El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo: Santiago-San Sebastián Luxury Train
- Sample Spain’s famed “northern cuisine” at a variety of unique locales
- Expert, English-speaking tours of historic, charming cities of northern (or “Green”) Spain, where Spaniards go on holiday
- Beautiful mountains, rivers, deep canyons
- All meals, wine with meals and off-train tours included
- Evening entertainment in the lounge car — music and dancing
- Visit the famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
Northern Spain’s luxurious El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo, a gem of a train, travels slowly between Santiago and San Sebastián, along northern “Green Spain,” stopping for exceptional meals to explore local cuisine. Fresh ingredients and fine wines enhance the dining experiences—a highlight of this tour.
The narrow-gauge train takes only 28 passengers, and thereby offers an intimate travel experience. The consist includes a panoramic lounge car, two dining cars and a bar car where music or live entertainment is offered each night.
Latest News: Read our blog post, Gran Lujo: A Grand Upgrade.
Day 1: Santiago de Compostela-Viveiro
Meet your group at noon today in the lobby of the Santiago Parador. City tour of Santiago de Compostela, focusing on the famous Cathedral, followed by lunch in the city. Then motorcoach to Ferrol and board El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo. Sip welcome champagne while traveling northeast to the walled town of Viveiro for a tour, dinner and overnight on board.
Day 2: Viveiro-Ribadeo-Luarca-Candás
Continue by train east to Ribadeo. Disembark and travel by coach to Las Caterales Beach, one of the most spectacular beaches in Europe. City sightseeing of Ribadeo and free time before lunch. Then travel to Luarca, “the white town of the green coast,” for an optional, panoramic bus tour. Continue along to Candás for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Candás-Avilés-Gijón-Oviedo-Arriondas
Begin the day discovering Avilés and its well preserved old town. Continue to the coastal city of Gijón, the largest in Asturias, for a visit followed by lunch. This afternoon, arrive Oviedo, with its array of pre-Romanesque monuments, for a city tour. Dinner on board while the train moves to Arriondas, where we will spend the night.
Day 4: Arriondas-Llanes
Travel to Picos de Europa National Park, a highlight of this journey. Visit Lake Enol (weather permitting) and the historic Shrine of Covadonga. After lunch, the train will travel along the river Sella, where kayaks compete annually in the famous International Descent. We will arrive in the charming fishing village of Llanes for a visit, free time, dinner, and overnight.
Day 5: Llanes-Potes-Cabezón de la Sal
During breakfast our train will cross the border from Asturias to Cantabria. Transfer by coach through the gorge of La Hermida until we reach the town of Potes. After visiting this charming town, enjoy a spa circuit at La Hermida Spa. Return to the train after lunch for the trip to Cabezón de la Sal. Free time this afternoon. You may choose to visit the mansion of El Capricho in the town of Comillas–an impressive and colorful 19th-century house designed by Antonio Gaudí. Dinner and overnight in Cabezón de la Sal.
Day 6: Cabezón de la Sal-Santander
Morning and lunch in medieval town of Santillana del Mar, including Altamira Cave Museum. The site features a reproduction cave with wall paintings done 14,000 years ago. Train to Santander for city tour, dinner, and optional visit to local casino (entrance included). Overnight in Santander.
Day 7: Santander-Bilbao-Karrantza
Breakfast on board while traveling to Bilbao. City tour includes admission to the famous Guggenheim Museum. Lunch and free time in Bilbao. The train then travels to Karrantza for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Karrantza-San Sebastián
This morning, as we enjoy our last breakfast on board, the train returns to Bilbao, where a motorcoach will take us to San Sebastián, a lively cultural city with beautiful beaches and excellent restaurants. We’ll have a city tour, then say goodbye approximately 1 p.m. before lunch.
Day 1: San Sebastián – Karrantza
Meet your tour group and train manager at 12 noon at Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastián. Enjoy a welcome, guided tour and lunch in San Sebastián, a city of coastal beauty and home to major cultural events. Transfer by luxury coach to Bilbao, where the El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo train is waiting. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet the train crew before settling into your private cabin. The train will then head to Carranza while your first dinner is served on board. Overnight in Karrantza.
