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4 week itinerary for March/April 2015

We are a retired couple in our late 50's, early 60's. We arrive in Barcelona from Australia on Sat 7/3. We'll stay 5 nights in Barcelona. I would love some advice on our rough plan from then on which is as follows:

Thurs 12/3 - train to Cordoba (2 nights)

Sat 14/3 - train to Granada (3 nights)

Tues 17/3 - train to Ronda (2 nights)

Thurs 19/3 - train to Seville (4 nights)

Mon 23/3 - train to Merida (2 nights)

Wed 25/3 - train to Segovia via Madrid (2 nights)

Fri 27/3 - train to Salamanca (or Avila) via Madrid (2 nights)

Sun 29/3 - train to Madrid (3 nights)

Wed 1/4 - train to Toledo (2 nights)

Fri 3/4 - train to Barcelona (2 nights)

From Barcelona we'll go by train to Carcassonne on Sun 5/4 and spend the next 4 weeks in France before travelling home from Paris on Tues 5/5.

Some concerns I have are that I prefer to have 3 or 4 night stays in towns whenever possible, but also want to see many different areas of Spain. I am aware that some places aren't worth 3 nights, but 2 is my absolute minimum as I hate 1 night stays.

Semana Santa and the Easter weekend may impact our last week in Spain. I had thought of leaving Spain for France before Semana Santa but then that would give us even less time to see Spain. By staying away from Seville in that week, should we be able to avoid most of the crowds/expensive hotels etc?

I don't really want to double up on Barcelona but it looks too far to go from Toledo to Carcassonne in one day, so unless there's somewhere else we could stay between Toledo and Barcelona I think we have to go back to Barcelona.

The day we travel into France is adjustable by a day or two also. So far the only booking I've made is an apartment for the first 5 nights in Barcelona.

Posted by
2530 posts

Speechless... I always wonder some people call this "traveling". But hey, don't want to sound rude, if that's your way then that's your way. I am afraid though you're going to spend too long moving luggage up and down in train stations and you'll hardly see anything of the cities you intend to visit. On top of everything I doubt you'll be standing in your two feet by the time you reach Mérida: traveling is a tiresome exercise and fatigue adds up.

I can appreciate you don't live around the corner and want to make the most of your trip but I humbly think you're going to feel it exhausting and at the end of the day you might not have enjoyed it as much as you might expect.

I suppose you don't want to hear this but, have you considered say one "base city" for each week and then escapades to neighbouring towns/cities in the region? You'll certainly appreciate much more everything you'll see and will be more relaxed towards the next phase of the trip. If you were to choose that, think Barcelona, Seville, Salamanca and one more in the south -or none, as moving between Ronda-Granada-Córdoba and Seville is not that complicated.

Posted by
59 posts

Hi Enric.

Yes, you do sound rude, but thankyou for your point of view.

We travelled like this for 6 weeks in France, Italy and Switzerland last year. Yes, it did become exhausting at times, but we saw a lot of places in those countries.

When we had 3 or 4 nights in a town, we usually did a day trip from there, but in general I always prefer to stay overnight for at least 2 nights rather than just do day trips to places I've never been before.

I don't think this itinerary is as fast-paced as many others I've seen on here. It's certainly far slower than any Rick Steves organized tours.

I would love to receive some constructive comments on this itinerary. In particular, how could it be improved without spending a whole week in each area as Enric suggests. Also, will Holy Week impact our plans too much if we're in the areas around Madrid during that time?

And it would be great if someone could answer my last question about going back to Barcelona before travelling onto Carcassonne.

Posted by
355 posts

Judy, I have never been to Spain, but as evidenced by a thread below I started on Semana Santa (you may wish to read the response I received), I have done some reading on the challenges of travel in Spain during Holy Week. My understanding is that Semana Santa is not a major event in Barcelona and Madrid, though you may experience it in Toledo. It seems that for the most part you will be missing the Semana Santa activities, again with the exception of Toledo. However, keep in mind that this information comes from someone who like you is planning a trip to Spain, rather than from someone who has travelled through Spain during and before Holy Week.

