Travel with bike from Cadiz to Santander?

I'm cycling from Santander to Cadiz in May/June and need to travel back to Santander by train with my bicycle (not folded or not in a box). I have read much of the information but still not sure if this journey is possible with a bike. I think I have to travel by media distance trains but not sure of where I would need to make connections. Also it would be really helpful if anyone knows how long this journey would take. And an idea of approximate cost. I would appreciate any help or advice on this. Thanks, John.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) December 20, 2016 17:30
    Hi John,

    In Spain, fully assembled bicycles are only allowed on board MD (Media Distancia) and other regional trains; however, no such trains even operate on the stretch of railway between Seville and Madrid (on the way of the direct route from Cadiz to Santander). Even if there was an MD/regional train on this stretch, a connection comprised of these trains all the way from Cadiz to Santander would take a considerable amount of time and would not even be possible within a time frame of 24 hours.

    With an assembled bike, what you could do is take an alternate route between Seville and Madrid. First, you would take an MD (Media Distancia) train from Cadiz to Sevillle. From Seville, you would then take the regional train to the historic cities of either Mérida or Cáceres, where you would end up having to overnight.

    On a later day, you would take an MD or regional train from either Mérida or Cáceres to Madrid. From Madrid, you would take an MD train up to Valladolid, where you would connect to another MD train or a regional train that would take you to Santander.

    Please note, the trains from Mérida or Cáceres to Madrid arrive into the Atocha station, while the trains from Madrid to Valladolid depart out of the Chamartin station. To commute from Atocha to Chamartin, you would take a Renfe 'Cercanias' train, which is like a local commuter train. The ride between Atocha and Chamartin only takes about 10 to 13 minutes, but you would still want to allow yourself at least 1 full hour between your arrival from Algeciras and your departure to Valladolid. You would pay to board a Cercanias train right at the station before boarding. You can take an assembled bike on board one of these Cercanias trains, however, they may impose some restrictions during rush hour periods.

    Generally, tickets can be purchased on our website; however, tickets for the MD and regional trains on these particular routes are not able to be purchased there at this time. Instead, to purchase tickets for these trains and inquire about their schedules, you would have to call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM CT Monday to Friday.

    Even though assembled bikes are allowed on board MD and regional trains in Spain, it would also be important to point out that there may be a limit of 2 bikes per train. With that said, it always best to check locally. Additionally, the cost to take an assembled bike on board these trains is generally around €3.
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