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Train Madrid to Sarria

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
A group of 14 have asked me to organize a Sarria to Santiago camino in the unforseeable future. Yippee! I can starting planning again! Has anyone taken the train from Madrid to Sarria? Wondering if this is the easiest and cheapest way to get a group of elderly newbies to the start of the walk. At the end we could fly back to Madrid from Santiago. We are coming from South Africa.
 
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Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
After a long flight from Australia (and this may apply to you from S. Africa), I like to stay the night near Chamartin Station and travel north next day. I take the commuter train, mentioned above, from the airport to Chamartin - avoiding the hassle of central Madrid at all costs! In Chamartin Station itself, there are lots of shops for last-minute necessities as well as food outlets for breakfast.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I arranged for 3 friends to meet us in Sarria in 2017. They flew from the USA.

After much research, it was easiest and fastest, to fly to Madrid with a connecting flight to SCQ. They then split the cost of a hired car to Sarria, which at the time cost about 140 euros for 3 people. If you got larger cars that took four or more it might be more economical. In the end it was much more convenient for them to fly to SCQ, via MAD and take car service, to Sarria which you could easily arrange in advance. The difference in price would likely be minimal.

I do not know whether anyone plans to send their belongings ahead each day, but taking a van/shuttle of some type to your lodgings eliminates the problem of having to initially carrying extra baggage from the train or bus station after a verylong night/ day. Some elders may have jetlag and saving them that extra push initially maybe worth it!

Our friends were at SCQ by 11:30am and in Sarria by around 13:00. They did not have to shuffle everything after a long flight. They did need to go through passport control, and customs in Madrid. There is also bus service between SCQ-Lugo-Sarria. But connections are limited.

A lot depends upon your time issues as well as your group needs. If you are dealing with an older crowd, and wanting to get there easily and quickly as possible this might be your best option.

If you take the train, you will first have to transfer to Charmartin Station, either by metro or taxi. When we take the train, we get a taxi, abt 30 + euros. You can also use the metro.

I think the quickest train takes 5hours most take as much as 6 or more hours. That also, of course depends on your flight.
 
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André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Year of past OR future Camino
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
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Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Jill, I have no experience with anything I write about here and I just might make things more confusing but here goes anyway. If it ends up that your next stop after Madrid is SdC the bus from there to Sarria stops in Lugo first. You can get a compostela by walking from there. This gives you 2 days ??? walking to the CF at Melida in less crowded conditions.

The Madrid-Sarria train runs only once a day, miss it and you may have to add a day's stay in Madrid to your costs. Flights and trains to SdC are more often (from what I see on Rome2Rio). So, consider Madrid-SdC-Lugo. On the other hand a travel break in Madrid after a long flight may be what you need.
 

RRat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
A group of 14 have asked me to organize a Sarria to Santiago camino in the unforseeable future. Yippee! I can starting planning again! Has anyone taken the train from Madrid to Sarria? Wondering if this is the easiest and cheapest way to get a group of elderly newbies to the start of the walk. At the end we could fly back to Madrid from Santiago. We are coming from South Africa.
Before you go download the map for the metro and train service from the airport. Both ways will work. Since I've done it once before I can share it couldn't be easier. But that's not how I felt when I got there. Your tired, everyone seems to be speaking a foreign language, it just so confusing. Just don't place yourself on a time constraint. Take a deep breath, you will be fine. You will look back and share my sentiment, that was easy.
 

