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Trains from Madrid to Astorga

Kate Allenger

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walking the Camino Frances August 29 2018!!
Hi there Camino friends,
I'm dying to get back to the Camino which I had to cut short last year as I injured my leg. I plan to fly to Madrid on a Sunday July 21st and will arrive in the afternoon around 4pm. Does anybody know if I would be able to get a train to Astorga that same day or do you think I would need to stay in Madrid and catch a train the following morning? The train schedules are not posted for July yet. I only have 5 days to walk this time and then I need to get back to the UK. Should I book a flight home from Santiago do you think? I believe it should be fairly easy to get a bus/train from wherever I end up on the Camino? Also, I know that the Camino will be busy in July, but I don't want to plan too much of my walk. Will I be able to find hostels to stay in or will they be very booked up? So many questions, but I know that there are so many helpful pilgrims out there who will be able to help me! Thank you in advance!
 
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Pablo Mac

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
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I caught a train in 2014 from Madrid to Astorga changing at Leon . I assume this is still possible . Check Renfe.es closer to the time . I also remember there being the option of a bus direct from the airport to Astorga . I opted for the train as Im not a lover of buses !!
 
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andycohn

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (12-15); Muxia (15); Portuguese, Primitivo (17); Norte, Ingles, VF partial (18), Le Puy (19)
Per Renfe schedule, last train out of Madrid is 17:30, arriving Astorga at 20:25. That might be tight, as you’d need to get from airport into central Madrid after your plane lands. Per the Alsa schedule, there’s a bus direct from the airport at 16:45, which then stops in downtown Madrid at 17:45, and arrives in Astorga at 21:45. While the July schedules are not yet out, they are unlikely to change. If nything, there will be more transport in the summer.

Another option would be to take the train out of Madrid in the evening to Leon. There’s more frequent, and faster, trains to Leon than to Astorga. Stay overnight in Leon, then the following morning, get the local bus to Astorga, and start walking. Lots of buses, starting around 6 AM, and it’s only a 45-50 minute ride. Check Renfe and Alsa schedules. (if you check the schedules, you might even find a bus out of Leon the same night. The train and bus stations in Leon are only 400 meters apart.

You don’t need to book albergues (and only the private ones can be booked). Just don’t arrive too late in the afternoon..

We’ve flown twice from Santiago to London Gatwick in June on Easyjet, and got good fares (around 60 euros) booking only 7 - 10 days in advance. Could be cheaper booking further out. Depends on your definition of “good fares”.
 

Kate Allenger

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walking the Camino Frances August 29 2018!!
Per Renfe schedule, last train out of Madrid is 17:30, arriving Astorga at 20:25. That might be tight, as you’d need to get from airport into central Madrid after your plane lands. Per the Alsa schedule, there’s a bus direct from the airport at 16:45, which then stops in downtown Madrid at 17:45, and arrives in Astorga at 21:45. While the July schedules are not yet out, they are unlikely to change. If nything, there will be more transport in the summer.

Another option would be to take the train out of Madrid in the evening to Leon. There’s more frequent, and faster, trains to Leon than to Astorga. Stay overnight in Leon, then the following morning, get the local bus to Astorga, and start walking. Lots of buses, starting around 6 AM, and it’s only a 45-50 minute ride. Check Renfe and Alsa schedules. (if you check the schedules, you might even find a bus out of Leon the same night. The train and bus stations in Leon are only 400 meters apart.

You don’t need to book albergues (and only the private ones can be booked). Just don’t arrive too late in the afternoon..

