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Al Andalus Europe, Spain

Al Andalus luxury train in southern Spain
Al Andalus at platform
Al Andalus luxury train in southern Spain
Al Andalus luxury train in southern Spain

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Members of the Club (free to join) benefit from:

- discount off the published prices of any journey, both for Al Andalus and all the other listed trains;

a thank-you gift for every completed journey;

- Al Andalus offers you ‘early bird’ discounts on most journeys for booking in advance throughout the year;

- complimentary first class rail travel in Spain to departure and from arrival points, on RENFE’s AVE/Alvia trains (Superior Suites);

- 40%-discounted first or tourist class rail travel in  Spain to departure and from arrival points, on RENFE’s AVE/Alvia trains (Standard Suites).

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Fay says, “Al Andalus is a beautiful train that now operates throughout Spain: romantic Andalucia visiting cities such as Seville, Cordoba and Granada; less-visited Extremadura between Seville and Madrid; and a selection of shorter trips.

About the Train

The lounge, bar and restaurant carriages 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.

Watch a short video here.

Accommodation

Diagrams of Superior and Standard Suites on Al Andalus
Al Andalus: Superior and Standard Suites on Ibérico and Al Andalus Itineraries 

 

Suites

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 (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 standard (Junior) suite – 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.

360 degree panoramic view of the Superior (Gran Lujo) suite - by night and by day

During the day, beds 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.

Catering

A full  breakfast is served each day on the train.  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 Route

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 starts on the 13th April until Easter Sunday.  It 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 was the destination for Cortés, Pizarro, de Orellana and de Balboa, the conquistadors who were all Extremadurans.

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.

 

 

Andalusia Itinerary 

Seville – Jerez – Cadiz – Ronda -  Granada – Linares-Baeza – Cordoba – Seville

 

Andalusia Itinerary 2014 – 6 days/5 nights, with Monday departures.  Journey starts and ends at Santa Justa station, Seville

Monday: Seville – Cádiz – Jerez    Following check-in from 11:00hrs, there is a welcome reception on board at Santa Justa Station in Seville; following this, there is a panoramic tour of the city, capital of Andalusia, with the the most extensive old town quarters in Spain. After lunch in Seville, the train travels to Cadiz, also known as the “Silver Cup” and one of Europe’s oldest cities in Europe. (NOTE: the journey to Cadiz includes a river ferry crossing.  Arrangements can be made for passengers to travel by the train’s private bus, if required).  Free time in Cadiz and dinner. Later in the evening, the train goes to Jerez, where it stables overnight.

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 Jerez, followed by free time and dinner. The train stables in Jerez overnight.

Wednesday: Jerez – Ronda – Granada  After breakfast on board and an early morning journey to Ronda in the train, there is a visit and lunch, followed by free time to enjoy the city’s stunning location, located on a plateau split by a canyon through which the River Guadalevin flows. Later, in the evening, there is dinner on the train en route for Granada. Overnight on board, in Granada.

Thursday:  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.

Friday:  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.

Saturday:  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 center 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 2014/2015

High Season – May, June, September

Low Season – March, April, October.

2015 prices remain unchanged from 2014, for the moment.

 

HIGH SEASON: 

2014:  September 8,15,22,29.

2015:  May 4,11,18,25.  June 1,8.  September 14,21,28.

Booking, in advance         6+ months     4-6 months    less than 4 months

Standard Suite 

Double per person                              €2,822             €2,978                €3,135

Supplement Single                              €1,411             €1,489                €1,568

Superior Suite 

Double  per person                             €3,366            €3,553                  €3,740

Supplement Single                              €1,683            €1,777                  €1,870

Supplement Triple                             €1,346             €1,421                  €1,496

 

LOW SEASON: 

2014:  October 6,13,20.

2015:  April 6,13,20,27.  October 5,12,19

Booking, in advance         6+ months     4-6 months    less than 4 months

Standard Suite 

Double per person                            €2,565             €2,708               €2,850

Supplement Single                            €1,283             €1,354                €1,425

Superior Suite 

Double  per person                             €3,060            €3,230                €3,400

Supplement Single                              €1,530            €1,615                 €1,700

Supplement Triple                             €1,224             €1,292                 €1,360

 

 

Extremadura Itinerary - Land of Conquistadors

Seville – Merida – Plasencia – Monfrague - Toledo – Aranjuez - Madrid

The Extremadura Itinerary on Al Andalus from the Luxury Train Club - unique rail tour / train journey on a luxury train in Spain
The Extremadura Itinerary

 

6 days/5 nights, departing Seville Santa Justa

Monday:  Seville -  Huelva.   At 16:00hrs, following check in, there is a welcome reception on board the train, when you are shown to your suite.  There follows a guided tour of Seville with the opportunity to learn more about many  of the interesting historical building.  Returning to the train, one has time to settle in before dinner, whilst the train travels to Huelva.  Overnight in Huelva.

