Fastest journey2hr 27m
Travelling by train from Bordeaux to Irun is easy, taking only 2 hrs 30 mins. The route is served by both fast TGV and slightly slower TER services. The journey south from Bordeaux takes in seemingly endless pine forests that then give way to lovely coastal scenery. Bookings for this route generally open three months prior to travel, and that's when to find cheap tickets.
Irun is the very first station in Spain. The last station in France, on the opposite bank of the river, is Hendaye and you’ll find additional departures from Bordeaux if you book just to Hendaye. Of the more than a dozen daily direct trains from Bordeaux to Hendaye, only two of those services (both of them TGVs) continue over the bridge to Irun.
If you take one of the many trains that terminate in Hendaye, it is an easy 3-min ride on the Metro Donostialdea tram from Hendaye to Irun. If you are travelling back from the Spanish border to Bordeaux or beyond, you will need to book from Hendaye as all northbound TGV and TER trains start there rather than in Irun.
Bordeaux to Irun
This is a route where the advantages of the high-speed TGV are only modest. The more frequent TER trains that run south from Bordeaux to the Spanish border take only a few minutes longer than the TGVs. Along the way, you’ll stop at Biarritz, still as stylish as ever, and a number of other small resorts.
Most trains terminate at Hendaye, the last station in France. Just two services a day continue on to Irun. But a frequent light-rail tram (part of the Basque Metro Donostialdea network) leaves from the station forecourt in Hendaye and makes the short journey across the bridge to Irun.
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Image credits: JLPC