When we were planning our honeymoon, we had to make a difficult decision: spending 3 days in Krugerpark or taking a 3 day journey with the luxury train Rovos Rail. My husband won the battle and we went to Krugerpark. It was the only disappointment during our trip. Since then a luxury train trip is on my bucketlist. For one reason or another I always think of Africa or the Orient Express. Recently I came into contact with Sarah from Spain is More and she told me there are several amazing, luxury train trip available in Spain. Sarah tells you all about those trips in the following blogpost.
Spanish Orient Express
Who doesn’t dream of a trip with the Orient Express? It is not necessary to fly 10-12 hours to Asia to fulfil this dream. In both Northern and Southern Spain you will find seven different train routes, which will provide you with luxurious experiences. ‘Trenes Turísticos de LUJO España’, under the train company FEVE, is specially made for tourists who want to have a very special travel experience.
Luxurious, delicious and with class
The train tours in several beautiful areas of Spain last around a week, and you can be sure that it will be luxurious. The gastronomy is at the highest level - both on board of the train and in the local restaurants that have been carefully selected for the trip. Every day at lunch and again for dinner, exciting menus are served. You will get to know local specialties (delicious ibérico ham, morcilla in Castilla y Leon, Bacalao al pil in Basque Country, delicious cheeses and strong sausages in Asturias and amazing seafood in Galicia), all served in the traditional way.
The scent of the forests, the rhythm of the wheels on the rails and awaiting adventures after every turn. Yes, there is something exciting and romantic about old trains. Furthermore, the trains stop at night so you can enjoy a good night's sleep in your suite's soft bed, surrounded by the beautiful interior. This also allows you to explore nightlife in the city - unless you choose to listen to live music in the "pub wagon".
Everything is on track!
Not only the trains are a special experience. The train stops at small idyllic stations, from which passengers are transported by bus to historic locations. You will be accompanied by a guide in the cities where a stopover is planned. It's not just the cruise itself that's important. At each stop, you get the chance to experience another important part of the trip: you come close to culture and history, nature and city, and especially, you eat locally and tastefully - all under expert guidance and assistance from train staff.
During the trip, a lot of staff is available: waiters, hostesses, receptionists, cleaning staff, chefs, drivers and security personnel. In addition, there are multilingual guides, both on board and local guides in every city. All guides speak Spanish, English, German and French. Note that all trips outside the trains are guaranteed at the same high level as service on board.
Below I will let you dream about the various options you have when you make a luxury train trip. Most trains routes are in the beautiful North of Spain, only Al Andalus is the exception and shows the best of Andalusia. However, these train journeys differ in style and price.
El Transcantábrico Clásico
El Transcantábrico Clásico has revived the tradition of train cruises. The train began its travels in 1983, 100 years after the first trip of the legendary “Orient Express”. El Transcantábrico Clásico is the journey that made FEVES train trips world-famous and is truly a first class experience. The train is internationally recognized as one of the world's best train journeys.
This impressive train is for those who want to explore the entire Northern Spain region, from León via Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela in 7 days. Or you can choose to do only a part of this route from Santander to Santiago de Compostela or vice versa in 4 days. Another option is to go from León to Santander or vice versa in 3 days.
You will visit places like Santiago de Compostela, Oviedo, Santander, Bilbao and León. What all these cities have in common is their rich history. There are numerous excursions planned, such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the cathedral and the Old Quarter of León and the Picos de Europa National Park. Note that you always receive a program for events and excursions of the day. More info on Spain is more.
El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo
El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo is even more luxurious than the Clásico. El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo is an authentic 5-star hotel on wheels with amenities for even the most demanding travellers. Gran Lujo promises you the journey of your life! The train was built in 2011 and the trip is intended exclusively for travellers for whom only the best is the best.
In eight days, you travel in luxury from San Sebastián to Santiago de Compostela - or vice versa. This is the only route that start in the beautiful city of San Sebastián. We advise to combine this train trip with 1 night in San Sebastian and 1 night in Santiago. Many of the excursions are the same as the Clásico edition, such as the Guggenheim Museum. But there are of course variations as they have not the same itinerary.
As mentioned, this train trip is made for the most demanding guests. The train suites are more spacious and includes a living room, bedroom and private bath all decorated with exclusive detail. Expect a comfortable double bed two meters long (or twin single beds). In addition, your suite will include a wardrobe, desk, safe and minibar. For maximum comfort there are LED screen televisions, synchonized music, adjustable air-conditioning, computer with free Internet access and wireless telephone.
The train, called Al-Andalus, is no less than a luxurious, completely renovated palace on wheels. On board you will find everything that a luxury tourist train must have and we promise you a truly unrivalled experience. The suites have been recently renovated and five of them were built in France in 1929. They were once used by the British royal house when they were on a summer holiday from Calais to Costa Azul. There are two different types of suites on board - standard and super-luxurious. Both of them have a private bathroom.
Every day there are many excursions planned in the cities where you stop. Amongst others, you can see the Cathedral of Seville, admire the Alzácar Palace in Córdoba, drive past the olive oil museum in Baeza, enjoy the Alhambra in Granada and enjoy wine in a Jerez wine cellar. And so much more! The trip with Al-Andalus consist of six beautiful days and five pleasant nights.
El Expreso de La Robla
El Expreso de La Robla Expreso de la Robla is the immensely popular 'little brother' of train travel in Northern Spain. This is a shorter trip of four days and three nights. El Expreso de La Robla offers you the opportunity to travel retro, but with the latest technology. Therefore, this trip is affordable for most people.
You will have the opportunity to explore Northern Spain while you spend four days aboard the train. El Expreso de La Robla offers two different routes: one runs from Bilbao through the Basque Country and Cantabria to León. And one runs from Bilbao and along the beautiful Spanish green coast to Oviedo.
This unique experience offers a lot of nostalgia, tradition and glamour, but still with all the modern facilities you expect. The train is designed for passengers who like to enjoy the beautiful landscapes. Soft, comfortable armchairs and large panoramic windows await you. In El Expreso de La Robla you sleep in bunk beds in your private compartment.
- Accommodation in the trains
- Evening meals and lunches, also served in local restaurants with typical regional dishes - including wine, coffee and liqueurs
- A buffet breakfast on board
- Special menus can also be arranged
- Laundry service during the trip
- Music and entertainment
- Programmed excursions, including entrance tickets for museums, cathedrals,…
- Multilingual guide throughout the trip
- Newspapers and magazines
- Security personal
- You can go right from one end of the train to the other at all times because they are all "interconnected"
- On board the train there is live music, so there is an music and entertainment team
- And so on, and so on
Are you looking for a luxurious cruise on the country?
We made it easy for you to get expert advice on luxury train travel in Spain. Just have a look at the website of travel agency Spain is More.
The train trips can be fully personalized, additional nights can be booked at any of the destinations. Furthermore, you can choose to be assisted in different languages: English, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Swedish or German. Spain is More also offers a 24/7 service line during your trip.