Santander was a stopover on my travel along the FEVE train from Ferrol to Hendaye. Leaving Santander 08-00 for Bilbao 10-46. From the FEVE station trains go Oviedo, Bilbao and others , from the RENFE station trains go to Alicante, Madrid and Valladolid Ferries go to Portsmouth and Plymouth in England.Buses go to the airport from the bus station The RENFE, FEVE, and bus station all close together in the centre of town.
FEVE stands for Ferrocarriles (Railway) Españoles (Spanish) de Vía (Track) Estrecha (Narrow), sort of commuter trains, covering most of the north coast of Spain, up to Oviedo to the west and Bilbao to the east.
The FEVE Railway Station is at Plaza de las Estaciones, next to the Railway Sation and opposite to the Bus Station.
There are two bus companies that link Santander with many destinations:
- ALSA: www.alsa.es: For long and short run destinations.
- La Cantábrica: www.lacantabrica.com: Mostly for destinations within Cantabria.
The Bus Station is at Plaza de las Estaciones, opposite to the Railway and FEVE Sations.
It's very nice to go to Santander by train enjoying a wonderful landscape. From Madrid, for example, it takes around 4 hours and 25 minutes.
The Railkway Station is at Plaza de las Estaciones; opposite to the Bus Station, and next to the FEVE Station.
Buses to/from Bilbao
We undertook a day trip from Bilbao to Santander during our visit to the Basque Country/Cantabria in December 2012.
The two cities are around 90 minutes apart by road and are connected by regular buses throughout the day.
The following details were correct at the time of our visit. Obviously, certain information in this tip (particularly with regards to timetables and prices) is subject to change over time.
Bilbao – Santander
Buses leave from the Termibus bus station in Bilbao, which is located next to the San Mames metro station.
We caught a bus that was operated by ALSA at 9:30am on New Year's Eve (a Monday morning). On the morning that we travelled, buses were departing from Bilbao to Santander at 6:00am, 7:00am, 7:30am, 8:30am, 9:30am, 10:00am, 10:30am and 11:30am, then continuing at similar intervals throughout the day.
We purchased our tickets from an interactive ticket machine at the Termibus station two days in advance of our journey. The ticket machine was very easy to use, providing instructions in several languages and allowing passengers to reserve specific seats on specific buses, showing the price of each journey and the number of seats remaining on each bus. We needn't have purchased tickets in advance (at least not at this time of year) as the bus was only around one third full for the journey.
We were able to purchase tickets for the return journey from the same machine. Tickets were priced at €6.35 each way, although some of the buses were more expensive at €11 and €14. The more expensive buses showed a journey time of 75 minutes rather than 90 minutes, so I assume that, unlike our bus, they didn't stop at Laredo en-route. It certainly struck me as a big jump in price for the sake of saving 15 minutes!
Our bus (#11) left from bay number 7, right on time at 9:30am. The bus had commenced its journey in Irun and stopped at San Sebastian before arriving in Bilbao. It then included a stop at Laredo about half way between Bilbao and Santander. I got into trouble from the driver for taking a photo of the bus and the route displayed in its window. I'd seen him eyeing me suspiciously as I took a long range photo of the bus, and taking a close up photo of the front windscreen tipped him over the edge!
Having left Bilbao at 9:30am, we proceeded along some very scenic coastal roads, through green hills, with great views of the Atlantic Ocean and pretty towns such as Castro Urdiales, before winding our way down into the town of Laredo at around 10:10am. A few passengers alighted at Laredo and two further passengers boarded. We stayed at Laredo for around 10 minutes, leaving at 10:20am.
We arrived at Santander bus station at 10:58am; a total journey time of just under 90 minutes including the 10 minute stop in Laredo.
Santander's bus station is located very centrally, on Calle Navas de Tolosa, just a few minutes walk from Santander Cathedral, the seafront and the ferry terminal. The station contains cafes, souvenir shops, a book shop, toilets and luggage storage. There was a tourist information kiosk, but I'm not quite sure what purpose it served; a notice, in several languages, made it clear that the kiosk couldn't dispense city maps or help with any enquiries regarding transport timetables. We purchased a map from the souvenir shop instead.
Santander – Bilbao
We had already purchased our return tickets from the ticket machine in Bilbao's Termibus station, so we knew that we had to be back in time for the 5:00pm bus. The ticket price was again €6.35 and more expensive, slightly faster, alternatives had been available as per the outbound journey. Curiously, the price displayed on the ticket was €5.71 - but we definitely paid €6.35.
On the day that we travelled, New Year's Eve (a Monday), afternoon and evening buses were departing from Santander to Bilbao at 3:00pm, 3:45pm, 4:05pm, 5:00pm, 6:00pm and 7:05pm. I expect that buses run later into the evening when it's not a public holiday.
Our bus left from bay number 1 right on time at 5:00pm. The bus advertised free wi-fi; I tried in vain to get connected via my netbook, but gave up after 15-20 minutes.
We arrived in Laredo at 5:35pm, where quite a few passengers boarded. We left Laredo at 5:42pm and we were slightly ahead of schedule by my reckoning. But then chaos ensued...
We had been aware of some raised voices towards the front of the bus. A couple of passengers were exchanging words and were clearly in dispute about something. This continued for about 10 minutes or so, getting ever more heated and including more and more passengers. It looked as though they might come to blows at one point; one of the two men got up from his seat and was standing over the other man. The argument was taking place in Spanish, so I'm not entirely sure what it was about, but it seemed that one of the passengers (who was black) was accusing other passengers around him of being racist. The driver drove onto a service station forecourt, stopped the bus and appealed for calm. We were stationary for around 5 minutes, which caused much consternation amongst other passengers. When we set off again, the police had clearly been informed of the incident and were following the bus back to Bilbao bus station. Despite the delay, we still arrived back at Termibus station just before 6:30pm, at which point a couple of police officers boarded the bus and apprehended the man who, according to other passengers, had been the root cause of the fracas.
