Al Andalus Europe, Spain
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- Club discount off the published prices of any journey, for Al Andalus and all other listed trains;
- 50% discounted RENFE rail travel in Spain to departure stations and from arrival stations. Discount code provided for on-line self-booking. This is a RENFE offer, which may change without notice;
Fay says, "Al Andalus is a beautiful train with some carefully-restored historic Wagon Lits carriages that now operates throughout Spain: romantic Andalucia visiting cities such as Seville, Cordoba and Granada; less-visited Extremadura between Seville and Madrid and, new for 2016, a special south to north journey ending in Santiago de Compostela."
About the Train
The lounge, bar and restaurant carriages of Al Andalus were built in France between 1929 and 1930 by the Wagon-Lits Company, and have now been restored to their original splendour, which is matched by the attentive on-board service. This is the epitome of romantic travel; Belle Epoque charm mingles with the comfort of the modern age, allowing the traveller to revel in the pleasure of the journey that transports one through the wonderful scenery of Spain. The luxury coach is always waiting to take one on the tours. There is a train manager on board for the whole tour; do not hesitate to raise any questions or comments about the train or tour with the manager at any stage.
Al Andalus has seven beautifully renovated sleeper carriages, five of which are original Wagon-Lits carriages dating from 1929. All suites are individually air conditioned, with train stewards available at all times.
There are twelve Standard Suites (junior) suites ( 8 sq m / 86 sq ft), each of which has two lower beds(78 cms x 191 cms / 31" x 75" and 69 cms x 180 cms / 27" x 71"), a safe, a closet and a large bathroom with shaving points and a hairdryer. 360 degree panoramic view of the Junior Suites by night and by day
There are twenty Superior (gran lujo) suites ( 9.9 sq m / 107 sq ft), each of which has a double bed (150 x 200 cm / 59" x 79"), a mini-bar, safe, closet and a full bathroom with shaving points and a hairdryer. Some suites can have a third bed, which is 70 cms wide x 180 cms long (28" x 71"). 360 degree panoramic view of the Superior suite - by night and by day
During the day, beds can fold into comfortable couches ( Note: staff will attend to this on request), so that each suite becomes a private lounge.
Lounge and dining cars
The train has four wonderful lounge cars, dating between 1928 - 1930. These carriages are used as restaurants, saloons and lounges and all have large windows thus ensuring that guests enjoy the spectacular scenery. Music recitals are given in these cars. All the carriages are air conditioned and are available 24 hours a day.
A full breakfast is served each day on Al Andalus. Lunches and dinners are mostly taken at local restaurants, unless on the train travelling between destinations. All meals give one a sample of the traditional cooking of that region, and are accompanied by excellent wines and liqueurs, coffee and tea.
Al Andalus - The Routes
Detailed itineraries, dates and prices are further down the page
The Andalusia itinerary travels through Andalusia in southern Spain, with visits to (amongst other places) Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Ronda and Cadiz, thus taking in a wide sweep of Southern Spain, whilst being transported through stunning scenery from the mountains of the Sierra Nevada to the Atlantic Ocean. Andalucia today is the result of cultural influences that encompasses the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Byzantines and of course the Moors, all before the Christian Spanish era that has become modern Spain. Through March, Seville can be filled with the wonderful scent of Orange Blossom, as the orange trees commence their season, thus a delightful time to visit. Holy Week (Easter) in Spain is the most important festival in Spain, with various processions of floats that are beautifully decorated with flowers, gold, silver, candles and fine fabrics upon which are ancient statues of Jesús and La Virgen María.
Extremadura - Land Of Conquistadors. This itinerary takes one from Seville to Madrid, travelling through a less known region of Spain. Just north of Andalusia, south of Castile and east of Portugal, influences of all these ways of life are present in Extremadura, along with a history dating back past Roman times, that has influenced the architecture of the towns. South America
Shorter (5- and 4-day) Journeys
There are some shorter journeys that allow one to experience this beautiful train even if one has a limited amount of time. Please ask for details.
Seville – Jerez – Cadiz – Ronda - Granada - Linares-Baeza – Cordoba – Seville
7 days/6 nights. Check-in at Hotel Alfonso X111 at 10:30hrs.
Monday: Seville – Jerez. Following check-in from 10:30, and whilst your luggage is being taken to the train, you have time to wander Seville before returning to the hotel for lunch. The capital of Andalusia, Seville boasts the most extensive historic city centre in Spain, home to the Gothic Cathedral with its bell tower named Giralda, the Royal Alcazar and the General Archive of the Indies. After lunch there is a panoramic tour of the city, taking us across the famous Plaza de España before boarding the Tren Al Andalus. There follows welcome cocktails onboard after which you are shown to your suite. Dinner on board as we head to Jerez for the night.
