In Style

EL Transcantabrico – Luxury Rail Cruise

20 to 29 September (escorted) and other dates (not escorted)
Spain

Join us for the most luxurious narrow-gauge rail cruise you could wish to make. With beautiful scenery from Leon through mountains and along the stunning north coast of Spain.

An evocative and pleasant atmosphere, a first-class crew and a tour through the picture-perfect landscape and vast culture of northern Spain, accentuated with superb cuisine. These are the pillars that make every trip on El Transcantabrico Clasico a real pleasure for the senses. Synonymous of elegance and comfort from the beginning, El Transcantabrico Clasico takes travellers back to the Golden Age of the great railway journeys, accompanied by all comforts and services of the 21st century. Its lounge carriages are used to serve à la carte and buffet breakfast such as fine dining and three-course meals designed by our well-known chefs. Magical and evocative area in which you can also enjoy a drink, join in on fun activities or chat with your fellow travellers, while you are transported back in time.

Charming suites decorated in wood panelling providing a pleasant and warm atmosphere. Features include individual climate control and a comfortable double bed, complementary amenities to make your stay even more pleasant such as: a desk, wardrobe, a luggage rack, a minibar and a safe. All suites also feature a complete en-suite bathroom equipped with hydromassage shower/ steam room, hairdryer and a varied set of quality toiletries, with an exclusive fragrance.

El Transcantabrico Clasico makes the trip unique by combining the Cantabrian coast and Castile and Leon. Magnificent scenery, rich cuisine, art and culture are added in this hard to match tour aboard the oldest Spanish Luxury Tourist Train.

Highlights:

  • Spectacular scenery
  • Luxurious train with private en-suite
  • The beautiful city of León
  • The Picos de Europe mountains.
  • Santillana del Mar with its’ medieval houses
  • Rugged coves along the north coast
  • Food and wine of all the different regions that we travel through
  • The pilgrim city of Santiago de Compostela

Tour Manager: Marion. Please feel free to contact our tour manager at marion@ptg.co.uk if you have any questions about this holiday.

Itinerary

Day 1 Friday 20 September: UK – Madrid – León Join us for a pre-tour night in Leon as we fly out of the UK to Madrid then take an intercity train to León. This will give us time to relax and look forward to the start of our luxurious journey through the north of Spain the next day.

Day 2 Saturday 21 September (B,L,D) León-Cistierna Reception meeting and tour of the old town, home to some of the most important monuments in Spain: the Gothic Cathedral, the Romanesque frescoes in the Basilica of San Isidoro and the impressive Plateresque facade of the Hospital of San Marcos. After lunch, board our luxury coach for a short trip to San Feliz, where our train El Transcantábrico will be waiting for us. The crew will offer a welcome drink and we can settle into our suites onboard while the train heads to Cistierna for dinner and overnight onboard.

Day 3  Sunday 22 September (B,L,D) Cistierna-Guardo-Villasana de Mena Just as every day, we begin the journey with a delicious buffet and a la carte breakfast. The El Transcantábrico will travel to Guardo station, from where we will board our coach to visit the Roman villa of La Olmeda in Saldaña and its superb collection of mosaics. Next we will see the best collections of Romanesque Art in Europe, located in the Palencia villages of Carrión de los Condes, Villalcázar de Sirga and Frómista. Return to the train and travel while enjoying the stunning scenery of the valley of Villasana de Mena. Dinner and overnight in Villasana.

Day 4 Monday 23 September (B,L,D) Villasana de Mena-Bilbao-Santander (B,L,D) Train trip to the dynamic city of Bilbao, the largest in the Basque Country that has managed to reinvent itself after the decline of its heavy industry. City tour.  Lunch onboard while travelling to Santander, the elegant capital of Cantabria. City sightseeing tour and free time. After dinner, you may choose to visit El Gran Casino at your own pace (admission included). Overnight in Santander.

Day 5  Tuesday 24 September (B,L,D) Santander-Cabezón de la Sal-Santillana del Mar-Arriondas The El Transcantábrico will travel to Cabezón de la Sal, from where our coach will take us to visit the town of Santillana del Mar with its beautifully preserved medieval town. Next stop at the Neocave of Altamira, the finest realistic example of Upper Palaeolithic cave art. After lunch we will travel into Asturian territory, visiting the village of Ribadesella and its charming promenade. Dinner and overnight in Arriondas.

Day 6 Wednesday 25 September (B,L,D) Arriondas-Oviedo-Candás Today we will visit the heart of the Principality of Asturias, driving up to the Picos de Europa National Park. First stop will be at Lake Enol, followed by the Shrine of Covadonga, where our guide will tell us a bit about this sacred place’s stories and legends. Back onboard for lunch and trip to the region’s capital, Oviedo, exponent of Asturian Romanesque art featuring gems such as the basilica of San Julian de los Prados. City tour and free time. Dinner onboard and overnight in Candás.

Day 7 Thursday 26 September (B,L,D) Candás-Avilés-Gijón-Luarca We begin the day discovering Avilés, an ancient city with a precious old town, and Gijón, a city that opens up to the Cantabrian Sea and is alive with cultural events. After visiting both towns, return to the El Transcantábrico to continue our journey to Luarca, known as the White Town of the Green Coast. Visit this charming town, where will have dinner and stay overnight.

Day 8 Friday 27 September (B,L,D) Luarca-Ribadeo-Viveiro Train trip to the historic town of Ribadeo, in Galician lands, bordering Asturias. Our coach will take us to the Las Catedrales Beach, one of the most spectacular beaches in the world. City sightseeing in Ribadeo and free time. Back on the train for lunch and trip to Viveiro, with city tour and free time. Dinner and overnight in Viveiro.

Day 9 Saturday 28 September (B) Viveiro-Santiago de Compostela While enjoying our last breakfast onboard, we will arrive in Ferrol. Coach trip to Santiago de Compostela. Enjoy a city tour in this historical town, goal of devotees for over a thousand years, and admire its countless artistic jewels. At the end of our rail cruise we have a night in Santiago de Compostela so you can enjoy some free time in this exciting pilgrim city. Or add on extra nights.

Day 10 Sunday 29 September (B) Transfer to the airport for flights back to the UK.

Outward Flights

FR5994 08.25 Stansted to Madrid (arr 12.00)
IB3175 10.40 Heathrow to Madrid (arr 14.10)
IB3715 10.50 Gatwick to Madrid (arr 14.15)
IB3635 10.35 Birmingham to Madrid (arr 14.05)
EZY7103 06.20 Liverpool to Madrid (arr 09.50)
EZY6993 07.30 Edinburgh to Madrid (arr 11.40)

For ALVIA train 17:30 Madrid Charmartin to León (arr 19:49)

Return Flight

FR8379 13.10 Santiago de Compostela to London Stansted (arr 14.20)

For road/rail links to Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Liverpool and connecting flights to Edinburgh.

Place(s) available

Holiday Prices

  • Full 10-day holiday including UK flights: £3,495
  • Full 8-day holiday from León to Santiago: £3,185

Options

  • Single use room/cabin supplement: £1,475
  • Supplement may apply for airports other than Stansted or for late booking

Deposit

  • £500 with flights or £300 if joining in Porto

Price Includes

  • All travel and excursions as outlined in the itinerary
  • Meals as shown in the itinerary: B = breakfast, L – Lunch, D = Dinner
  • Services of our Tour Manager. Holiday is fully escorted
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