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High speed train Santiago to Madrid

cheal

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We are wanting to take the High Speed train from Santiago to Madrid in late May.
Does anyone know if the trains get booked out or is it OK to leave it and book online a couple of days before departure.
We are just not sure of the exact day we want to travel and would like to leave our options open- but then again we don't want to find they are fully booked. Many thanks
 
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We are wanting to take the High Speed train from Santiago to Madrid in late May.
Does anyone know if the trains get booked out or is it OK to leave it and book online a couple of days before departure.
We are just not sure of the exact day we want to travel and would like to leave our options open- but then again we don't want to find they are fully booked. Many thanks
You don't have to book this early, but suggest you do so a month ahead of time - my guess is it's unlikely that the trains get booked out. I've used RailEurope to book my trips as I had problems using the Renfe website. if you're concerned about flexibility, it's possible to pay a bit more so that you can change your ticket.
 
I would guess that the fast trains will be the first to fill up. I did get caught out one year in August when I wanted to return by train to Madrid, and all trains were booked, so I took the bus instead.
 
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
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I can't comment on how busy they will be in May but I blundered in Santiago in July just before the St. James festival and tried to get a high speed rail ticket after lunch one day and found all trains fully booked but I just bought a ticket for the next day and spent another night in Santiago which was very pleasant. I guess that it depends on how much time you have available to use flexibly.
 
We took the train from Sarria to Madrid, as we already had walked the segments between Sarria and Santiago a number of years ago. This time we walked from SJPP to Sarria. The station was very small and easy to navigate in Sarria. And we had our 2 tickets and seat assignments once we were in Spain in September for the start of our walk. I imagine if you were unable to book tickets from Santiago to Madrid, you might go to Sarria and book to Madrid. Another way to get there (backtrack a bit). Nice train and easy.
 
Last year in October some of the trains were sold out A couple of weeks ahead of departure.
 
We are wanting to take the High Speed train from Santiago to Madrid in late May.
Does anyone know if the trains get booked out or is it OK to leave it and book online a couple of days before departure.
We are just not sure of the exact day we want to travel and would like to leave our options open- but then again we don't want to find they are fully booked. Many thanks
We did the same trip last June. It was quite pleasant and we enjoyed the view from the train. We booked from a week out. Buen Camino!
 
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I just booked Madrid to Ourense for the first week of May and got one of the last seats on a mid morning train.

EDIT- I was only looking for a booking on the AVE. I want to do it for the experience. The non-AVE trains were available on the first week of May dates I needed.
 
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I’m still watching for tickets Madrid to Leon to be released for 27 April as well as SdC to Madrid early June. I just think RENFE is slow to release - if you look at availabilities a few day’s earlier they are there. Checking every day.
 
LOL every train Santaigo to Madrid June 1st to June 4th is sold out. Am I not going to get back to Madrid for my flight out ?
There are other options. You can fly (might even be cheaper than the train), get a bus (probably your best bet), or take a regular non-AVE train. It may even be that tickets are not on sale yet and will become available later.
 
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I’m still watching for tickets Madrid to Leon to be released for 27 April as well as SdC to Madrid early June. I just think RENFE is slow to release - if you look at availabilities a few day’s earlier they are there. Checking every day.
I have had tickets for Madrid to Leon for months in late April?
 
We are wanting to take the High Speed train from Santiago to Madrid in late May.
Does anyone know if the trains get booked out or is it OK to leave it and book online a couple of days before departure.
We are just not sure of the exact day we want to travel and would like to leave our options open- but then again we don't want to find they are fully booked. Many thanks
There is a good chance the trains will fill up. Unlike some other countries the fast trains in Spain require reservations. No standing allowed. You probably will find alternative means available, such as a very long 7+ hour snail train or a bus. But if you want to get on a fast train I suggest you make reservations before you arrive in Spain. In addition, the prices will go up…supply and demand.
 
The Renfe app in English says ‘temporarily not available’ . Seems like tickets only on sale to 31st May. Assume June still to be released.
Following ... and praying hard that the assumption is true as I'm seeing the same in Renfe web that tickets from 1st June onwards yet to be released. I'll be travelling from SdC to Madrid on 1st June and monitoring closely for the tickets. However, when checked in Trainline - I see that they are 'Sold Out' (hopefully not true)
 
I have had tickets for Madrid to Leon for months in late April?
Are they for the hi speed train? According to the RENFE site and every other booking site the high speed trains are not released yet - from 26 April for Madrid Leon. I.e Available up until 25 th April. Last checked 3 hours ago.
 
I walked down to the station in Santiago, bought the ticket, and got on the train. It was a mid day train, so maybe it wasn't as crowded as a morning train. This was in early October back when there were lots of pilgrims
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
We are wanting to take the High Speed train from Santiago to Madrid in late May.
Does anyone know if the trains get booked out or is it OK to leave it and book online a couple of days before departure.
We are just not sure of the exact day we want to travel and would like to leave our options open- but then again we don't want to find they are fully booked. Many thanks
Does it have to be the AVE? There are express trains that are almost as fast and buses.
 
