3 week amazing vacation London Heathrow-Liverpool-Amsterdam-Paris-Algarve-Barcelona

Hello, we are looking for the best way to get from London Heathrow to Liverpool then Amsterdam, Paris, Algarve & finally Barcelona. Any good advice is welcome. From cabs to trains to hotels etc. Thank you so much
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 13, 2012 16:30
    Hi Rose,

    It is important to note that there is no single rail pass that combines the United Kingdom with any other countries on the mainland continent of Europe.

    For your itinerary, I would recommend purchasing a BritRail England Pass (to cover your roundtrip between London and Liverpool) and a 4 country Eurail Select Pass to include the Benelux, France, Portugal, and Spain. The Netherlands is included as a part of the 'Benelux'. The Benelux covers Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg and counts them as one country for the purpose of railpasses. Therefore, you would include the Benelux as one of the "countries" on your Eurail Select Pass.

    You can check costs for the BritRail England Pass by clicking here: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-ticket....

    You can check costs for the Eurail Select Pass by clicking here: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-ticket....

    The BritRail England Pass works out to be less than regular point-to-point tickets for a roundtrip between London and Liverpool. To compare, you can check the point-to-point ticket costs under 'Check Fares and Schedules' on the homepage of our website. The BritRail England Pass would also cover the 'Heathrow Express' train, which is the train you would take from the airport into the city of London to catch a train up to Liverpool. The Heathrow Express only takes about 15 minutes in duration and departs once every 15 minutes. It arrives into the Paddington station in London, while the trains to Liverpool will depart from the Euston station. To commute from Paddington to Euston, you would take the Circle Line of the Tube to the Euston Square stop, which would take about 13 minutes in duration. You would then walk from Euston Square to the Euston station, which would take 5 to 10 minutes. You would pay to board the Tube locally upon arrival.

    A connection from Liverpool to Amsterdam would involve 2 train changes along the way; once in London and then once in Brussels. The Eurostar train (which connects London with Brussels, as part of this connection) is not entirely covered by any pass. However, by purchasing a Eurail Select Pass that includes the Benelux and/or a BritRail England Pass, you would be eligible to receive the 'Passholder' fare on this train. You would check Passholder costs for the Eurostar by clicking on 'Book a Reservation for Your Pass' on the homepage of our website, just as you will to make reservations on your other trains.

    While most reservable trains in Europe can only be booked within 60 or 90 days of an intended date of departure, the Eurostar is an exception and can generally be booked up to 9 months in advance.

    You would arrive back at the Euston station upon your return to London from Liverpool. From the Euston station, you would then have to get to the St. Pancras station to catch the Eurostar train to Brussels. To do this, you would take the Victoria Line of the Tube directly between these stations, which would take about 10 minutes.

    Reservations are required on the high-speed trains from Brussels to Amsterdam. Also, I would recommend purchasing reservations on your trains between London and Liverpool. You would book reservations on each of these trains by clicking on 'Book a Reservation for Your Pass' on our homepage. Trains between London and Liverpool can only be reserved within 60 to 75 days of an intended date of departure, while the high-speed trains from Brussels to Amsterdam can be reserved within 90 days of an intended date of departure.
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    • Jeff (Official Rep) April 26, 2017 18:18
      Update:

      As of this year, BritRail Passes no longer enable passengers to receive any kind of Passholder rate on the Eurostar.

      While that is true with regard to BritRail Passes, any Eurail Pass that includes France is now valid to cover Eurostar trains running between Paris and the UK, while any Eurail Pass that includes the Benelux is valid to cover Eurostar trains running between Brussels and the UK. As a supplement to the Eurail Pass, reservations on the Eurostar would still be necessary.

      If a BritRail Pass is the only rail pass with which you’ll be traveling, then it would be necessary to purchase regular tickets in order to ride on the Eurostar. Please note, this applies to any BritRail Pass, including the BritRail England Pass, the BritRail London Plus Pass, the BritRail South West Pass, and the regular BritRail Pass.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) April 18, 2018 16:06
      IMPORTANT UPDATE

      As of this month (April 2018):

      The following rail passes no longer qualify passengers to receive ‘passholder’ rates for reservations on the Eurostar:

      Any single country Eurail Pass, including:

      • Eurail France Pass
      • Eurail Benelux Pass

      Any 2 country option of Eurail Select Pass, including:

      • Eurail France-Italy Pass
      • Eurail France-Switzerland Pass
      • Eurail France-Germany Pass
      • Eurail Benelux-France Pass
      • Eurail France-Spain Pass
      • Eurail Benelux-Germany Pass

      BritRail Passes and the France-Italy combination of the 2 country Eurail Select Pass continue to not be valid on the Eurostar.

      Passengers traveling with any of these rail passes would need to purchase regular tickets to take the Eurostar.

      Passholder rates will continue to be offered (depending on availability) to any passenger traveling with a Eurail Global Pass, a 3 country Eurail Select Pass (that includes the country of arrival or departure, be it France or the Benelux), or a 4 country Eurail Select Pass (that includes the country of arrival or departure, be it France or the Benelux).
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 13, 2012 17:00
    Reservations are also required on the trains from Amsterdam to Paris. These trains can be reserved within 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    A connection from Paris to the Algarve would take at least 28.5 hours in duration and would involve at least 2 train changes along the way; once in Irun and then once in Lisbon (with the segment from Irun to Lisbon being on an overnight train). There are then direct trains from Lisbon down to Faro that would stop in some other towns in the Algarve en route, including Albufeira, before culminating in Faro. Reservations would be required on each of the trains that comprise of this connection, but the train from Lisbon down to the Algarve region can only be reserved locally in Portugal upon arrival. You would still book the reservations from Paris to Irun and then for the night train from Irun to Lisbon by clicking on 'Book a Reservation for Your Pass' from our homepage. The trains from Paris to Irun can be reserved within 90 days of an intended departure date, while the night train from Irun to Lisbon can only be reserved within 60 days of an intended departure date.

    The trains from Lisbon to Faro depart from the Oriente station in Lisbon, so that is the station where you'll get off the night train from Irun.

    There are actually only a few rail lines between Portugal and Spain and none that connnect Portugal and Spain in the south. The most feasible way to travel from the Algarve into Spain would be to take a bus that departs from Faro and arrives into Seville. Tickets for this bus would just be purchased locally upon arrival.

    You would then take a train from Seville to Barcelona that would require reservations. These trains can only be reserved within 60 days of an intended date of departure.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 13, 2012 17:34
    You can check hotels in each of your destinations by clicking on 'Hotels' from near the top of the homepage of our website, www.raileurope.com. The direct link is: http://www.raileurope.com/us/hotel/ho....
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