Biarritz to San Sebastian by train?

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Oct 5th, 2010, 10:46 AM
  #1
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Biarritz to San Sebastian by train?

There appears to be a Basque railway separate from the SNCF. Should one wait to get to the Biarritz train station and ask them how to go about it?
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Oct 5th, 2010, 11:45 AM
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I caught the Eusko Tren at Hendaye. There is a small Eusko station just outside the SNCF station. The train arrives in San Sebastian at the Eusko train station, about a mile from the main train station.

I believe you need to take SNCF from Biarritz to Hendaye.
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Oct 5th, 2010, 12:08 PM
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Thanks, Spaarne. Complicated! How long does it take, about?
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Oct 5th, 2010, 12:17 PM
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Probably a bus from Biarritz to Hendaye is better since Biarritz' train station is a few miles out of town (once a spur rail line went to the old station in the town center but long since abandoned (unless reopened and has escaped my notice)

So if possible try to bus right to Hendaye where as spaarne says in the French station there is a Tren Ersko station that winds thru numerable Basque villages - sometimes right down the main street with houses so close you could seemingly reach out and touch them! Fares are really cheap - just buy ticket in Hendaye.
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Oct 5th, 2010, 12:20 PM
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Thanks, Pal! Any idea how much of the day a trip would take?
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Oct 5th, 2010, 12:21 PM
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Travel information
The Basque (EUSKOTREN) Railway Company links San Sebastian and Hendaye (TOPO line). The trip lasts around 45 min and there is at least one train per hour ...
dipc.ehu.es/arubio/dipc/bioex_travel.html

This Getting to Donostia/San Sebastian site gives all details about the train - takes 45 minutes about.

BTW Basques far prefer the use of the word Donostia over the Spanish San Sebastian, which last time i was there was often crossed out by graffiti, leaving the Donostia name the only one on signs.
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Oct 5th, 2010, 12:24 PM
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Basically I'm wondering whether a day trip by train is possible.
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Oct 5th, 2010, 12:27 PM
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I would think two hours max each way - and the Euskro Tren station is right in the heart of downtown Barcelona - closer in than its mainline RENFE station - another way to Barcelona by mainline train but this always involves a time-consuming change of trains at the Spanish border since the tracks in Spain are wider than those in France - so the Tren Eusko is the only direct rail link from Hendaye to Donostia and all told much quicker even though it is slower!

And to me San Sebastian is a swell place well worth the journey - if you had a car you could drive much quicker as Biarritz and S Sebastian are not that far apart.
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Oct 5th, 2010, 12:34 PM
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if a day trip is feasible? IMO yes because San Sebastian and its fabled La Concha (name beach that so enamored Hemingway and pals and luminaries of their day is compact with not all that many individual sites - there is something of interest on the tops of two mini-mountains bookending each side of the curved beach - you can walk up steps to Mt Urgull, where there is an famous Christ statue and of course rave views for miles, including to Biarritz i would think.

so yes it seems manageable to me at least.

I remember locals being very friendly to tourists.
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Oct 5th, 2010, 12:40 PM
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Buses arrive on square d'Ixelles, in the centre of Biarritz. There are buses from Bayonne, Anglet, Pau, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Hendaye and some trans-border buses from Spain.>

This from Wiki about Biarritz - seems there are buses to Hendaye and perhaps even some to San Sebastian - I like the Eusko Tren however because of its frequent departures - any Biarritz to S Seb buses may leave infrequently.

I would pop into the Biarritz Tourist Office to clarify it all.
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Oct 5th, 2010, 12:41 PM
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Thanks again, Pal. I hadn't read your other post. So it sounds possible to do it as a day trip, then.

Is it difficult to find the bus station in Biarritz?
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Oct 5th, 2010, 12:42 PM
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It's for my daughter, who's too young to rent a car.
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Oct 5th, 2010, 12:44 PM
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PalenQ - I am confused - does the Euskro train go all the way to Barcelona? how extensive is this system? Had never heard of it before but sounds like pleasant day trip possibility when I visit Donostia.
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Oct 5th, 2010, 12:44 PM
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Yes! I forget about tourist offices.
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Oct 5th, 2010, 12:48 PM
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suec1 - no it goes only to San Sebastian - that is being called the Tren Eusko i think but this narrow-gauge railway meanders along the coast from San Sebastian to Bilboa (bus is much quicker S Seb to Bilboa than this slow train that stops at every little village - and it actually goes all the way to Ferrol, close to A Coruna

After San Sebastian this legendary narrow-gauge non-RENFE (Spanish Railways) train is labeled FEVE and is a favorite if long journey of rail buffs from all over the world.
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Oct 5th, 2010, 12:52 PM
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Oh suec - to get to Barcelona by train from San Sebastian you use the mainline RENFE (Spanish Railways) station and there is about only one direct train a day - traditionally leaving around 10am and taking 8-9 hours! But there is also (or was recently) an overnight train direct S Seb-Barcelona.
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Oct 5th, 2010, 02:01 PM
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PalenQ is confusing people as usual:
"the Euskro Tren station is right in the heart of downtown Barcelona"

By train (SNCF), Biarritz is under half an hour from Hendaye, and a few trains continue over the border to Irun.
EuskoTren (www.euskotren.es) trains go from Hendaye every half hour to San Sebastian, taking about 40 minutes for the journey.
Local RENFE trains go from Irun to San Sebastian on a similar frequency and take about 25 minutes.
Services are frequent because it is a densely-populated industrial area.
In San Sebastian, the RENFE station is slightly nearer the old part of the city, while the EuskoTren station is a little nearer the beach, but the distances are walkable.
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Oct 5th, 2010, 02:07 PM
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alenQ is confusing people as usual:
"the Euskro Tren station is right in the heart of downtown Barcelona"

should have been, of course, San Sebastian not Barcelona - now i know why suec asked about Barcelona. Otherwise i remember the Euskro station being better located - having taken trains from them both but at my age...
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Oct 5th, 2010, 02:11 PM
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EuskoTren (www.euskotren.es) trains go from Hendaye every half hour to San Sebastian, taking about 40 minutes for the journey.
Local RENFE trains go from Irun to San Sebastian on a similar frequency and take about 25 minutes.>

bahn.de shows trains Hendaye to Irun and San Sebastian about every 3-4 hours - where did you pull that info from about trains running every 25 mins, Geoff - I know you are perfect so it must be true but where can i find that frequency of schedules for RENFE line trains Hendaye or Irun to San Sebastian. bahn.de is usually infallible except in the case of Spain so it could be.
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Oct 5th, 2010, 03:16 PM
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The DB website does not show local trains ("cercanias") in Spain and they are listed separately on RENFE's website.
They run between Irun and San Sebastian, but do not serve Hendaye.
http://www.renfe.com/viajeros/cercan...ian/index.html
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