Fastest journey4hr 53m
Modern TGV Atlantique trains from Paris to Irun have revolutionised travel between the French capital and the Basque region. Direct TGV trains make the 800-km journey to Irun in just under five hours. The journey follows a new high-speed line to Bordeaux (just opened in July 2017), continuing on traditional lower-speed rail routes to the Spanish border.
Note that because of track renewal work at Irun from July 2017 - lasting for about one year - fewer trains than usual are running from France to Irun during this period. 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 four-minute 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.
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.
Paris to Irun
The TGV high-speed train from Paris to Irun departs from Paris Montparnasse station. The journey starts with a very fast non-stop run from Paris to Bordeaux, taking little more than two hours. Thereafter the pace slows. Beyond Bordeaux the train traverses the forested landscapes of Landes, eventually reaching the Atlantic coast at Biarritz. There are occasional glimpses of the sea (to the right) in the final 20 minutes of the journey to Hendaye. The journey from Paris to Irun takes under five hours.
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 four-minute journey across the bridge to Irun.