Costa Verde Express Al Andalus
Embark on a journey aboard El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo, Spain’s most luxurious train, for a memorable trip of 8 days and 7 nights between Santiago de Compostela and San Sebastian.
Your adventure begins in the historic town of Santiago de Compostela and continues through enchanting coastal towns such as Viveiro, Luarca, Oviedo, Bilbao and San Sebastian. Explore the historic monuments, fascinating museums and breathtaking beaches on this once in a lifetime adventure. These magnificent destinations are framed by a luxurious journey on El Transcantabrico, creating an unparalleled travel experience. You will dine on the region’s coveted cuisine, relax in Lounge Cars as the ever-changing scenery speeds by, build friendships with other passengers over drinks, and enjoy nightly performances and parties. However you prefer to pass your time, it will be well-spent on the Gran Lujo.
Day 1 - Saturday: Tour Santiago de Compostela and travel to Viveiro
Cities covered: Santiago de Compostela, Viveiro
Rendezvous at 12:00 pm at hotel Parador de los Reyes Católicos in Santiago de Compostela. Following the reception, enjoy a city tour in this historical town, goal of devotees for over a thousand years, and admire its countless artistic jewels such as the Cathedral. After lunch, our luxury coach will take us to Ferrol, where El Transcantábrico is waiting for us. The crew will offer a welcome drink while the train takes us to the historic town of Viveiro. Enjoy a tour of its beautiful old town. Dinner and overnight in Viveiro.
Day 2 - Sunday: The majestic beauty of Ribadeo and Taramundi
Cities covered: Taramundi, Ribadeo, Luarca, Candas
Just as every day, we begin the journey with a delicious buffet and a la carte breakfast. El Transcantábrico will take us to Ribadeo, a historical town located on the border between Galicia and Asturias. Our coach will take us along the coast to 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 while El Transcantábrico glides in Asturian lands, reaching the town of Luarca, visiting this place known as the White Town of the Green Coast. We will return to the train, now travelling towards Candás. Dinner and overnight in Candás.
Day 3 - Monday: Journey to the elegant city of Oviedo
Cities covered: Gijón, Oviedo
We begin the day discovering Avilés, an ancient city with a precious old town. Next is Gijón, a city that opens up to the Cantabrian Sea and is alive with cultural events. After lunch, trip to the region’s capital, Oviedo, the highlight of Asturian Romanesque art, featuring gems such as the basilica of San Julian de los Prados. City tour and free time before returning to the train. Onboard dinner while the train moves to Arriondas. Overnight in Arriondas.
Day 4 - Tuesday: Deep into the heart of Asturias
Cities covered: Llanes
Today we will visit the heart of the Principality of Asturias. Driving up to the beautiful 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. After lunch, our train will border the famous river Sella where kayaks yearly compete on its famous International Descent. Arriving at Llanes, a charming fishing village on the east of Asturias, visit and enjoy free time in town. Dinner and overnight in Llanes.
Day 5 - Wednesday: Llanes-Potes-Cabezón de la Sal
Cities covered: Potes
During breakfast our train will cross the border into Cantabria. Transfer from Unquera station by coach through the gorge of La Hermida until we reach the town of Potes. After visiting this charming village, enjoy a Spa circuit at La Hermida Spa. Return to the train after lunch and trip to Cabezón de la Sal. In the afternoon there will be free time and you may choose to visit the mansion of El Capricho in the town of Comillas, the impressive and colourful 19th century house designed by Antonio Gaudí. Dinner and overnight in Cabezón de la Sal.
Day 6 - Thursday: Discover Santander's enchanting beauty
Cities covered: Santillana del Mar, Santander
The day begins with a visit to the town of Santillana del Mar with its beautifully preserved medieval town. Next we will be taken on a tour of Altamira Neocave, the finest realistic example of Upper Palaeolithic cave art. After lunch, return to the train to continue our journey to Santander. City sightseeing tour of the elegant capital of Cantabria and free time. Those who wish may visit El Gran Casino after dinner (entrance included). Overnight in Santander.
