Santiago to Leon
In general Bus is better than train in Spain. The exception is where you can get the high speed train (AVE). They are working on a Madrid - Santiago high speed train, but it will not be ready for a few years yet. The current trains are quite slow and usually takes "forever". I took the night train from Santiago to Madrid once, the return trip was with bus. No more train for me.
ALSA is a bus company that has services to/from most cities in Spain. I did check the Santiago - Leon route on a random day in May (25th) and there is a bus leaving Santiago at 8.00 and arrives in Leon at 14.30. Cost 23,15 euros. That is 6,5 hours, so it seems like the bus does not do this route that quicly either.
Link to ALSA website here:
...you can buy ticket online. Bring printout of confirmation and give it to the driver when you enter the bus.
Here is the route that the bus takes:
Population Arrives Leaves
SANTIAGO COMPOSTELA 08:00
CORUÃA 09:00 09:00
BETANZOS 09:20 09:20
GUITIRIZ 09:45 09:45
LUGO 10:30 10:30
BARALLA. 10:45 10:45
BECERREA 10:55 10:55
NOGALES 11:05 11:05
PIEDRAFITA 11:15 11:15
AMBASMESTA 11:20 11:20
VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO 11:30 11:30
PONFERRADA TRANSB 12:00 12:30
PONFERRADA 12:00 12:30
BEMBIBRE 12:45 12:45
ASTORGA 13:30 13:30
HOSPITAL DE ORBIGO 14:00 14:00
VILLADANGOS DEL PARAMO 14:15 14:15
I did a search on MapQuest (link below) and they estimates driving time to 3,5 hours.
See route here:
If your budget allows, maybe rent a car? Hertz, Avis and EuroCar have offices at the airport in Santiago.
Does anyone else have any suggestions?
I hope this helps and welcome to Santiago!