El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo – 9 night tour from London by First Class rail on daytime trains
Prices from £5,295 per person
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Experience a unique journey on the meandering metre-wide track of El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo, through magnificent scenery, fabulously diverse cities and culture on this wonderful 9 night / 10 day holiday. Your tour includes beautiful San Sebastian with its impressive architecture and handsome squares. Here you join the beautifully appointed El Transcantabrico train and enjoy 7 nights on board. Take in the incredible beauty of the rugged northern Spanish coast, discovering the incredible sights of this lesser-known region before arriving into the famous pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela, with its Old Town UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This 9 night / 10 day holiday by First Class rail and air with overnight stays in San Sebastian and Santiago de Compostela, 7 nights on board the El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo and a flight* from Santiago to London via Madrid is from £5,495 per person.
*Alternatively, if you would like to return to London by First Class rail from Santiago de Compostela which would include an overnight stay in Barcelona then the price of your holiday would be from £5,750 per person.
A reverse itinerary with flights in both directions is available from £5,295 per person – please see below the itinerary for further details.
Below is the featured itinerary, travelling by rail to San Sebastian and joining El Transcantábrico there. El Transcantábrico sets off one day after the dates shown:
|2020 UK departure date|
|May 8, 22|
|June 5, 19|
|July 3, 17, 31|
|August 14, 28|
|September 11, 25|
|October 9, 23|
Day 1 – London to San Sebastian
Your holiday begins at the beautiful St Pancras International station in the heart of London. Take the time to admire the wonderful architecture of this lovingly-restored building before you join the Eurostar to Paris. Sit back and relax in your spacious Standard Premier Class seat (Eurostar’s First Class for leisure travellers) and make the most of the light meal and drinks. On arrival in Paris your private taxi transfer takes you across the city to the Gare Montparnasse, where you connect with the high-speed service for your onward journey southwards through France. Arriving in Hendaye on the Spanish border, you change trains and continue for the final leg of your journey to San Sebastian. On arrival make your way to your hotel for tonight, the stylish, highly-rated Hotel Astoria 7 (4 star), conveniently located close to the station in this attractive seaside town.
Day 2 – Join El Transcantabrico
Excitement builds today as you attend a special reception to mark the start of your incredible journey on El Transcantabrico. Here you meet the train staff and your fellow travellers, before taking a guided tour of this beautiful city with its attractive golden beaches and handsome grid of 19th century buildings. After lunch in San Sebastian, you are driven by luxury coach to Guetaria, where you can enjoy a guided tour of the town and its Balenciaga Museum. You continue to Bilbao, where El Transcantabrico awaits you. On boarding the train, enjoy a welcome drink with the crew as you begin the first leg of your journey. Before long, enjoy sumptuous fine dining for your first dinner on board. The train then arrives in Carranza, where you spend the night.
Day 3 – Bilbao and Santander
Enjoy a delicious a-la-carte and buffet breakfast on board this morning as return to Bilbao, the bustling capital of Spain’s Basque country. Here you enjoy a tour of this vibrant city, capped with a visit to the iconic Guggenheim Museum, the striking landmark of Bilbao. You then return to the train and enjoy lunch on board, admiring the charming scenery as you travel towards Santander. On arrival you enjoy a tour of this charming port city, which is the capital of Cantabria, followed by free time to explore at your leisure. You spend tonight in Santander, so after dinner you may wish to visit Santander’s Grand Casino – entrance is included.
Day 4 – Potes, thermal baths and El Capricho
This morning the train arrives in Unquera, where you join the luxury coach for a spellbinding journey through the dramatic Desfiladero de la Hermida mountain pass to Potes. Take the time to explore this charming Cantabrian village, before enjoying the thermal baths at the nearby Balneario de la Hermida. Following lunch, you visit the impressive El Capricho in Comillas– this fabulous, colourful palace was designed by Antonio Gaudi, the celebrated Spanish architect. Later you return to the train which is stabled in Cabezón de la Sal for the night.
Day 5 – Santillana del Mar
Today you visit the town of Santillana del Mar with its beautifully preserved medieval quarter. Next stop is the Neocave of Altamira, the finest realistic example of Upper Palaeolithic cave art. After lunch you return to the train and travel into the enchanting lands of Asturias. Your overnight stay this evening is in Llanes.
