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Trains From Santiago

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Jose, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    Greetings. Just wondering if anyone has experience with trains from Santiago back to Paris? It's a little early to get clear info from the websites since I will be travelling on October 30 more or less back to Paris for my flight.
     
  2. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Jose, I researched travel options from Santiago to Madrid and was surprised to learn that the lowest cost alternative and lowest travel time was by air. For example, a bus trip requires almost 8 hours and costs 20 euros. A train trip take 6 hours and costs 30 euros. You can fly Ryanair direct flight which takes 1 hour 15 minutes for 20 euros. This requires you to check in the day before and to obtain boarding pass (assistance provided at the Santiago Pilgrim's House). You'll pay a supplement to check on a bag (may be required for trekking poles, knife, etc). This was the option we selected in 2015 and it was easy. The added benefit is you arrive early and can spend an entire day in Madrid, assuming you spend the night there before your final flight back.

    I checked the Goeuro website for same information on travel from Santiago to Paris. A bus trip takes almost 24 hours and is the high cost option. A flight from Iberia costs 48 euros and takes almost six hours. It does not list train options, nor does the RailEurope website. So unless you are keen to take a train, your best option will likely be a flight. Bob
     
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  3. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Good info posted Bob



    But – If you have the time then I would still highly recommend train travel in Spain, particularly after walking a Camino as it’s a wonderful experience having the scenery rushing past the carriage window as opposed the you “Not exactly rushing past the scenery” :)



    Have you considered taking the narrow gauge FEVE train from Ferrol to Bilbao, and then transferring onto the main line there for the rest of the trip back to Paris ?? – This would take around 3 days, but would be an awesome end to your Camino

    I have done the same journey from Ferrol to Bilbao and then few from there back to England, so if you are a little short of time, you could also fly that leg to Paris.



    Good Luck, whichever way you decide to “Jump”

    Rob
     
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  4. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Rob, I recall the first time I travelled to Spain in spring, 1978 - we had to change trains at the border for passport control and because the guage of the tracks in Spain was more narrow than France. Your post suggests things have not changed much regarding rail travel. In my younger days, I travelled Spain by train quite a bit. Some trips provided the serene experience you describe, particularly when there were few passengers on the train. Other trips were nightmarish - with the second class passenger car jammed with at least eight people in a single compartment, and shoulder to shoulder passengers in the "hallways" of the train. When I was age 20, I enjoyed the adventure. Now that I'm age 60, I enjoy the comfort ! Bob
     
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  5. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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  6. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    Thanks so much, BrowncountyBob! You are right on according to what I am finding. Are you Brown County in Indiana by any chance?
     
  7. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    What a great idea. I love doing off the beaten track sort of things like that! Will check into it.
     
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  8. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Actually Bob, things have changed a lot since your own poor experiences back in 1978 with Spain now having the longest high speed lines in Europe and some wonderful modern fast and comfortable trains http://www.spain.info/en_GB/reportajes/viaje_por_espana_en_sus_trenes_de_alta_velocidad.html as well as the older routes including the narrow gauge FEVE Camino de Costa that I suggested to the OP.

    Personally, Given a choice (As well as plenty of time) I much prefer train travel to flying and would love to do some of the AM-Track in the US one of these days :)

    Best Regards

    Rob
     
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  9. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Rob. During our last camino, we took a train from Atocha station in Madrid to Pamplona and it was a very comfortable ride. Although my seat faced "backwards" which was a bit disorienting.

    Jose, our main home is in Indianapolis, but we own property in Brown County, Indiana which is only an hour or so south of Indianapolis. Wonderful hills and it's the most popular area in Indiana when the leaves turn colors in autumn. When I was growing up, I travelled to Brown County with my father and brothers to camp and fish - things I do now along with nurturing my vegetable garden.
     
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  10. Maya Grandmother

    Maya Grandmother Active Member

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    Two years ago we took the train back to Paris. It is great going through areas that you had just walked. The first train from Santiago took us to Hendaye which was about 12 hours. We then spent the night in Hendaye right next to the train station. We met hikers from Europe that were also returning and ended up having an interesting dinner and breakfast. The next morning we went on to Bordeaux where we spent 2 nights taking in the sights and the wine region. After that we went back to CDG for our return flight to Canada. You could also just skip Bordeaux and stay on the train to get back to the airport if you are rushed. We booked the train back in Santiago because we were never sure what day we would arrive but ended up with extra time which we spent in Bordeaux. Happy travelling
     
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  11. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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  12. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    Ah, I thought so. I was at IU for my graduate work and Brown country was right there and indeed is beautiful, especially in the Autumn.
     
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  13. El Condor 2014

    El Condor 2014 Active Member Donating Member

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    Hi tocayo @Jose
    Back in 2014 I travelled by train from Santiago to Bordeaux ( Change over trains in Irun/ Hendaye ) It was a narrow gage rail , slow and stopped in lots of stations, the food on the train was terrible ( if you still want to travel by train make sure you take some food with you) it was approx. a 12 hour trip. Once you are in France you can get the high speed train
     
  14. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    Hola Tocayo!! Given all of that and the fact that I really don´t know if I will have the days extra to do all of that, my plan now is to train it from Madrid or Barcelona. That´s easier! Thanks.
     
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  15. jwmarshall

    jwmarshall New Member

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    Look for flights from other towns with airports near Santiago. I remember there were flights from Paris to Vigo and return. Also check La Coruna. Both are within an hour or so bus or train ride.
     
  16. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    Thanks! Flights are actually pretty easy. It´s that I really love to take trains in Europe and avoid the barbarism (just my opinion) of airports!!
     
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  17. El Condor 2014

    El Condor 2014 Active Member Donating Member

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    Tocayo @Jose , train travel around Europe is great but you must get to a large city first like Madrid . Barcelona and get on the fast trains (AVE) then you can travel through France Germany Italy etc .
     
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  18. Jose

    Jose Active Member

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    Exactly my plan. Madrid, I think. Thanks!
     
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  19. BROWNCOUNTYBOB

    BROWNCOUNTYBOB Well-Known Member

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    We're taking a train from Madrid to Pamplona for our upcoming camino. I just hope the train runs on time. For our 2015 camino, we went to the Atocha station for a 10:30 am departure. We waited around and my mistake was not asking early if the train was running on time. In fact, it was cancelled, so we had to wait until 2:30 or 3:00 pm to catch the next train to Pamplona. That caused us to arrive later than we would have liked, particularly since Pamplona is one of our favorite places. For our upcoming camino, I'll check status as soon as we arrive at Atocha. Hopefully we'll have more time and fun in Pamplona.
     
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