Travel

Portugal, France, and Spain by bus and train

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  • Mar 3rd, 2019 10:10 pm
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[OP]
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May 23, 2008
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Portugal, France, and Spain by bus and train

Hello all,

I'm trying to help my fiancée who is deathly afraid of flying get from Portugal to France to Gibraltar and back to Portugal. Looking for advice on the chosen route, and any suggestions on day trips from Lyon and Paris.

I'm arriving from Toronto a week early to hang out with my fiancée, and then we're meeting my friend in Porto:

June 24 - 26: Porto
June 27: AM Train to Lisbon
June 27 - July 1: Lisbon (day trip to Sintra, maybe Cascais?)
July 2: AM Flight to Lyon (my friend and I have to be in Lyon that afternoon, so we're flying, my fiancée will have already left Lisbon via train)
July 2 - 3: Lyon
July 4 - 6 (have to be back by 4PM on the 6th): Trip to nearby cities?
July 7: Lyon
July 8: Train to Paris
July 8 - 13: Paris
July 13: Afternoon train from Paris to Barcelona, spend the night in Barcelona
July 14: AM train from Barcelona to Algeciras, bus or taxi to Gibraltar
July 15: Gibraltar
July 16: Gibraltar - GET MARRIED
July ???: Head to back Lisbon? Go somewhere else?

The train routes are based on what I've read on seat61.com.

So what do you think, RFD? Any recommendations of other cities near Lyon and Paris for a day/overnight/mini-Eurotrip? Should we stay an extra day in Barcelona so we can actually see stuff there? Right now it's just a pit stop on the way to Gibraltar.
14 replies
Sr. Member
May 11, 2008
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Vancouver
Well on the way back to Lisbon you could go to the south of Portugal and check out some of the smaller towns of the Algarve.
I had a great time in Lagos, it's beautiful and plenty of beaches.
I'd also do an extra day in Barcelona as well, instead of just a pit stop to Gibraltar.

Overall I think you've thought the route out pretty well.
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Jul 24, 2003
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if ure in Gibraltar, might as well check out Andalucia or northern Morocco. There’s ferry from Gibraltar (less frequent) and Tarifa (more frequent) to Tangier (about 1 hour across the strait). You could either do a day trip in Tangier. or work your way to Chefchaouen or Fes or Rabat. Even Casablanca, depends how much time you have. Morocco is a bit different than Europe and you can say you’ve been to Africa. Guided tours are very reasonably priced. Go by tripadvisor reviews.

Andalucia is a beautiful region as well. Old port and beach in Cadiz. Winery in Jerez. Ronda’s cliff and bridge. Alhambra in Granada. And the resort towns along the coast on Mediterranean like Marbella and Malaga. You can then work your way to Malaga or Codoba or Sevilla for AVE train to Madrid then overnight train from Madrid to Lisboa.

You haven’t mentioned driving. Driving is a more time efficient way to explore Andalucia (and Portugal?).
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Jul 7, 2017
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Just a warning about Gibraltar: Be aware that in the case of a no-deal Brexit, Spain may well close or restrict traffic through the border with Gibraltar. Probably won't happen but I'd look for potential ways to get out (or in) if that comes to past (I like to make contigency plan or be aware of alternates).
Almost too cheap to shop through RFD
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Oct 2, 2006
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I felt dizzy just picturing the route map in my head while reading lol.

Do you really have to go to Paris after Lyon? To avoid the rush from Paris to Barcelona, then to Algeciras and Gibraltar in a span of two days, I'd probably suggest to skip Paris and either spend more time in Barcelona, head south to Provence (Avignon, Arles), or as someone suggested, Andalucia (Seville, Granada, Cordoba). Or a combination of all three. Skip Paris for a future trip -- perhaps a honeymoon?
[OP]
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May 23, 2008
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manho wrote:
Feb 24th, 2019 2:48 pm
You haven’t mentioned driving. Driving is a more time efficient way to explore Andalucia (and Portugal?).
I hadn't considered driving, no. I would make sense if we went to the Algarve, though I would need a quick lesson in driving a manual since renting an automatic tends to come at a premium. Thanks for the suggestion of Morocco, which did not occur to me! And I've heard that the Andalusian region is great; I know a couple of people who swear by Seville over Madrid or Barcelona.
heymikey wrote:
Feb 24th, 2019 4:20 pm
I felt dizzy just picturing the route map in my head while reading lol.

