iryo: all about Spain’s low cost rail operator (2024)

iryo

iryo is one of Spain’s very affordable train services and offers a comfortable, quick connections between key destinations.

Do your research and compare fares! The good news is that there’s a great site for that.

Purchase your train tickets online with the best booking platform.

And if you need it, I wrote a complete guide on how to purchase your Renfe train tickets online.

iryo is the brand from railway operator ILSA (the acronym of Intermodalidad de Levante S.A.), a private high-speed rail operator in Spain. The company is jointly owned by Italy’s main train operator Trenitalia, Spanish airline Air Nostrum, and the infrastructure investment fund Globalvia.

iryo is currently the 4th operator to use Spain’s high-speed rail network and it offers a full-service product to compete with Renfe’s conventional AVE trains and with its low cost peers Avlo and OUIGO.

iryo’s long distance routes

iryo currently operates on the following routes:

  • Madrid Atocha – Tarragona – Zaragoza – Barcelona
  • Madrid Atocha – Córdoba – Sevilla
  • Madrid Atocha – Córdoba – Antequera – Málaga
  • Madrid Chamartín – Cuenca – Valencia
  • Madrid Chamartín – Cuenca – Albacete – Alicante

They are expected to run between other destinations in the near future.

iryo fare system

Unlike some of its competitors (Avlo, and OUIGO), iryo trains offer a premium service on board, similar to the one you can find on AVE trains.

iryo trains’ classes

iryo’s Frecciarossa trains have different classes, all of which come with free unlimited WiFi, USB and electric power sockets, toilets and an onboard entertainment portal where you can watch films and TV series.

These classes are:

  • Inicial offers 2nd class seating 2+2 across the car width, a refreshment trolley serves drinks and snacks.
  • Singular has identical 2nd class 2+2 seating, but tickets are more flexible and you can pre-order meals online.
  • Singular Only YOU is sold as an upgrade to Singular.  This gets you 1st class 2+1 seating in a car with tables to work at or dine at. Meals and drinks can be served at your table at extra cost, and you can pre-order meals online.
  • Infinita offers 1st class seating 2+1 across the car width, with a meal and drinks from the bistro menu served at your seat, included in the fare.

iryo’s tickets

iryo offers 6 types of ticket:

  • Inicial
  • Singular
  • Singular Only YOU is available as an upgrade to a Singular ticket.
  • Singular Only YOU Abierta is available as an upgrade to a Singular Only YOU ticket.
  • Infinita
  • Infinita Abierta is available as an upgrade to an Infinita ticket.

All fares are flexible and allow unlimited changes. However, each class of service on the train has its own ticketing terms and conditions.

At the time of the purchase a seat will be designated for you by default, so you cannot change it.

iryo doesn’t offer dedicated rates for child tickets:

  • 0-3 years. They don’t require a ticket if they travel on an adult’s lap, but they will need a ticket if they are placed in a seat.
  • 4-18 years. They travel at the standard rate, that is at the same price as any Adult ticket.

iryo offers free connections by suburban train (Cercanías) at the beginning and end of your journey within the urban areas in both Madrid and Barcelona, similar to the Combinado Cercanías arrangement offered by Renfe.

iryo luggage allowance

Regardless of the iryo class you’re traveling in, you may take up to 3 pieces of luggage, free of charge:

  • 1 piece of hand luggage (bag, backpack, etc.) subject to the following size limitations: 36x27x15 cm.
  • 2 suitcases, subject to the following size limitations: 85x55x35 cm.

These 3 pieces must fit in the space provided without interfering with the security measures on board the train. The total weight of the 3 pieces must not exceed 25 kg.

iryo’s onboard services

There’s free WiFi access (supposedly with a 5G connection) everywhere in the train.

All seats have a European power socket and USB connection for charging your devices. And as I always recommend, be sure to have a universal travel plug adapter if your devices don’t have two round pins in their plug and/or if you want to charge more than one device at once.

There is a cafe-car with snacks and drinks in car 3, with tables available for eating in car 4. The menu includes lots of typical Spanish tapas, as well as sandwiches and chips and other packaged snacks. There is coffee, water, soft drinks, wine, beer, and hard liquors.

There is also an attendant with a trolley who roves up and down the train offering coffee, drinks, and snacks.

You can travel with one pet or domestic animal whose weight doesn’t exceed 10 kg. The travel cage must not exceed the following size limitations: 60x35x35 cm.

Should you travel with iryo?

iryo offers fast, cheap train rides, but has a few downsides to consider as well.

Advantages of iryo

  • iryo offers cheap tickets, usually cheaper than those of Renfe’s AVE.
  • All fares are flexible and allow unlimited changes.
  • It has more classes of service and more amenities and extras than those offered by Avlo and OUIGO. This includes a cafe-car, in-seat food service, and much more permissive baggage limits.
  • Children from 0 to 3 years old are permitted to travel free of charge.
  • WiFi is included as part of all ticket types.

Disadvantages of iryo

  • iryo’s fares aren’t always the cheapest, so you’ll need to do some research. Fortunately, my favorite travel planner will do the work for you.
  • It doesn’t offer discounts for travelers aged 4 to 18, unlike its budget competitors in Spain. But the good news is that when searching for tickets online you can enter the ages of all the travelers in your party and find the overall cheapest budget train route.
  • It only serves certain major cities. For other destinations, you may need conventional Renfe trains. However, if you’re headed to or from other corners of Spain, my recommended booking platform automatically calculates your options for combining iryo, other budget train operators like Avlo or OUIGO, the national train operator Renfe, and bus services.

This article is part of a complete tutorial about train travel in Spain where you can read all the information you need to organize your train journeys around the country.

Here is a complete summary of all the guide:

1. Ultimate guide on Spain trains to organize your trip
2. How to buy Spain train tickets online the easy way
3. 7 tricks to get cheap train tickets in Spain
4. Renfe: Spain’s state-owned railway company full guide
5. AVE trains: all about Renfe high-speed trains
6. Combinado Cercanías: get the most out of your free transfer
7. Is the Renfe Spain Pass worth it? My full review
8. Avlo: all about Renfe’s high speed low cost trains
9. OUIGO trains: all about the budget train operator
10. iryo: all about Spain’s low cost rail operator
11. 7 packing tips to comply with your train baggage allowance

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