RRat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
A group of 14 have asked me to organize a Sarria to Santiago camino in the unforseeable future. Yippee! I can starting planning again! Has anyone taken the train from Madrid to Sarria? Wondering if this is the easiest and cheapest way to get a group of elderly newbies to the start of the walk. At the end we could fly back to Madrid from Santiago. We are coming from South Africa.
Also consider the bus service. It takes 2 hours longer but if you have to wait 4 hours for the train, you do the math. Yes the long haul busses have bathroom. I find having my rear end on a seat and on my way less stressful than waiting for the "best" option.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Having more info about your plans would be helpful? Do you intend to overnight in Madrid? Or anywhere else? What is your time frame? Any sense of airline schedule landing in Madrid.
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
I love the train trip to Sarria, I find it a great bonding opportunity for a group coming together walking Sarria to Santiago but it is a long (6 hours) journey. From the UK we normally getting morning flights to Madrid, then make a trip out to one of the Museo de Jamon restaurants for brunch and then onto Charmatin to catch the 1pm train to Sarria.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
@jsalt , in case you don't know: Seniors (+60) are eligible for the Carta Dorada (Gold card) on train travel in Spain. You buy it at the train station prior to buying your (first) ticket. It costs 6 Euros, lasts for one year, and will give you a 25% (!) discount on all train travel. I have used it several years, and it is a real bargain.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
RENFE (always ask the horse) is showing three trains for tomorrow Friday 15 January 2021. In the middle of lockdown, with severe travel restrictions and reduced timetables. Quite a bit of variation in fares, €39 - 58 and journey times 5-6 hours. Fare & journey time appear unrelated.

Info here for what its worth: https://venta.renfe.com/vol/search.do?c=_kRpx

What a post Covid / Lockdown timetable might look like is anyones guess. Journeys involve a change of train in Ourense which probably creates the variable journey time but offers an alternative overnight to Madrid and some nice hot springs to wallow in.

Personally I'm not even planning Sundays lunch yet. To far in the future with to many environmental variables ;)
 

Leon RSA

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - Aug 2019
A group of 14 have asked me to organize a Sarria to Santiago camino in the unforseeable future. Yippee! I can starting planning again! Has anyone taken the train from Madrid to Sarria? Wondering if this is the easiest and cheapest way to get a group of elderly newbies to the start of the walk. At the end we could fly back to Madrid from Santiago. We are coming from South Africa.

In July 2019 I did the Camino Frances from Saint Jean Pied de Port. My wife joined me at Sarria for the las 123km. She flew from South Africa to Madrid. Then she took a domestic flight to A Coruña. From there a taxi to the railway station and lastly the train from A Coruña to Sarria train station where I met her.

She is extremely scared of travelling alone, but manage this trip on her own without problems. Everything was booked in advance over the internet.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
@Tincatinker may have offered an interesting notion of an overnight in Ourense on the way out of Madrid. If, as you mention, the newbie pilgrims are of a "certain age," a rest stop might be useful after the long flight from South Africa and disembarkation and customs in Madrid. Lugo, if they take the bus, would serve the same purpose. Often Alsa (the leading bus company) offers the possibility of a first-class bus which would make the bus journey more comfortable, although I would prefer the train.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
In July 2019 I did the Camino Frances from Saint Jean Pied de Port. My wife joined me at Sarria for the last 123km.

She flew from South Africa to Madrid and then took a domestic flight to A Coruña . From there a taxi to A Coruña train station and lastly a train to Sarria where I met her.

She had never travelled abroad alone and was extremely scared. All went well and it can be booked via the internet.
You should edit your post to remove your email address. This is a public forum visible to anyone or any it who can use it to send you spam. Members can contact you via private message.
 

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Thank you so much for all your replies – some useful ideas there!
 

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
I do not know whether anyone plans to send their belongings ahead each day, but taking a van/shuttle of some type to your lodgings

Yes, some of them will want to use the baggage transfer option on the walk, so I need to bring that into my calculations of getting them to the start of the camino, and back home again. Thanks!
 

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
If it ends up that your next stop after Madrid is SdC the bus from there to Sarria stops in Lugo first. You can get a compostela by walking from there. This gives you 2 days ??? walking to the CF at Melida in less crowded conditions.

Ah, that’s a good idea, and one I hadn’t considered! I have walked the Primitivo, and that section was not difficult. Will check out the accommodation options – maximum 15 kms per day and staying in budget hotels (not albergues).
 
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Silver Oxide Camino de Santiago pendent
Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Having more info about your plans would be helpful? Do you intend to overnight in Madrid? Or anywhere else? What is your time frame? Any sense of airline schedule landing in Madrid.

There is no direct flight from South Africa – Iberian abandoned us a couple of years ago for better pickings in North America – so I have no idea which route will be the best option when we eventually have dates. There are several routeings and they all arrive at different times of the day, so we will definitely be staying overnight in Madrid. I don’t do time constraints – the less stress the better!
 

