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train from san sebastian to santiago


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i'm from belgium and wanted to go to santiago de compostella in august...
so i want to take the train from belgium to san sebastian and stay there so days...then i take a train from san sebastian to santiago...train 283...
only i find so little information about that train....what kind of train??? crowded...acclimatisation (it's a long trip...)...
is that a good train or are there other possibilities??

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Just an ordinary train, AFAIK. It takes a long time, but then it's a long way, and there are mountains to get over. You could catch the bus but, as the schedule Ivar very nicely just set up for us ... sbasco.jpg shows, that takes even longer.

An alternative if you're a railways enthusiast is to go to Bilbao and then take the narrow-gauge line along the coast to Ferrol - but you'll have to allow several days for that, as it stops absolutely everywhere.

I travelled from Bilbao to a Coruna last year and took the bus which seemd to be quicker and cheaper than the train. It took around ten hours in all but the scenery was stunning and you do stop for snack breaks and leg stretching. Alsa, the bus company I used do go from San sebastian to Santiga which will probably be an extra hour onto your journey It is about 50 euros single. You could try and see if they can compare this with the train. If you are going to San sebastian then it is worth visiting Bilbao too which I prefer, the food and people are fantastic and it is less expensive and touristy than San seb. Bilbaos fabulous fiesta is 20th -28th of August. San Sebastians is the week before.

Have fun, Galicia is well worth the long :) journey.



Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
Train 283 departs San Sebastian at 9.02 daily, arriving in Santiago at 20.08. Think the cost is about 40euro, for 2nd class and you should book as it can get quite crowded. For more information have a look at the Spanish Railways website at There is an English version, just look for the UK flag in middle of the home page and click.

The train does take a long time but it passes through some spectacular scenary. The train is air-conditioned, and there is a buffet car.



New Member
We had fun with the RENFE trains in Spain in late May. Some may be booked over the Internet but you have to go to a station in Spain to complete the booking and confirm the credit card details. The booking expires after 72 hours if you do not complete this in time, and may expire if you do not get to a station at least 24 hours before departure. You can make a reservation by phone, but you have to go to a station to complete that booking also and the 72 hour expiry applies to that as well. We had to use a travel agent to book an overnight sleeper so we could use it within 12 hours of arriving in Spain. There was no other way to make a reservation before we arrived in the actual station.
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