We’ve flown twice from Santiago to London Gatwick in June on Easyjet, and got good fares (around 60 euros) booking only 7 - 10 days in advance. Could be cheaper booking further out. Depends on your definition of “good fares”.
That's really helpful - thanks very much - Kate
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi there Camino friends,
I'm dying to get back to the Camino which I had to cut short last year as I injured my leg. I plan to fly to Madrid on a Sunday July 21st and will arrive in the afternoon around 4pm. Does anybody know if I would be able to get a train to Astorga that same day or do you think I would need to stay in Madrid and catch a train the following morning? The train schedules are not posted for July yet. I only have 5 days to walk this time and then I need to get back to the UK. Should I book a flight home from Santiago do you think? I believe it should be fairly easy to get a bus/train from wherever I end up on the Camino? Also, I know that the Camino will be busy in July, but I don't want to plan too much of my walk. Will I be able to find hostels to stay in or will they be very booked up? So many questions, but I know that there are so many helpful pilgrims out there who will be able to help me! Thank you in advance!


Kate:

If you arrive at 4:00pm, I think you should be able to make the 17:30 train from Chamartin.

Here are your obstacles.

Depending on which terminal you arrive.

Plan A

Arrival T1, most Challenging - depart plane catch intra-airport bus from T1 to T4 runs about every 15 minutes. after arrival at T4 take Cercanias train to Chamartin station, it runs every 30 minutes. You can buy ticket all the way through to Astorga here in basement of T4 at RENFE office to avoid lines at Chamartin.

Arrival T4, Depart plane and head to basement to catch Cercanias train to Chamartin. Again I recommend purchasing ticket all the way through to Astorga to avoid lines at Chamartin.

Plan B

Should your plane be late or other issues slow you down (customs, intra-airport bus etc.) there is an 18:26 train to Leon arriving 20:43. From Leon you can probably catch a bus or even a cab to Astorga only 50 km's away.

At this time, it is hard to tell if those are the only options. Train schedules are usually only posted 60 days in advance and they could change based on traffic volume in July versus February which I looked at.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

Kate Allenger

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walking the Camino Frances August 29 2018!!
Kate:

If you arrive at 4:00pm, I think you should be able to make the 17:30 train from Chamartin.

Here are your obstacles.

Depending on which terminal you arrive.

Plan A

Arrival T1, most Challenging - depart plane catch intra-airport bus from T1 to T4 runs about every 15 minutes. after arrival at T4 take Cercanias train to Chamartin station, it runs every 30 minutes. You can buy ticket all the way through to Astorga here in basement of T4 at RENFE office to avoid lines at Chamartin.

Arrival T4, Depart plane and head to basement to catch Cercanias train to Chamartin. Again I recommend purchasing ticket all the way through to Astorga to avoid lines at Chamartin.

Plan B

Should your plane be late or other issues slow you down (customs, intra-airport bus etc.) there is an 18:26 train to Leon arriving 20:43. From Leon you can probably catch a bus or even a cab to Astorga only 50 km's away.

At this time, it is hard to tell if those are the only options. Train schedules are usually only posted 60 days in advance and they could change based on traffic volume in July versus February which I looked at.

Ultreya,
Joe
Thanks so much for your help Joe
 

andycohn

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (12-15); Muxia (15); Portuguese, Primitivo (17); Norte, Ingles, VF partial (18), Le Puy (19)
That's really helpful - thanks very much - Kate
Mea colpa. I wasn’t checking the Sunday ALSA schedule. There’s no late Sunday afternoon bus from the airport to Astorga, but there is one from Madrid Estacion de Sur at 18:30.
 
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Kate Allenger

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Walking the Camino Frances August 29 2018!!
Mea colpa. I wasn’t checking the Sunday ALSA schedule. There’s no late Sunday afternoon bus from the airport to Astorga, but there is one from Madrid Estacion de Sur at 18:30.
Thanks - I'm thinking this might be the easiest way to get to Astorga
 

LNsLife

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (April-May 2020)
In looking at the Renfe website, I've found that searching Madrid to Astorga doesn't give you all of the options. If you search for Madrid to Leon, more options pop up. Perhaps it doesn't return results when long layovers are involved. I'm now searching this route for April 2020 travel. Thanks for the string!
 

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