Following ... and praying hard that the assumption is true as I'm seeing the same in Renfe web that tickets from 1st June onwards yet to be released. I'll be travelling from SdC to Madrid on 1st June and monitoring closely for the tickets. However, when checked in Trainline - I see that they are 'Sold Out' (hopefully not true)
Sure understand your concern. When I do an availability and check random dates in April and May there seems to be plenty of seats yet when I check dates in June there is nothing so pretty confident in this. We have had many similar debates on here before. I wouldn’t get too worried re the ‘sold out’ message. Third party systems will just ‘see’ a line of zeros across the different booking classes/ fares levels and have a generic message. There is little financial benefit, and it is an onerous task having a more tailored bespoke message, bearing in mind they deal with hundreds of suppliers. Of course I could be totally wrong!
 
We took the train from Sarria to Madrid, as we already had walked the segments between Sarria and Santiago a number of years ago. This time we walked from SJPP to Sarria. The station was very small and easy to navigate in Sarria. And we had our 2 tickets and seat assignments once we were in Spain in September for the start of our walk. I imagine if you were unable to book tickets from Santiago to Madrid, you might go to Sarria and book to Madrid. Another way to get there (backtrack a bit). Nice train and easy.
How long was your train journey from sarria to Madrid. And which station in Madrid did it go to
 
Sure understand your concern. When I do an availability and check random dates in April and May there seems to be plenty of seats yet when I check dates in June there is nothing so pretty confident in this. We have had many similar debates on here before. I wouldn’t get too worried re the ‘sold out’ message. Third party systems will just ‘see’ a line of zeros across the different booking classes/ fares levels and have a generic message. There is little financial benefit, and it is an onerous task having a more tailored bespoke message, bearing in mind they deal with hundreds of suppliers. Of course I could be totally wrong!
Haha, I hope you are right though. It seems strange for those trains (10 trains a day?) to be full up months in advance, but maybe Spaniards love them some June train action
 
Are they for the hi speed train? According to the RENFE site and every other booking site the high speed trains are not released yet - from 26 April for Madrid Leon. I.e Available up until 25 th April. Last checked 3 hours ago.
Our tickets from Leon are for April 24. Yes fast train.
 
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I booked two Renfe train tickets from Santiago to Madrid for a May 23rd departure nearly two weeks ago on the Trainline website. The train takes 3hrs. 20 minutes; I assume probably the high speed train.
EDIT- This will be my first time taking a train back to Madrid; I normaly have flown back via Ryanair.
 
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Yes, that is the fast train - tickets do not appear to have been released for the SdC to Madrid route for June yet. I’m still checking every day .
 
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
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As far as I can see the AVE from Madrid only runs as far as Ourense and then you have to change for SDC. Very happy to be proved wrong.
 
As far as I can see the AVE from Madrid only runs as far as Ourense and then you have to change for SDC. Very happy to be proved wrong.
There is no ‘change,’ the train merely stops in Ourense and then continues on to Santiago.

Note that in the hills of Sanabria the train stops to change gauge. It takes a few minutes only and doesn’t require anything of the passengers.
 
Yes, that is the fast train - tickets do not appear to have been released for the SdC to Madrid route for June yet. I’m still checking every day .
If you used ‘Rail Europe’ or ‘Trainline’ (I forget which - possibly both) you can set an alert for when tickets on a specific route are made available. You then don’t have to check every day. You don’t have to make the purchase through them if you prefer RENFE direct.

A recent improvement is that (certainly with Trainline) the train operator can now communicate with you directly in case of timetable changes. Previously this only happened with direct RENFE bookings.
 
There is no ‘change,’ the train merely stops in Ourense and then continues on to Santiago.

Note that in the hills of Sanabria the train stops to change gauge. It takes a few minutes only and doesn’t require anything of the passengers.
Thank you. That's very helpful info.
 
We are wanting to take the High Speed train from Santiago to Madrid in late May.
Does anyone know if the trains get booked out or is it OK to leave it and book online a couple of days before departure.
We are just not sure of the exact day we want to travel and would like to leave our options open- but then again we don't want to find they are fully booked. Many thanks
I’ve just finished in Santiago and the train to Madrid was fully booked over a week ago. I booked Ryan air which only cost me 43euro for flight (2 carry on but checked bag would have been 40euro more). FYI every hotel/Hostal I’ve stayed in (didn’t use albergues) is fully booked through October! The managers I’ve spoken with said last year was crazy busy and they’re expecting more of the same this year.
 
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Never been on a train before or bought an advance ticket for one. After reading a few reviews and seeing that Renfe doesn't accept some credit cards from outside of Europe I downloaded the Trainline app and purchased an Alvia ticket, Confort first classed and paid 7.00 Canadian extra to pick my own seat for a total 48.00 Canadian . 3h 32m, direct, Madrid to Pamplona. Is that pretty much the standard price or did I pay more for going through Trainline?
 
Never been on a train before or bought an advance ticket for one. After reading a few reviews and seeing that Renfe doesn't accept some credit cards from outside of Europe I downloaded the Trainline app and purchased an Alvia ticket, Confort first classed and paid 7.00 Canadian extra to pick my own seat for a total 48.00 Canadian . 3h 32m, direct, Madrid to Pamplona. Is that pretty much the standard price or did I pay more for going through Trainline?
You’ll have paid a slight premium; but on the positive side you haven’t had to do battle with RENFE’s booking system. (Using PayPal is a workaround for the credit card issue)

It’s not expensive for a four-hour journey in first-class.
 
Just a heads up that the fast trains (3 hours 20) tickets for SdC to Madrid, for June, have just been released on the RENFE site . It‘s easy to book with PayPal but I guess the other bookings sites will have them now too.
 

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