Fastest journey9hr 29m
Taking the train from London to Girona in northern Spain has become very easy thanks to the high-speed rail route from France to Spain that opened in 2013. There are two stages to your journey from London. The entire journey takes just over 10 hrs. It is easily completed within a day.
Your trip starts with a morning journey on Eurostar from London to Paris, where you connect onto an afternoon TGV to Barcelona. This is usually a double-decker train, so book a seat on the upper level for the best views. Your train through France speeds through Burgundy and the Rhône Valley towards Avignon, then west along the Mediterranean coast, before diving under the Pyrenees in a tunnel to reach Spain.
You can buy tickets for the entire itinerary in a single booking here on Loco2. Bookings for this journey normally open around four months prior to travel, though Eurostar tickets open 180 days in advance. If you want to buy the cheapest tickets, it is important to book as early as possible.
London to Paris
Board a Eurostar service from London to Paris. There are upwards of 15 trains to Paris from London each day with departures at least hourly from the beautifully restored station at St Pancras in London. The fastest trains speed to Paris in just 2 hrs 16 mins, with slower services taking up to 20 mins longer to reach the Gare du Nord in Paris. The first part of the journey from London sweeps through Thameside landscapes and rural Kent to reach the Channel Tunnel. Little more than an hour after leaving London you'll already be in northern France, tracking south through Flanders fields towards Paris.
Remember to factor in at least half an hour for Eurostar's airline-style baggage check prior to boarding your train. There is a luggage and body scan and you'll be asked to show your passport. There are no restrictions on taking liquids on board Eurostar trains.
Paris interchange: Paris Nord to Paris Lyon
When you alight from the train at Gare du Nord look for signs to the Metro and RER. Once you've bought a ticket follow the signs to 'RER D', direction 'Melun' or 'Malesherbes'. So long as you're heading in the right direction, all the trains on this line stop at Gare de Lyon. The actual train journey takes around 10 mins with just one stop on the way at Châtelet-les-Halles. Upon alighting from the RER train at Gare de Lyon, follow the signs to the mainline station. The signs read 'Accès aux trains Grandes Lignes'. The whole journey from the concourse at Gare du Nord to the mainline departure platforms at Gare de Lyon will normally take about 40 mins but we recommend leaving at least 50 mins.
If you are arriving at Gare du Nord from London, bear in mind that you can buy Paris Métro tickets at the Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras and on board the Eurostar train. Similarly, passengers arriving at the Gare du Nord on Thalys trains from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands can buy Metro tickets on the train (at the Thalys Bar). Although universally referred to as Métro tickets, they are in fact valid on RER trains too.
Paris to Girona
The direct TGVs to Girona leave from Paris Gare de Lyon. In Girona, you'll arrive at the city's modern railway station, about a 15-min walk south-west of the centre. This journey is about speed, so there are not a lot of stops along the way - from four to eight depending on which train you take. All trains stop at the historic French cities of Nîmes, Montpellier and Perpignan. The part of the journey just beyond Perpignan affords good views of the Pyrenees.
Other journeys to Girona View all journeys to Girona
- From Paris from £35.00
- From Barcelona from £8.50
- From Toulouse from £31.50
- From Perpignan from £13.50
- From Madrid from £30.50
- From Narbonne from £17.00
Other popular journeys on Loco2
Image credits: Montse Poch