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Foodie cities in Spain and France

Biscayan Foodie Dream

The Bay of Biscay straddles northeastern Spain and southwestern France, and it’s a veritable foodie haven. The ocean delivers fresh seafood, and the temperate climate and good rains mean year round produce. Here’s how to travel by train between the top foodie cities in Spain and France.


1. Madrid, Spain

Madrid is a convenient starting point for any journey in Spain, and you can’t discount its food scene either. The large city is home to popular tapas restaurants and various markets serving delicious food and selling fresh ingredients.

How to get there

Madrid is a major airline hub making arrival by plane easy. There are also regular rail connections from France and Portugal, and within Spain.



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2. Bilbao, Spain

This industrial port city is surrounded by idyllic mountains. It’s also the perfect place to whet your appetite with the region’s famous pintxos. Bilbao is packed full of pintxos bars serving up everything from wild mushroom croquettes to famous potato omelettes.

How to get there

There are direct trains from Madrid-Chamartin to Bilbao up to twice daily. The journey takes approximately 5 hours.



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3. San Sebastian, Spain

San Sebastian is a beautiful, sedate beach town by day, vibrant foodie heaven by night. The historic old town has one of the highest concentrations of Michelin Star restaurants in the world. There are also dozens of low-key pintxos bars to try out. It’s equally rewarding for non-foodies — surfing, history, bars, and spectacular mountain hikes will keep you busy.

How to get there

There are up to four daily trains between Bilbao and San Sebastian. Most trains require a change in Miranda de Ebro and the journey takes approximately 4 hours.



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4. Biarritz, France

The graceful town of Biarritz is perfectly located on the Bay of Biscay and is a popular beach and surfing destination. It’s also a remarkably scenic region of France. But it’s the Basque influence on the cuisine that make it a thrill for food lovers. It's sure to be a highlight on your trip through the foodie cities in Spain and France.

How to get there

There is one convenient train between San Sebastian and Biarritz per day which leaves at 10:55 AM. The journey takes approximately 3 hours and requires a change in Hendaye.


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5. Bayonne, France

The narrow medieval streets and beautiful river make this a particularly appealing small city in southwest France. Cathedrals, castles and museums can keep you busy during the day, but it’s the restaurants serving Basque food with locally sourced ingredients that’ll have you salivating by nightfall.

How to get there

The train between Biarritz and Bayonne runs throughout the day and takes just 19 minutes.


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6. Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux’s wines are among the best in the world, and the vibrant city offers easy proximity to these. Even if you can’t get to the wine farms, the bars and restaurants in this reinvigorated French city serve them up at competitive prices in unique environments. It's a fantastic way to end your tour of the top foodie cities in Spain and France.

How to get there

There are trains to Bordeaux around every hour. The journey takes approximately 1 hour 50 minutes.



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Interrail Spain Pass



Interrail France Pass

Cover more ground

Eat your way around the Bay Of Biscay with a convenient Interrail Global Pass. You'll be able to move with ease between the great foodie cities in Spain and France!


Interrail Global Pass