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 first or tourist class rail travel in Spain 2017, to departure stations and from arrival stations, on RENFE's trains; discount code provided for on-line self-booking; this is a RENFE offer, which may change without notice. Conditions in General Information.
Fay says, "Al Andalus is a beautiful train with some carefully-restored historic carriages, operating on three routes in Spain. Use this remarkable heritage train as your hotel while you enjoy the Spanish sights, culture and gastronomy."
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, transporting 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, ready to assist with any questions.
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.
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.
Twenty Superior (Deluxe) Suites (9.9 sq m/107 sq ft) each has a double bed (150x200 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 Superior Suite by night and by day.
Twelve Standard Suites (8 sq m/86 sq ft) each has two lower beds(78 cms x 191 cms / 31"x75" and 69 cms x 180 cms / 27" x 71"), safe, closet and a large bathroom with shaving points and a hairdryer. 360 degree panoramic view of Standard Suite by night and by day.
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.
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.
Al Andalus - South to North. Journey 1,250 km from Seville to Santiago de Compostella. This remarkable itinerary takes one from the south, through the centre, to the west into Galicia and finally to the north, thus covering a variety of Spanish landscapes, architecture and history.
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 XIII 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 - 2017/2018
2017: September 11. October 2,9,16,23.
2018: April 23,30. May 14,21,28. September 10,17,24. October 8,15,22.
RUTA EXTREMENA - Land of Conquistadors
Seville, Merida, Plasencia, Monfrague, Toledo, Aranjuez, Madrid
or Madrid to Seville
6 days / 5 nights. Check-in at Hotel Alfonso XIII 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 Madrid-Chamartín train station: 17:00hrs approx.
Dates and Prices 2017/2018
2017: Madrid - Seville: September 2.
2018: Seville - Madrid: June 16.
SPAIN SOUTH TO NORTH
Seville, Córdoba, Toledo, Avila, Leon, Ourense, Santiago de Compostela
9 days/8 nights. Journey of 1,250 km. Check-in at Hotel Alfonso XIII or similar
NOTE: Also available NORTH TO SOUTH - with German-speaking guides. 24 September 2017, ask for details.
Transfers: Complimentary transfers from Seville airport to hotel arranged between 12:00 & 20:00hrs on day 1; Santiago airport between 10:00 & 15:00hrs on day 9.
Day 1. Welcome to Seville. Following the transfer from the airport and check-in to the Hotel Alfonso XIII (or similar), you have time to explore before taking dinner in a local restaurant that is situated in a palace in the old town.
Day 2. Seville. After breakfast, a city tour of Seville that brings you close to figures like "Don Juan", "The Barber of Seville", Count Almaviva from "The marriage of Figaro" and "Carmen". You will also see the Giralda which is the biggest gothic cathedral of the world, the former minarett of the Almohaden Mosque and the Alcázar as a wonderful example of Andalusian Mudéjar architecture plus a visit to a flemenco museum. Join the train and travel to Córdoba in the afternoon. Overnight in Cordoba.
Day 3. Córdoba. Christians, Jews and Muslim used to live in Córdoba peacefully. A city tour through the old town allows one to absorb this fine example of Moorish Spain and the most important building of the city – the Mezquita, the former mosque and the Christian cathedral with its fascinating pillars. Then a visit to the Alcázar that is surrounded by wonderful gardens and a stroll through the narrow streets of the Jewish quarter before returning to the train to travel to Aranjuez, one of the summer residences of the royal family since the 16th century. Upon arrival take time to enjoy a walk through the city. Overnight in Aranjuez.
Day 4. Toledo. Toledo is also called the “City of three cultures” as Christians, Moors and Jews have left their influence, with churches, palaces, oriental style houses, narrow streets and an overall romantic atmosphere. We visit the monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, the synagogues of Santa María la Blanca and El Transíto as well as the famous painting "The Burial of Count of Orgaz“ by El Greco in the church San Tomé. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon. In the evening the train continues towards El Escorial whilst having dinner on board. Overnight in El Escorial.
