• PLEASE NOTE: Please think twice before you travel to Spain now. More here.

Search over 55.000 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop

trains from santiago...


New Member

after completing my camino i've got to fly back to blighty, but as i need to get back up north (liverpool or manchester), and the direct flights from santiago are quite expensive (I think), I was considering taking a train ride through spain to an airport that is less dependent on Stanstead for its planes. Could be Porto in Portugal, or Madrid, or further afield. It's not just a financial thing - I've been in the mood for a good train ride of late. Can anyone recommend a scenic rail route that traverses landscapes of unbridled natural beauty? Small ask :wink: How good are the trains in spain? Are they comfy enough to warrant taking them for leisure?

thanks folks,

davey g
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Porto is nearer than Madrid, of course; scenery in N Portugal is very similar to that in Galicia, and Porto itself is well worth visiting. If you want a longer journey and more mountainous scenery, Madrid would be a better choice, as you go over 2 mountain ranges. There are a couple of direct trains a day, or you could stop off for some sightseeing in say Zamora and/or Avila; also passes through Escorial.

If time is no object and you prefer coastal scenery, you could go to Ferrol and take the narrow-gauge Feve railway along the N coast of Spain, continuing on to Bordeaux for flight to Manchester. You'll need several days for this though.

The Santiago-Madrid train is the Talgo. When I have been on this in the past, it has been the old rolling-stock, which were the latest thing 30 years ago but are rather quaint now. If you're looking for local colour, you might be better off going on a succession of local trains - I have had some great experiences on Spanish trains, as people start passing the wine, but they're not the world's most rapid.

Be aware that if it is sunny, as it often is in Spain, other passengers may well draw the curtains which will rather limit your view of the scenery (true of bus as well as train). Some of the newer rolling-stock is better in this respect, as it has tinted glass and no curtains. Long-distance trains (and buses) often show films for those not interested in scenery.


Staff member
...and then you have the the El Transcantabrico... but this is more of a vacation than a mean of transportation I think (never tried it). It looks like a "Cruise on rails".


Departures from Santiago de Compostela:

April 15 and 29
May 13, 20 and 27
June 3, 10, 17 and 24
July 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29
August 5, 12, 19 and 26
September 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30
October 7 and 21


New Member
cheers guys. i checked out the transcantabrian and it looks like exactly what i wanted. except for the 3000 euros bit :shock: porto's looking like a good option. perhaps i'll walk... perhaps not. i really fancied doing the rail route along the north coast, but tho there's lot's of airports around santander/bilboa, they don't do routes to the north of england. thanks again.
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.
Holy Year Credential
Get the HOLY YEAR Camino Credential (Passport) here.

Similar threads

Camino Conversations

Camino Conversations

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

Most downloaded Resources

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.7%
  • March

    Votes: 60 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 207 14.9%
  • May

    Votes: 338 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 101 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 27 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 29 2.1%
  • September

    Votes: 399 28.8%
  • October

    Votes: 171 12.3%
  • November

    Votes: 19 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 10 0.7%

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store