Best Way to Get to Santander

Feb 23rd, 2006, 11:57 PM
  #1  
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Best Way to Get to Santander

I will be studying abroad in Santander, Spain in late April. This will be my first time out of the US so I'm trying to figure out what I should do, but I need lots of advice. What is the best way to get there and the cheapest? If I was to fly into Bilbao, what is the best way to get to Santander? Should I take a taxi from the airport to the bus station? How is public transporation on Sunday? As you could tell, I am very confuse. Any advice or suggestion would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
butterfly0i0 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 12:28 AM
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There are buses aabout every hour from Bilbao to Santander, with a journey time under two hours. There is a modern bus terminal in Bilbao, called Termibus. I don't know about the airport.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 01:37 AM
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Are you studying at UIMP (Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo)? It's on Avda. de los Castros near Sardinero Playa (western part of Santander). So, when you get to the Santander Bus Station, you've still got a ways to go.

Where are you coming from? The reason I ask is: RyanAir has direct flights to Santander from its London Stanstead hub.

Public transportation Sundays is fine.

The last time I flew into Bilbao (from Frankfurt on Lufthansa) I took a taxi into town: but there may be a Bus to Termibus. I had an early departure flight (back to Frankfurt to connect with a US-bound flight) so I taxied to the airport from my hotel.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 01:38 AM
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Santander has an airport, so if you are flying Iberia or any of the OneWorld partners (Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, LAN** y Qantas) you may be able to fly directly into Santander without too much extra charge.

Also, discount Ryan Air flys into Santander: http://www.ryanair.com

Hope this helps - suerte!
FrescoTours is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 07:49 AM
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Thanks Geoffhamer, NEDSIRELAND, and FrescoTours for helping. I will be studying at UIMP but I will be staying at Caballerizas del Palacio de la Magdalena. I was looking into flying from San Francisco to London (Heathrow) and from there taking the National Express Coaches to Stansted. Then probably spending a night there since flights from Stansted to Santander leaves at 6:30 in the morning. But I think this is way too complicated for a first timer abroad, or maybe just me? So that is why I was now thinking of flying directly from SF to Bilbao and then figuring out how I am going to get to Santander. Any other suggestions?
butterfly0i0 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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Hi,

The bus from Bilbao to Santander is very convenient. Some of them( Supra or Eurobus) are express with no other stops and take 1 hr and 15 mins. I did the Santander to Bilbao bus on a Sunday and there was no problem. You can check the schedules at www.alsa.es

If I were doing what you are doing and there was a direct flight from my airport to Bilbao, I would do that and then bus to Santander. One less flight/ airport to deal with. The bus system in Spain is very reliable and the buses are very comfortable and convenient. Actually, I might have to put in practice what I am recommending as my son might return to Santander this summer for spanish courses at UIMP.
Is that what you're studying at UIMP?
cruiseluv is online now  
Feb 24th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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I forgot to ask you what airline were you planning to take? If its Iberia or American I agree with Fresco that maybe the best would be fly to Madrid and connect with a Santander flight if the added cost is not too much.

If you do that then make sure you have at least 3 hours connecting time. Madrid's airport can be difficult for connections and I think the new International terminal (T4?) is even further away from the domestic terminal.
cruiseluv is online now  
Feb 24th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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Thanks cruiseluv. Yes, I will be taking Spanish at UIMP. But I should mention it's beginning Spanish. I haven't bought my ticket yet, but I am planning on flying British. But I think that with all the suggestions and the confirmation that I should have no problem with transporation from Bilbao to Santander, I will fly directly to Bilbao. Thanks again everyone for relieving some stress. And to cruiseluv, if your son does study at Santander this summer, I hope he has a great time. Thanks again!
butterfly0i0 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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We love Santander. The beach is fantastic (although in April it will be too chilly for that!). The North of Spain is great and there are a lot of places that you can easily do as day trips in the weekend.

Good luck to you!
cruiseluv is online now  
Feb 24th, 2006, 11:50 AM
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butterfly0i0,

I'm sure you'll enjoy Santander and the UIMP - spent a month there over 10 years ago and had a blast.

Why do you want to fly with BA?

The most convenient option by far is to take a combination of AA and Iberia from San Francisco to Santander. You will need to change twice (Chicago and Madrid), but you and your luggage will be checked through and won't need to deal with airport changes, buses etc. It's the fastest and most painless option by far IMO.

The www.iberia.com website is offering fares of less than $1000 all in for late April early May.

Hope this helps,
Andre
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Feb 24th, 2006, 11:58 AM
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there is a bus from the airport that takes you right into town. no need for taxi to bus station..

and it goes right past guggenheim...stops on the corner!!

however.. from bus stops ( there are several) to bus station i have no idea, but it shouldn't be too diffficult. even if you do take a taxi the last section of your transfer.. will not be expensive.

don't forget that taxis DO charge for luggage,so don't think they are ripping you off when they ask you for more than the meter says.

there should be a sticker on the window explaining it all.
lincasanova is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 12:08 PM
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I agree with Andre. That might be the easiest. Plus, I was curious about the "direct" flight on British to Bilbao. The only flights on British from SFO to Bilbao that I find is with a change of planes in London to an Iberia flight. Given that, it is easier IMO to keep all your flights with the same airline and check your lugagge all the way through to Santander.
cruiseluv is online now  
Feb 24th, 2006, 02:40 PM
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A little comic relief: Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo (UIMP) is pronounced: "Wimp!" So, if you ask a Taxista to take you there, just say: Wimp!