And please post a trip report after your trip because I look forward to reading it. Have a great trip.

Posted by
59 posts

Hi Richard

Thankyou for your reply. That is the kind of advice I'm looking for. We could move the Toledo visit to earlier in the trip if there's a chance that it will be crowded during Semana Santa.

I would prefer to avoid some of the moving around and 2 night stays on this trip, but am not quite sure how to do it. I know Toledo can be a day trip from Madrid but people say it's also great to stay there and the same goes for Segovia. I also know that Seville can be used as a base for visiting Rhonda and Cordoba, but hear it can also be nicto stay overnight in those places.

I know you haven't been to Spain yet, but what kind of itinerary are you thinking of when you do go, apart from some time in Seville for Semana Santa?

Posted by
355 posts

Judy, by answering your question, I hope that I am not inadvertently pushing your thread in a different direction from what you originally intended. And on my thread, now on page 2, there is an excellent response that addresses some of your concerns.

We are looking at a trip in 2016. My very preliminary thoughts are to fly into Seville in the beginning of Holy Week and fly out of Madrid. I am thinking about 3 nights in Seville, 2 nights in Zamora (Holy Thursday and Good Friday), 2 nights in Salamanca, and 3 nights in Madrid (with one day to be used for a day trip to Toledo). I personally would prefer to visit Spain after Easter, but my wife has a strong interest in attending the Semana Santa activities. The reason that we would visit Zamora is Semana Santa.

I would love to travel to Barcelona, but we will have for our trip only 12 or 13 days including travel time. Were we travelling later in the spring--and again I am talking about a much shorter trip than you are planning--we would probably be thinking about Seville, Madrid (with day trips) and Barcelona. Like you, I have heard that Toledo at night is special, but with limited time tough choices have to be made.

I think your itinerary looks wonderful, but have you thought about driving at times during your trip.

Posted by
59 posts

Hi again Richard

We're not going to drive in Europe as we drive on the other side of the road here and neither of us wants to be stressed while on holiday.

We were originally going to do this trip in Sept/Oct this year but then my husband developed some health problems and we decided to put it off to next year. March/April wasn't our preferred time but we have to be back in Australia for a wedding in early May, so we booked the airfares. Then I realized we'd be there over Easter and discovered Semana Santa which I had known nothing about.

So it's probably not the ideal time to travel to Spain, but at least it shouldn't be hot, and I hate travelling in the heat. I also hate crowds so have no interest in being in Seville during Semana Santa.

I think our possible itinerary looks ok too, though it would be better to have fewer and longer stays in places. Therefore I'm thinking of turning a couple of the 2 night stays into day trips. I'm not that interested in Madrid , so maybe making Salamanca a base and doing day trips from there might work.

Posted by
14227 posts

It seems like a pretty good itinerary to me. I haven't been to Merida/Segovia/Salamanca. Here are my thoughts. First, I don't think it's reasonable to spend 6-7 nights in one place in Andalusia if you want to sightsee. Much of the pleasure in visiting Spanish towns is the late evening experience, which you miss if you are day-tripping. I agree that you are better off not trying to drive "backwards" since the places best accessed by car are in the mountains.

I wonder if you might be better off flying from Barcelona to Granada.

Posted by
59 posts

Hi Chani

Thanks for your reply. I was hoping to hear from you as I had noticed you giving good advice in other posts.

Flying to Granada is something to think about. What airline would be best to use? One advantage of trains is that the stations are in the cities which is more convenient than going out to an airport.

How would you rearrange our itinerary to be more sensible in your opinion?

Posted by
14227 posts

First of all, Judy, thanks for the compliment. Second, you can always PM me or anyone else on the forum. Brad is an excellent source for travel in Spain. He wrote an excellent trip report a couple of years ago - during Semana Santa. https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/spain-clean-toilets-affordable-lodging

I didn't check train and plane schedules. I do know that there's no short way to get to Granada. I think if you go to the wiki page for Granada airport (or maybe the airport website shows it) you'll see all the airlines that fly there. You can also try rome2rio.com which seems to be a good way to find flights.

