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El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo Europe, Spain
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El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo, Northern Spain
Fay says, “Gran Lujo is Spanish for Great Luxury, and this special train lives up to its rather grand name, helped by every suite having both a private lounge area and what is probably the best private bathroom on a train, anywhere in Europe (except on its sister trains, the Clasico and Al Andalus, but that’s another story).”
This train has been completely refurbished, and now has lounges and dining cars with large panoramic windows and luxurious decor. There are only 14 double suites, with either double or twin beds set in plush surroundings and their own fabulous lounges. Every night the train is stationary to allow passengers a peaceful sleep. Each morning the luxury coach is waiting to take passengers to some fantastic sites, where with a very knowledgeable guide one absorbs the history of various points of interest in Northern Spain, and have lunch in some fantastic surroundings.
This is truly a wonderful way of travelling from Santiago de Compostela to San Sebastián, or from San Sebastián to Santiago, where the magic of northern Spain awaits the traveller. From Galicia to the shores of the Bay of Biscay, gastronomy, art, monuments and landscapes are presented to the voyager from the comfort of a five-star train hotel, El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo.
Membership is free, requiring just a subscription to our newsletter on the Club site. Gifts secured when booking made, and sent on final payment.
- Ask for any available discounts
- Until 31 May: Gift from Osprey, from their range of small leather goods.
Each Suite on the Gran Lujo has a 150cms wide by 200cms long (59″ wide by 79″ long) double bed, with some suites having the option of twin beds. There is a sofa that converts to a comfortable bed, and a writing table. Along with hardwood panelling and large windows, as well as the luxuriously large bathroom with sauna/steam shower and hydro massage, these suites offer all the modern conveniences that are necessary for a comfortable journey.
The elegant but simple dining car serves a fine buffet breakfast every morning and an occasional meal.
Most dining, except breakfasts, takes place in local restaurants, enabling passengers to sample northern Spanish cuisine from the Asturias, Cantabria, Galicia and the Basque country, using the finest ingredients, frequently locally-sourced. It also allows time for passengers to wander around the various towns.
El Transcantabrico Gran Lujo has four sumptuous lounge cars, made more than a century ago, thus exuding a feeling of a bygone, elegant era, in which relaxation is easily achieved.
These include the bar car with its own dance floor, creating a small night-club, where lively entertainment is provided every night until the early hours of the morning.
Another lounge car also has a bar where you can sit back can enjoy a quiet drink whilst reflecting on the passing scenery. There is a library with newspapers and magazines; DVDs and television are available on board.
San Sebastián – Santiago de Compostela
Meeting Point: 12.00hrs. San Sebastián Londres & Inglaterra Hotel, Calle Zubieta, San Sebastián
Saturday - San Sebastián to Bilbao
San Sebastián is a vibrant city that nestles in a shell-shaped bay where the ‘Comb of the Wind’, the jaw-dropping iron sculptures of Eduardo Chillida, cast huge, bold shapes from the water’s edge of the Bay of Biscay. With its many restaurants, beautiful beaches and an interesting Old Quarter with historical buildings, it is certainly worth exploring. Once guests have checked in at Hotel Londres y de Inglaterra for a welcoming reception, there is then a tour of San Sebastián, where lunch is served in one of the many restaurants. The coach then takes guests to Bilbao to board the train, settling in as the train travels to Balmaseda for dinner, a town with an interesting historic quarter and a bridge crossing the river Kadagua that dates back to 1199. Overnight in Balmaseda.
Sunday - Bilbao to Santander
Over breakfast on the train, we reach Bilbao. Whilst in this modern city, visits include the innovatively designed architectural landmark of the Guggenheim Museum. Back on board, lunch is served on the way to Santander, the capital of Cantabria and considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Divided in two by the Magdalene Penisula, on one side are magnificent beaches, the imposing casing and English-looking stately homes, and on the other the Bay of Santander, with the port, cathedral and the Paseo Pereda. There is a coach tour of the city and dinner with an overnight, which allows those who wish to visit the city’s casinos. Overnight in Santander
Monday - Santander to Cabezón de la Sal
Our journey continues over breakfast to Unquera, from where the coach will take us to Potes, via the breathtaking La Hermida pass, a gorge with ragged mountains where sometimes one can spot Golden Eagles soaring around. At Potes we visit the 6th century Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana, home to many prized relics making it an important pilgrimage centre. Enjoy lunch in the town of Potes which lies within four valleys. This historical town is dominated by the Infantado Tower, with its traditional medieval architecture and the bridges from which the town takes its name. Visit to Comillas, the seat of the archbishop. Then we travel by train Cabezón de la Sal, where we enjoy dinner. Overnight in Cabezón de la Sal.
