El Transcantábrico Clásico Santiago to Léon by Luxury Train


8-day Escorted Tour

Luxury

The Tour

Spain’s El Transcantábrico Clásico narrow-gauge luxury train pokes along 400 miles of incredible scenery across the northern coast at 40 mph, skirting coastline, meandering among mountains, following rivers and running along deep canyons. Program includes onboard buffet breakfast and day touring by motorcoach to incredible restaurants and sites not reachable by train. All nights are spent on the train, stationary at quiet sidings. This itinerary will be the Clásico trainset, which has been running this route for years.

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“Restaurants along the way…delight in showing off local delicacies—every imaginable type of seafood, hearty beef, lamb and pork dishes, a variety of sausages, countless cheeses and varied postres or desserts, all accompanied by flowing local wines and liqueurs.”

— Donald Jones, The International Railway Traveler®

“Thanks for another great train trip. We loved it all.”

–– J. Cordukes, Towrang, NSW, Australia, 2010

The Itinerary

Eastbound Itinerary (westbound itinerary starts in León)

Day 1: Santiago de Compostela-Viveiro
Check in with train officials at noon at the Parador in Santiago. City tour of Santiago focusing on the famous cathedral. Lunch in the city, then motorcoach to Ferrol and board El Transcantábrico Clásico. Relax and enjoy the sunset while traveling northeast to the walled town of Viveiro. Tour of Viveiro and dinner.

Day 2: Viveiro-Ribadeo-Luarca-Candás
Continue by train east through scenic river landscapes. Tour of Ribadeo, take a walk on Cathedrals Beach, enjoy lunch and free time. Then travel to Luarca, “the white town of the green coast,” for a brief tour by bus (optional), before the train heads to Candás for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Candás-Avilés-Gijón-Oviedo-Arriondas
The train will depart Candás, and then stop in Avilés for a tour of the old town. Later, arrive in the coastal city of Gijón, the largest in Asturias, for a visit followed by lunch. This afternoon cross green lands to Oviedo, with its array of pre-Romanesque monuments. City tour and free time before returning to the train, where we will have dinner. Overnight in Arriondas.

Day 4: Arriondas-Llanes
Travel to Picos de Europa National Park, a highlight of this journey. Visit Lake Enol (weather permitting) and historic Sanctuary of Covadonga. Return to the train for lunch on board while traveling to the fishing village of Llanes for dinner and overnight.

Day 5: Llanes-Santander
Disembark in Cabezón de la Sal and motorcoach to the Neo-Caves of Altamira with its impressive museum. Continue on to Santillana del Mar for lunch and walking tour of this medieval city. Train to Santander, dinner, city tour and optional visit to local casino.

Day 6: Santander-Bilbao-Burgos
After breakfast on board, we will arrive to Bilbao, a surprising city. City Tour includes the Guggenheim Museum. (Note: if you wish more time in the museum, please advise your guide and go straight to the museum. Also note on westbound departures, the Guggenheim Museum visit is only possible in July & August.) After lunch, enjoy free time. In the afternoon, we approach Villasana de Mena (Burgos), where we have dinner and overnight.

Day 7: Villasana de Mena-Cistierna
We will arrive to Mataporquera in the morning. From there we will drive to visit the Romanesque Art of Palencia: Villalcázar de Sirga, Carrión de los Condes and Frómista. Lunch in Villalcázar de Sirga. In the afternoon we will visit the Roman Villa la Olmeda. From Guardo we will go by train to Cistierna. Dinner and night in Cistierna.

Day 8: Cistierna-León
Enjoy our last breakfast on board before we arrive in San Feliz, where El Transcantábrico’s coach will drive us to León. Enjoy a tour of the old town before the program ends around 1 p.m. before lunch.

The Prices

Other

Extensions: We will customize your extensions pre- and post-train with transfers, hotels, and private guiding. We highly recommend adding Madrid and Barcelona if you have time and budget. And definitely recommend at least 2 nights in Santiago.

Note: Tour priced in Euro. All rates per person. For approximate currency exchange rates, visit http://www.xe.com

Latest News: Click here for our blog about the El Transcantábrico: Santiago to San Sebastian ‘Gran Lujo’ journey.

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The Highlights

Sample Spain’s famed “northern cuisine” with excellent wines at great local restaurants
English-speaking tours of historic, charming cities of northern Spain
Beautiful mountains, rivers, deep canyons, coast lands
Picos de Europa National Park, with its many lakes and rugged peaks
Visit the Neo-Caves of Altamira musuem
All meals and off-train tours included except where noted. Gratuities not included
Extensions in historic paradors pre- and post-tour available
The El Transcantábrico Clásico employs a young, energetic and well-trained staff. Here, Andrea works at the bar in the lounge car. Owen Hardy, IRT
The El Transcantábrico Clásico employs a young, energetic and well-trained staff. Here, Andrea works at the bar in the lounge car. Owen Hardy, IRT
Distances between destinations in N. Spain are not great; still, there is plenty of time on El Transcantábrico Clásico to admire views ranging from rivers and mountains to seascapes. Owen Hardy, IRT
Distances between destinations in N. Spain are not great; still, there is plenty of time on El Transcantábrico Clásico to admire views ranging from rivers and mountains to seascapes. Owen Hardy, IRT
Off-train touring includes walking tours in cities and towns; for longer distances, guests have access to the train's private motor coach. Here, it awaits passengers in Luarca. Owen Hardy, IRT
Off-train touring includes walking tours in cities and towns; for longer distances, guests have access to the train's private motor coach. Here, it awaits passengers in Luarca. Owen Hardy, IRT
Lunches and dinners are taken at world-class restaurants; breakfast is served buffet-style in the dining cars. There's usually plenty of time to relax over coffee. Owen Hardy, IRT
Lunches and dinners are taken at world-class restaurants; breakfast is served buffet-style in the dining cars. There's usually plenty of time to relax over coffee. Owen Hardy, IRT