New high-speed train links Barcelona and Paris in December 2013
Two of Europe’s most iconic tourist destination, Paris and Barcelona, are now connected by a direct high-speed train service.
Starting from 15 December the first non-stop railway service is available between Paris Gare de Lyon and Barcelona Sants train stations.
The previous railway link between the capitals of France and the Spanish Catalunia required changing trains in Figueres, a Spanish town 15 miles south of the border with France, due to the lack of compatibility between the rail tracks in the two countries.
The new service, operated conjointly by the Spanish RENFE, responsible for the Spanish high-speed AVE (Alta Velocidad Espanola) and the French SNCF which includes TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) will shorten considerably the travel time between Paris and Barcelona.
In the first phase of operation of the new service, the journey will take 6h25m. Later, after the works on the stretch between Nimes and Montpellier have been concluded in 2017, the travel time on a high-speed train between Barcelona and Paris is estimated in 5h45m.
The new service will be available twice daily until March, after which the frequency will increase to cater for the needs of the summer season tourism. The train stops in Girona and Figueres in Spain and in Perpignan, Narbonne, Montepllier, Nimes and Valence in France.
The prices of tickets for the high-speed train link between Barcelona and Paris start from 59 euros.
London, Barcelona and Paris in a day - travel from London to Barcelona by train
The new link brings exciting new opportunities for the British tourist.
While the access from the UK to the capital of France is fairly easy and inexpensive, either by plane, by train or by road, visiting Barcelona within the same trip used to call for much more travel planning.
Now, with the new, convenient and fairly inexpensive railway link, the beautiful capital of Catalonia and the splendid beaches of Costa Brava are much more accessible than ever; it is possible to travel from London (St. Pancras Station) to Barcelona in a little more than 10 hours (time difference included).