presents a challenge and he claims that he can bring her back to his native southern Spain in as little as three days. He is surprised when he finds that he must cross the cultural divide between his original homeland and her northern country! He quickly realizes that it will take a lot more to conquer her love, so he pretends to be Basque to get past her resistance. He goes so far to even adopt the first name Antxon and, off the top of his head, eight Basque last names (an act which lends to the title of the film!): Arguiñano, Igartiburu, Erentxun, Gabilondo, Urdangarín, Otegi, Zubizarreta, and Clemente. The comedic action runs throughout the movie (with accents, politics, memes, and stereotypes) till the very end – if you want to get the most out of the movie, familiarize yourself with these ahead of time. This film is one of the highest grossing in Spanish Box Office history. The director, Emilio Martínez-Lázaro, simply gave the public what they wanted: laughter. Although it is more about how the Spanish view the Basque, it ultimately provides a message of uniting with others (no matter how different they are!) through love.

Perhaps it is another type of love that differentiates the previous movie and the next. Alatriste (or “Captain Alatriste: The Spanish Musketeer”) is a 2006 film set in 17th century Spain in which Diego Alatriste serves in the Eighty Years War for the King of his country. It is based on the writings of Arturo Pérez-Reverte, that is, Las aventuras del Capitán Alatriste (The Adventures of Captain Alatriste); it artistically combines elements from each of the five books of the series it is inspired from. There is blood, sweat, and tears, along with love, loyalty, and intrigue. Torn clothes and swordfights, scars and skin, this movie depicts the rawness and vulnerability of living the troubled life of a soldier turned mercenary. For the 21st Goya Awards, it was the winner of Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, and Best Supervision of Production. For the beautiful visuals that recreate the book’s atmosphere, there isn’t much that the director, Agustín Díaz Yanes, can be questioned on, except one: the length of the film. Be prepared to sit for a little more than two hours!

There are story characters who shouldn’t feel prepared to sit beyond what they should, but they do anyways and lose themselves for it. Hable Con Ella (Talk to Her) is a 2002 Spanish film that explores the way in which emotions can overpower one’s thoughts and actions. Two men find themselves facing the silence of the women for whom they’ve become drawn towards: Benigno Martín is a nurse obsessed with his beautiful comatose patient Alicia Roncero, a ballet student, while Marco Zuluaga is a traveling writer lost in the short entertwining story between him and Lydia González – a female bullfighter whose attraction and fear pull at him, even after she becomes gored and comatose. They first meet at the private clinic in which the comatose women are being cared for, and become friends. There is beauty and sadness in the strange intimacy of the characters, and yet it gives off a mysterious realism in the coincidences and encounters at the beginning and end of the film. Pedro Almodóvar’s directing will pull you in to the story; he will have you contemplating the lives of others and the subjectiveness of love.

Listening Spanish is always a good practice. If you want to get some conversation with a Spanish native speaker, do not hesitate to ask about my classes.

What to do in Spain in autumn: Visit Vall d’Aran

Spanish culture
20120823183 Vall d’Aran, vista des de Canejanflickr photo shared by Xavier E Traité under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

From time to time I like to talk about Spanish culture here. This is something I also do when practicing a Spanish conversation with a student, and helps them to undestand the language.

When somebody talks about Spain, even in autumn, what usually comes to mind is the warm south, big sun, you sitting on a beach, drinking a cocktail and overlooking Morocco. Even though tempting, that is just too much of a cliché. Instead, I will make you dream about the far north-east, abundant hanging valleys, in the corner of the Pyrenees, the Vall d’Aran. Hiking, good food, cultural activities, adventures and beautiful villages sounds so good that it would be a pity for this place to only be read about, and not visited. And to do so, I will take you to a virtual journey firstly explaining a bit of history and then moving on to food to satisfy your appetite, so that you can be prepared for a further mountain exploration and finally end your journey in a beautiful village listening.

