Leaving Your Trip in VIGO or in SANTIAGO

This page offers help (concrete or informational) on leaving your trip. Topics include...

  1. Where you Leave Your Trip (see immediately below)
  2. Our “Access Packages,” designed to help you to do so.
  3. Suggestions on how to time your ongoing travel, whether you are having us arrange it, or doing it yourself.
  4. Service information regarding train travel from your trip end location.
  5. Suggested post-trip visits, especially when these are not geographically obvious, but are rendered economical and convenient by direct rail connections.
  6. Hopefully helpful hints for those setting up their own travel from the trip.

If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.


1.  WHERE and WHEN Do You Leave Your Trip?

Most of our trips following our Galicia itinerary end in Vigo.  Arrival in Vigo is timed to allow same-day ongoing travel to Santiago de Compostela, an hour away, and this recommended extention is offered as an option to trips disbanding in Vigo.  Our “Southern Cross” trip includes the Saturday night in Santiago as part of its price.

Otherwise, your only option for same-day, ongoing travel is a train to a local destination, or a late flight. You can spend the night in Santiago, or Porto, but there are no evening trains to Madrid on Saturdays.
Full disclosure:  you can take a train south to Coimbra, in Portugal, and make an overnight connection to the Madrid Hotel Train from there, arriving Madrid at 8:30a.  For train enthusiasts...

If your trip ends in Santiago (or if you opt for the one-day extention that takes you there), “Hotel Train” options (and others) are available to you on Sunday night.

If you wish to arrange your own ongoing travel (in other words, you do not want to set up any ongoing travel arrangements through us), a couple of hints regarding ongoing travel are offered at the bottom of this page.  Otherwise...


2.  Our ACCESS PACKAGES
as of August 10, 2016

Our “Access Package” includes a ticket to Santiago, and the night there, for ongoing travel on Sunday (this extension is included as part of “Southern Cross”).
Santiago is one of Spain’s prettiest cities, and is 90 minutes away.  And when are you going to get back to this corner of the world? 

Price:  119€ / person in a double or triple room, 131€ / person twin, 154€ single.
Twin or triple price is guaranteed to singles willing to share until 35 days before trip start.
To see what this means in your currency, look here:   http://www.bluemarble.org/CurrencyConv.html

Availability is not guaranteed:  book as soon as you know your plans.

Includes:
- Evening train to Santiago.
- Dinner.
- Saturday night lodging in Santiago.
- Breakfast on Sunday morning, if you get up / have time for it.
- All taxes, booking fees, baggage charges.
Sunday ongoing travel options are the same as from Vigo.


Sunday ongoing travel from Santiago is available as follows

  • A Sunday afternoon train to Madrid. Includes required seat reservation, all taxes and booking charges.
    73€.
    .
  • The overnight “Hotel Train” to Madrid. 88€.
    A berth in a 4-person, single-sex sleeper cabin is included.  Upgrades to “Deluxe” cabins (with showers) are available.  In fact, this train can be luxurious if you spend a bit on it.  It offers economical private cabins (single or double, with or without shower and WC ensuite), a pleasant café, a fun bar....  If other people are on board with you, the trip is too short.  The Autumn ‘03 return from Santiago was one of our most memorable Blue Marble moments (some of us are still recovering).  See upgrade options, below.

  • The overnight “Hotel Train” to Barcelona:  88€.  Includes a sleeper seat (a deeply reclining, first class seat, with legrest).
    The overnight train on the route to Barcelona offers only sleeper seats and deluxe private sleeping car cabins (single or double, with ensuite shower and WC).  It is not possible to book any sort of single bed in a shared cabin, unless a fellow trip participant wants the same.  See Night Train Upgrades, below, for prices of cabins.  
    If you would prefer a flat bed, but don’t like the cost of a private cabin, you may travel via Madrid, with a morning connection to Barcelona.  Tickets on this route cost +28€ (+52€ if you wish to be in first class on the daylight train from Madrid to Barcelona).
     

  • Sunday evening train to Paris.  205€ (includes a sleeper seat on the overnight portion of the trip, sleeping car upgrades available).
    For schedules, see “Service Information,” below.  1st class upgrade on the daylight portion of the trip (6 hours):  +28€.

  • Sunday tickets to Lisbon.  94€.
    Add 38€ for 1st class.  The train from Santiago to Vigo, where you catch the train to Portugal, is one class only

Options Offered at an Extra Cost (subject to availability)
Prices are in addition to the “Base” Access Package Price.  For a general discussion of train upgrades, see here.
Topics include the relative comfort of first versus second class, and different types of accommodation available on overnight trains.

  • Night train upgrades (you are upgrading from a 4-person cabin on the night train to Madrid, from a sleeper seat on the night train to Barcelona or Paris). 
    Solo passengers wishing to book in a double cabin:  if you are alone, and prefer to spend less than the cost of a single, you may request a berth in a double through us.  If someone else from your trip (and of your gender) requests the same, we will pair you.  If we cannot, we will default to your second choice (the other type of double, a single cabin, or no upgrade, depending on what you tell us).  If you prefer to travel with an opposite-gender passenger from your trip rather than same-gender strangers in a multi-person cabin, tell us that.  It will expand the number of possible cabin-mates.
    Upgrade prices (regardless of destination) are...
    - Regular double cabin (Madrid only):  +118€ per cabin (+59€ / person).
    These cabins offer an ensuite washstand with hall WC.
    - Regular single cabin (Madrid only):  +129€.
    These cabins offer an ensuite washstand with hall WC.
    - “Deluxe” double cabin (including ensuite shower and WC):  +138€ (69€ / person).
    - “Deluxe” single cabin (including ensuite shower and WC):  +149€.

