This Friday, July 28, marks the debut of the high-speed train connecting Spain to France. Find out about ticket prices, schedules, and availability.
This Friday marks the inauguration of the high-speed train service between Madrid, the capital of Spain, and Marseille, the second most populous city in France. This becomes the second AVE route connecting our country with France, following the recent opening of the AVE line between Barcelona and Lyon two weeks ago.
The main reason behind this new mobility link between the two countries is the upcoming Paris Olympic Games in 2024. It is expected that from our country, travellers will be able to reach the French capital through these high-speed lines. This move positions the Spanish public company as a prominent operator, competing among the top three French cities: Paris, Marseille, and Lyon.
The first AVE train bound for Marseille will depart this Friday at 13:25 from Madrid’s Puerta de Atocha station. Along the way, it will make several stops: Guadalajara, Zaragoza, Camp de Tarragona, Barcelona Sants, Girona, Figueres Vilafant, Perpignan, Narbonne, Béziers, Montpellier-St-Roch, Nimes, Avignon-TGV, and Aix-en-Provence TV. The final stop, Marseille-St Charles, is scheduled for 21:30, making it an eight-hour journey.
Ticket sales began on June 21st. Prices for the full route start at 29 euros if booked in advance. Traveling from Montpellier-St-Roch or Narbonne could cost as low as 19 euros. However, if you want to book a ticket for this Friday, you’ll have to pay 249 euros. Over 70,000 tickets have been sold for this journey, with more than half of them (40,000) being for the Marseille route scheduled on July 28th.
The website offers three ticket types: “premium,” currently unavailable for any journey; “mid-class,” priced at 164 euros for all trains; and finally, the “basic” ticket, costing 29 euros.
This increase in ticket availability also allows for doubling the service on the shared stretch between Barcelona and Nimes. Renfe can now offer two trains per direction with a wide range of attractive schedules and travel times for AVE trains outside of our country’s borders. A total of 28 weekly departures will be provided.
The scheduled timetable for this journey starts every day at 13:25 from Madrid. The return from Marseille will be at 8:03 in the morning. The duration of the trip is 8 hours and 5 minutes when departing from Spain, and 7 hours and 42 minutes when departing from France.