Posted by
2530 posts

Judy

My deepest unreserved apologies, that wasn't my intention!

Enric

Posted by
2530 posts

From Toledo you can take an Avant train to Madrid (it's merely 35' and there are several) and from there a high speed train AVE to Barcelona, then a regular train to Carcassone (in all 6 hours or so). All trains to the Mediterranean part of France go via Barcelona.

Schedules for Easter are not yet available at Renfe.com website (the Spanish train operator) but simulating this journey for say January you can see that there is for example a train departing from Atocha's station in Madrid at 3pm, arriving in Sants station in Barcelona at 5:30pm and a train to Carcassone departing at 6:35pm which reaches destination at 9pm.

Alternatively you could fly from Madrid to Toulouse, which is 100km from Carcassone, but that might be problematic as I believe the only flights from Madrid to Toulouse are by Vueling.com and only on Thu and Sun and then you need to arrange transportation from there to Carcassone. In all, including waiting time for boarding, etc. it might be more convenient to take the train after all. One last note, high speed trains are very comfy http://www.railtren.com/RENFE/FOTOS_RENFE/ALTA_Res/AVE_130_05.JPG and not too expensive, especially if you book well in advance.

Posted by
59 posts

Hi Again Chani

Yes, I did come across Brad's trip report the other day and found it very interesting. He did most of his trip by car though, so ours will be different.

I thought abour Zaragosa as a place to stop on the way to Carcassonne instead of Barcelona, but I think from memory the train connections weren't so good.

Posted by
59 posts

Hi again Enric

Perhaps you should think about how your comments sound in future before you post them. People who ask questions on travel forums are asking for help, not for sarcastic remarks. You're not obliged to reply if you think someone's question is stupid. I found your original comment quite hurtful.

But thankyou for the information about trains and planes. It would be a very long day to get all the way from Toledo or even Madrid to Carcassonne, so I think we'll have to have a stopover in Barcelona again.

Posted by
16817 posts

I really don't see any problem with your itinerary. The number of nights at each stop seems adequate to allow for travel time and seeing most highlights. Granada happens to be a city where the train station is a little less central than some, so you'd probably take a taxi to your hotel from there; Granada's airport bus also connects right to the tourist center, around the cathedral; Vueling does fly Barcelona-Granada for about $60.

Posted by
59 posts

Hi Laura

Thankyou for your advice. I think we'll still get the AVE from Barcelona to Cordoba as originally planned. From there it seems logical to move on to Granada, Ronda and Seville. An alternative would be to go straight to Seville from Barcelona and do day trips to Cordoba and Ronda and then move on to Granada.

With the areas around Madrid I'm not quite sure how to change things though. Maybe do Toledo as a day trip from Madrid before Semana Santa starts and then move up to Salamanca.

Posted by
4522 posts

Overall this is a pretty reasonable schedule. A few thoughts:

Granada is not an easy city to get to. The idea to fly there from Barcelona is a good one, but with the amount of time you have, spending some extra on a train isn't so bad. I love Cordoba and hope you'll enjoy your two nights there.

One thought to limit your journey to Carcassonne is to stay in Madrid last and avoid that leg from Toledo to Madrid (only 30 minutes but then a layover at Atocha so it adds at least an hour to your trip).

On the other hand, you might also reconsider leaving Madrid till almost last. Many people love the city, and indeed it is a nice city with amazing art museums. But I fear you will be let down saving it for last. It lacks the "punch" most of the other cities on your list have. On my travels, I've always done Madrid first (other than Barcelona) and found that it worked well. But the schedule might not work in trying to avoid Holy Week.

No matter, I definitely don't think you need to spend another 2 nights in Barcelona on your way to Carcassone. If nothing else, stay somewhere nearby along the route, like Girona or Zaragosa.

