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.
Watch a Video of the Gran Lujo and you will understand why it is an experience not to be missed!
On this page, you can find important information and make your reservations online by clicking "Book This Tour." You may also download a brochure for your reference.
Descarga un folleto en español aqui.
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 this beautiful old town.
Dinner and overnight in Viveiro.
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.
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, we head 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While enjoying our last breakfast onboard, we will return to Bilbao, where El Transcantábrico’s coach will comfortably take us to San Sebastian where we will finalize our grand tour of Spain at Hotel Barceló Costa Vasca at 1 pm.
End of trip after the tour in San Sebastian.
Tours begin and end on Saturdays from Parador of Santiago de Compostela.
This is a VERY popular tour in Spain and with only 14 rooms on the train, we have limited availability. We encourage you also to see our special departures of the new train Costa Verde Express from Santiago de Compostela to Bilbao on May 9 and August 15, 2020 - Almost exact same route and service.
Your tour price includes:
Your tour price excludes:
The tour departing on June 30, 2018 is a special San Fermin charter and the guests will be traveling towards Pamplona on July 7. Therefore the stand-alone tour of El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo will terminate on July 7, 2018 in Bilbao at 9:00 AM. We can arrange for a transfer to San Sebastian at an added cost.
45% of total tour cost due at the time of booking
55% or balance no later than 35 days prior to tour departure date
Up to 30 days before departure: refund less 15% of official price.
Between 30 and 15 days : refund less 25% of the total.
Between 14 and 5 days: refund less 50% of the total.
Between 4 and 1 day(s): refund less 80% of the total.
Less than 24 hours or failure to turn up: No refund, 100% of the total is payable.
Considering these are international terms an additional 5 days will be added for refunds to be processed
An additional 15% Administrative fee will be charged from Palace Tours against refunds
Cancellations should be intimated by FAX to the corporate office in Miami FL.
The above times are based on Spain time. In order to provide enough time for processing cancellation, guests need to add 3 business days to the above timeframes. An administration fees of 15% on any monies paid by the client will be charged prior to refund.
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance to cover the losses incurred in case of cancellation. For information on available plans or to purchase travel insurance, please visit www.palacetours.com/insurance.
Facilities onboard the El Transcantabrico Gran LujoThere is a lot of space for social gatherings onboard the El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo and you can choose to spend your time in four saloon cars that have been in service since the 1920s. These Pullman coaches are elegantly decorated and they will take you back to an era where luxurious travel was a relaxed affair. In the Dining Car of the train, you can enjoy an a la carte breakfast or a buffet service in the morning. Lunches and dinners when served onboard will be prepared by the chef and his team. As for the Bar Car you will find that it operates 24/7 with an on-call service, and you can also step into it anytime from dawn till dusk to get a drink for yourself. Other public areas onboard the train include the Panorama Coach, Tea Saloon and the Entertainment Saloon which functions as a night-club and pumps out music until early morning. You will also be able to read newspapers and magazines while onboard and indulge in movies on DVD or TV shows.
Accommodations onboard the El Transcantabrico Gran LujoThe El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo only consists of one type of suite. Onboard the El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo you will be able to enjoy a luxury 5-star hotel experience on rails. Here the amenities that are included give you access to all you need in a luxury train and they will help you enjoy your trip and take away fond memories. Each deluxe cabin is designed with several grand elements that were made popular in luxury trains that plied in the 20th century and here you will find décor that is inspired by art, theatre and films.Details of Deluxe SuitesEach suite (measuring 12 square meters) consists of a bedroom, living room and an en-suite bathroom and taking advantage of the facilities in each you can rest and relax as the trip enfolds. Luxury awaits you in each suite of the El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo and you will find warm wood panels on the walls decorated with art and other exclusive details. Brass fittings add a touch of class to the interior of each cabin and you will find that the living room has a sofa that can be easily converted into a bed during the night. Inside the en-suite bathroom you will find a hydro massage shower/steam sauna. There is also a hair dryer provided along with bathrobes, toiletries and slippers.
What is the capacity of the train?
There are 14 suites on the train. The number of passengers really depends on the occupancies sold in that departure. The maximum capacity of the train is normally 28 passengers, but it could also reach 42 passengers using the sofas as triple.
Is there a dress code on board?
There is no official dress code on board, but we recommend comfortable shoes and clothes due to the nature of the visits and excursions.
What kind of food is served on the train?
Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, the Basque Country and Castilla y León are, in the opinion of the most fastidious chefs and gourmets, the regions where you can still find the best cuisine in Spain. The cheeses, sausages, meat, vegetables, fish and seafood are all universally renowned.
The restaurants on our route not only select the highest quality raw materials and have them prepared by the greatest professionals; they are also the ideal setting for tasting the local cuisine. All of our menus include a careful selection of wines that blend harmoniously with the ingredients of each lunch and dinner. Coffee and liqueurs are also included.
How are the meals served?
Breakfasts are buffet-style and are served onboard the train in the four lounge carriages. Lunches and dinners are taken at restaurants in the cities as mentioned in each day’s itinerary, or .
Is there a laundry/dry cleaning service on the train?
Yes, laundry service is available at an additional charge. Please see the crew for details.