Being at the north-western tip of Catalonia, and the headwater valley of the river Garonne before its final flow into the Atlantic in Bordeaux, France, makes its history and culture different than any other valleys in Spain. Its culture has clear Occitanian roots, which makes Arenese the official language of the valley, in spite of Spanish and Catalonian. Archeologists in Naut Aran have found the first signs of life to be during the Bronze Age. Further remains in Arties, Les and Tredos date back from Roman times. Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods can as well be testified by the architecture and many churches around. Firstly being a part of Catalonia, Vall d’Aran faced tense relations with France which ended in invasion and conquest by the French troops in 1283. However, after James II of Catalonia and Aragon secured an appointment that brought Vall d’Aran back to Catalonia in 1313. In the same year, James II implemented important tax exemptions. The valley was divided into six parts, each one having its own councilor, all together forming the Conselh Generau, existing until today.

Feeling hungry after a history lesson? Well, I have something for your longing appetite. The Aranese cuisine has its roots from garden hunting and fishing. Our appetizer will be the traditional soup Olha Aranesa, a mixture of beef, chicken, pork and duck with various herbs and vegetables. Next, we go with a Duck Confit served with a fruit jam. To end, crêpes with wild berries as a dessert. What about a cup of coffee and then moving on to hiking?

As Vall d’Aran is a river of mountains, most of them higher than 2000m above sea level, there are numerous breath-taking hikes. One is the famous Royal Path, or Camin Reiau, 150 km long, historically used as a way of communication between villages intertwined in the valley. In addition, it was used by the Roman to build the now-existing routes. The National Park Aigues Tortes as well offers many toured hikes through villages and the lakes of Saboredo and Colomers. Scattered around the mountains, Vall d’Aran has 33 villages built in wood, slate and stones, and witnessing towers and steeples.

Can you just imagine the staggering view of an alpine snowy valley rich with rivers, lakes and mountains around? Paradise for the soul and seasoning for your imagination. If you want to see autumn as a second spring, where every leaf is a flower, do not even finish reading this sentence- pack yourself and do not forget to take your winter clothes!

3 authors to practice Spanish – Advanced level

Maybe you are looking for ways to hone your Spanish language skills. If that is your case, my first recommendation is you to try my Spanish language class by Skype, but if you are looking for some reading and your level is advanced, let me talk to you about one very Spanish way of writing:

Magical Realism in Spanish

The letters on the screen pulsate and flicker, as if they are about to tumble onto the keyboard below. Black and white, black and white, what color will it end on? Was it just the computer? Or is it just easy to get lost between the spaces? The screen vibrates with electricity and for some reason the keyboard trembles as two words are typed out: realismo mágico.

Known as magical realism in English, it is a genre that can best be described as the literary equivalent of HDTV (or High Definition Television). It brings out the mysterious and hyper-realistic textual imagery of the mundane in such a way as to make it seem fantastic.

Three well-known Spanish language authors known for such an artistic endeavor are Isabel Allende, Gabriel García Márquez, and Carlos Fuentes. If you are looking to practice your Spanish reading comprehension, they are a good choice that will not only help you expand your vocabulary but will also help you see things in an interesting light.

Isabel Allende is a Chilean-American author who first received literary acclaim with the 1982 debut of her book La casa de los espíritus (The House of the Spirits). The need for love and liberty is at the axis of the wheel upon which the actions of the characters revolve. The Del Valle and the Trueba families offer two political views of the world – the first is progressive and the latter is conservative. The women are clairvoyants and the men live anguished lives among them. There is love and revenge, conspiracy and terror.

Gabriel García Márquez was a Colombian author whose greatest work Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) tells the Liberal political story of Colombia’s historical evolution from a colonial lifestyle to that of trains, industrialism, and a military massacre. Seven generations of turmoil are explored and at the end one is left asking if any of it could have been prevented if the men of the family had been able to decipher and believe in the mystical ability to see beyond their immediate lives. You may learn more about Márquez on the Nobel Prize page dedicated to this author.

Carlos Fuentes was a Mexican author whose best work was perhaps the book La muerte de Artemio Cruz (The Death of Artemio Cruz). It is a little dark in that it is told from the deathbed of Artemio, who remembers his life as a corrupt jack of many trades. He is the embodiment of the Mexican Revolution, with an agonizing death surrounding his thoughts on religion, scandals, and his attachments to sensuousness all cutting out pieces of him. What is to be expected of a soldier or a politician, a journalist or a tycoon, or even a lover, especially if corrupt – he was all of those and more!

Do you need a review of a book in Spanish?