Posted by
59 posts

Hi Douglas

Thanks for your input. I have looked at Zaragoza and Girona as alternatives to Barcelona on our way to France but the train times for getting to Carcassonne aren't as good as from Barcelona.

I have amended our itinerary a bit to include Toledo earlier in the trip so we're not there during Semana Santa. I have also put Merida as a return trip from Madrid as the train times are better from Madrid than from Seville.

I've also made Segovia a day trip from Madrid. This means we need two separate stays in Madrid though. I don't know how to remendy this, except by leaving out Merida altogether.

Now I have after Barcelona:

Thurs 12/3 - train to Seville (3 nights)

Sun 15/3 - train to Granada (3nights)

Wed 18/3 - train to Ronda (2 nights)

Fri 20/3 - train to Cordoba (2 nights)

Sun 22/3 - train to Toledo via Madrid (2 nights)

Tues 24/3 - train to Madrid (3 nights) - day trip to Segovia

Fri 27/3 - train to Merida (2 nights)

Sun 29/3 - train to Madrid (2 nights)

Tues 31/3 - train to Salamanca (3 nights)

Fri 3/4 - train to Barcelona? (2 nights)

Does this look like a better itinerary?

Posted by
14227 posts

Could you not go to Merida from Toledo (via Madrid) and then back to Madrid for a single stay? Even if you have an hour or so at Atocha station for the connection, it's going to be less than the time packing, checking out and getting to the station a second time. It looks like you can take an early train from Toledo and get a direct train to Merida.

I agree with Douglas on Madrid, but if you switch your time in Merida, then you'll have 5 nights straight in Madrid and, without the "punch," you can take it a bit easier after all those 2-3 night stays.

Posted by
59 posts

That's a great idea Chani. As long as we make the 7.55am train from Toledo to Madrid that would be possible. Thanks!

Posted by
4522 posts

I'm not sure just how inconvenient the train schedule to Carcassonne is from locations other than Barcelona, but I would seriously consider what is more important on your trip: one awkward train schedule or re-visiting a place you had just seen a couple of weeks ago. I know the answer for me, but you'll have to make your own choice. Or at the very least, consider just a quick overnight so that you're only in Barcelona a few hours, not a couple of days.

I think Chani's suggestion to avoid splitting Madrid into two segments is also worthwhile. Of all major cities in Spain that I wouldn't want to return right away, Madrid would be near the top.

Posted by
3040 posts

One thing I've noticed that often happens on this forum is that some people get so much, somewhat contradictory, advice, it's a wonder that they can end up making any sense of it. Nonetheless, I'll add to the mix. (1) Why Merida? I admit I haven't been there; but, geographically, it's a bit of an outlier and seems to have few attractions that can't be experienced at your other destinations. Omitting it will give you a couple of days to add elsewhere. (2) Transportation changes frequently, but I seem to remember that flying between Granada and Barcelona was cheap and easy when I did it some years ago. Look into it and into Granada/Madrid. (3) I suggest consolidating your Madrid/Toledo/Segovia times. One or both of the smaller cities can be done as day trips from Madrid. You'd save the time and hassle of changing hotels; and the extended time might make getting an apartment a sensible option. Whatever you decide, Buen viaje!

Posted by
59 posts

Hi again Douglas

Yes, I'd rather not go back to Barcelona. But there is a train that leaves from there at a good time and arrives into Carcassonne at a good time. From Zaragoza or Girona trains arrive late into Carcassonne, but I'll investigate further as I agree that a different town would be better. Or maybe just 1 night in Barcelona as you suggest.

I think we'll do as Chani suggests and go direct from Toledo to Merida via Madrid. Then we can have 5 nights straight in Madrid with a day trip to Segovia, although Madrid doesn't sound like a place I'd like that much. I much prefer smaller towns and am not an art gallery person.