Tuesday: Jerez. Breakfast on board, followed by a visit to a sherry bodega. Afterwards there is a show by the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art: "How the Andalusian Horses Dance", an equestrian ballet with eighteenth century Spanish music and costumes. Lunch in Sanlúcar de Barrameda overlooking the salt marshes of Doñana National Park and river Guadalquivir’s mouth, followed by a walk around Sanlúcar de Barrameda, from where our luxury coach will take us back to Jerez de la Fronter. Dinner is served onboard the train. Overnight in Jerez.
Wednesday: Jerez-Cádiz. This morning the coach takes us to Cádiz, considered one of the oldest cities in Europe. After a tour and some free time to venture around Cádiz, we return to the train for lunch as our journey heads to the stunning city of Ronda, a breathtaking location set on a plateau cut by the deep gourge Tajo de Ronda, through which river Guadalevín runs. Here we have dinner and overnight.
Thursday: Ronda – Granada. After breakfast on board there is a tour of Ronda, followed by some free time prior to lunch. Return to the train as it travels to Granada, a city nestled on the foothills of Sierra Nevada. Dinner and overnight in Granada.
Friday: Granada. After breakfast on board the tour of this beautiful place includes the famously romantic Alhambra and the captivating Jardines del Generalife, followed by free time in Alhambra in which to absorb the Moorish elegance before having lunch in the Parador. In the afternoon, visit the city; the quarters of Albaicin, Sacramonte and its cathedral, the first Spanish Renaissance church. Take advantage of wandering around before dinner at a local restaurant, followed by a flamenco performance. Overnight in Granada.
Saturday: Granada - Linares-Baeza – Ubeda - Cordoba. Whilst having breakfast, we arrive in Linares-Baeza, from where the coach travels through the countryside covered with over 70 million olive trees, to the Olive Oil Museum for a guided visit of this fascinating industry. Then we go to historic Baeza, a city that dates back to the Moorish occupation and is the seat of the International University of Andalucía. Lunch in Úbeda, with its beautiful hand-carved stone and whitewashed facades, which one can wander around after lunch. Returning to the train, dinner is served during the journey to Cordoba. Overnight in Cordoba.
Sunday: Cordoba – Seville. Breakfast on board followed by a tour of this city, that during the 10th century and beginning of the 11th century was the most populous city in the world, and during these centuries became the intellectual centre of Europe. Thus there is a mixture of Roman and Moorish architecture. Of particular interest are the Reales Alcazares, built in 1328, and the incredibly beautiful Mosque / Cathedral of the Juderia. Lunch is served back on board the train whilst travelling to our final destination, Seville. Journey ends: 17:00hrs approx.
Dates and Prices - 2016
September 5,12. October 3,10,17,24.
RUTA EXTREMENA - Land of Conquistadors
Seville - Merida - Plasencia - Monfrague - Toledo – Aranjuez - Madrid
6 days/5 nights. Check-in at Hotel Alfonso X111 at 10:30hrs.
Monday: Seville - Zafra. Following check in and whilst your luggage is being transferred to the train, there is a guided tour of Seville, with the opportunity to learn more about many of the wonderful historical building, after which one joins the train for a welcome cocktail before lunch, whilst the train travels to Zafra. A tour of this beautiful historic city is followed by dinner. Overnight in Zafra.
Tuesday: Zafra – Mérida. While breakfasting, the train travels to Mérida, capital of Extremadura, and a town that has one of the most outstanding collections of Roman ruins and art in Spain. Here we spend the day visiting an Iberian pig farm, Proserpine Lake, Milagros Aqueduct and the Roman temples of the city. Following lunch we visit the National Museum of Roman art, the amphitheater and Roman theatre, after which there is free time before dinner and overnight in Mérida.
Wednesday: Mérida- Cáceres. During breakfast the train arrives in Cáceres. There is a tour of this amazing city, the historic battles between Moors and Christians being reflected in its architecture, which is a blend of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance styles. Of the 30 or so towers from the Muslim period, the Torre del Bujaco is the most famous. After lunch there is free time, or an optional visit of the Vostell Museum or the Helga de Alver Foundatin. Dinner on board and overnight in Cáceres.
Thursday: Cáceres - Monfragüe. Whilst breakfasting, we travel to Monfragüe, where a morning is spent in the Natural Park. Then lunch is served on board following which there is a visit to Plasencia. This walled market city was founded in 1186, and consequently has a wonderful collection of architecture, along with the remains of a Roman aqueduct, and Las Catedrales, a complex of two cathedrals. After lunch there will be the chance to spend some free time in the city. Dinner on board the train and overnight in Monfragüe.