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Seniors (+60) are eligible for the Carta Dorada (Gold card) on train travel in Spain. You buy it at the train station prior to buying your (first) ticket.

Many thanks for that info, but if I am taking a group I will book everything in advance. Our onward travel must be secure (especially if it is peak season). Also, this is a lifetime trip for some, and at their age there is no chance that some of them will ever be going to Spain again.
 

Rick of Rick and Peg

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
@jsalt , in case you don't know: Seniors (+60) are eligible for the Carta Dorada (Gold card) on train travel in Spain. You buy it at the train station prior to buying your (first) ticket. It costs 6 Euros, lasts for one year, and will give you a 25% (!) discount on all train travel. I have used it several years, and it is a real bargain.
Alex, I just looked into this and the card looks good for unscheduled travel but if going with a group on a pre-arranged trip better discounts should be able to be gotten online. That's good news for Jill. I'm going to keep this card in mind for any future trip that I may make though.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Alex, I just looked into this and the card looks good for unscheduled travel but if going with a group on a pre-arranged trip better discounts should be able to be gotten online. That's good news for Jill. I'm going to keep this card in mind for any future trip that I may make though.
Agreed. Traveling alone/with my better half, using that Gold card, has saved me quite some Euros, better spent on wine...
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Jill, if you arrive in the afternoon, and just want to crash/rest at your hotel, The Hotel Weare is located right at Chamartin Train station. It is literally a two miniute walk once you leave the hotel. It is not in the center of town but a great place to depart from the next morning. Your group wil not have to walk with luggage far. Big hotel...not sure with Covid restrictions if buffet breakfast will be available but it was fabulous. At Charmatin Train station you must go through baggage screening so you will need to allow time for this. There are small businesses eateries inside the train station.
 
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jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
The Hotel Weare is located right at Chamartin Train station. It is literally a two miniute walk once you leave the hotel.

Thank you so much for that suggestion! I checked it out and it appears to be called "Hotel Chamartin The One" now. Affordable rates - looks like a possibility!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Thank you so much for that suggestion! I checked it out and it appears to be called "Hotel Chamartin The One" now. Affordable rates - looks like a possibility!
The current rate is lower than normal because of Covid. I think we paid abt 75 euros for two persons. However, if people share a room, it may still be affordable in this city.
 

TrvlDad1

Covidyard Bob
Year of past OR future Camino
2017 Frances from Saria
2018 Finnisterre & Ingles
2019 Portuguese from Valenca
2020 Assisi(cancel.)
Took the Madrid-Sarria train in 2017. It stopped in Ourense and then reversed to Sarria. As a strictly one-way American and jet-lagged too, I panicked and was sure I was headed back to Madrid. Otherwise, nice trip to sleep on.
 

reefer21

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020 may
You might also check this link to Rome2Rio:
Madrid Airport (MAD) to Sarria - 6 ways to travel via train, plane, and bus (rome2rio.com)

It lists buses, trains and flights to Santiago, A Coruña or Vigo in combination with a train. And you can easily compare the prices of the various options.

It doesn't give you the price of hiring a car, bus or taxi. As Marbe2 suggests. Which might also be a good option.
We had booked on the overnight train from Madrid to Sarria but COVID got in the way

not the cheapest option
 

Vince Rollason

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
A group of 14 have asked me to organize a Sarria to Santiago camino in the unforseeable future. Yippee! I can starting planning again! Has anyone taken the train from Madrid to Sarria? Wondering if this is the easiest and cheapest way to get a group of elderly newbies to the start of the walk. At the end we could fly back to Madrid from Santiago. We are coming from South Africa.
Hi
Back in 2019 I was walking Camino Frances for the 2nd time when I became ill in Pamplona and had to fly home. When recovered I decided to go to Sarria and walk from there. I flew from Birmingham, England to Madrid and took the train to Sarria from Madrid Chamartin Station. The journey is about 7 hours. If you book in advance the rates are very favourable with good reductions for over 60s. Your are allocated a numbered seat and the line is direct so there is no need to change. The trains are very comfortable and the views are pleasant. The train goes on from Sarria to Santiago so it is possible to journey back to Madid by train if you want to.
Buen Camino
Vince
A group of 14 have asked me to organize a Sarria to Santiago camino in the unforseeable future. Yippee! I can starting planning again! Has anyone taken the train from Madrid to Sarria? Wondering if this is the easiest and cheapest way to get a group of elderly newbies to the start of the walk. At the end we could fly back to Madrid from Santiago. We are coming from South Africa.
 