Tuesday - Cabezón de la Sal to Arriondas
From Cabezón de la Sal, we take the coach to the Cave of Altamira, famous for its Pre-historic cave paintings featuring drawings and polychrome rock paintings of wild mammals and human hands, and the beautiful medieval town of Santillana del Mar, with its historical buildings and cobbled streets. Following lunch in Santillana, the train travels through Asturias, to to Llanes, a wonderful fishing village on the eastern side of Asturias, and Arriondas, where we have dinner. Overnight in Arriondas.
Wednesday - Arriondas to Oviedo
Following breakfast, we take the coach from Arriondas, passing through the heart of Asturias which is the National Park of the Picos de Europa, where we visit two glacial lakes known as the Lakes of Covadonga; the amazing Sanctuary of Covadonga, and finally back to Cangas de Onís. Back on the train lunch is served as we travel to Oviedo, the capital of the Principality, which boasts a unique collection of pre-Romanesque monuments. Following a tour we dine in a restaurant. Overnight in Oviedo.
Thursday - Oviedo to Luarca
Whilst breakfasting, the train travels from Oviedo to Gijon, the Asturian seaside town par excellence, with its beautiful beaches and rich in archaeological remains and Roman walls. We visit the city and its Universidad Laboral, having lunch in a typical restaurant. Our travel continues in the afternoon, until we reach Luarca, known as “The White Town of the Green Coast’, where we have dinner. Overnight in Luarca.
Friday - Luarca to Vivieiro
Departing Luarca we travel through the fascinating landscape of Galicia whilst having breakfast, before reaching Ribadeo, where the River Eo flows into the sea. There is a visit to the Las Catedrales Beach, a beautifully spectacular natural formation that has been created by the effect of tide and wind on rock. The landscape of the Rias Altas is fascinating. Lunch in Ribadeo and then in the afternoon we arrive in Viveiro, a beautiful medieval town, where we enjoy a tour that includes the view from San Roque, before dinner. Overnight in Vivieiro.
Saturday - Vivieiro to Santiago de Compostela
The final part of the journey continues as one breakfasts on the way to Ferrol. From Ferrol the coach will take us to Santiago de Compostela, the ultimate destination of St James’ pilgrims on ‘El Camino de Santiago’. Here we are taken on a tour of the beautiful Plaza, the Silversmiths and the famous Cathedral which is a mixture of Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque architecture….so ends a wonderful journey.
2013 - March 30. April 13,27. May 11,25. June 8,22. July 6,20. August 3,17,31. September 14,28. October 12,26.
2014 - March 22. April 5, 19. May 3,17, 31. June 14, 28. July 12,26. August 9,23. September 6,20. October 4,18. November 1,15.
Santiago de Compostela – San Sebastián
Meeting Point: 12.00hrs Santiago de Compostela, Parador Nacional de Los Reyes Católicos, Plaza del Obradoiro.
Day 1, Saturday
Day 2, Sunday
Day 3, Monday
Day 4, Tuesday
Day 5, Wednesday
Day 6, Thursday
Day 7, Friday
Day 8, Saturday
2013 - March 23. April 6,20. May 4,18. June 1,15,29. July 13,27. August 10,24. September 7,21. October 5,19.
2014 - March 29. April 12, 26. May 10, 24. June 7, 21. July 5, 19. August 2, 16, 30. September 13, 27. October 11, 25. November 8.
Prices and Payment Terms
Booking, in advance 6+ months 4-6 months less than 4 months
Deluxe Suite, per person
Double €4,000 €4,100 €4,250
Single €8,000 €8,200 €8,500
Triple supplement €1,650 €1,700 €1,800
Booking, in advance 6+ months 4-6 months less than 4 months
Deluxe Suite, per person
Double €4,100 €4,250 €4,400
Single €8,200 €8,500 €8,800
Triple supplement €1,700 €1,800 €1,900
Deposit payment 40% of total price to reserve
Balance payment 60% at least 15 days prior to departure
In Euros; payment is preferred in Euros but can be accepted in GBP or USD at prevailing exchange rate at time of invoicing (charges apply, ask for details). 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.
Dress Code: Smart leisure wear for the day with comfortable walking shoes. Smart casual for the evening.
Luggage: There is limited storage space inside the cabin for luggage storage. Soft-topped luggage is easier to store.
Included: Seven nights’ accommodation in a suite on board the train. Seven buffet breakfasts, seven lunches and seven dinners on board or at restaurants. High quality wines, liquors, coffee and tea with meals. Accompanying hostess throughout the journey. Guided excursions with a luxury coach for transfers and visits. Musical performances and entertainment. All entrance fees. Bathrobes, slippers and toiletries provided; towels & linen changed daily.
Not Included: Gratuities. Drinks ordered outside of meals, or from the mini bar in the suite.
Booking & Reservations
All prices are at publicly-quoted rates.
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