Day 6 – The Picos de Europa National Park
Today you discover more of the Principality of Asturias, as you take a journey by coach up to the Picos de Europa National Park. The first stop is picturesque Lake Enol before a visit to the sacred place of the Shrine of Covadonga to hear its legendary tales. Lunch is served on board El Transcantabrico before your journey to the region’s capital, Oviedo, the highlight of Asturian Romanesque art, featuring gems such as the basilica of San Julián de los Prados. This afternoon you can enjoy some free time or join a tour of the city before dinner is served this evening back on board. Tonight the train stops in Candás.
Day 7 – Avilés, Gijón and Luarca
Today you have the chance to discover 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, you return to El Transcantábrico to continue the journey to Luarca, known as the White Town of the Green Coast. After a guided tour, this evening you have some more free time to explore this charming town, where you will also have dinner and stay overnight.
Day 8 – Ribadeo and Viveiro
Enjoy breakfast this morning as you journey to the historic town of Ribadeo, in the Galician lands, bordering Asturias. The luxurious coach will then pick you up for the tour along the coast to Las Catedrales Beach, one of the most spectacular beaches in the world. You might like to spend this afternoon sightseeing in Ribadeo before you return back to the train for lunch and continue the journey to Viveiro, for an evening city tour before dinner and your overnight stay.
Day 9 – Santiago de Compostela
Savour your final breakfast on board before the train makes its final stop in Ferrol, where you bid farewell and join the comfortable coach trip to Santiago de Compostela. Here you are provided with a city tour in this historical town, goal of devotees for over a thousand years, where you can admire its countless artistic jewels. After the tour make your own way to the AC Palacio del Carmen Autograph Collection (5 star), a stylishly decorated former convent, ideally located near the centre of historic Santiago de Compostela and your hotel for tonight. This evening choose from a wide range of restaurants on offer for dinner.
Day 10 – Homeward bound
Today you check out of the hotel and make your way to the airport, for your flight back to the UK via Madrid with British Airways.
Alternative Option – Day 10 – Santiago de Compostela to Barcelona via Madrid
This morning after breakfast head to Santiago de Compostela station for the high-speed journey back to Madrid, where you change trains for the onward service to Barcelona. You arrive into Barcelona in time for dinner or tapas before you settle into your hotel for the night at the elegant, highly-rated Nobu Hotel (5 star), ideally located next to Barcelona Sants train station, within a short metro ride from the centre of the city.
Alternative Option – Day 11 – Barcelona to London via Paris
This morning after breakfast make your way back to Barcelona Sants station for your journey to Paris. You travel north on the superfast TGV as it speeds you through Spain, into France and onto Paris. On arrival at the Gare de Lyon you are met by your private taxi which transfers you across Paris to the Gare du Nord for your return journey. Here you join the Eurostar service and head for home. Take time to reflect on the magnificent sights, sounds and tastes you have enjoyed on your holiday as you sit back and relax with a light meal and drinks before your arrival into London St Pancras and the final stage of your journey home.
Follow the itinerary on El Transcantábrico in reverse from £5, 295 per person
Please note it is possible to travel on El Transcantábrico from Santiago de Compostela to San Sebastian on selected dates.
On this itinerary, you fly from Gatwick to Santiago de Compostela on an early morning flight, with Easyjet before heading directly to the train. At the end of the 7 nights on El Transcantábrico, you leave the train in San Sebastian and take the scheduled rail service (Standard Class only) to Bilbao. Here you spend the night at the Barcelo Bilbao Nervion (4 star), located close to the station.
The following morning – Day 9 – you fly from Bilbao to London Gatwick with British Airways. The price for this 8 night / 9 day option starts from £5,295 per person; please contact us for more details.
El Transcantábrico travels in this reverse direction on the following dates – please note this is the same date as the departure from the UK:
|2020 UK departure date|
|May 2, 16, 30|
|June 13, 27|
|July 11, 25|
|August 8, 22|
|September 5, 19|
|October 3, 17|
Your stay on-board the El Transcantábrico
The oldest tourist train in Spain, El Transcantábrico, is synonymous with elegance and comfort, and takes travellers back to the golden age of the great railway journeys, accompanied by all comforts and services of the 21st century. Its lounges and cabins, carefully remodelled and decorated, display all their majesty on the winding metre-rail tracks. An evocative and pleasant atmosphere, a first-class crew and the rich culture and cuisine of Castile and Leon, the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia are the pillars that make every trip on El Transcantábrico Clásico a real pleasure for the senses. Each cabin is fully-equipped to enjoy a comfortable stay onboard. All have independent air conditioning and a full ensuite bathroom. The elegant and evocative lounge carriages are used to serve breakfast, lunch or dinner, to enjoy a drink or to socialise with fellow travellers.