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Bus or train best from Madrid to Salamanca?

Bus or train best from Madrid to Salamanca?

Jul 2nd, 2008, 08:14 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2008
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Bus or train best from Madrid to Salamanca?

Down to the final details in planning our adventure. The excitement builds! I know that both express buses and trains run frequently from Madrid to Salamanca, and the trip seems about 2 1/2 hours either way. So we're not sure which to take.

Does either the bus or train station have an advantage in ease of access from Barajas? And is one station in a better location than the other in Salamanca?
Finally, is one route more scenic?
BarbaraandLeszek is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 12:03 PM
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Last summer I took the bus. I think my reasoning was that there were more frequent buses and I wasn't sure if my plane would land on time and didn't want to either miss a train I had booked in advance, or have to wait around a long time for a late train just to be safe. In any event, it was a rather easy metro ride from the airport to the train station (metro stop right outside it), and I was able to buy a ticket for a bus that left in less than half an hour. The trip was fine and the bus station was about a twenty minute walk from Plaza Mayor in the center of Salamanca. I loved Salamanca, have a great time.
isabel is online now  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 02:22 PM
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We arrived Madrid on EasyJet from London (Luton); at the Baggage Carousel I announced that I was looking for someone to share a taxi to Estación Sur de Autobus. It's just one metro stop past Atocha Renfe (i.e., Metro Mendez Alvaro). Luckily, an Iranian Lady took me up on my offer/request. Her Bus to Salamanca was scheduled for 00:30; mine to Cadiz was a 00:00 departure. We had coffee at the Bus Station and then parted company.

Bus is generally much cheaper than Renfe and they also run more often
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 02:22 PM
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Last year we took the train and it work fine with us.
The train arrived to Chamartin Station, it is a little N.
There is a subway station but the quickest way to travel between Chamartin and Atocha is by train. Usually there is a stop in between called Recoletos.
The train ride is smooth and cheap but I imagine that the bus option is as good.The main difference I guess would be which arrival station is more convenient for you.
Graziella5b is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 02:45 PM
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Hi Barbara,
Take the Auto-Res bus. There are more frequent departures, express buses that make no stops and as isabel said, the bus station is a pleasant 15-20 min walk or easy taxi ride to your hotel. I always take the bus. So when you arrive at Barajas, just take a taxi to the Estación Sur de Autobuses, where the Auto Res co. has now moved. Simple.

By the way, I was in Cosgaya (Picos de Europa) 2 days ago and my husband and I had a wonderful anniversary meal at the Hotel del Oso where you will stay. We finally learned to dine there "light"-didn't have their legendary stew, the cocido lebaniego (made here with chickpeas) or the enormous oxen steak, the chuletón, (which everyone was snapping photos of), but the meal was quite memorable, nonetheless, and we weren't too full to drive back to our casona! (their fig ice cream dessert or floating island, "canónigo", would have sent us over the edge!
We didn't see the St. Bernard puppy but Momma was sound asleep, as always, on the porch. And the pool water was warm, so you should have a wonderful stay. Because all of the tables were taken when we left at 3:30, it is always a wise idea to reserve a table that morning if you plan to eat lunch there, particularly mid July.

And if you need a massage, a wine therapy or cherry body wrap or a session in a hydrotherapy pool, the owners of the Casona de Cosgaya, across the road, have opened a little "Spa Picos de Europa" They also serve a great value menú del día on the terrace at their vinoteca/Restaurante Urogallo for only 10 euros-a great euro saver.

The drive through the La Hermida gorge is exactly 20 km. long and we averaged a speed of 45 km. per hour. Don't even think of passing a car along this route! I was screaming at the Fed Ex truck ahead of us as I watched him recklessly pass every car in sight! Yipes!! But we saw him later in Potes making deliveries, so he arrived safe and sound (guess he knows the tricks and ins and outs of that narrow, winding road). From the exit off the A 8 on the coast at Unquera down to Potes should take you about 50 min.

We spent yesterday in Santander-great but sultry beach day and tapas hopping (with main course at Cañadio), and lots and lots of long paseos along the beaches of el Sardinero and around the Magdalena palace, and tomorrow we're off to Comillas and Santillana (where you're also headed). We avoided it yesterday because the King and Queen were there to see the renovation of the Universidad Pontificia, which will open its doors in Oct. '09 as an international center for the advanced study of the Spanish language.

While in Santander I checked the schedule of the Palacio de Festivales for you, but no flamenco until Aug. 13, when int. flamenco superstar, María Pagés, performs.

Hope you have a terrific time up here in Cantabria. We certainly are!
Maribel is online now  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 03:10 PM
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Me again Barbara,
I remembered that you'll be in the Santillana-Santander vicinity around July 16, so I stopped at the tourist office in Santander to inquire about the schedule for the Fiesta del Carmen events. They hadn't received the info yet. They could only tell me that there will be a parade the moring of the 16th, so you may not want to plan your stay around this but rather catch a bit of it in a smaller fishing village, a more intimate setting.

La Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen is also celebrated in San Vicente de la Barquera, with a procession of the image of the virgin carried out to the sea, bonfires on the beach, rural sports games and a big sardine barbeque. San Vicente is also a is a worthy short stop before Santillana (but on wkds. is a zoo with people coming in to have lunch at one of the marisquerías). If you stop at San Vicente, be sure to walk up through the Old Quarter for a visit to the castle and Gothic church of Santa María de los Angeles (but the altar piece is undergoing a major renovation, section by section now). Pretty vistas from the promenade in front of the church. We stopped there on our way to visit the amazing caves of El Soplao.

