24th January 2020
Catching a flight isn’t the only way to travel to Menorca, if you’re travelling with pets or have a fear of flying why not consider getting the train to Menorca? Our Director Paul met Jonny who travelled to Menorca by train from the UK and we just had to get in touch with him to hear all about his journey and what he thought about it.
"I really wanted to make the effort to go to Menorca with my family this year as the year before I missed out because I have a fear of flying. I kept thinking how can I get there and then I thought what about the train! Once I did a bit of research to make sure it was even possible, I started to plan my journey. I wasn’t too bothered about how long it would take as I knew that when I got there, I would have a great holiday and could relax.”
Jonny started his journey at Derby train station, and his first train journey was from Derby to London which was with Virgin Trains. "The day started at 7 am, the journey from Derby to London was quick; only one hour and a half.”
From London St. Pancras, Jonny made his way to the Eurostar which was his second leg of the journey. This leg was from London St Pancras Intl to Paris Gare du Nord, and the journey takes approximately 2 hrs and 22 minutes.
"I checked in at the Eurostar terminal in London St. Pancras train station which was very stress-free and straightforward. After just a couple of hours on the Eurostar, which goes so fast it is unbelievable, I arrived in Paris. I had to get to Paris Gare de Lyon to get my next train so I hopped on the underground from Paris Gare du Nord which only took five minutes. Paris Gare du Nord is very well signposted and I found my way around easily.”
From here Jonny took the Renfe SNCF from Paris Gare de Lyon to Barcelona Sants. This train takes roughly 6 hours 40 minutes to 7 hours 40 minutes depending on the train times.
"The train from Paris to Barcelona was on a double-decker train. The journey took around six hours but was fantastic. It was smooth from start to finish and what was even better, the views along the way were breathtaking. You can purchase drinks and food on board and the seats were very comfortable; all in all, it was a joy and very relaxing.”
The last leg of Jonny’s trip was a ferry from Barcelona port to Mahon Harbour. The train arrived in Barcelona in the evening and to make his journey more worthwhile he decided to spend a full day in Barcelona the day after.
"I arrived in the evening in Barcelona and pre-booked a hotel for the night. I had a lovely day in Barcelona the next day and that evening I got the ferry at 11 p.m; it was a sleeper ferry and I had my own cabin with a bed with my ticket. As soon as I got on board and settled, I went straight to sleep and the next thing I knew it, I was in Menorca!
Overall it was a great journey and I’m so glad I did it and managed to go to Menorca and join my family. Travelling to Menorca by train is by no means the quickest way to get there but it certainly was an enjoyable and stress-free journey from start to finish. Also, the great thing about this trip was that it was all booked on my phone which meant I didn't have to print and carry any papers for tickets with me."
Q & A :
We asked Jonny a few questions about the train journey and his holiday in Menorca. We also got some tips for any discerning traveller looking to try this out:
What advice would you give someone who is looking to travel to Menorca by train? In terms of travel, booking tickets, times etc.?
"The best thing to do when travelling by train is to get the Trainline app
on your mobile phone. The app allows you to book tickets, check for train schedules or any delays, and it also held your tickets electronically which was very handy.”
How was it travelling with all your luggage?
"Lucky for me I got my wife to take my belongings with her on the plane, but I don't think it would have been a problem if I had all my luggage with me.
You can take up to two pieces of luggage with you as well as 1 piece of hand-carry on the Eurostar and Renfe. The trains were also very spacious and there were allocated carriages to leave your cases.
On the Transmediterranea ferry, you can take up to 40 kg of luggage on the bridge and 30 kg on the seats. There were luggage rooms in the common areas which are locked during the journey. You just need to take into account the amount that you can move on your own!"
What was the ferry like? Would you recommend it?
"It wasn’t a problem at all. I really recommend the ferry as it was very smooth you could hardly feel it moving. The common areas looked nice and clean and there were lots of seating available. The views were great too."
Have you been to Menorca before?
"No, this was my first trip to Menorca having been recommended by my parents who have been visiting the island for years. My family went the year before without me and I just had to go this time as they loved it all so much. I’d love to visit Menorca again with my whole family.”
Do you think Menorca is family-friendly? If so, why?
"Definitely. The beaches we visited were child-friendly as they weren’t very big and the waters were quite shallow so you could always check on where the kids were. My daughter said this was her favourite holiday so far and she’d love to go back. There are lots for the kids to do, my other daughter, in particular, enjoyed the Waterpark in Binibeca."
How long did you stay in Menorca? Did you do any activities like horse-riding, kayaking etc?
"We stayed for a week. We were very lucky with the weather and the temperatures reached about 35 degrees; it was great! We mainly played in the sea and pool; our main objective was just to chill and relax. Besides the waterpark, we didn’t really get up to much else but when we visit again in the future I’m sure we’ll do more activities."