Is there internet or telephone accessibility on the train?
There is internet access on board the train but also in cybercenters in several cities along the route. Your room on board is equipped with a telephone, which you may use for long distance calls (guest’s own account). Phones will generally get reception, however sometimes this is a bit difficult due to the mountains and tunnels along the way. You also have access to a computer with free internet access in your room.
Is the train accessible to wheelchairs / physical challenges?
There are one or two wheelchairs while on the tour for emergency use. If the guests need a wheelchair for sightseeing, necessary arrangements may be made at cost (We recommend bringing own wheelchair). No assistance is available to push the wheelchair. Please know there are no ramps for entering/exiting the train, and the train’s corridors are too narrow to accommodate wheelchairs.
Is smoking allowed on board?
No. Since January 2006, it is forbidden by Law to smoke on board the train and in the train stations.
What facilities are available on the train?
The four lounge carriages of El Transcantábrico are the most unusual and beautiful places on the train. They are veritable rail treasures that are much admired owing to their exquisite design, their finish and the interior decorations. The "pub carriage" has a bar and dance floor and is decorated and lit like a small night-club, where lively entertainment is provided every night until the early hours of the morning. Another lounge carriage also has a bar where you can sit back and have a quiet drink. The other two lounges are for other types of entertainment, such as reading, enjoying a board game with your fellow passengers, talking or watching the passing scenery through the big picture windows. And wherever you are, you will always be served by our attentive waiters.
Passengers are offered daily newspapers, magazines, a thoughtful collection of books from the library, television and videos; all that you need to make your journey a pleasure.
Are there different types or sizes of rooms on board the train?
There is only one type of suite on board. However, there are two different room layouts available: either a double/matrimonial bed or two side-by-side twin beds. Suites on board El Transcantabrico are specially designed for rest and privacy. You can sleep in comfort as the train will be parked at a station each night. This means that your sleep will not be disturbed by moving and jolting and also gives those who enjoy nightlife an opportunity to go out and savor the atmosphere of each town.
There are 14 suites with either double bed (150cm x 200cm) and one sofa (86cm x 182cm) or with two twin beds (85cm x 190cm) and one sofa (86cm x 182cm). 10 rooms have the double/matrimonial bed layout while 4 are fitted with two twin beds. The large sofa can be turned into an extra bed. The suites measure 128.7 square feet.
All suites are equipped with a television set, VCR, game console, Hi Fi stereo system, PC with a free internet connection, luggage rack, minibar, safe deposit box, wardrobe, writing desk and a telephone with an outside line. The private ensuite bathroom has a hydro sauna, turbo massage and steam bath, hairdryer, bathrobe and complimentary toiletries. The air-conditioning and heating, piped music and lights are all controlled individually. The electrical power is 220 volts. There is also a computer with free internet access available.
Are rooms pre-assigned or can you choose your own room?
The rooms are assigned on site. If you have any specific room requirements, please contact us at least one month prior to departure so that we can send your request to our Operations Team.
Is there a hairdryer in each bathroom? Are toiletries provided?
Yes, there is a hairdryer provided in every bathroom, along with a dental set, comb, eau de toilette, shaving set, shower cup, shoe polish and more.
Is there bottled water available?
Yes, bottled spring water is provided free of charge throughout the tour.
What is the weather like?
Northern Spain experiences a mild oceanic climate, with not too many extreme temperatures. Please bring along a jacket or coat for chilly evenings, and sun protection for warm afternoons.
Do I have to stay aboard all seven nights?
You are not required to stay aboard the train for seven nights. However, as the train follows a fixed itinerary, you will be responsible for your own transportation to/from your points of embarkation/disembarkation, for any hotels you use during the journey, for meals taken while separated from the group, etc. There are no refunds for unused portions of the tour. Therefore, should you choose to shorten the journey in any way, you are still required to pay for the full seven-night tour.
Are doctors available at all times?
The train carries a first aid kit, and El Transcantábrico has contacts with various health centers along the train route.
What expenses will I have during the trip?
El Transcantabrico is a very inclusive experience, so you will not need to pay for any meals, beverages during lunch/dinner, sightseeing, monument entrances or accommodations. You will incur additional cost if you choose to purchase any additional beverages on board; laundry services; camera fees at monuments; transfers, additional sightseeing, or other services in San Sebastian or Santiago de Compostela; gratuities; and/or souvenirs.
How can I settle my expenses on the train?
You may settle your onboard expenses by paying in Euros or by major credit card.
How much should I expect to tip?
Tipping is not mandatory, and is left to the sole discretion of the traveler. This is a decision that should be made based on your enjoyment of the journey and the service.
What are the passport/visa requirements for travel to Spain?
Please ensure that your passport has at least three blank pages and that it is valid for at least six months beyond your departure date from Spain. Please check with your local embassy regarding visa requirements.
When should I plan to arrive in Santiago de Compostela?
The meeting time for the tour is 12:00 noon on Saturday. Full instructions will be printed on your travel voucher. We recommend arriving in Santiago at least 1 day prior to your tour so that you may acclimate and relax prior to embarking on your exciting rail journey.
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. You also have access to a computer with free internet access.
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