We suggest a mid-morning Eurostar from London to Paris, followed by an afternoon TGV from Paris Montparnasse
station. The train crosses the Loire Valley and glides through Poitou-Charentes, reaching Bordeaux in just two hours. It then slows down to continue through the forests of Les Landes towards the Basque Pyrenees, reaching the coast at Hendaye in 4 hours 40 minutes. Changing to the Basque EuskoTren network in Hendaye is easy, simply step out of Hendaye station and the EuskoTren terminus is to your right, across a small pedestrianised plaza to take one of the half hourly trains for a 40 minute ride to San Sebastian (or Donostia
in Basque) arriving in time for dinner.
Enjoy an overnight stay in San Sebastian in an idyllic setting facing the picturesque sweep of La Concha beach and its promenade lined with delicate tamarisk trees. San Sebastian has a justly deserved reputation as one of the world’s great dining destinations with a wealth of good restaurants and Pinxto bars.
The following day, leave the Basque railway behind to take up your reserved seat on the Spanish long distance trains to Galicia. With one leisurely change of train and time for lunch in Madrid, a full day’s travel brings you to the magnificent city of Pontevedra for 8pm where a room awaits at the Parador de Pontevedra in the old quarter.
Day 3 begins with a 20 minute train journey to Vigo where you change to the cross border service to Porto. Leaving Vigo just before 9am, an hour and 20 minutes later you arrive at Viana de Castelo, in a new time zone, as the clocks go back one hour as you cross the border into Portugal.
Alight at Viana do Castelo for a 30 minute transfer to our two walking holidays Manor Houses of the Minho
, and the High Paths of Northern Portugal
or our Waterways of the Minho
For other holidays in Northern Portugal, continue on the train to Porto Campanha arriving at 10:20 to begin our Valley of Gold
After changing in Porto a 30 minute train ride brings you to Aveiro for a 30 minute transfer to our cycling holiday, the Lagoons and the Silver Coast
For Central Portugal, take a tilting Alfa Pendular train from Porto to Lisbon ( 3 hours) for our On the Waterfront
touring holiday. Our two walking holidays the Palaces & Pathways of Sintra
and From Cape to Castle
are both within an hour's taxi ride of Lisbon.
Lying further to the south, the Costa Vicentina
require a further rail journey on an Intercity train from Lisbon (2 hours and 3 hours, respectively), followed by a taxi transfer of around 50 minutes.