Day 7 - Friday: Modern city marvels of Bilbao
Cities covered: Bilbao
El Trancantábrico will take us to the dynamic city of Bilbao, that has managed to reinvent itself after the decline of its heavy industry. City tour including admission for the famous Guggenheim Museum, epitome of a new Bilbao. After lunch, enjoy free time before returning to the train. Dinner and overnight in Villasana de Mena/Mercadillo.
Day 8 - Saturday: Your tour ends in San Sebastian
Cities covered: San Sebastián
While enjoying our last breakfast onboard, we will return to Bilbao, where El Transcantábrico’s coach will comfortably take us to San Sebastian. Visit this city of elegant beauty and home to major cultural events. End of trip after the tour in San Sebastian.
The four original 1923 Pullman lounge cars have been specially and exclusively decorated for El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo, making them true railway jewels.
Our lounges are equipped with national and international newspaper, television, a library and collection of board games. The panoramic lounge offers comfortable chairs for you to enjoy a book or watch the beautiful sceneries outside its large windows. Engage in an intimate or private conversation with a friend at the tearoom and in spend a lively evening in the pub, where live music and entertainment are offered. Non-alcoholic beverages are included in your tour but you are welcome to purchase your drinks from the bar. The train is interconnected, allowing guests to freely move from one car to another.
|The rooms of El Transcantabrico are designed for the customers' comfort and privacy. There are 14 rooms on board, a total of 28 guests. This provides customers' with a more private experience. The spacious rooms are elegantly equipped with modern day amenities.
|A suite consists of a sitting area, the sleeping area with either a double bed or two twins, and a spacious and comfortable private bathroom with a hydro-massage shower and steam sauna.
|1 . How big are the suites? The suites on the El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo are 12m2
|2 . What size are the beds in the suites?
The size of the beds depends on the suite you reserve
|3 . Will I have internet connection on the train? The El Transcantabrico train does have wifi in the lounge of the train, although the signal is not strong and may not reach outside of the lounge car. (The signal is also best when the train is stationed.) You may use the computer in the lounge provided for guests' convenience, or you may connect to the train's wifi using your personal laptop, tablet or device.
|4 . I am a US Citizen. Do I need a visa to go to Spain? Citizens of the United States do not need a visa for Spain at the time of this writing. Travelers should check with the local Spanish consulate for Visa requirements. Palace Tours does not provide Visa service.
|5 . How many travelers can fit in each room? In a deluxe room, two people can sleep comfortably. If you need more room, you may upgrade to a suite to comfortably service three people. This option is especially attractive to parents travelling with a child. If you are travelling with more than one child or more than three people, you will need to reserve two rooms.
|6 . Are the cities wheelchair accessible? Yes, they are. Many cities have cobblestone streets and the person with the wheelchair would need someone who is able to help them on these more difficult streets. The monuments are wheelchair accessible, but many do not have elevators and if there is a floor higher than ground level it may not be accessible.
|7 . Is the cuisine in Spain dietary restriction friendly? Spanish cuisine’s staples are often ham, seafood, and wheat products. While being a vegetarian in Spain is not easy, it is doable! One classic dish from Spain is the Spanish omelets, which is made with eggs and potatoes. Now vegetarian restaurants are popping up all over Spain to accommodate more people. You can find other classic dishes made without meat, such as paella and cocido. Before ordering a drink in Andalucia, where a complimentary tapa is customary, be sure to mention any dietary restrictions you may have.
|8 . What type of clothes should we pack? This depends on the time of year you are going. All year long we suggest packing comfortable walking shoes, and in the spring and fall to wear layers. In those seasons it’s often chilly in the morning and warm in the afternoon sun. Sunglasses are recommended as well, as the sun in Spain is very strong.
|9 . Is it customary to tip people in Spain? While the tipping culture is nothing like the United States, it is typical to tip a euro or two at a restaurant if you are a) a large group of people dining, or b) you really loved the service and the restaurant!
On this page, you can find important information and make your reservations online by clicking “Book Now!”
Privilege suite on board El Transcantabrico
Dining car on board the Gran Lujo
El Transcantábrico on the Arija Bridge
Panoramical view of Covadonga, Asturias
Interior of the Covadonga cave, Asturias
El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo’s on board Bar
Luxury Twin Bed Suite
Tea room on board the Gran Lujo
El Transcantabrico’s Lounge car
Lounge on board the Gran Lujo