Posted by
59 posts

Hi Rosalyn

I don't really mind getting conflicting advice. I find all advice useful and sort through it to make up my own mind.

  1. Merida is somewhere my husband has specifically requested. He's really into Roman ruins in a big way. I've told him it's a slow 5 hour train ride from Madrid, but he still wants to go there. Can you suggest somewhere more accessible that has just as good Roman ruins?

  2. I will look into a flight from Barcelona to Granada but really don't mind the train option to Seville/Cordoba and then on to Granada later as we have plenty of time.

  3. Yes, I've already amended our itinerary to include Segovia as a day trip, and will amend it further to show 5 nights straight in Madrid. An apartment would be a good idea there.

Posted by
4522 posts

re Roman ruins in Spain:

Tarragona is an excellent suggestion. Great ruin of the coliseum right along the coast - very dramatic. A very intact Roman/Medieval wall that you can take a nice walk around. Also an excellent museum with great exhibits and some lesser sites. I spent one night there which was plenty, but two nights would give you more time to enjoy. There is a very nice Roman aqueduct outside of town that might be worthwhile to see (I'm not sure how you get there without a car but I'm sure some research would tell you). Tarragona was the first and main Roman settlement in Iberia. It is an hour by train from Barcelona.

Italica is a Roman city ruin just outside of Sevilla. I haven't been there but it is a major site and probably easy to get to by bus or taxi.

The aqueduct at Segovia is incredible. Worth the visit there just for that. About as impressive as Pont du Gard.

There is also a Roman era bridge in Cordoba right near the Mezquita. Not that impressive to me, but certainly interesting.

Barcelona has some ruins near the cathedral, but I haven't gone in the museum.

Segovia and Tarragona will be as impressive as Merida, which I haven't been to but am pretty familiar with.

Posted by
59 posts

We may go and have a look at Tarragona but Merida is still somewhere my husband wants to see. It should also be interesting to see something of Extramadura.

We're already seeing Toledo and Segovia and might see if we can get to Italica as well.

Amended Itinerary with number of nights in brackets:

Barcelona - Sat 7/3 to Thurs 12/3 (5)

Sevilla - Thurs 12/3 to Mon 16/3 (4)
(Possible day trip to Italica)

Granada - Mon 16/3 to Thurs 19/3 (3)

Ronda - Thurs 19/3 to Sat 21/3 (2)

Cordoba - Sat 21/3 to Mon 23/3 (2)

Toledo (via Madrid) - Mon 23/3 to Wed 25/3 (2)

Merida (via Madrid) - Wed 25/3 to Fri 27/3 (2)

Madrid - Fri 27/3 to Wed 1/4 (5)
(Day trips to Segovia and Avila)

Salamanca - Wed 1/4 to Fri 3/4 (2)

Barcelona - Fri 3/4 to Sun 5/4 (2)
(Possible day trip to Tarragona, or 1 night Tarragona on way to Barcelona)

Posted by
14227 posts

Now I have a cheeky question, so please don't take offense. If you aren't much into art, why are you spending 5 days in Madrid? The highlights there are the big art museums. Even with one or even two day trips . . .

I did go to Italica while I was in Seville 2 years ago and thought it was time not well spent. My hotel (in the heart of the old town) said it was a "25-minute walk" (she was prone to understatement) to the bus stop so I took a taxi. Then I waited 25 minutes for the next bus. Italica is the last stop. I also waited about half an hour for the bus back. At the entrance I got a pamphlet about the site which was basically a map - no explanations, so I spent €10 on the English guide book, which turned out to be rather useless and extremely heavy, so at some point later in my trip, I tossed it. There were some good mosaics and the remains of an amphitheatre. Most of the site has not really been developed. Maybe I'm jaded, but having seen Roman ruins and mosaics in Italy and here in Israel, I felt it was a lot of time for much too little reward.

Posted by
59 posts

Hi Chani

I'm not offended. I just thought we'd feel like a rest for a while. Maybe we should make it shorter - maybe 3 nights in Toledo or Merida and only 4 nights in Madrid? Two day trips will use up 2 days in Madrid, just leaving one for Madrid itself.

