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TRANS-CANTÁBRICO LUXURY TRAIN

When the journey is the train itself. Step on board the Transcantábrico Luxury Train by Renfe and enjoy the delights of traveling aboard the oldest luxury tourist train in Spain. Let yourself be swept away on a unique 8 days / 7 nights journey through Cantabrian and Castilian lands, following the meandering narrow tracks. Our partner Renfe Luxury Trains will bring you along a perfect combination of scenery, cuisine and culture that travels from the inland sites of Burgos, Palencia and León, up the coast through the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias... to finish in Santiago de Compostela!

Only €3.500 per person sharing!

  • THE TRANSCANTÁBRICO LUXURY TRAIN INCLUDES

    • Accommodation on-board in Standard Suite.
    • A la carte and buffet breakfasts every day.
    • All dinners and lunches, with the finest cuisine aboard the train or in top restaurants (including wine, water, soft drinks and coffee).
    • Welcome drink and snack.
    • Farewell dinner – gala party.
    • Traveling toiletries bag courtesy of Renfe Viajeros (with amenities and slippers).
    • Free mineral water available in the cabin’s mini-bar.
    • Activities on board: music and live performances, parties in the pub car, show cooking and cocktails, dancing, etc.
    • Tickets to museums, attractions and shows.
    • Excursions and scheduled tours.
    • Taxes and services.
    • Daily newspapers and magazines.
    • On-board security service, expedition Leader, guide, waiters, cooks, technicians.
    • Multilingual accompanying guide throughout the tour.
    • 50% Off first-class RENFE train tickets to and from arrival/departure points to join the El Transcantábrico.

    price & dates

    Several departures scheduled in 2017 which can be joined for 4, 5 or 8 days:

    8 days / 7 nights
    Month Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
    Santiago to Leon 29 13 10 - 24 8 19 16 - 30 14
    Leon to Santiago 6 - 20 17 1 12 9 - 23 7 -21
    5 days / 4 nights
    Santiago to Santander 29 13 10 - 24 8 19 16 - 30 14
    Santander to Santiago 9 - 23 20 4 15 12 - 26 10 - 24
    4 days / 3 nights
    Leon to Santander 6 - 20 17 1 12 9 - 23 7 -21
    Santander to Leon 3 - 17 14 - 28 12 23 20 4 - 18

    You can also hire the Transcantábrico Train exclusively for groups to a maximum of 46 people Business trips, leisure, conferences, incentives, product launches or filming are only some of the many activities that you can do on board.

    2017 rates 8 days 5 days 4 days
    Price per person sharing 3.500 €2.000 €1.500
    Single room supplement €1.750 €1.000 €750

    Contact us for further pricing details including travel insurance, extra nights in Spain and stop-overs.

    •   fact file

      Accommodation  Standard Suite in the Transcantábrico
      Duration  8 days / 7 nights
      Starts  Leon
      Stops  La Olmeda in Saldaña, Carrión de los Condes, Frómista, Villasana de Mena, Bilbao, Santander, Santillana del Mar, Altamira caves, Ribadesella, Picos de Europa, Oviedo, Avilés, Ribadeo, Viveiro, Ferrol
      Ends  Santiago de Compostela
    • highlights

      Go back to the Golden Age of the great railway journeys.
      All visits, meals and tours are included.
      Discover the best of the Northern Spanish Coast in a unique way
      Operated by Renfe Luxury Trains

Looking for a different journey? Ask us about the other great Spanish train journeys including the Transcantábrico Gran Lujo (same itinerary starting in San Sebastian but in a superior train and Deluxe Suites), Al Andalus Train in Andalusia and the Express de la Robla in Asturias.

what to expect on this tour?

On the Transcantábrico you will enjoy the trip itself, where the most important thing is not the destination but the journey and the enchanting way of moving. You will be seduced by every moment: the rich diversity of the northern landscapes, its rugged lines and spectacular coastal mountains, meadows, roads, forests and rivers that appear through our window like a sequence of postcards, each as stunning as the next. A week long voyage that will bring you closer to the Cantabrian coast aboard the fanciest palace on wheels, enjoying all the service and attention of Renfe’s Luxury Tourist Trains.

Note: The stops and activities detailed in the tour itinerary have been put together by Renfe Luxury Tourist Trains and can be subject to change. Ask us for a final itinerary and dates!

About the Transcantábrico train

The Transcantábrico Luxury Train started in 1983 as a risky and innovative bid, becoming the first tourist train of Spain. The initiative was a success, and after years of improvement, today it is a prestigious product with international recognition. 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 Transcantábrico a real pleasure for the senses.

