San Sebastian to Barcelona

Old Jan 19th, 2007, 12:38 PM
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San Sebastian to Barcelona

I will be traveling in Spain in September/October of 07. I'll be there for 3 weeks starting in Sevilla, then on to Madrid, then to San Sebastian and ending up in Barcelona. The AVE train works well between Madrid and Sevilla, but I can't figure out how to get from Madrid to San Sebastian and then on to Barcelona. The train trips seems so long. Any suggestion on itinerary and/or travel would be appreciated. It's my 1st time in Spain and I'm clueless. Help!
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Old Jan 19th, 2007, 01:03 PM
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Since no one else has replied, I'll give you my half answer. We did it (from San Sebastian to Barcelona). It was an overnight train.
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Old Jan 19th, 2007, 01:15 PM
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Thanks Christy. That was all I could find, the overnite train. I don't think my husband will do that. Maybe we will have to rent a car. It looks like the drive is about 5 1/2 hours. Maybe we would do some sightseeing, stop enroute for lunch and make a day of it. Anyone have any suggestions for sites or lunch?
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Old Jan 19th, 2007, 01:41 PM
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I've done several overnights on Spanish trains. It is an excellent way to travel. You save a day and a hotel night. City to city, evening to morning, no traffic, no parking, no airline security, triple locked doors on your cabine, breakfast sometimes in your bunk. What a deal. Unless you have spare time and specific places to visit as you drive across northern Spain the overnight train is the way to go, IMO.


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Old Jan 19th, 2007, 01:45 PM
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You can do it flying..to San Sebastian (which will be more expensive) or to Bilbao which is a short bus ride from San Sebastian and is worth a visit also even if it's for a few hours.
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Old Jan 19th, 2007, 04:23 PM
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Spanair has opened up a new route from San Sebastian-Donostia (Hondarribia) airport to Barcelona via Madrid (specials are now running at 25€ for each leg).

The AVE is nearly complete between Madrid and Barcelona. Renfe is running all of the trains for now but will be switching to the AVE sometime in the near future. The Talgo and Altaria are under 5 hours. The AVE should cut the time down to around 3-1/2 hours.
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Old Jan 20th, 2007, 04:38 AM
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Robert writes: "... AVE is nearly complete between Madrid and Barcelona. Renfe is running all of the trains for now but will be switching to the AVE sometime in the near future. ..." as if Renfe and AVE were mutually exclusive. They are not! AVE is a Renfe Service.

You might look at what Bus service is avaiable between those cities. Check out Vibasa Autocar Company. It costs under 25 Euro and takes 7-hours (incl. a lunch stop) from San Sebastian to Barcelona. There's 3-departures daily: in early morning, in mid-afternoon and an overnighter. Of course there's an on board toilet facility. There's an attendant on board and you get free soft drinks or bottled water. Beer and wine are available for a nominal fee.

The rest-stop restaurant is much nicer than one might expect.

I think the scenery is much better seen from the Bus than from the train.


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Old Jan 20th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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Thanks everyone for all of your suggestions. I still need the Madrid to San Sebastian part.Our time in San Sebatian is a bit of R&R since we'll be coming off of 2 weeks in Madrid and Sevilla with side trips to Cordoba, Granada, Toledo and Segovia. While we're in SS we'll do a day trip to Bilboa for the Guggenheim. Any other suggestions on the itinerary?
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Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 11:56 AM
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if ss is for rr, then just enjoy walking around the city, and go to every pintxos bar in the old quarter (best in spain in my book), or drop serious cash at Arzak for an amazing meal then check out the museo del whiskey. hopefully you'll have some sunny days for walks on the playa. btw, i only drive in spain, it's fairly cheap to rent (nova/europcar) and you get a better feel for the country when you can stop off at those out of the way places (like Besalu outside of Barcelona) and Biarritz from Donostia.
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