I can write it for you. Actually, I have a blog dedicated to book reviews in Spanish where you can see examples of my writing. Actually, I am a reading animal and love tou keep track about what I have read before.

Contact me if you think that I can help you!

 

Finding the Words in your Non-native Tongue

Individuals learning to write in Spanish may be surprised to find that the language does not translate directly to their native tongue. This is because languages have different sentence structures, phonetic features, and word connotations. Although the native language serves as an excellent source of support, learners of Spanish must remember that trying to translate directly from English may result in frustration due to differences between the languages, including the availability of equivalent word choices.

Since there are words in English that do not exist in Spanish (and the opposite is true as well), the language learner must learn to navigate around ideas much differently than he or she is used to navigating in the native language. This is one of the areas of second language speaking that warrants the need to avoid direct translation. Specifically, many cultural terms, such as slang words or idiomatic expressions, will not translate to any other language. Furthermore, even when there are direct translations from English to Spanish, there may be differences between the nuances of the translations (meaning that the word in one language may have a ‘stronger’ or more severe meaning in the other language).

While there are some English words that do not translate into Spanish, there are also Spanish words that do not exist in English, some of which could be incredibly useful to the English language! Many of these words are actually verb forms that help the speaker communicate particular actions. For example, the verb ‘trasnochar’ means ‘to stay up late.’ While English speakers are able to describe this action, there is not a one-word translation that can be used to refer to the same concept in English. This is an excellent example of how a concept can exist in two language but not have a linguistic equivalent.

It is important to remember that one language is not superior to another based off of its availability of word choices. Language changes over time, with new words being added by different generations of speakers. The best advice for English speakers learning Spanish is to immerse themselves in the language and culture. Since language is cultural by nature, learners are more likely to acquire the nuances of words in the second language if they are immersed in a culture that speaks that language. This type of learning is definitely a process, so it is important to be patient and maintain a heightened level of awareness when trying to acquire a language.

Are you looking for Spanish lessons by Skype?

If you are looking for Spanish lessons by Skype do not hesitate in contact me for free and tell me what is your level and schedule availability. I will answer you back with my prices and an offer to do a test, so you can check if you like the class.

Having classes by Skype hace the advantage to speak with a native speaker without leaving your home. If you don’t have time to go class, or you just want a class focused in yourself instead of a group class, these classes are a great opportunity.

How to get to Gandia or any village in Valencia province by train

Travelling in Spain can be complex. As the summer is here I will take advantage of the Spanish culture section of this blog to help you all to get to Gandia from Madrid using a train.

Madrid has two main train stations: Chamartín and Atocha

First you need to know is that there are two main trains stations in Madrid. Chamartin is used to go north and Atocha to go south. To go to Valencia you need to go to Atocha.

If you arrive in one of the stations and you need to go to the other one, to take another train, you don’t need to use the underground. You can go from Chamartín to Atocha or viceversa using Cercanías.

So, if you arrive at Madrid by train, and need to go to the other train station check if your ticket has this code.

how to get to Gandia from Madrid
It is possible to change from Chamartin to Atocha or viceversa for free if your ticket has this code in the red circle

If you have the code you don’t need to pay the Cercanias ticket. You have to go to the machine where you usually buy the tickets, choose your destination (Atocha or Chamartín) and scan the QR in it. Doing so, it will give you the ticket for free.

Atocha – Valencia – Gandia

In July and August there are some trains that go from Atocha to Gandia. This is easy and do not need more explanations. But, it is possible that you can’t use one of these trains because of your schedule. If so, you need to go to Valencia.

In Valencia you will arrive at Joaquín Sorolla station and there is not any train from this station to the villages. So again you need to

Go from Joaquín Sorolla station to Valencia Nord station

It is very easy. You don’t need a taxi. When you arrive at Valencia, walk to the street and look at your right. There is a bus stop that is not looking to the road, but to a kind of intern path with a small roundabout. It is easy to find because many people with bags is going there, so you just need to follow the crowd.

This bus is free, you do not need to show any tickets, and it will take you to Valencia Nord.

From Valencia Nord to your destine

Now, you are in Valencia Nord. You will need to buy a Cercanías ticket. This time you have to pay for it. If your destine is Gandia, there are trains every 30 minutes.

This is the best way to move between the stations without spending a lot of money in taxis. Feel free to ask if you have any doubt.