  • Tickets to London.  Travel to London is via Paris.  Add 79€ if you are also purchasing tickets from London at the start of your trip, 109€ if not, or if you prefer a changeable ticket (in 1st cl., add 119€ or 155€; 1st class tickets include meal service between Paris and London).

Alternate Arrangements, in lieu of our usual packages. Subject to availability.
Prices are complete (in other words, they are not in addition to the “Base” Access Package Price, unless you also subscribe to that).

  • Saturday evening or Sunday tickets to Porto.  From Vigo:  36€.


3.  TIMING Your Trip

We are obviously trying to encourage you to spend at least Saturday night in Santiago.  A truly special place, especially on a Saturday night.  And the more of Sunday you can give to it, the better.  The exceptional comfort of the ongoing overnight trains allows you to spend most of Sunday here, if you are willing:  ongoing trains depart at 5p for Paris or Barcelona, 9p for Madrid (via a connection in A Coruña).... If you have a flight from Madrid or Barcelona on Monday, you might prefer a shower cabin so that you can feel human on the plane.


4.  Service Information
Schedules are approximate – exact timetables can be consulted at http://www.raileurope.com/index.html
Best trains are mentioned.  Others are slower or have multiple connections.

  • To Madrid
    Daylight train:  departs Vigo at 3:15p, Santiago at 4p; arrives Madrid 10p. 
    On Sundays only, an additional 3p train from Santiago arrives Madrid at 8p.
    Overnight train:  departs Santiago at 9p, arrives Madrid at 9:30a. 
    Connection in A Coruña at 9:30p. Allow an hour to reach theMadrid airport via a direct (and free) train shuttle.
  • To Barcelona.
    Daylight:  direct trains depart Vigo at 7:45a or Santiago at 8:30a, arriving Barcelona at 9:30p.
    Café / restaurant service available aboard.
    Faster services are available via Madrid, saving 2 - 3 hours, but requiring two connections.
    Overnight:  depart at 6p (6:30p from Santiago), ar 8:45a.
    Passengers from Santiago take a local train for 30 minutes, and connect to the Hotel Train in Ourense.
    An alternate service departs at 10:30p, arriving 12:30p the next day, via a morning connection in Madrid, which requires a station change.  Though travel time is essentially the same, the connection is irritating, and it is also a more expensive route.
  • To Paris.  Overnight service via Barcelona, depart 6:30p, arrive Paris 4p the next day.
  • To Lisbon.  Daylight service only.  From Santiago, dp 6a (2 connections) or 7:30a (3 connections):  8.5 hours..  From Vigo, depart 9a, 6 hours. 
  • To London.  Trip time from Paris is 2.5 hours, a station change in Paris is necessary (Austerlitz to Nord — a direct metro line is available).
  • To Porto.  Trip time is 2'15" from Vigo, add 90 minutes from Santiago.  Two trains daily, departing Vigo at 9a and 8p.  From Santiago, depart at 7:30a or 6:30p to connect to the Vigo > Porto train.
    A station change is required in Vigo:  5 minutes / 10€ by taxi.  Depart Santiago at 7:30a (Spanish time):  a 6-hour trip. 
    A one-hour time change means that Porto arrival is only 1'15" after Vigo departure, on the clock face.


5.  Suggested POST-TRIP VISITS

Santiago, Santiago, Santiago.  Once you have visited Santiago, Porto.


6.  Hints on TRAVELLING INDEPENDENTLY After the Trip
Guests subscribing to an “Access Package” need not read this section.

See also “Timing Your Trip” and “Service Information,” above, as either of these may additionally help.

We gladly provide travel consulting (schedule or routing information) concerning post-trip individual travel.  In particular, we have invested a great deal to become railway experts.  Our service fees are reasonable:  a 20€ charge for all but the most complex projects – or the most simple (for instance, only a 10€ charge applies if the service is limited to the preparation of a routine rail ticket).  You will generally find them justified by the time they will save you in research, standing on line, overpaying for your tickets, or all three.

But, for some, this type of research is fun.  So, here are some hints, intended to start off hardened “do-it-yourselfers.”

Trains.  Schedules for all routes can be consulted on this web site:
http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/point_to_point/triprequest.htm

Sparce service:  all trains that exist are proposed here.

Planes.  3 small regional airports:  Vigo, Santiago, and La Coruña (a.k.a. “A Coruña,” in Gallego).  Vigo and A Coruña have mostly domestic Iberian service.  Santiago (and, to a lesser extent, Vigo) offer limited intra-Europe service, including (at this writing) two daily flights from Santiago to London, one on British Air, and another on Ryanair.  Frequent trains operate the line between Vigo, Santiago and A Coruña.  Count circa 60 minutes to Santiago, another 30" on to A Coruña.  These trains require reservations.


If you wish to arrange some or all of your travel through us, please tell us what by means of this response questionnaire, designed to collect all the information we need to be able to book your travel.

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