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San Sebastian to Perpignan

by tuille Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 2:04 AM

hello again
I am trying to make a route plan, trying to squeeze in 10 days approx 3 cities that I want to see -Bilbao, San Sebastian and then, though it is France,or for others, Northern Catalunya, Perpignan. The cheapest way to fly for me is to Madrid and take a bus or train to Bilbao -and then leave from Barcelona that is very close to Perpignan. I cant seem to find a reasonable way (except for renting a car, that is out of the question for budget reasons) for the San Sebastian -Perpignan bit. I thought would be easy to get an overnight train and just sleep along but I cant find anything. Any help will be appreciated /thanx

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10 Answers
  • Re: San Sebastian to Perpignan

    by K_V_B Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 4:17 AM

    When are you travelliung. This is important because from 28th April onwards direct TGVs from Barcelona to Perpignan (and beyond) will start running. From June 1st there are supposed to be even more trains.

    The logical route from San Sebastian to Perpignan then becomes:

    - Take morning Alvia to Barcelona. Dep. 7:28, arr 13:20
    Then in Barcelona take either the 13:38 TGV to Paris, arrival in Perpignan 14:43 or the 16:29, arriving in Perpignan at 17:44.
    The 13:38 train is supposed to run Sat/Sun/monday till june 1st, and daily after, the 16:29 is daily.
    However, these trains have not appeared in the reservation system. I suspect that they will become available on www.sncf.fr on April 4th.
    These TGVs are also your best solution for getting from Perpignan to Barcelona. In total there will be 4 or 5 (depending on the day) trains between Barcelona and Perpignan both ways from 28th April onwards, and a few more from June onwards.

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  • Re: San Sebastian to Perpignan

    by jeanfinney Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 5:58 AM

    Interesting news, KVB, thank you! so it is finished? It is too bad the OP can't rent a car, because the really interesting things to see in the region are outside of Perpignan - why Perp? Maybe there is a better solution to conclude your ten days? Knowing the dates are important too, for advice...

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  • Re: San Sebastian to Perpignan

    by tuille Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 6:12 AM

    Heard that Perpignan is one of the most interesting places in south france/spain area -beautiful, cultural life, great shopping, flavours. Having travelled to eastern south france -Nice to Marseille, I want to do this too, but combining it with Basque country, though i think that maybe should be two separate trips. I think now I should focus on wheather I take the Basque bit or the Perpignan-Carcassone and maybe Montpellier bit. As fot your other question if travelling alone renting a car doesnt seem a good idea to me -maybe only in Qatar or Bahrain where petrol cost is nothing. Thanx again

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  • Re: San Sebastian to Perpignan

    by tuille Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 6:13 AM

    Time would be somewhere in April

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  • Re: San Sebastian to Perpignan

    by jeanfinney Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 6:29 AM

    Hi - good thinking, I was going to suggest that, concentrating on one area is more relaxing and profitable a way to travel, I believe - I dont see where you are living so I dont know how far you have to come - April is dicey, it can be enchanting spring or overcast and rainy - I was near Montpellier - which is all you heard about Perpignan, and more, totally recommended for beauty and culture! (plus a good cheap bus service to many outlying points) - and it was the least sunny April in 30 years - but this year might be different - It is probably the same for the Basque country, maybe a bit colder and more humid?? - So either stick to the Basque experience, or the Languedoc one - There are many trains along the line Carcassone( good for the Cite otherwise not much), Perpignan, Narbonne (beautiful), Beziers, Montpellier, shorter and easier little journeys - well, there are my ideas!

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  • Re: San Sebastian to Perpignan

    by K_V_B Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    jeanfinney wrote:
    Interesting news, KVB, thank you! so it is finished?

     The line has been finished since January. But the problem was that French TGV sets had not yet been granted permission to run south of Figueres, and Spanish sets could not run north of Figueres... Hence the solution where Renfe runs a service to Figueres, which connects with a service to Perpignan. This twice a day at the moment. 

    28th of April has been confirmed as the start of the through service, and this I have seen confirmed from different sources. What I also know is that there are going to be initially two return trips Barcelona - Paris, with a third one on weekends. The big surprise is that there are also going to be two return trips from Barcelona to Toulouse, run by RENFE.

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  • Re: San Sebastian to Perpignan

    by jeanfinney Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    Thanks again! I don't have a car so getting around can be complicated, but this might enable me to finally see Caduques more simply - maybe! - however of course there is still the problem of getting from Figueras to Caduques - long ago I researched it while in Barcelona, and the buses were few and far between - well, that is a question for another forum I guess - What about Montpellier, do you know? Eventually, if I recall correctly, a through service Mtp - Barcelona - was envisioned but for now - or rather as of the end of April - there are only direct trains from Barcelona to Toulouse or Paris? All this might be interesting to the OP, of course...Long ago I saw the line in construction, this seems like good news to travelers in any case....

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  • Re: San Sebastian to Perpignan

    by K_V_B Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    The Barcelona - Paris TGVs stop in Perpignan, Montpellier, Nimes and Valence

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  • Re: San Sebastian to Perpignan

    by jeanfinney Online Now Mar 23, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    COOL! now a question I should put in the Spain forum but you know so much: is there now a rail connection to the airport in Barcelona, as at CDG?

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  • Re: San Sebastian to Perpignan

    by K_V_B Online Now Mar 24, 2013 at 3:27 AM


    jeanfinney wrote: COOL! now a question I should put in the Spain forum but you know so much: is there now a rail connection to the airport in Barcelona, as at CDG?

     There is a railway service to the Airport at Barcelona, but it's a local train. The local designation they use for suburban trains is "Rodalies" (comparable to RER in Paris) You have to change at Sants. If you have a ticket for a long distance train ending in Barcelona you get to travel for free on the Rodalies on the day you arrive, so if you were to travel from Perpignan to Barcelona by train to take the airplane you would just have to change in Sants to this local. You don't need a new ticket. 

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