Fastest journey5hr 6m
The introduction in 2014 of a once-daily direct high-speed train from Barcelona to Lyon was a boost for travellers heading to France’s Saône-Rhône region from Catalonia. The service is run by Spanish rail operator Renfe (in conjunction with SNCF) using Renfe’s top-of-the-range AVE trains. The journey takes about five hours. The train cuts under the Pyrenees using a high-speed line linking Spain and France, then follows the Mediterranean coast east towards Montpellier. After that it’s fast dash north to Lyon.
Bookings for this service normally open four months in advance of travel, and it is a route where you must book early to secure the cheapest tickets.
If the timings of the direct service do not suit your travel plans, bear in mind that there are at least two additional connections per day from Barcelona to Lyon, each requiring just one change of train along the way (usually at Nîmes or Valence TGV).
Barcelona to Lyon
The direct AVE train to Lyon departs from Barcelona Sants station. The once-daily train leaves Barcelona at breakfast time and makes eight stops on the journey to Lyon. You’ll get close-up views of a number of famous cities: Girona, Perpignan, Montpellier and Nîmes among them. For the best views of the Languedoc coast on the stretch beyond Perpignan book a seat on the right side of the train. In Lyon, the train terminates at Part Dieu station, where there is an excellent range of onward connections, including international services to Brussels and Geneva.
Other journeys to Lyon View all journeys to Lyon
- From Ashford International from £84.00
- From Colmar from £17.50
- From Edinburgh (Waverley, city centre) from £109.50
- From Brussels from £61.50
- From Chamonix from £38.50
Other popular journeys on Loco2
Image credits: Saone River, Lyon by Dennis Jarvis