Is a Eurail Pass valid on Renfe FEVE trains in Spain? I plan to go from Hamburg > Paris > Irun > San Sebastian > Bilbao > Santander > Oviedo > Ferrol

Travel plan: from Hamburg Germany to Paris, to Irun on French/Spanish border, then continuing in Spain, on RENFE FEVE trains from Irun, to San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, Oviedo and Ferrol then returning by most direct route to Frankfort Airport in Germany.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) August 25, 2016 16:11
    Hi Ed,

    To connect to the FEVE line, you would take a Euskotren from San Sebastián to Bilbao. The Euskotren is also what you would take to get from Irun to San Sebastián. The Euskotren is not covered by any rail pass, and tickets for it would have to be purchased locally when you're there.

    You would then take the FEVE line between Bilbao and Ferrol. This trip does involve changing trains in Santander and then Oviedo along the way. The FEVE line all the way between Bilbao and Ferrol is now covered by Eurail Passes. These trains don't take reservations, so a rail pass would be all you'd need to board.

    A connection from Hamburg to Paris takes about 8.5 to 9.5 hours in duration and involves changing trains at least once along the way in either Mannheim, Karlsruhe, or Dortmund.

    For the first segment of any of these options (Hamburg to Mannheim, Hamburg to Karlsruhe, or Hamburg to Dortmund), reservations would be highly recommended as a supplement to a rail pass. For the next segment (Mannheim to Paris, Karlsruhe to Paris, or Dortmund to Paris), reservations would be required as a supplement to a rail pass.

    The direct train from Dortmund to Paris is a high-speed 'Thalys' train that goes through Belgium en route. Even though this train goes through Belgium, your rail pass would not need to include Belgium (the Benelux). Therefore, even if you take this option, you could still purchase the 3 country option of the Eurail Select Pass to include Germany, France, and Spain.

    For the Eurail Select Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-select-pass/index.html.

    Trains from Mannheim to Paris and Karlsruhe to Paris are 'France-Germany High Speed' ('TGV Est') trains.

    From Paris, you would then take a direct 'TGV' train to get down to Irun. The TGV trains from Paris to Irun do require reservations.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering a route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. Eurail Three Country Select Pass'). For a trip from Hamburg to Paris, you would just have to piece together the connection by doing a separate search for each segment (i.e. one search for trains from Hamburg to Mannheim and another search for connecting trains from Mannheim to Paris).

    Thalys, France-Germany High Speed (TGV Est), and TGV trains can sell out quickly, so it is recommended that reservations be purchased as soon as possible. Thalys and TGV trains can be booked once within 90 days of an intended date of departure, while the France-Germany High Speed (TGV Est) trains can be booked 90-120 days in advance of a departure.
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  • This reply was removed on 2018-02-06.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) February 06, 2018 17:11
    ALSA are buses, so these also would not be covered by a rail pass. There are ALSA buses that run from Irun to Bilbao; however, it is my understanding that the FEVE station (the Bilbao Concordia station) is much closer to the Euskotren Zazpikaleak (Caso Viejo) station than it is to the ALSA bus station (Bilbao TermiBus). The Zazpikaleak (Casco Viejo) station of the Euskotren is directly across the Nervión River from the Concordia station.

    You can take either the ALSA bus or the Euskotren, but it may be easier to connect to the FEVE if you take the Euskotren.

    The full route of the FEVE can be a long journey and requires connections. Bilbao Concordia to Santander takes 3 hours, Santander to Oviedo takes about 5 hours, and then Oviedo to Ferrol takes about 7 hours. I believe it's necessary to overnight somewhere along the route.
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