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.
“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
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 the 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-Luarca
Continue by train east through scenic river landscapes. Tour of Ribadeo, take a walk on Cathedral’s Beach, enjoy lunch. Then travel to Luarca, “the white town of the green coast,” for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Oviedo-Gijón
The train will depart to Candás, and then to Avilés. Arrive in the coastal city of Gijón, largest in Asturias, for a visit followed by lunch. You may wish to spend your time in Gijón at the local railway museum. This afternoon cross green lands to Oviedo, with its array of pre-Romanesque monuments. Dinner in Oviedo.
Day 4: Gijón-Llanes
Travel to “Picos de Europa” National Park, a highlight of this journey. Visit lakes and historic Sanctuary of Covadonga and the town of Cangas de Onís, with its famous Roman Bridge. Return to the train for lunch on board while traveling to the fishing village of Llanes for dinner.
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.) Lunch on board the train, a highlight of the journey. 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
By train we travel to León. Our city tour includes San Isidoro, the Cathedral, Botines, Old Quarters and San Marcos. The program is over by about 1 p.m. before lunch.
2019 Dates:Eastbound (Santiago to León):
May 11, 25
June 8, 22
July 6, 20
September 14, 28
Westbound (León to Santiago):
June 1, 15, 29
July 13, 27
September 7, 21
Please note: we cannot hold space on this train. A 40% deposit will be required immediately to confirm your cabin.
Prices are per person.
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.