Thankfully the police weren't interested in getting witness statements from us (we were pretty bemused by the whole thing anyway!) so we were free to leave the bus.
Bus from Santander to Burgos (and then to Madrid) is good and cheap, and scenic. Price (October 2006) 10.12€ one way. And the same again to Madrid. Company is Continental Auto, times are:
Santander to Burgos
8.00, 10.30, 16.30, 19.00, 0.30.
But check for holidays, weekends, and Fridays which all have slight variations.
Journey time is around three hours to Burgos, and the same again to Madrid.
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Santander airport is called Parayas. It is by the sea, about 5 kms. from the city, in the municipe of Camargo.
It has regular flights throught the year to MADRID and BARCELONA.
In summer there are additional destinations like Malaga (see the first link: Parayas at Aena webpage)
From 20.09.2004 RYANAIR will be serving connections to LONDON (Stansted) and ROME (Ciampino) . From 31.10.2004 also to FRANKFURT (Hahn).
For other international connections, the 2nd nearest airport is the one at Bilbao.
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Bus Parayas airport Santander
From 20.09.2004 there is a bus service connecting Parayas airport and Santander (coach station). Schedules:
From Santander Coach Station (outside the station)
Monday to Friday: 6:30; 6:50;
every :15 and :45
8:30 9 9:30 10 10:30 11
no buses at lunchtime
17:30 18 19:30 20 20:30 21
9:30 10 10:30 11 11:30 12 12:30 13 13:30 14
every :15 and :45
From Parayas airport
Monday to Friday:6:40;
every :00 and :30
8:45 9:15 9:45 10:15 10:45 11:15
no buses at midday
17:45 18:15 18:45 19:15 19:45 20:15 20:45 21:15
every :15 and :45
every :00 and :30
Desde el 20.09.2004 hay por fin una linea de autobus entre las estaciones (lateral de la estacion de autobuses) y el aeropuerto de Parayas.
De lunes a viernes, desde la estación de autobuses, viajes a las 6,30; 6,50; 7,15 y cada media hora hasta las 22,45. Desde el aeropuerto, a las 6,40; 7,00 y cada media hora hasta las 23,00.
Los sábados, desde la estación de autobuses, cada media hora de 8,30 a 11,00; y de 17,30 a 21,00. Desde el aeropuerto, cada media hora de 8,45 a 11,15; y de 17,45 a 21,15.
Los domingos, desde la estación de autobuses, cada media de 9,30 a 14,00; y de 18,15 a 22,45. Desde el aeropuerto, cada media hora de 9,45 a 14,15; y de 18,30 a 23,00.
Precio: 1,50 Euros.
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By Car: How Far/How Long...?
Some road distances to Santander from:
- Madrid (Spain): 424 kms.
- Lyon (France): 995 kms.
- Munich (Germany): 1.717 kms.
- Bratislava (Slovakia): 2.235 kms.
- Krakow (Poland): 2.525 kms.
Checking the website, you’ll find more road distances together with the driving times and the best routes.
Pic: Obviously, it was taken from the plane.
Another way to Santander from the UK is to use Brittany Ferries. They sial from Plymouth and Portsmouth, once a week from each. Crossing time is 20 to 24 hours. Did this journey ourselves in 1991, a little choppy but very enjoyable.
The Feve and Renfe train stations are next door to each other. We used the Feve service from Bilbao, a marvellous three hour ride through the mountains. In Santander change for trains on to Gijon, a journey we fancy doing in the future.
A busy provincial airport, a hub for Ryanair and saw a couple of departures for Iberia also.
A bus leaves every 30 minutes to the bus station in the centre, with a similar journey the other way.
Cost, Nov 2008, just 1 euro 70.
Santander - San Sebastián
For me the train is not the best way to move in the North of Spain , at least is not the quickest
1 -At any case you must go to to the bus/train station from the airport ( see Santander travel tip ( http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/9fb96/3e1cb/9/ ) )
2. To go to San Sebastian you may take the bus , it takes 3 hours and it cost 12.48Euros ( Normal bus)
To see details you may enter in the Alsa (Transport company ) that has an English version and you may see there all the details ( http://www.alsa.es/?portal.alsa.request.locale=en_GB )
You may go direct to SS , but if you want to go to Bilbao to visit it or to go to the Guggenheim Museum , you should take the bus in the same station
Buen Viaje !!!!!!
Aeropuerto -Centro / Airport - Center
La forma más económica de transladarse del aeropuerto al centro de Santander , es coger el autobús que sale de la puerta del aeropuerto y va directamente a la estación de autobuses en el centro en 15- 20 minutos y cuesta 1.8 Euros
The most economic way to be transferred from the airport to the center of Santander, is to take the bus that leaves from the front door of the airport and goes directly to the bus-station in center , in 15 - 20 minutes and it costs 1,8 Euros
Ferry from Plymouth
Plymouth to Santander is a good crossing. It is seriously fast now Brittany has introduced the new ferry - Pont Aven. The food is good. Vegetarian choice is sometimes limited in the restaurant, but there is always something in the cafeteria.
The full breakfast in the restaurant is also good as there is a huge cold buffet, and you can get greasy fry stuff as well.
If you are on a budget don't forget to ask about shared cabins - if you don't mind sharing with strangers. Brittany does this although the rival P&O on the Bilbao route does not. As it is only one night it is normally tolerable.
Don't forget if you buy or rent a property in France or Spain you can join the Property Owners Travel Club to get discounts on regular travel.
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