Tuesday:  Huelva – Merida.   After breakfast, enjoy some free time in this maritime town, taking a tour of the region’s main beaches and interesting streets.   There are still some Roman remains and during the Roman times, Huelva had a mint; and many coins have been found there bearing the name of the town as Onuba thus modern inhabitants are called Onubenses in Spanish. We return to the train to travel to Merida.   There is a short stop at the Sierra de Aracena, where we visit the Museo del Jamón [the Ham Museum], and enjoy a ham tasting as well as some of the products from the area.  Returning to the train we  continue our journey to Merida, which has one of the most outstanding collections of Roman ruins and art in Spain.  Dinner overnight in Merida.

Wednesday:  Merida  - Plasencia – Monfrague.   Whilst breakfasting,  we arrive in 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.  A tour of the city is followed by lunch.   After lunch there will be the chance to spend some free time in the city.  Dinner on board the train as we travel to Monfragüe, where we spend the night.

Thursday:  Monfrague – Toledo.   After breakfast we enjoy a morning surrounded by nature, visiting  the Monfragüe Natural Park, ending our trip with a boat tour along the  spectacular River Tagus. There is a long mountainous ridge, which the river has cut through, creating on the western side an impressive rock face, the Penafalcon. On the eastern side is the Castle of Monfragüe. Returning to the train, lunch is served as we travel to Toledo.  The tour of this city, that is located in the heart of the Iberian Peninsula, and has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, with a strong Roman, Jew, Christian, Arab influence, reveals some fabulous architecture as a consequence of their influences.  Free time followed by dinner.   Overnight in Toledo.

Friday:  Toledo – Aranjuez.   After breakfast on board, we will get the chance to taste one of the world’s best-known cheeses: queso manchego, enjoying  a culinary morning trying out other products typical of the region like oil, wine and marzipan.   After lunch we will travel to Aranjuez, for a tour of  this town that  was a leisure town for Spanish kings, and reached its magnificence under the Bourbon dynasty in the 18th century.  Free time and then dinner in a local restaurant.  Overnight in Aranjuez.

Saturday:  Aranjuez – Madrid.   During breakfast, the train arrives in Madrid, when there is  a tour  around the Palacio Real followed by lunch.  Journey ends:   17:00hrs approx.

 

Dates and Prices 2015

2015:  June 22

Booking, in advance       6+ months     4-6months     less than 4 months

Standard Suite

Double per person                            €2,822              €2,978               €3,135

Supplement Single                            €1,411              €1,489               €1,568

Superior Suite 

Double  per person                           €3,366             €3,553                 €3,740

Supplement Single                            €1,683             €1,777                  €1,870

Supplement Triple                            € 1,346             €1,421                €1,496

 

Payment Terms

Deposit payment                   40% of total price to reserve

Balance payment                   60% at least 15 days prior to departure

In Euros:  Prices per person

Cancellations:

Up to 30 days before departure: refund less 15% registration and guarantee fee.

Between 30 and 15 days : less 25% of the total.

Between 14 and 5 days: less 50% of the total.

Between 4 and 1 day(s): less 80% of the total.

Less than 24 hours or failure to turn up:  No refund, 100% of the total is payable.

General Information

Dress Code:  Comfortable day wear and comfortable shoes for walking  (many towns have cobbles), perhaps a rain coat and a warm layer depending on  the time of year, because it can be cool in the mountains.   Smart casual is recommended for the evenings.  There is also an end of tour party on the train.

Included:   Six days and five nights on board the Al Andalus Train.  Five breakfasts, five lunches and five dinners on board or at restaurants.  High quality wines, liquors, coffee and tea with meals.  Accompanying hostess throughout the journey.  Guided excursions with a coach for transfers and visits.  Musical performances and entertainment.  All entrance fees.  Toiletries and bathrobes provided; towels changed daily. Superior also has a selection of: toiletries; a choice of two lunches/dinners in your suite; all extra non-alcoholic beverages; train transfers from any Renfe station pre and post tour.

Not included:  Gratuities. Drinks ordered outside of meals, or from the mini bar in the suite. Laundry and ironing service.

Unforeseen events:  The itineraries may be subject to modifications for reasons outside the control of the organiser or as a result of problems which may cause changes in the operation of the rail network.  In these cases, the organisers will adopt the necessary solutions to continue with the trip, without any extra cost to passengers.  If passengers continue the trip under the new circumstances, they tacitly accept the solutions as proposed.

Terms and Conditions: Go here for the Terms and Conditions of RENFE Viajeros sa, which owns and operates this train.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Go here for some answers to questions other passengers have raised.

Booking & Reservations

All prices are at publicly-quoted rates. We will be happy to answer any questions and make the booking for you  -  contact us in the UK : +44 (0)1249 890205 or info@luxurytrainclub.com      Please sign up to our newsletter to be kept informed of interesting trains and special offers.

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