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Madrid to Ponferrada

pilgrimjim

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances. 2017
Do Mar/Ingles. 2022
Best, easiest, and cheapest means of getting from Madrid airport to Ponferrada?
 
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We took the train in 2018 and it was very easy and fast to do so. There is Alsa bus service too. I would recommend getting the lay of the land with rome2rio and then jumping from there to either Renfe/Trainline and/or Alsa.
 
Looks like 4 buses or so a day from T4 on Alsa. It is kind of a long trip at between 5 and 6 hours, but the price (depending on times) is between 33 and 60 euros. Some buses in the daytime for later this week are already sold out so you may want to look at that in advance. Buses are relatively nice in Spain. Bus tickets are usually available a month or so in advance depending on the bus line. Alsa is the main Spanish line.

The Renfe system appears to be down right now so I can't really check that, but you can check it for yourself later on Trainline.com or on Renfe.com. Be aware that train tickets are not sold a long time in advance. Lately for routes in this area only a few weeks lead time so if you want to get a general idea of routes and times, just pick some day next week or so.
 
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We did that segment last year, 2023. Took train from Madrid Chamartin station to Leon. Changed trains to Ponferrada. Super easy and quite comfortable. There is a metro that took us directly from the Madrid airport to Chamartin. Frankly the hardest part to get right was the shuttle bus at the airport to take us from our terminal to the one with the metro station. I cannot say it was the cheapest way because I did not look into bus options, but it was fast, easy and comfortable.
 
There is also a commuter train from T4 which takes you directly to both major train stations that leaves from the lowest level of the terminal.
 
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I am making this same trip in September. Even though the Renfe site doesn't have any tickets available, that is because they don't book this far out? I can trust that there are always trains from Madrid to Ponferrada? Thanks!
 
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I am making this same trip in September. Even though the Renfe site doesn't have any tickets available, that is because they don't book this far out? I can trust that there are always trains from Madrid to Ponferrada? Thanks!
Trying to decide between Renfe which doesn’t get to Ponferrada until 9:30, and would mean sitting at the airport all day, versus Alsa bus which is longer but gets into Ponferrada at 3:45.
 
The bus may be cheaper. Buses in Spain are pretty comfortable. If you are starting to walk the next morning, it might be nicer to get in earlier.
 
The bus may be cheaper. Buses in Spain are pretty comfortable. If you are starting to walk the next morning, it might be nicer to get in earlier.
Thanks! My thought exactly. Wanting to arrive in Villavieja early enough to tour castle and relax.
 
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