Charming seaside towns in Northern Spain with a train station?
May 16, 2024 2:24 PM   Subscribe

My husband and I are thinking of renting a place in Northern Spain for a month next summer -- and we love trains! We'd love to be in a charming, walkable village, ideally close to the sea, which also has a transit train stop so that we can get to Barcelona/farther-flung locations fairly easily without having to drive ourselves/use the bus system. Which towns do you recommend?
posted by egeanin to Travel & Transportation around Portugal (6 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: Figueres
posted by HearHere at 2:31 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Asturies has a nice selection of villages (Cudillero, Aviles) and cities (Dijon, Oviedo). The whole region is beautiful.
posted by mulcahy at 3:53 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Best answer: You may want to take wildfires into consideration. Over 100 arson fires raged in northern Spain on Friday ... 91 of them were in the province of Asturias near the Bay of Biscay,
posted by falsedmitri at 7:11 PM on May 16


Best answer: We'd love to be in a charming, walkable village, ideally close to the sea, which also has a transit train stop so that we can get to Barcelona/farther-flung locations fairly easily without having to drive ourselves/use the bus system

It's not clear to me whether you mean going to Barcelona as a day trip or for longer, overnight expeditions.

You mention "seaside" and "northern Spain" so I will assume you mean the Cantabrian coast, i.e. from the Basque country in the east to Galicia in the west. If that's the case it is not realistic to take day trips by rail to Barcelona, in most cases even Madrid, or anywhere south of those places from the Cantabrian coast.

None of Spain's high-speed rail lines (yet) reach any city or town on the northern coast with the exception of A Coruña, Pontevedra and Vigo in Galicia. There are conventional lines, but not high-speed ones, so travel times by rail are relatively long -- Bilbao is 6-7h by rail to Barcelona, 4h30m to Madrid; Santander is at least 7h30m from Barcelona and 4h from Madrid; even A Coruña is 4h from Madrid and and 7-8h from Barcelona by rail.

Of course, northern Spain is beautiful and there are many more closer places to visit than Barcelona or Madrid that would be lovely to get to. But it's not super clear from your question what your expectations are, and I just want to make sure they are realisic -- San Sebastián to Pamplona, perfectly doable as a train day trip; Avilés to Madrid, not really doable without staying overnight (unlike you like 8 hours round-trip travel in one day).
posted by andrewesque at 6:18 AM on May 17 [2 favorites]


Best answer: Jealous! I've spent a little time in Northern Spain myself, a long time ago, so my suggestions would probably be out of date.

However, since you want to be able to go to Barcelona, check out the Catalonia and Valencia regions. Here's a link to the Fodor's guide - free online. You can stay at a farmhouse. And here's some info about trains.

"A local line runs up the coast from Barcelona to Blanes, then turns inland and connects at Maçanet-Massanes with the main line up to France. Direct trains stop only at major connections, such as Girona, Flaçà, and Figueres. To visit one of the smaller towns in between, you can take a fast direct train from Barcelona to Girona, for instance, then get off and wait for a local to come by."

I also recommend the site Rome2Rio for finding routes between different places. Also a little web searching will turn up all kinds of opinionated articles by travel bloggers like this one.
posted by acridrabbit at 2:06 PM on May 17


Best answer: San Sebastián! I went for a friend’s wedding last year and it was nothing short of magical. Small enough to walk everywhere, gorgeous beaches and scenery, and the best food I’ve ever had. Spending a whole month there would be a dream!
posted by a.steele at 5:07 PM on May 19


« Older similar songs to these   |   How to make the most out of attending a baseball... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments