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Santiago to Leon bus or train ?


New Member
Hi Will be walking the Camino from Leon - but will be flying into Santiago from London (that's the cheapest way for me to get to Spain). Is is faster / cheaper / more efficient to get from Santiago to Leon by bus or train ? The Renfe website indicates that the journey is 6h ??
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as discussed in other threads, public transport E from Santiago is not good there are mountains to get through. The big advantage of budget airlines (apart from being cheap) is that they work on single fares. If you want to start from Leon, you're much better off flying Ryanair to Valladolid or Asturias, and returning from Santiago.


Staff member
Santiago to Leon

Hi Shani,

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: 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
CORUÑA 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
PONFERRADA 12:00 12:30
BEMBIBRE 12:45 12:45
ASTORGA 13:30 13:30
LEON 14:30

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!


Staff member
It seems like while I was doing my reserach, Peter beat me to it. :lol:

Peters suggestions seems like a good idea. Check the ALSA website for connections to Leon.

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New Member
yay! managed to book Santiago to Leon train tickets on Tiknet the Renfe website. Seemed to accept Amex and not Visa for some strange reason. Whatever. Thanks for the other suggestions, but I am visiting people in London after the trip so getting in and out of Santiago is the best option for me. And... hooray for budget flights !!

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