We want to travel (via France) in Spain and Portugal with the interrail-ticket in July and August.
Do you have any tips for these countries?
For example we found out that in France they only have limited capacities for interrailers and now we are way too late for reserving high-speed-trains in France, which is a big problem. If we would have known that earlier… So maybe there are similar things we should know about Spain and Portugal?
E.g. is it true that we can reserve seats only at local train stations in Spain and Portugal? Is it possible that then they are sold out as well?
Is it possible to explore also smaler towns and villages with the interrail-ticket in these countries or is the railroad network too bad? Are there maybe buses we are allowed to use?
Thanks a lot for sharing your experience!
In domestic trains in France, only the 10€ reservations have limited availability. When they are sold out, you can book reservations for 20€ until the train is full (but not on the Interrail website, because of a long standing bug). Some trains are already full though; it is very busy this summer. You can book them by phone via SNCF (press #85 for English, no booking fees, reservations are sent via e-mail). You can check availability here.
For international trains from/to France with mandatory reservations, there are limited pass holder seats available, which will sell out before the train is full.
In domestic trains in Spain and Portugal, pass holder seats are not quota-controlled, so you can book them until the train is full.
Reservations for Portugal can only be done in Portugal. It doesn't have to be at the station where the train leaves, you can do it at other ticket offices too.
For domestic Spanish trains, there are some more possibilities. And in this post you'll find known ways to book the high speed trains between Spain and France. Interesting for you is that DB can also book these (but not online).