Day 5. Avila and Leon. Avila with its huge fortification from the 11th century belongs to one of the best preserved and most complete medieval fortifications in the world. A fine example of the beauty of Castile with gothic manors, narrow winding streets, great Romanic churches and the 2.5 km long city wall with 28 towers. Avila is also a centre for Spanish handicraft, especially for leather and ceramics. In the afternoon, the Al Andalus train reaches León, one of the most important stops of Jacobean pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela, Visit the gothic Cathedral and wander the interesting streets before dinner. Overnight in León.
Day 6. Galicia. Welcome to Ribeira Sacra, a Spanish wine-growing region close to the Portuguese border. Enjoy a visit to a bodega for wine tasting, followed by a river cruise along the Rio Mino the longest rives in Galacia), as it winds through the spectacular Sil canyon with sides 500m high, upon which grow some of the best grape wines in the region. Arrive in Ourense with its magnificent old town, many monumental buildings and an ancient bridge that spans the river Mino with sections dating back to the Roman occupation nearly 2000 years ago. Enjoy a thermal spa. Join the train and overnight in Ourense.
Day 7. Santiago de Compostela. Free time in Ourense in the morning, followed by lunch on board as the Al Andalus travels northbound, arriving in Santiago de Compostela in the afternoon. The city is the final stop of pilgrims travelling on the Camino de Santiago (St James's Way) to visit the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great. Enjoy a city tour through the historic centre. Two overnights in the Parador Santiago de Compostela hotel, claimed to be the oldest hotel in the world.
Day 8. Rias Baixas. Rias Baixas is the name of the region where the Atlantic Ocean goes deep into the country. Beautiful beaches, wild nature and a diverse culinary scene await you. This part of Galicia is characterised by its unique natural beauty, fjord coastline and numerous offshore islands. A boat trip to the mussel beds where the world's best blue mussels and scallops are cultivated give you the chance to taste the freshly prepared seafood. If the weather is fine there is an excursion to the Cies Islands, the gem of the Islas Atlanticas National Park, followed by the historical fishing village Combarro. Its center is a characteristic example of Galicia's traditional architecture.
Day 9. Journey ends and transfers to the airport.
Included: Transfers; dinner on the first night with all meals thereafter until breakfast on the final morning; tours and excursions as mentioned; 3 hotel nights; 5 nights on the train.
Dates and Prices 2017
2017: 20 September
This journey is operated by Lernidee.
Payment terms for this journey: 15% Non-refundable deposit; final payment due 60 days prior to departure.
Cancellation conditions: Up to 90 days prior to departure, 15% of total price; up to 42 days prior to departure, 45% of total; up to 11 days prior to departure, 80% of total price; up to 1 day prior to departure, 90% of total price.
RENFE Payment Terms
Deposit payment 40% of total price to reserve
Balance payment 60% at least 30 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.
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: Accommodation as noted in the tours. Breakfasts on the train and lunches/ 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 includes: A choice of two lunches/dinners in your suite; all extra non-alcoholic beverages; the crew may unpack your luggage into the wardrobe on arrival and repack on the last day.
Not included: Gratuities. Drinks ordered outside of meals, or from the mini bar in the suite. Laundry and ironing service - advised on the train.
Wifi: The Al Andalus has Wifi, in the lounge car. However it is the most reliable when the train is static in stations.
Electrics: 220 volts with Type F round 2-prong plug outlets.
Itinerary Changes: 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.
Flights: It is not advisable to book flights within a few hours of the approximate departure or arrival times, in case of delay. It is best to consider arriving the day before and leaving the day after the tour.
Renfe Discount: Club members with a reservation on El Transcantábrico and / or Al Ándalus can request transfers in regular AVE, ALVIA or LD (Long Distance) trains to the starting point of the luxury train and the return journey from the end point, provided that each leg is a through point to point journey, carried out within the limits of the national railway network, on the closest dates to the beginning and end of the luxury train journey, and with a maximum difference of 48 hours between connections if these are unavoidable. Renfe will offer a 50% discount on the standard (flexible) fare by providing a promotional code (one code for up to 2 persons) to be redeemed when making the train transfer booking at the train station’s ticket office or through www.renfe.com
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.
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