I'm not a big city person. I wouldn't mind not staying in Madrid at all but it's the crossroads for so many other places, so it's hard to avoid when travelling by train. Can you think of a way to do this trip without staying in Madrid?

If we were travelling by car I'd just stay in smaller towns. This is what we do on road trips in Australia - we don't go into the big cities at all.

Interesting what you thought of Italica. Maybe we'll give it a miss...

Posted by
59 posts

Latest itinerary is :

Barcelona 5 nights

Seville 3 nights

Granada 4 nights

Ronda 2 nights

Cordoba 2 nights

Toledo 2 nights

Merida 3 nights

Segovia 2 nights

Salamanca 3 nights

Madrid 3 nights

Train Madrid to Carcassonne via Narbonne

Posted by
59 posts

Actually, that's meant to be Seville 4 nights and Granada 3 nights.

Posted by
7124 posts

Hi Judy,
As a fellow Australian (recently 50) who regularly travels to Spain I will hopefully add to the guidance already offered.

This is what I would suggest around what you propose...
Sat 7/3 - arrive in Barcelona from Australia (7 nights in an apartment in Eixample district)
(Girona/Figueres, Tarragona (Roman ruins), Montserrat can be done as day trips)
Sat 14/3 - FLY to Granada (3 nights) (Check BA/Iberia low cost carrier, Vueling)
Tues 17/3 - train to Ronda (2 nights)
Thurs 19/3 - train to Seville (4 nights)
Mon 23/3 - train to Cordoba (2 nights)
Wed 25/3 - train to Madrid (7 nights) (7 nights in an apartment in La Latina district)
(Segovia, Avila, El Escorial can be done as day trips)
Wed 1/4 - train to Toledo (2 nights)
Fri 3/4 - train to Valencia via Madrid (2 nights)
Sun 5/4 - train to Carcassonne via Barcelona (connect in Barcelona + change in Narbonne)

Or perhaps shorten your stay in Madrid to 5 nights...
Mon 30/3 - train to Toledo (2 nights)
Wed 1/4 - train to Salamanca (2 nights)
Fri 3/4 - train to Zaragoza via Madrid (2 nights)
Sun 5/4 - train to Carcassonne via Barcelona (connect in Barcelona + change in Narbonne)

I have never visited Merida. I do know it has some attraction. I also know it is in a not very well connected part of Spain.

You will have a great time. Buen viaje !!

Posted by
7124 posts

Or to include Merida between Cordoba and Madrid ...
Mon 23/3 - train to Cordoba (2 nights)
Wed 25/3 - train to Merida (2 nights)
Fri 27/3 - train to Madrid (5 nights) (5 nights in an apartment in La Latina district)
(Segovia, Avila, El Escorial can be done as day trips)
Wed 1/4 - train to Toledo (2 nights)
Fri 3/4 - train to Valencia via Madrid (2 nights)
Sun 5/4 - train to Carcassonne via Barcelona (connect in Barcelona + change in Narbonne)

Travelling in a 'hook shape' from south to north
Granada-Ronda-Seville-Cordoba-Merida-Madrid-Zaragoza/Valencia-Barcelona-France
will see you minimize the need for connecting trains and backtracking

Cheers, David

Posted by
59 posts

Hi David

Thanks for your ideas. I've already booked AVE trains from Barcelona to Seville on 12/3 and from Cordoba to Madrid on 23/3 so those days are fixed. I got the very cheap, non-refundable fares. I think the train from Cordoba or maybe Seville left very late in the day so I decided to get there from Madrid instead.

I know some places can be done as day trips from Madrid but I like the idea of actually staying in them overnight better. Madrid itself doesn't appeal to me as much as smaller towns. I also wanted to go to Toledo before Semana Santa.

