Barcelona – Lourdes on the train

Adventure train travel! Or the Pyrenees scenic route

Map_Toulouse_Barcelona

We tested it out! After a client researching how to travel from Barcelona to Lourdes the most interesting way stumbled across this article (from 2013), and subsequently did the journey to reach us, I have recommended the route to a number of clients. But I had never done it myself and am now pleased to say  I can recommend the trip with full knowledge of what’s involved. We left Lourdes at 8:30am and arrived in Barcelona around 4:30pm. 8 hours total which is similar to driving by the time you stop along the way (6 hours drive time and an hour or two to stop and look about). The trains matched up (the timetable said the train arrived in Latour de Carol at 13:39 and the Spanish timetable said the train left at 13:39. So everyone on the train just hurried the short distance down the platform from one train to the other, clearly wondering whether the driver would wait. They did, and we all looked secretly relieved – complicit in our doubt about making it across but no-one saying anything!

The only thing I’d warn about with the excellent timetabling and train connections is that there are no buffet cars on any of the 3 legs (Lourdes-Toulouse, Toulouse-Latour de Carol, Latour-Barcelona). So make sure you take some water/drinks and food with you. I had packed a bag, which my husband and son’s laughed at, but were they glad by 2pm when there was nothing else available. The 20 min change in Toulouse didn’t really give time to buy a snack.

All in all the trip was very relaxing and gave us plenty of time to look at the scenery, sleep, read, have a chat, play cards and stare into space….

The train stops at a number of stations prior to Barcelona Sans – so you can jump off, or on, closer to where you are staying. We used the phone GPS to see where we were and hopped off at a station within walking distance to our apartment.

If you are hoping to do the whole trip through to Lourdes or Barcelona on the same day I would strongly suggest taking the earliest train. You never quite know what might happen on the way so it’s good to have a couple of hours spare up your sleeve.

For the timetable check the Catalonia Region Train Service site. Put in Barcelona-Sants to La Tor de Querol-Enveig.

For the French site check SNCF. Put in Latour de Carol to Toulouse Matabiau or Lourdes.

Latour_de_Carol_Toulouse

What I still can’t tell you about is whether there is actually anything interesting at Latour de Carol! It is close to the Pic Carlit, Font Romeu and Andorra so I suspect that a stop over for a couple of nights wouldn’t be bad at all. Something for next time…