el transcantabrico gran lujo full train
Spanish flag in Santillana on the El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo: Santiago-San Sebastián Luxury Train journey
Santiago cathedral on the El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo: Santiago-San Sebastián Luxury Train journey
Coffee and breakfast menu on the El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo: Santiago-San Sebastián Luxury Train journey
Bilbao train station on El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo: Santiago-San Sebastián Luxury Train journey

El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo: Santiago-San Sebastián Luxury Train

Europe
8-day Escorted Tour
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Overview

The Highlights

  • 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

The Tour

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.

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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.

Countries Visited

  • Spain

Itinerary

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Day 1: Santiago de Compostela-Viveiro

Meet your group at 12 p.m. (noon) today in the lobby of the Parador de los Reyes Católicos. Santiago de Compostela is a destination of pilgrims for a millennium, a city full of artistic jewels. Tour of the city’s old town, including the magnificent 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-Oviedo

Continue by train east to Ribadeo. Disembark and travel by coach to Las Caterales Beach, one of the most spectacular beaches in Europe. Panoramic tour of Ribadeo and lunch.

This afternoon, the train enters the Asturian region and arrives in Luarca, “the white town of the green coast,” for a tour. Return to the train and head towards Oviedo, where we stable for the night.

Day 3: Oviedo-Llanes

Begin the day by visiting the coastal city of Gijón, the largest in Asturias, for a visit followed by lunch. We then travel to Oviedo, the Principality of Asturias’ capital with its array of pre-Romanesque monuments. City tour, returning thereafter to the train. Dinner on board as we travel to Llanes, where we will spend the night.

Day 4: Picos de Europa; Llanes

Travel to Picos de Europa National Park, a highlight of this journey. Visit Lake Enol (weather permitting) and the historic Covadonga Sanctuary, a sacred site full of tradition and legend. Next is Cangas de Onı́s and lunch.

Later, the train will travel to the charming fishing village of Llanes for a visit, free time, dinner, and overnight.

Day 5: Llanes-Cabezón de la Sal

After breakfast, transfer by coach through the impressive gorge of La Hermida until we reach the town of Potes. After visiting this charming Cantabrian town, enjoy a spa circuit at La Hermida Spa.

After lunch, we will visit El Capricho, in Comillas, a colorful 19th-century villa designed by Antonio Gaudı́. Dinner and overnight stay in Cabezón de la Sal.

Day 6: Cabezón de la Sal-Santander

Our first visit will be to the Altamira Neocave, a museum and accurate reproduction of the greatest exponent of rock art in the Upper Palaeolithic. Then onto the town of Santillana del Mar with its magnificently preserved medieval center.

After lunch, we will travel by train to Santander, the elegant capital of Cantabria, where we will enjoy a guided tour and have some free time. Dinner and overnight in Santander.

Day 7: Santander-Carranza

Breakfast on board while traveling to Bilbao, a dynamic city that has managed to reinvent itself after the decline of its traditional heavy industry. The tour includes a visit to the famous Guggenheim Museum, the symbol of this new Bilbao.

After lunch, we will have some free time before returning to the train for the journey to Carranza. Dinner and overnight in Carranza.

Day 8: Carranza-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. Enjoy a tour of this beautiful, elegant city. Trip ends around 1 p.m. at Hotel Barceló Costa Vasca.

Day 1: San Sebastián-Carranza

Meet your tour group and train manager at Hotel Barceló Costa Vasca at 1 p.m. 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 Carranza.

Day 2: Carranza-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. Dinner and overnight in Santander.

Day 3: Santander-Cabezón de la Sal

After breakfast, 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 in La Hermida Spa. This afternoon, visit El Capricho, in Comillas — a fantastic and colorful 19th-century palace designed by Antonio Gaudí. Dinner and overnight stay on board the train in Cabezón de la Sal.

Day 4: Cabezón de la Sal-Llanes

The day begins by visiting the Altamira Neocave, a museum and accurate reproduction of the finest Upper Paleolithic rock art ever found. Then it’s on to explore the town of Santillana del Mar, with its beautifully preserved medieval historic center.

After lunch, return to the train to enter the enchanting lands of Asturias on the way to Llanes. Dinner and overnight on board while stabled in Llanes.

Day 5: Llanes-Oviedo

After breakfast, travel by coach bus into the heart of the Picos de Europa National Park. Visit Lake Enol, followed by Covadonga Sanctuary, a sacred place full of tradition and legends.

Return to the train for lunch as it travels 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 dinner in Oviedo.

Day 6: Gijón-Luarca

The day begins in Gijón; a city that is wide open to the great Cantabrian Sea. Lunch in Gijon before returning to El Transcantábrico. Back on board we travel along the Asturian coast to Luarca, the “white town on the green coast,” for a guided tour in this charming seaside town. Dinner and overnight stay in Luarca.

Day 7: Luarca-Viveiro

Travel to Ribadeo, a historic Galician town bordering the Principality of Asturias. 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 tour of Ribadeo and lunch.

In the afternoon, we will travel by train to Viveiro, where, after a guided tour, there is some free time before dinner. Train stays overnight in Viveiro.

Day 8: Viveiro-Santiago de Compostela

The train will travel from Viveiro to Ferrol while the final breakfast is served 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 of the city’s old town, including the magnificent cathedral. Trip ends around 1 p.m. at the Parador de los Reyes Católicos.

Dates & Prices

2023 Dates

September 23 - 30 *

September 30 - October 7

October 7 - 14 *

October 14 - 21

October 21 - 28 *

October 28 - November 4

*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 15% deposit will be required immediately to confirm your cabin.
  • Specify preference at time of booking: twin-bedded cabin or double-bedded cabin.

2024 Dates

March 30 - April 6 *

April 6 - 13

April 13 - 20 *

April 20 - 27

April 27 - May 4 *

May 4 - 11

May 11 - 18 *

May 18 - 25

May 25 - June 1 *

June 1 - 8

June 8 - 15 *

June 15 - 22

June 22 - 29 *

June 29 - July 6

July 6 - 13 *

July 13 - 20

July 20 - 27 *

July 27 - August 3

August 3 - 10 *

August 10 - 17

August 17 - 24 *

August 24 - 31

August 31 - September 7 *

September 7 - 14

September 14 - 21 *

September 21 - 28

September 28 - October 5 *

October 5 - 12

October 12 - 19 *

October 19 - 26

October 26 - November 2 *

*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 15% deposit will be required immediately to confirm your cabin.
  • Specify preference at time of booking: twin-bedded cabin or double-bedded cabin.

More

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.