My son and I are walking the Camino de Santiago and need to get from Santiago to Madrid in order to catch our flight out of Madrid July 5 around noon. I understand there is a train from Santiago to Madrid. How do I book this and will I be okay taking an 11:55 flight out of Madrid? I understand the train gets in early morning and that I'll need four hours to get through customs.
I can't imagine why you would need four hours to get through security (customs happens when you land in the US). When I left out of Madrid in May, I got to the airport two hours early and had plenty of time to wait. It's about a half hour from Atocha Station to the airport if you take a van or taxi, slightly longer if you go by metro, so you have to plan for that, to0. How early does the train get in? The only problem I could see with prebooking might be how you can guarantee that you will be in Santiago on the right day.
Thank you. I need to figure how to get this train in Santiago and where it drops me off in Madrid near the airport.
As I said, where it drops you off is nowhere near the airport. Atocha Station is near the Prado, and the airport is a good 30 minutes or more away from there.
perhaps consider a flight from santiago to madrid. i didn't check routes right now but in the summer of 2011 we flew from santiago to madrid on ryan air. short, cheap and easy flight.
The night train from Santiago de Compestela is supposed to get in to Madrid at 8:02 am. You would have to transfer to the airport. The Aerobus takes 40 minutes but you have to add the time it takes to get off the train, make your way to the bus stop, and wait for the next bus ( I think they depart every 15 minutes but you should check that). Taxi would be faster, but might have to deal with traffic. There is also a metro route with a change on the way; haven't used that so I don't know the details. Bottom line is it is iffy. You would have to count on the train being on time. There is an afternoon train from Santiago to Madrid that would get you in around 9:45 the night before. That would be a safer option, or consider flying. If you decide on the train, use Renfe.com to see the schedules and fares, and to book. Or you can book at RailEurope if their price is comparable ( usually it is for trains within Spain), Petrabax, or Rumbo.es, all agents that will add a handling fee.
Thank you. I will do more research based on all the recommendations.
We walked to lodging from Atocha and later took the metro to the airport for our flight out. There is an Atocha metro station. I'm not sure if it's directly connected or a short walk from the train station. The metro to the airport works well for light travelers. As I recall there is a one euro surcharge to the normal metro ticket (1,60 euro?) to go to the airport. Normally, arriving at the airport three hours before your flightat is suggested for overseas flights - mainly to give you plenty of time to get through security and to your gate. It may be twice what you need, but the cost can be pretty high for being late - so it's probably better to arrive plenty early.
With a noon departure out of Madrid on an international flight, I wouldn't even think about leaving Santiago that same morning. Get to Madrid the night before, as Lola suggested.