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Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018, 2019
There is no direct flight from South Africa – Iberian abandoned us a couple of years ago for better pickings in North America – so I have no idea which route will be the best option when we eventually have dates. There are several routeings and they all arrive at different times of the day, so we will definitely be staying overnight in Madrid. I don’t do time constraints – the less stress the better!
Looking at random dates in the future on my favorite flight search site, I see options via Dubai (with Emirates), Doha (with Qatar), and London (with BA / Iberia). As you say, you won't know what to do until you have decided on dates and reviewed the state o' the worl'.

If your friends are anything like mine, getting them to be in an agreed place at an agreed time is like
herding cats - and I find that to be very stressful. Each person has their own preferences. One person wants to see Barcelona before meeting up with the group, another wants to visit an aunt in Wales on the way home, and yet another won't fly on a particular airline out of principle. The only way I've been able to work it is to say "Here are the flights that I'm taking. You can either do the same as me or do what you want as long as you can make it to this place, at this time, on this date. Be there."

If you all travel together, you may find it attractive to contact a local taxi / bus firm and arrange for a chartered microbus from the airport or the railway station to Sarria.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Thank you so much for all your replies – some useful ideas there!
Holy MOLY! FOURTEEN!
You are a brave woman!

I took 15 once.
Note "once!"
It was like herding cats.
Now I keep my groups to 8 - just enough to fit comfortably into one taxi.

Good luck and Buen Camino! :)
 

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
London (with BA / Iberia).

Via London is not an option, as South Africans have to get a VERY expensive transit visa just to walk from one plane to the next :eek:.

getting them to be in an agreed place at an agreed time is like
herding cats

I have an excellent travel agent (remember them?), who are doing our flights, so if any member of the group wants to travel via Timbuctoo, or come back via Pofadder, that’s the travel agent’s problem, not mine 🤣.

Thanks for your input!
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018, 2019
remember them?
Yes. I had a summer job at a travel agency when I was a teenager. I looked up fares on a green-screen that must have been connected to the GDS (Galileo?). Then I hand-wrote tickets and validated them in a manual imprinting machine, with an appropriate metal plate for the issuing airline and a pleasant "Shonk-Shonk" sound when the slider was pulled across. Remember them?
 

Arn

Veteran Member
I also took the train and once in Sarria realized, due to arrival date accuracy, the Priest I was to meet had an extra few days. I asked he stop in Astorga and we carried on from there.
Good I had the extra night’s sleep. Father’s stride was beyond mine so I ran to keep up all the Way to Sarria.
 
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mikebet

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
We took the train to Sarria, and always choose rail travel when available. Comfortable ride, nice scenery, snacks and beer -- what's not to like? But I also question why someone coming from far away doesn't spend a couple of days in Madrid to rest up and see the sights. What's the rush?
 

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
But I also question why someone coming from far away doesn't spend a couple of days in Madrid to rest up and see the sights. What's the rush?

We are not in any rush. Who said that? Any member of the group is more than welcome to spend a few days in Madrid. My query is about how, once I've herded all the cats together 🤣, is the best way to get from Madrid to Sarria.

I also love train travel - thank you for your reply.
 

mikebet

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
We are not in any rush. Who said that? Any member of the group is more than welcome to spend a few days in Madrid. My query is about how, once I've herded all the cats together 🤣, is the best way to get from Madrid to Sarria.

I also love train travel - thank you for your reply.
Sorry if I gave the impression that I was responding directly to your original question -- I had read so many replies by the time I responded I was thinking more of suggestions for travel directly from from the airport and/or ways to get to Sarria quickly. Though to be fair you did respond favorably to a suggestion that you spend a night near the Charmartin station, which I took to indicate a desire to make a quick getaway after a night of rest. Wife and I always try to spend 3-4 nights in the arrival city to get used to time zone change, etc., but then we aren't spring chickens anymore. To each his (or her) own, of course.
 

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