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Best route to get from Sevilla to northern coast (Bilbao? San Sebastian?)

I'm traveling with my husband and 9 yr old child. We want to get from Sevilla to somewhere near San Sebastian in a day. I cannot figure out which destination I should chose or which exchange station would be best. I was going to stop for a couple days in Madrid, but now I think we just want to maximize our time in the other two locations. Your advice is appreciated. Thank you!
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) February 27, 2018 15:30
    Hi Tracy,

    Madrid actually is where you would connect on the route between Seville and Bilbao or San Sebastián.

    You would purchase tickets by searching a route under 'BOOK TRAIN TICKETS' on the homepage of our website, www.raileurope.com. For a trip such as this, you would just break up your search once in Madrid. Therefore, you would do one search from Seville to Madrid and then another search for connecting trains from Madrid to Bilbao or Madrid to San Sebastián.

    When you pull up the results of these searches, you will see that the trains from Seville to Madrid arrive into the Madrid Atocha station, while the trains to Bilbao and San Sebastián depart from the Madrid Chamartin station. To commute from Atocha to Chamartin, you would take the 'Renfe Cercanias', which is just like a local commuter train. The ride between Atocha and Chamartin only takes about 10-13 minutes but you would still want to allow yourself at least 1 full hour between your arrival from Seville and your departure to Northern Spain. You would pay to board the Cercanias locally when you’re there.

    Trains from Seville to Madrid are high-speed AVE or Alvia trains.

    Trains from Madrid to Bilbao or San Sebastián are Alvia trains.
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  • Thank you, Jeff! We are trying to get from Sevilla to Hondarribia in one day.

    So are Bilbao and San Sebastian the best landing points not Irun or others? Madrid is the best hub from Sevilla? Is Zaragoza an option?

    In Madrid, we would have to use a different train station to go to Northern Spain?

    I struggle with the navigation of the website, is there a page that shows a map of stations so I can figure out which one is closest to Hondarribia and try different routes to check price?

    Thank you! You are very helpful! I'm starting to think its better to spend one night in Madrid rather than try to do all this in one day with a 9 yr old.
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  • Thank you! This is very helpful. Its hard to do searches when I do not know the proper and closest station (and city!).

    Is there a different rail station than the one called Bilbao Abando? I am looking for a train from Bilbao to San Sebastian, which looks so close on a map but the search function only brings up long train rides that go through Miranda de Ebro. Am I doing something wrong here?
    • Jeff (Official Rep) March 01, 2018 21:10
      Abando is the main station in Bilbao. Trains from Madrid only arrive into there.

      To get from Bilbao to San Sebastián, you would actually just take a local commuter train called the 'Euskotren'. However, the Abando station does not service these trains. The nearest Euskotren station to Abando looks be the Zazpikaleak (Casco Viejo) station just across the Nervión River. On Google Maps, they appear to be close to one another. There should be a local metro you can take between the two, or you could even walk.

      You would take the Euskotren to Donostia (Basque for San Sebastián). The Donostia Amara station is the closest Euskotren station to San Sebastián's old town and the city center.

      Tickets for the Euskotren are only able to be purchased when you're there, which is why these will not display from a search on our website.

      I believe these Euskotrens depart hourly throughout the day, and the ride from Bilbao Zazpikaleak (Casco Viejo) to Donostia Amara takes about 1hr40min.
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