Friday: Monfragüe - Torrijos - Toledo - Aranjuez. During breakfast we travel to Torrijos, from where we travel to Toledo by bus. This city is located in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula and has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, with a strong Roman, Jewish, Christian and Arab influence. Therefore there is some fabulous architecture as a consequence of their influences. Free time followed by dinner on board. Overnight in Aranjuez.
Saturday: Aranjuez - Madrid. After breakfast on board, we visit Aranjuez, for a tour of this town that was a leisure town for Spanish kings, reaching its magnificence under the Bourbon dynasty in the 18th century. There is also a tour of the Carlos 111 winery, followed by lunch on board as the train travels to Madrid. Journey ends: 17:00hrs approx.
Dates and Prices 2016
2016: June 17
CAMINO DE SANTIAGO: SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA to MADRID, OR REVERSE
Santiago de Compostela - A Coruña – Pontevedra – Ourense Monforte de Lemos - Astorga - León - El Escorial - Segovia - Madrid
7 days/ 6 nights. Check-in 11:00hrs at Santiago’s Parador de los Reyes Católicos hotel or Check-in 11:00hrs at Madrid Chamartin Station.
Saturday: Santiago de Compostela-A Coruña. Following check-in at Santiago’s 16th century Parador de los Reyes Católicos hotel, a former Royal Hospital for pilgrims, lunch is served at the hotel, followed by a tour of Santiago. This town has been a pilgrim's destination for over a thousand years and features breathtaking places such as the Cathedral or the Plaza del Obradoiro. Then one is transferred to the Al Andalus train, for a Welcome drink and time to settle in as the journey continues to A Coruña in the evening. Dinner and overnight in A Coruña.
Sunday: A Coruña – Pontevedra. Following breakfast on the train, we visit A Coruña, an historic port with an elegant and vibrant city that preserves a great collection of treasures from its past. Lunch onboard while we travel to Pontevedra, where our luxury coach will take us to Vigo, Galicia's economic powerhouse. Alternatively, you may remain in Pontevedra and enjoy free time at your own pace. Return to the train for dinner and overnight in Pontevedra.
Monday: Pontevedra – Ourense. The day starts with a visit to the internationally known spa island of La Toja. From the port of O Grove, we will board a catamaran with underwater windows, on a tour through the Ria de Arousa, where we will be shown the traditional platforms where seafood is grown, in addition to being served delicious mussels. Sail to Cambados, an historical town carved in granite, following which we visit of a typical Galician palace (pazo) and have a tasting of Albariño wine. Lunch and return to the train, heading to Ourense, where we may enjoy an exclusive spa session in the river Minho or optionally free time in Ourense. Dinner and overnight in Ourense.
Tuesday: Ourense-Monforte de Lemos-Astorga. After the guided tour of Ourense the coach will take us to Santo Estevo to visit the magnificent monastery, followed by lunch. Next we travel to Monforte de Lemos for the tour of Ribeira Sacra, a picturesque region famous for its natural attributes, consisting of an extensive ecosystem rich in green and scenic assets. It is also famous for being a wine region, producing the “mencía” wines (deriving from the mencía grapes), very appreciated in traditional in Galician cuisine. In the evening, while dining onboard, the train continues to Astorga. Overnight in Astorga.
Wednesday: Astorga-León-El Escorial. We start the day with a visit to Astorga, a Roman city with monuments such as the Cathedral and its Episcopal Palace, a modernist masterpiece by Antonio Gaudí. After lunch, discover León, home to some of the most valuable monuments in Spain: the Gothic Cathedral, the Romanesque frescoes in the Basilica of San Isidoro and the impressive Plateresque facade of the Hospital of San Marcos. Back on the train, enjoy dinner while travelling to El Escorial, where we overnight.
Thursday: El Escorial-Segovia. After breakfast, our coach takes us to Segovia for a tour of this historic and beautiful city. Return to San Lorenzo de El Escorial for a tour of its Monastery, a masterpiece of Spanish Renaissance. Dinner onboard and overnight in El Escorial.
Friday: El Escorial-Madrid. Enjoy breakfast onboard while travelling to Madrid. Once in the capital, there is a tour of the Royal Palace which is a beautiful 18th century architectural jewel, and of Madrid’s old town (Madrid of the Habsburgs) before returning to the train, where the crew will be waiting for the farewell.
Dates and Prices 2016
Madrid to Santiago de Compostela: July 9. August 6
Santiago de Compostela to Madrid: July 16. August 13.
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