Again, have a wonderful time in Salamanca, León and Cantabria!
Maribel is online now  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 03:58 PM
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lHola Maribel, Congratulations on your Anniversary, only to-day of we were thinking of the great meals we had in HOtel del Oso,...WOW as you say that places is great.
One little anecdote, upon leaving I told one of the owners of EL OSO that everything had been so good, ...including the orujo ... and she responded, well my father thinks is is terrible ...because, she added, he likes the one we used to make...now we use a commercial one. I thought her reply so honest was very Spanish....
anyway for me their orujo was delicious...unusual
Graziella5b is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 04:04 PM
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Anyone see the movie "Vantage Point?"

Is the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca a large square, enclosed by tall buildings all around?

scrb is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 09:25 PM
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Yes Plaza Mayor in Salamanca is as you saw at that movie, despite it wasn't the original and other parts of the city are not as seen in the movie.

About bus/train

I think there is no real difference about convenient location of the bus/Train station from Barajas. Chamartin train station is probably slightly better located, cheaper taxis ride and faster train ride than bus station. But not a significant difference.

If you plan to arrive on friday from midday i would take trains, as buses will share the congested traffic of the A6, and you have the risk of being in the middle of a big traffic jam.
This applies if you arrive in summer.

This is a map of Salamanca with plaza mayor, university and cathedral marked as well as bus station and train station. Probably bus station is slightly closer, but not a big difference. Salamanca is not that big.


victor_d is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 09:46 PM
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I took the bus and I thought it was an easy way to get to Salamanca. Either way , I would just get a cab from the airport.

Maribel, Feliz aniversario! What a great way to celebrate !
cruiseluv is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 11:43 PM
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Hi Barbara, Graziella and cruiseluv,
Thanks for the greetings! We had a wonderful anniversary at the Del Oso, and the family is so warm and welcoming. It now feels very much like home! It was market day in Potes (Mon.), so we loaded up, of course, on little quesucos to take to our friends as gifts, and crema de orujo (Tierra de Picos brand) and other goodies.

If you decide on the bus, it is easier to manage luggage (learned this from cruiseluv who manages very nicely by herself using the bus), as you just put your bags in the underneath storage area and don't have to fight for space in the small luggage racks at the end of the train car or have to lift them up to the small compartments over the seats. Something else to consider. You can see the schedule and buy tixs on line at www.avanzabus.com

I did see Vantage Point and was extremely disappointed as most of the film was done in Mexico City-didn't look at all like the Salamanca we all know and love!

Maribel is online now  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 01:04 AM
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Very timely info as my daughter and I are visiting Salamanca in December.

How far forward does the Avanza site let you book tickets?

I couldn't get a timetable to come up for late August?
Sarvowinner is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 09:57 AM
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I just tried to purchase a Madrid-Salamanca ticket for a month ahead, the 10 am express, arriving in Salamanca at 12:30, costing 17.40 and was able to get to the last step of submitting my c.c. info, so they probably let you book just a month out. The biggest advantage of the Alsa bus service is that there are 16 express (non-stop) buses each day.
Maribel is online now  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 10:09 AM
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We took the train and it was a nice, easy trip.

However, be sure to go to Chamartin station in Madrid, not Atocha. We stupidly went to Atocha and after waiting in a line, found out that we were at the wrong station. We hopped a train to get to Chamartin, waited in line again and made the train with less than 5 minutes to spare!

Generally, I'd rather be on a train than a bus, so that is why we chose the train.
travelgirl2 is offline  
Jul 5th, 2008, 01:27 AM
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Maribel writes: "I remembered that you'll be in the Santillana-Santander vicinity around July 16, so I stopped at the tourist office in Santander to inquire about the schedule for the Fiesta del Carmen events. They hadn't received the info yet. They could only tell me that there will be a parade the moring of the 16th, so you may not want to plan your stay around this but rather catch a bit of it in a smaller fishing village, a more intimate setting."

I believe la Virgen de Carmen is Patrona of the Marineros, so whatever Puerto de mar in Spain you visit will have a dedication that day. But Santander has something else: a Festival de Santiago that runs fron 17 to 23 jul. I'm sure one can find all sorts of music on c/de Burgos as well as daily bullfights that week
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Jul 5th, 2008, 07:36 AM
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We just saw the bullfight cartel for the Fiesta de Santiago in Santander, starting the 19th (a novillada on the 18th), and all the major matadors, including José Tomás (July 23), will be there, and there will be a rejoneo with Pablo de Hermosa on July 20.

Here's the cartel:

Neither the tourist office in Santander nor in Santillana yesterday had the official agenda for the Fiesta del Carmen, but again, it will be celebrated with a procession down to the sea in both Suances and San Vicente de la Barquera on the 16th and also in Comillas they'll celebrate Cristo del Amparo, the patron saint of fishermen on the 16th.
Maribel is online now  
Jul 6th, 2008, 06:04 AM
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Thanx, Maribel: I wasn't sure of the dates of Santander's Santiago festival because when I am anywhere near, I head for Santiago for the 24th & 25th (Fireworks, las Fallas & the Botafumeiro, etc.). So I just 'winged' (i.e., approximated) them on my earlier post.

I didn't realize Santander's festivities ran thru Santiago & Santa Ana.
Muchas Gracias: Ned
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
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