Does anyone know how long it takes to travel by train from Bilbao to Amboise? I will have a eurail pass but how much does it cost to upgrade to the TGV? Thanks, Amy in Stow, OH
Here's the website that will give you travel times: click
Wow, what a great website. I had used the eurail pass website & the RENFE website without much success. Thanks!
Unfortunately, rail links between Bilbao and France aren't very good. As you've probably seen, there's only one daytime connection, with the three runs listed taking between 13 1/2 and 14 1/2 hours! Almost half the time is spent going SOUTH from Bilbao, and waiting around for a connection in Spain to get to Hendaye, on the French-Spanish border, where you'll transfer to a TGV. However, Bilbao is only about 60 miles by road from San Sebastian, which is just a few miles from Hendaye. If you can get to San Sebastian, you have 3 daytime and 2 overnighters to choose from. The PESA bus line offers hourly (and during busy parts of the day, 1/2 hourly) service from Bilbao to San Sebastian for less than 10 Euro, and a journey time of about 1:10. You can then jump on a daytime train there, making the switch in Hendaye. Total travel time will be between 8 and 11 hours, depending on which train you catch.
Awesome. That is really helpful. That will cut several hours off our trip and get us to Amboise at a much decent hour. Thanks!! Amy
I don't know how much help this will be, but there ARE trains between Bilbao and San Sebastian. I know this because a friend traveled on one three years ago.
Unfortunately, the trains between Bilbao and San Sebastian are really slow milk runs that make about 25 stops and take almost three hours to make the run. You can always opt for this choice if you wish, but they are run by Euskotren, and I'm not sure if they're covered by a Eurail pass....you'd have to check to see.
What is train travel like in spain? I heard that in the past they were slow, dirty and not on time. Have things improved? Also, do you know if the public buses are any better? My sister was in spain years ago and said that they cram the buses full and even had chickens on the bus.