Do you really have to go to Paris after Lyon? To avoid the rush from Paris to Barcelona, then to Algeciras and Gibraltar in a span of two days, I'd probably suggest to skip Paris and either spend more time in Barcelona, head south to Provence (Avignon, Arles), or as someone suggested, Andalucia (Seville, Granada, Cordoba). Or a combination of all three. Skip Paris for a future trip -- perhaps a honeymoon?
My friend is flying out of CDG, which is why we decided to spend a week in Paris, but I suppose we could either reduce the time spent there or skip it altogether; it's not a mandatory part of the trip for us.
thriftshopper wrote:
Feb 24th, 2019 3:56 pm
Just a warning about Gibraltar: Be aware that in the case of a no-deal Brexit, Spain may well close or restrict traffic through the border with Gibraltar. Probably won't happen but I'd look for potential ways to get out (or in) if that comes to past (I like to make contigency plan or be aware of alternates).
Yeah, we have Denmark as a backup for our other quickie wedding in Europe option.
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Ninja Robot Pirate wrote:
Feb 24th, 2019 12:38 am
July 16: Gibraltar - GET MARRIED

So what do you think, RFD?
1/ Don't get married.

2/ Don't miss a tour of Camp Nou, it's impressive.
_______________

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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We're going that way again in Month . Van to Paris, Paris to Lisbon by Air, down to faro by train , bus to Seville, then train to Malaga. From Malag we'll visit cordoba and Rhonda.

Last time there(2017) we took HSR from Malaga to Barcelona . Took 5 hrs non stop. Also took HSR from Barcelona -Paris . Took 6.5 hours .

Beats flying by a mile, costs twice as much though usually
[OP]
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Hugh Jass wrote:
Feb 24th, 2019 9:06 pm
1/ Don't get married.

2/ Don't miss a tour of Camp Nou, it's impressive.
1. I wouldn't usually consider it, but she is the great love of my life and makes me incandescently happy, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

2. I'm an Atletico Madrid supporter, but I guess I could give the tour a go. It's not like it's the Bernabéu...
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Slightly paranoid about visas, but only because I am familiar with Canada-USA and people getting married.

Other than that, sound like a good trip. Spain and France have excellent high speed rail. Not particularly cheap, mind you, but fast compared to traditional rail or the bus (or driving).

+1 for Morocco. Just make sure your new wife has a wedding ring.
Toronto is a very small part of Canada
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What's the visa issue? There shouldn't be anything to worry about with Canadian passports. Unless you're talking about the marriage licence?
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MonctonMan wrote:
Feb 26th, 2019 10:51 pm
Slightly paranoid about visas, but only because I am familiar with Canada-USA and people getting married.

Other than that, sound like a good trip. Spain and France have excellent high speed rail. Not particularly cheap, mind you, but fast compared to traditional rail or the bus (or driving).

+1 for Morocco. Just make sure your new wife has a wedding ring.
We're both good as far as visas go for the trip in its current configuration. We'll both be well under the 90 days within 180 day period for Schengen travel.
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twotterdhc6 wrote:
Feb 27th, 2019 5:35 pm
What's the visa issue? There shouldn't be anything to worry about with Canadian passports. Unless you're talking about the marriage licence?
Ninja Robot Pirate wrote:
Mar 2nd, 2019 8:15 pm
We're both good as far as visas go for the trip in its current configuration. We'll both be well under the 90 days within 180 day period for Schengen travel.
I thought perhaps one of them was European. How does the fiancée get there if she is deathly afraid of flying?
Toronto is a very small part of Canada
[OP]
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MonctonMan wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2019 4:55 pm
I thought perhaps one of them was European. How does the fiancée get there if she is deathly afraid of flying?
She'll be there about a month earlier than I will for work (heavily medicated during the flight, I imagine). Her visa situation might change as she may end up staying there for a year, but if that becomes the case, she can apply for the work visa within 90 days of arrival.
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Ninja Robot Pirate wrote:
Mar 3rd, 2019 5:50 pm
She'll be there about a month earlier than I will for work (heavily medicated during the flight, I imagine). Her visa situation might change as she may end up staying there for a year, but if that becomes the case, she can apply for the work visa within 90 days of arrival.
Well, exactly. If you are married and your new wife is living in the EU, it is going to be increasingly difficult for you to enter the Schengen zone (which Gibraltar is not part of) on a tourist visa. Bring proof of attachments to Canada (home, employment, family, Canadian mistress, etc...).
Toronto is a very small part of Canada

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