Day 2: Bilbao - Santander
Return to Bilbao while enjoying breakfast on the train. City tour, which includes admission to the famous Guggenheim Museum, iconic symbol of Bilbao. Late morning we will set off to Santander with spectacular views while lunching on board. Enjoy a panoramic visit to this elegant capital of Cantabria, followed by free time. Those who wish may visit El Gran Casino after dinner. Overnight in Santander.
Day 3: Santander - Cabezón de la Sal
The train travels to Unquera station; from here we will travel by coach through the gorge of La Hermida to Potes, known for its bridges and towers. After visiting this charming village, enjoy the thermal baths at Balneario de la Hermida. Return to the train after lunch and travel to El Capricho, in Comillas; a fantastic and colorful 19th-century palace designed by Antonio Gaudí. Dinner and overnight stay in Cabezón de la Sal.
Day 4: Cabezón de la Sal – Llanes
The day begins with a visit of Santillana del Mar, with its beautifully preserved medieval old town. Next enjoy a tour of Altamira Neocave, a museum and scientific reproduction of the finest Upper Paleolithic rock art ever found. After lunch, return to the train to enter the enchanting lands of Asturias on the way to Llanes. Dinner and overnight stay in Llanes.
Day 5: Llanes - Candás
During breakfast, the train will arrive in Arriondas and the coach will take us into the heart of the Picos de Europa National Park. Visit Lake Enol and then the Covadonga Sanctuary, a sacred place full of tradition and legends. Return to the train to have lunch on board on the way to Oviedo, the capital of the Asturias Principality and the heart of pre-Romanesque Asturias, with treasures such as San Julián de los Prados. Visit and free time. Dinner and overnight stay in Candás.
Day 6: Candás - Gijón - Luarca
The day begins in Avilés; a millenary town with a well-preserved and valuable historical center. Our next stop is Gijón; a city that is wide open to the great Cantabrian Sea and hosts many cultural events. Back on board we travel to the Asturias coast to Luarca, the ‘white village on the green coast’, for a guided tour in this charming seaside town. Dinner and overnight stay in Luarca.
Day 7: Luarca - Ribadeo - Viveiro
We travel through the western Asturias to Ribadeo, the first Galician town on our route. Our coach takes us to Las Catedrales Beach, one of the most spectacular beaches in the world when the sea is at low tide. Sightseeing of Ribadeo and lunch. Back on the train, travel to Viveiro. Guided city tour, dinner and overnight in Viveiro.
Day 8: Viveiro - Santiago de Compostela
The train will travel from Viveiro to Ferrol while we enjoy our last breakfast on board. By coach we will reach the final destination of our journey, Santiago de Compostela, destination of pilgrims for a millennium, a city full of artistic jewels. Tour Santiago de Compostela, including the magnificent cathedral. Trip ends around 1 p.m. in Santiago.
Dates & Prices
April 30 - May 7 *
May 7 - 14
May 14 - 21 *
May 21 - 28
May 28 - June 4 *
June 4 - 11
June 11 - 18 *
June 18 - 25
June 25 - July 2 *
July 2 - 9
July 9 - 16 *
July 16 - 23
July 23 - 30 *
July 30 - August 6
September 3 - 10 *
September 10 - 17
September 17 - 24 *
September 24 - October 1
October 1 - 8 *
October 8 - 15
October 15 - 22 *
October 22 - 29
October 29 - November 5 *
*This trip runs San Sebastián to Santiago.
- Tour priced in Euro. View approximate exchange rates.
- All prices are per person.
- Please Note: We cannot hold space on this train. A 40% deposit will be required immediately to confirm your cabin.
- Specify preference at time of booking: twin-bedded cabin or double-bedded cabin.
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Reviews From Our Travelers
It’s hard to put into words how fantastic the trip was. We particularly enjoyed the food and service on board the train. Staff were faultless. Compartments were much larger than I expected and everything worked perfectly.
The Transcatabrico Gran Lujo was the best train trip in my life. Nice accommodation, great food and wonderful passengers and crew. You need to enjoy seafood and good wine.
Angela helped me carry it off effortlessly. I highly recommend Angela to help you book any train her company handles. In fact I am looking for another.
Ask us about planning your pre- or post-tour extension. Portugal, France, Madrid and Barcelona are all easily reached by train.
Specify preference at time of booking: twin-bedded cabin or double-bedded cabin.