Fastest journey5hr 50m
Modern TGV Atlantique trains from Paris to Irun have revolutionised travel between the French capital and the Basque region. Twice-daily direct TGV trains make the 800-km journey to Irun in just under 6 hrs.
Bookings for the TGVs from Paris to Irun generally open three months prior to travel. If you’re keen to get a cheap ticket to Irun, then it pays to book as soon as tickets are released for sale.
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 Paris if you book to Hendaye. It is just a 3-min ride on the Metro Donostialdea tram from Hendaye to Irun. The tram leaves from the station forecourt in Hendaye. If you are travelling back to Paris, you will need to book from Hendaye as all northbound TGVs start there rather than in Irun.
Paris to Irun
The TGV high-speed train from Paris to Irun departs from Paris Montparnasse station. Two direct daytime trains serve this route, taking 6 hrs for the journey. One departs in the early morning and the second around lunchtime. The journey starts with a very fast non-stop run from Paris to Bordeaux. Thereafter the pace slows, with the train stopping at Biarritz and other communities along the coast.
After the last stop in France at Hendaye, the train crosses the border into Spain to terminate in Irun, the first station in Spain. Additional train services run from Paris to Hendaye, from where a frequent light-rail service (part of the Basque Metro Donostialdea network) makes the 3-min journey across the bridge to Irun.
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Image credits: JLPC