There's an AVE direct from Madrid to Narbonne which will eliminate the need to stop in Barcelona again.
I haven't booked it yet as the price is high for Easter Sunday. I'm hoping it will drop but maybe it won't as it's Easter.

Posted by
59 posts

I meant to say the train to Merida from Cordoba/Madrid left very late.

Posted by
59 posts

It's too late at night😣 the train from Cordoba/Seville is of course what I should have said...

Posted by
7124 posts

So this is locked in and sounds good...

Sat 7/3 Barcelona 5 nights
Thu 12/3 Seville 4 nights (AVE booked Barcelona-Seville)
Mon 16/3 Granada 3 nights
Thu 19/3 Ronda 2 nights
Sat 21/3 Cordoba 2 nights
Mon 23/3 Toledo 2 nights (AVE booked Cordoba-Madrid)
Wed 25/3 Merida 3 nights
Sat 28/3 Segovia 2 nights
Mon 30/3 Salamanca 3 nights
Thu 2/4 Madrid 3 nights
Sun 5/4 Train Madrid to Carcassonne via Narbonne

2 further ideas ...
Firstly, there is one direct AVE from Barcelona to Carcassone (AVE Class 100 #9726) departs 18:35, arrives 20:56.
This may be a better option than a train direct into France from Madrid with a connection at Narbonne.
Secondly, possibly look at 2 nights only in Salamanca and train to Madrid on Wed 1/4 for 4 nights.
This avoids travelling on Spain's busy Maundy Thursday 2/4.

Posted by
59 posts

Thanks David. That looks nice and clear set out like that.

Thanks for the advice about Maundy Thursday - I didn't know it would be a crowded travel day. I can easily change at this stage to 2 nights in Salamanca.

The train from Madrid to Narbonne is the AVE Class 100#9724 leaving at 13.30 and arriving at 18.54. It connects at Narbonne with Train Express Regional #70602 at 19.17 getting to Carcassonne at 19.47. Normally I don't like arriving somewhere this late but as it's relatively direct I think it's the best option as it avoids having to go back to Barcelona.

The price for the AVE part has halved since I first looked at it. I wonder if it will get even cheaper or not? Do I wait longer or get the tickets at £36.50 now on LOCO2?

Posted by
7124 posts

These are your intermediary stops on the French TGV out of Madrid...
(probably a duplex) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrXUqOPU9wc#t=14
0 km Madrid-Puerta de Atocha
303 km Zaragoza Delicias
514 km Camp de Tarragona
598 km Barcelona Sants
696 km Girona
734 km Figueres Vilafant
788 km Perpignan
851 km Narbonne
945 km Montpellier Saint-Roch
998 km Nîmes
1037 km Avignon TGV
1113 km Aix-en-Provence TGV
1133 km Marseille-Saint-Charles

Posted by
59 posts

Hi again David

Can you tell me where you got that train stop information from?

I decided to book tickets for the AVE from Madrid to Carcassonne via Narbonne as the price seemed good. Before I paid I discovered that the Regional ticket from Narbonne to Carcassonne can't be printed at home, it has to be retrieved from an SNCF machine in France.

Seeing as we would only have a 23 minute layover between the two trains and it's suggested that you allow 20 minutes to retrieve the ticket, it seems this would be too much of a risk. So it looks as if we'll have to arrive in Barcelona the day before we travel on to Carcassonne, and the direct train from Barcelona to Carcassonne would be best as there's no need to print a ticket in Narbonne.

Posted by
59 posts

Actually, I asked the man in seat 61 for advice and he said that 23 minutes should be plenty of time to get our tickets at Narbonne Station, so I've booked our tickets Madrid to Carcassonne on Sunday 5 April.

Posted by
4522 posts

^^^ Yes, I can't imagine needing more than 20 minutes to print or even buy a ticket in Narbonne.

Posted by
7124 posts

Sorry I don't recall where I picked up the route information.
23 mins is quite a short connection after such a long journey, so fingers crossed.
May pay to research hotels near Narbonne station (just in case) if its the last train to Carcassone.