Greentraveller's Guide to travelling from the UK to the island of Ibiza, Spain without flying.
The quickest way to travel to Ibiza without flying is travel by train to Barcelona then take an overnight ferry from Barcelona to Ibiza. There are two ways to do this (both require an overnight stay in a hotel), either:
a) take train from London to Barcelona (arrives same day), stay overnight in Barcelona, then spend the day in Barcelona and catch the overnight ferry to Ibiza.
b) take train from London to Paris, stay overnight in Paris, then take the train down to Barcelona in time to catch the overnight ferry to Ibiza.
Journey Time: from 36 hours
Sample timetable: a) Depart London 10.24am, arrive Barcelona 9.46pm; overnight in Barcelona then evening ferry departing that evening at 10pm across to Ibiza, arriving 7am the following morning, OR b) Depart London 3.31pm, arrive Paris 6.52pm; overnight in Paris then take the 10.14am train down to Barcelona arriving at 4.53pm in time to catch the evening ferry departing 10pm across to Ibiza, arriving 7am the following morning,
Transfer: Change of train in Paris (Paris Gare du Nord to Paris Gare de Lyon) to Barcelona and transfer from train to ferry within Barcelona for onward ferry to Ibiza.
Frequency of Departures: 15/day trains to Barcelona, 6-7/week overnight ferries to Ibiza
Carbon emissions: train leg is 7kg (flight would be 180kg)*
Car hire at Ibiza ferry terminal: Yes
What's the journey like?
It is possible to travel from London to Barcelona in a day by train from where you can stay overnight then catch the ferry as a foot passenger across to Ibiza the following evening. You have to change stations in Paris from Gare du Nord to Gare de Lyon, which can take about half an hour on the Paris RER line (it's only two stops, though we recommend you leave at least 50 minutes for the entire transfer - you have about an hour and a half to get the connection, though you could get an earlier train and spent a bit more time in Paris, e.g. have lunch at the wonderful Train Bleu Restaurant in Gare de Lyon). See our guide to How to transfer between train stations across Paris. At Gare de Lyon, you board a TGV high speed train to 'Barcelona Sants' station.
Stopover hotels to break the journey in Paris
If you want to break the journey and stay overnight to see a bit more of Paris while you're travelling through, there are lots of lovely places to stay near both Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon. Here are some examples of hotels that are conveniently near these stations:
Miss your connection in Paris?
Don’t panic. Railteam’s ‘Hop on the Next Available Train’ service means that if you have missed your connection between high speed trains because of a delay on the preceding leg of your journey, you’ll automatically be put on the next available high-speed train. NB Remember to get your ticket stamped by your Train Manager. Whenever you’re connecting, always remember to validate your onward train ticket at the machine on the platform before departing (these are often coloured yellow).
On arrival at Barcelona Sants station
There are plenty of hotels close to the station, see: Hotels near to Barcelona Sants train station. See our guide to travelling by train from London to Barcelona for more information about how to. get around Barcelona by metro and bike.
Ferry from Barcelona to Ibiza
There are two well-established ferry companies that run overnight ferries from Barcelona to Ibiza - Trasmediterranea and Baleria (NB. neither run day time ferry services from Barcelona to Ibiza). The overnight journey takes approximately 9 hours arrive about 6.30/7am at Ibiza's main harbour.