Synonymous of elegance and comfort from the beginning, the Transcantábrico takes travelers back to the Golden Age of the great railway journeys, accompanied by all comforts and services of the 21st century. Its lounges are used to serve à la carte and buffet breakfast such as fine dinning 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-travelers, while you are transported back in time.

Sleep in luxury suites on-board

Each cabin of the Transcantábrico is fully equipped to enjoy a comfortable stay on board. You will be sleeping in charming suite decorated in wood providing a pleasant and warm atmosphere. It features 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 mini-bar and a safe.

All suites also feature a complete en-suite bathroom equipped with hydro-massage shower/ steam room, hairdryer and a varied set of quality toiletries, with an exclusive fragrance.

A magical way of traveling

During the day and after enjoying a delicious a la carte or buffet breakfast, you will take the programmed guided tours always accompanied by our multilingual guide. Our private coach will take you comfortably to each of the attractions of the tour.

The day ends with dinner, after which you will enjoy an evening of entertainment in good company. Train refined salons are spaces full of charm where you can relax with the fellow-travelers. Every evening there is on-board entertainment, various live performances, and also culture and gastronomic activities. You can choose to have drink at the train lounges, rest in your suite or go for a stroll in the town we are spending the night in.

The train departs the next morning as it remains parked at night to ensure passengers a good night’s rest. In general, comfortable clothing and shoes are recommended for the daytime when we are out on excursions. At night you can opt for more formal attire, although no particular dress code is required at any time.

delicious and traditional dishes on-board

The renowned Spanish cuisine with its delicious and traditional dishes is one of the references of the Transcantábrico Luxury Train. Both in the dining cars and in the distinguished restaurants, the innovative cuisine of northern Spain encompasses a culinary as well as a cultural trip.

Dishes like Asturian fabada (stew), mountain cocido, baked fish, desserts like frixuelos (local crepes) or San Marcos cake, renowned Galician seafood, anchovies from Cantabria or Castilian lamb are just some small samples of the extensive and mouth-watering culinary offerings. All of this accompanied by the finest wines from different wine regions in northern Spain.

We cater for vegetarians, vegans and any special dietary requirements or allergies. Just let us know beforehand so we can advise the chefs.

Add extra days or activities for an unforgettable adventure

Why not take advantage of the fact you are in the Iberian peninsula to do some tourism and visit Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona or any Spanish city on your bucket list? If you start in Leon your closest arrival airport is Madrid and your departure airport is Santiago de Compostela, if you start in Santander the closest International Airport is Bilbao but you might want to opt for other airports to visit another region or add nights somewhere on your stopover towards the Camino.

We can help you choose and book those extra nights before or after your tour and organize day tours around Galicia (Cies Islands, Oporto...) or around Pamplona (San Sebastian, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Biarritz). Check out our selection of Day Tours in Galicia and European Stop-Overs or let your imagination run wild and let us know let us know how you would like to make this tour unique.

THE TRANSCANTÁBRICO LUXURY TRAIN DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

Starting in León and ending in Santiago de Compostela (or vice versa), your journey will take you, literally, to the edge of the rugged Cantabrian coast, pearly coves and cliffs. You will visit the historical land of Castilla and Leon, full of diversity and contrasts, and discover Santiago de Compostela, ancient destination of pilgrims and the fishing villages of Ribadesella, Candás, Luarca and Ribadeo. Visit Oviedo and its elegant palaces, Gijon with its beach in the middle of the town. The rock art in Altamira will amaze visitors. You will enjoy a different evening at the Casino in Santander and walk around the dynamic city of Bilbao. A close look to Castilla will be taken across the stunning scenery of Valle de Mena, to see the remains of Romanesque Palencia and the Roman villa of La Olmeda, and end your tour in the monumental city of Leon.

Map of the Transcantabrico Luxury Train Journey

DAY 1 - SATURDAY - LEÓN - CISTIERNA

Rendez-vous at 12:00 at the hotel Parador San Marcos in León, one of the most extraordinary historic hotels on the Old Continent and you will recognize it from the movie “The Way” where Martin Sheen splurges for one night. Reception and tour of the old town, home to some of the most important monuments in Spain: the Gothic Cathedral filled with more than 100 stained glass windows, 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 on-board while the train heads to Cistierna, a small village North of Leon, for dinner and overnight on-board.

DAY 2 - SUNDAY - 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 30km East to Guardo station in the province of Palencia, from where we will board our coach to visit the palatial Late Antique 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.

The coach will then bring us back to the train and we will ride North East a couple hours to the stunning valley of Villasana de Mena, half way to the coast. Dinner and overnight in Villasana.

