Travelling to Spain by Train

Madrid's Train Museum

The Telegraph has a good article about travel to Spain by train – a perfectly good alternative to air travel, if you are coming from the UK or France at least!

During my first 5 years in Spain, I travelled back and forth to the UK exclusively by train (until my temporary fear of flying disappeared), and sitting in the restaurant car of the overnight train speeding from Paris to Madrid, is one of the greatest ‘old-style’ travel pleasures on earth!

But the days of the overnight trains to France are clearly numbered. The Telegraph article states:

Finally, a new way to reach Spain opens for business later this year. On December 12, the first part of the new Perpignan-Barcelona high-speed line enters service, and two daily double-deck TGVs (Train à Grande Vitesse, the 186mph French high-speed train) will link Paris with Figueres, just north of Barcelona and home to the remarkable Salvador Dalí museum.

You’ll be able to leave London on a 10.25am Eurostar, change in Paris onto the 3.20pm TGV for Figueres, arriving at 8.46pm the same day.

So how long before you leave Madrid in the morning and arrive in Paris 5 hours later? Despite the fact it’s bound to do away with the overnight service, it will be a wonderful journey, I can’t wait!

Notes: The photo above is from Madrid’s fine Train Museum.

8 Replies to “Travelling to Spain by Train”

  1. Cool! Yes, train travel is wonderful. As soon as I can travel from Barcelona to Devon in a day, for something approaching a reasonable rate, I’ll do it.

    Gemma and I are planning a trip overland from BCN to Istanbul, Damascus and Beirut next year, which will mostly be done by train. Reading Paul Theroux is helping us build up the excitement levels 🙂

    1. Paul T is great, I read all of his train books a few years ago, wonderful travel literature. A high-speed train has just opened up from Nice to Moscow, now that would be a fun trip!

  2. It’s a pity the AVE is so expensive. At the moment the prices make it seem more of a luxury to splash out on once, rather than a regular alternative means of transport.

  3. I love Spanish trains. Got the Gandia regional from Valencia the other day for 5.80 return an hour each way. Managed to read a whole book on the two trips. On Monday I fly back into Alicante and my train back to Valencia has cost me just 13 Euros on a fiesta.

    The long distance trains are excellent too although as stated above the AVE might be a tad expensive. Valencia Madrid in 1 hour 50 minutes from December. I remember travelling from Valencia to Madrid in 14 hours in the late eighties, I swear the train stopped at every house on the way if someone put their hand out for it.

    1. “I love Spanish trains. Got the Gandia regional from Valencia the other day for 5.80 return an hour each way. Managed to read a whole book on the two trips.”

      If I said I love going to the cinema and last time I went I managed to read several chapters of my book, people would think it strange – no?

  4. Only travelled on spanish trains once back in the late 70s, London to Algeciras, and what a journey it was! The spanish trains impressed me even then.

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