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Plane or train from SdC to Madrid?


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF March 2018
CF Dec 2019/2020
We caught a train last time but would prefer to catch a flight this time. It may be that we walk in to Santiago around lunch time and need to be in Madrid by evening, staying at an airport hotel for an 8am international flight home.

As an Aussie I am clueless about (European) cold weather and flying and its limitations! Did I mention we will be flying out in January? I know we cant predict the weather and flying conditions, however generally speaking, what are the odds of a plane being delayed? How hard will it be to get on another plane on the same day or would be be better off getting a train to Madrid?

Again, I know its a bit like 'how long is a piece of string' however, some guidance would be fantastic,



Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, leaving SJPDP from 10/11 May (2018)
You could be cutting it fine if you're planning on arriving in SdC and departing on the same day. With the potential of unpredictable weather or other delays, you could miss you flight home the next day. I recommend you give yourself a night in SdC and then fly out, which will also give you time to relax and enjoy your achievement of completing the Camino.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF March 2018
CF Dec 2019/2020
Thanks Poppy-Pete. Worst case is that we arrive on the day. I am hoping to arrive the day before and enjoy a night of luxury in the Parador! Even if we arrive the day before, my preference would be to fly to Madrid
Camino(s) past & future
(2009) St Jean to Castrojeriz having to abandon with stress fracture.
not withdstanding your own predicament, When I was in SDC in April I had a 2:30pm flight to Madrid. After checking out Hotel at 'regular' time, I found myself hanging around the airport for a few hours before jumping the flight, Next month when I'm again in SDC I wil be catching the train to Madrid Chamartin for only 42Euro, and I'll be closer to cheaper hotels than those nearer the airport, staying at Hotel Weare right at the station. Easy commute to the airport the next day and can do a bit of sightseeing.

So for me, cost wise, the train is perfectly fine and takes just 5hr and 18 minutes, which for the time I got to SDC airport, waited, boarded, landed, waited for baggage, and the trained to Hotel Weare doesn't take that much longer.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2019
Another possibility to consider— after I finished my Camino, I stayed in SDC for a couple of days and then took the 7:00 a.m. bus from the central bus station direct to the Madrid airport. It is a bit longer and a bit more expensive than the train but has the advantage of not requiring any changes and delivering you and your baggage direct to the airport. You should book in advance, which can be done on line, if you decide that this would be an option. The ride is comfortable and only makes a couple of short stops on the way.


Staff member
One more option to throw in the mix, though not for anyone who already has their international tickets. I always used to take the train into Madrid the day before my flight home. Thanks to a tip from the forum, I checked into including Spanish domestic flights on my international ticket. So now I typically fly US-Madrid-Irun/Almeria/alicante,etc and then home from santiago to Madrid to the US. Saves a day or two of travel, same for hotels, and has the real advantage that if I miss any connections the airlines will rebook me. In terms of money it’s about the same. And so much easier.

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