The most cost effective and flexible option to get to Rocket by train is to buy a 5 in 10 day Inter-rail pass. The map on the right shows our recommend route. There are many possible variations, but the one we've suggested breaks the journey in Spain's most dynamic and exciting cities - Barcelona and Madrid.
The perfect choice for an early summer low carbon getaway, taking this option lets you experience the romanticism of Paris, the playful charm of Barcelona, and of course the fun and frolics of Rocket Festival. On the way back, treat yourself to a night in a hotel and take in Madrid at a leisurely pace.
* Step 1: Depart London May 14th at 15.30. Arrive Paris at 19.56
* Step 2: Depart Paris on night-train at 20.32. Arrive Barcelona at 08.24 on May 15th
* Step 3: Have day of fun in Barcelona, depart on night-train at 21.30. Arrive Granada 08.40am
* Step 4: Rocket! 16th-18th May
* Step 5: Depart Granada May 19th at 11.33. Change at Seville and arrive Madrid at 17.15
* Step 6: Spend the night and the next day in Madrid. Depart on a night-train back to Paris at 18.15. Arrive Paris at 08.27
* Step 7: Eurostar back to London
Start with the Eurostar from St Pancras to Paris. Leaving London at 15.30 on the 14th May gets you into Paris at 19.56 local time, giving you ninety minutes to make the short metro journey to Paris Austerlitz in time for the night-train to Barcelona, which leaves at 20.32.
Arrive in Barcelona at 08.24 on the 15th ready for a day of fun and culture. Then after wearing yourself out seeing the sights, grab a few beers (and a pack of cards) and jump on another night-train at 21.30. This takes you all the way to Granada, where you arrive at 8.40am on the first day of the festival, in good time to catch the festival bus that winds into the foothills of the Sierra de Almijarra up to the stunning mountain meadow where the festival is located.
After three days of festival fun, you can then choose to either do the same journey in reverse, or mix it up and go back via Madrid instead. If you choose this option, you change at Seville and will get the pleasure of travelling on an AVE train (see this blog post). If you leave Granada on the morning of the 19th you'll get to Madrid by the late afternoon. Spend a night there and explore the city on the 20th before getting the night train back to Paris at 18.15.
In terms of cost, it is unfortuantely still a lot more expensive than flying, but in our opinion, a lot more fun, and obviously lets you see and do a lot more. If you're under 26, buying a five in ten day rail-pass makes it pretty cheap, but note that the rail-pass doesn't include Eurostar or night-train reservations.
* If you want to change your itinerary from the one listed above, check alternative options using the Deutshce Bahn European rail timetable.
* Buy a 5-in-10 day Global rail-pass (you need a global one to get through France) using the button below. It's £125 if you're under 26. Specify 14th May as the start date. This lets you travel for any five days within ten until the 24th.
* Once you've bought your rail-pass, contact Rail Europeto make night-train reservations (these are compulsory and cost around £30 per night train).
* Buy Eurostar tickets. Your Inter-rail pass gets you a discount on Eurostar tickets, and on tickets from any UK station to London St. Pancras.
The main factor affecting the overall price of the journey is the Eurostar ticket. It doesn't matter where you buy your ticket, it will be the same price everywhere, but each train has a certain number of cheap tickets and once they're gone, that's it. The cheapest you'll get a return to Paris for is £60 minus the discount that you're eligible for with an Inter-rail pass.
If you start your journey without purchasing night-train reservations, you should be able to get them on the way in Paris (or in Madrid on the way back), but there is a small chance that the trains in question will be full. If you choose to spend nights in the cities and take trains in the day instead, then there will be fewer, if any, compulsory reservation fees (though obviously you'll have to pay for accomodation in the cities).
Note that for night-train journeys that begin after 7pm, you only use up one day of your inter-rail pass (as long as you haven't already made a journey using the pass on that day.
If you're over 26, it may be cheaper to buy a point-to-point return ticket instead of the rail-pass, but it completely depends on the exact trains you want to take, and of course, getting a return ticket means you won't be able to be flexible and return via a different city to the one you went out on. To explore this option, search for trains using the Deutshce Bahn European rail timetable., and then check prices at Rail Europe
For any more informations, please do not hesitate to contact us