When in Santander, be sure to take a day tour to Potes & Picos de Europa and another to Santillana del mar. Don't take the 'meal included' tour to Potes & los Picos de Europa. You can do better at one of the many restaurants in Potes!
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 05:15 PM
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I would love to fly directly into Santander, but I'm just a poor college student trying to have some fun time while finishing some course work (the point, you're suppose to feel sympathy for me...haha... okay, maybe not). Back on track, I did check out Iberia, but WAAAAAAAAAAY too expensive for me. From San Francisco to Santander round trip, it was about $1500. I seriously have a headache from trying to find flights. Maybe that's what I get for waiting so long. If anyone of you want to help me find some flights ...here are my dates:
Leave April 22 (have to be there April 23 anytime)
Come Back June 24 (can also leave the 25th)
I could depart from Sacramento or San Francisco.
I'll be sure to take a day tour to Potes and Picos de Europa and another to Santillana del mar. I just hope I'll get there.
butterfly0i0 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 06:25 PM
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Hi Butterfly,

Yes, I have been looking and everything comes back $1300-1400. I think the return is what's making it more expensive.I hope you can get to work it out. Santander is a great city,
cruiseluv is online now  
Feb 24th, 2006, 08:33 PM
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Thanks for the support! And I know I'll enjoy Santander very much. I love the beach.
butterfly0i0 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 11:43 PM
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Hi,

several questions have appeared ...

- Lin, it might be different in Valencia, but neither in Bilbao nor Madrid taxis can charge you extra for the luggage. There is a surplus for travelling to and from the airport, something around 4 Euros, but they cannot charge for your luggage.

- T4 in Madrid. If you are flying Iberia or BA or American, you will land in the new T4, and you wonīt have to change to the old ones. As you are not going into Madrid, the "small" problem of the public transport wonīt be an issue. Having said that, the problems in the new terminal seem to be disappearing. I landed there on the first working day, and it is gorgeous.
http://www.aena.es/T4/home.html
Ah, and all the Iberia flights, both domestic and foreign, have moved there.

- I understand the problem with the prices. I fly quite often to Bilbao from Madrid, and I thought a couple of times of flying to Santander to stay with friends, but it was way much more expensive.

- The bus from Bilbao airport into town ends at Termibus, the bus station. If you donīt have a lot of luggage, it will be the best option. It leaves every half an hour, at .15 and .45, and it costs 1,15 Euro. If it has already left when you get your luggage, you can sit at the small outdoor cafe and wait for the next one.

- Check here to see the bus schedules between Bilbao and Santander.
http://www.movelia.es/

I do hope you enjoy your time in Santander. Staying in the Magdalena ... wow !!!

Cova
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Feb 24th, 2006, 11:52 PM
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Hi Cova,

Do you mind telling me about Magdalena, if your familar with it? I tried looking up some information about it, but what I found was only in spanish. And I don't know if you read the previous post, but I will be taking beginning spanish. What's funny is that my T.A. (teacher's assistant) dropped his mouth when he realize we were going to room there b/c originally, we were suppose to stay in the dorms at UIMP, but they're remodeling them. He didn't say much about Magdalena and I'm curious to learn about the place. All I know is that it's a palace from the word Palacio, but that's about it.
butterfly0i0 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 04:27 AM
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Wow, I feel your pain!

For some reason, as cruiseluv says, the cheap Iberia fares aren't available on the weekend of June 24/25. I would try the following:

a) Call Iberia at 1-800-772-4642 and check if there are student/youth fares available.

b) If that doesn't work, I would probably get the cheapest flight possible to London (BA is showing a $777 fare for your dates) and continue on Ryanair (£35). Beware of their low luggage allowance though!

You can purchase your Heathrow-Stansted bus tickets at:
www.nationalexpress.com
Cost is £26 return.

Tripadvisor has some decent-looking B&B options near Stansted:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g2...nd-Hotels.html

Their top pick, Latchmead, costs £45 for a single. Looks very basic.
http://www.latchmead.co.uk/

For accomodations near Heathrow on the way back, Priceline is generally the best option. Check www.biddingfortravel.com for tips on how to bid.

Hope this helps,
Andre
Andre is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 04:43 AM
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Oh yes, about the Palacio - it's a crazy tudor-style extravaganza set right on the Atlantic. You will be staying in the annex (caballerizas: former stables). The UIMP organized several parties there when I was studying, but those were set outside (it was July or August), so don't know what the interior is like.

Here is some info:
http://www.uimp.es/asp/CursosParaEx/...asp?fichInc=15

As far as I can remember, the palace is a fair distance from the center of town - don't recall what public transportation is available.

Hope this helps,
Andre

Hope this helps,
Andre
Andre is offline  

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