DAY 3 - MONDAY - VILLASANA DE MENA - BILBAO - SANTANDER

After a short 45 km ride, we will reach the dynamic city of Bilbao, the largest in the Basque Country that has managed to reinvent itself after the decline of its heavy industry. We will gather for a guided tour of the Ensanche and the Old Town. If you travel in July and August, a ticket to Guggenheim Museum is included (it is closed on Mondays the rest of the year), epitome of a new Bilbao.

We will then have lunch on-board while traveling 1h30 to Santander, the elegant capital of Cantabria. Here, we will go for a city sightseeing tour and enjoy some free time to go shopping or to the beach. After dinner, you may choose to visit El Gran Casino at your own pace (admission included). Overnight in Santander.

DAY 4 - TUESDAY - SANTANDER - CABEZÓN DE LA SAL - SANTILLANA DEL MAR - ARRIONDAS

The El Transcantábrico will travel West 1h to the train station of Cabezón de la Sal, from where our coach will take us to visit the town of Santillana del Mar, a beautiful medieval town which was developed around the collegiate church of Santa María. Its various defense towers and Renaissance palaces make Santillana one of the most important historical areas of Cantabria. However, this Cantabrian town houses its greatest treasure on the outskirts: the Altamira caves, known as the “Sistine Chapel of the Paleolithic Age” and declared World Heritage, which we will discover on a guided tour.

After lunch we will travel 1h West into Asturian territory, visiting the fishing village of Ribadesella and its charming promenade. Dinner and overnight 20min away in Arriondas.

DAY 5 - WEDNESDAY - ARRIONDAS - OVIEDO - CANDÁS

Today, we will visit the heart of the Principality of Asturias, driving up to the Picos de Europa National Park. The protected surroundings of the Picos de Europa mountains lie across three provinces in northern Spain: Cantabria, Asturias and León. This was the first National Park to be declared in Spain and there is no doubt that its natural richness and outstanding scenery make it a truly unique place.

First stop will be at Lake Enol, followed by the Shrine of Covadonga, where our guide will tell us about this sacred place’s stories and legends. Back on-board for lunch while the train travels further West 1h to the region’s capital, Oviedo, exponent of Asturian Romanesque art featuring gems such as the basilica of San Julian de los Prados. We will gather for another guided tour and you will have the afternoon free to stroll the Old Town. Dinner on-board and overnight in Candás, 30min South.

DAY 6 - THURSDAY - CANDÁS - AVILÉS- GIJÓN - LUARCA

We begin the day discovering Avilés, an old seafaring and farming town, it is now a modern city and a major iron and steel center, a product of demographic growth and the industrial boom. Avilés is the third major city in the Principality of Asturias. Its historic quarter has been declared a Historic-Artistic Site, since it houses significant gems of civil and religious architecture.

Following the shores of the Cantabrian Sea, we reach Gijón, an attractive combination of maritime tradition, monumental heritage and modern urban planning. Its various major constructions date from the city's past as a Roman settlement, from its development in the 16th century when the Catholic monarchs decided to install a port here, and from the boom enjoyed by the area at the time of the Enlightenment, primarily thanks to Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos. The El Transcantábrico will then bring us in 1h West to Luarca, known as the White Town of the Green Coast. We will have free time to visit this charming town before having dinner on-board.

DAY 7 - FRIDAY - LUARCA - RIBADEO - VIVEIRO

Train trip to the historic town of Ribadeo, 50 km West, in Galicia on the other side of the Asturian border. Our coach will take us to the Cathedrals Beach (la Playa de la Catedrales), one of the most spectacular beaches in the world with dozens of natural arches and caves, which can be seen only in low tide. After some beach-time, we will discover beautiful Ribadeo and enjoy some free time before heading back on the train for lunch.

Our train will ride 1h to Viveiro, where we will spend the evening. The Viveiro estuary is the biggest one in the Cantabrian Sea, into which the Landro river flows. Viveiro, at its mouth, is the most important city in the whole region of A Mariña. Viveiro has a very significant artistic heritage, beginning with the remains of its medieval wall, which withstood numerous pirate attacks in the 16th century, as well as fires and floods. Dinner and overnight in Viveiro.

DAY 8 - SATURDAY - VIVEIRO - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

While enjoying our last breakfast on-board, we will arrive in Ferrol, a major naval shipbuilding center for most of its history, being the capital of the Spanish Navy's Maritime Department of the North since the time of the early Bourbons. The coach will then bring us on our last journey for 1h30 to Santiago de Compostela, the City of the Apostle Saint James.

We will gather for a last guided tour of the Old Town before ending the tour and we highly recommend spending at least one night in the Parador of Santiago de Compostela.

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