El Transcantábrico Clasico – An Unforgettable Journey Through Green Spain By First Class Rail

El Transcantábrico train

Discover the delights of north Spain aboard the Transcantábrico, one of the world’s finest tourist trains. Climb up the picturesque mountains, wind through the lush valleys and stream past the glorious coastlines of the country’s northern region, punctuating your journey with visits to Spanish gems including Palencia, Bilbao and Gijon.

El Transcantábrico train

El Transcantábrico Clasico offers a week-long train journey through Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and Basque Country, fondly referred to as ‘Green Spain’.

Rolling hills, alpine pastures and woodland are a far cry from the landscapes of Spain’s sunny south, though sea and sand can still be easily accessed, albeit in the form of bijou beaches and pretty port towns. A temperate oceanic climate encourages lush and leafy surroundings, perfect for river walks, apple picking and relaxing with a glass of cider. And there’s no better way to access these pleasant past times than travelling by luxury rail.

Aboard the Transcantábrico

Transcantábrico train interior

El Transcantábrico Clasico is a narrow-gauge train that comprises four saloon cars and seven sleepers. It is the oldest of Spain’s tourist trains, and the very first hotel-train to grace the country, opening for business in the summer of 1983. Transcantábrico still boasts several original Pullman cars, which are utilised as restaurants, bar and communal areas. Its cabins are designed with comfort in mind; each is fully-equipped with large beds, en-suite bathroom facilities and air con, not to mention the mini bar, spacious wardrobe and music facilities.


Upon leaving your private room, choose between various restaurants and lounges. Here, you will enjoy some of the best gastronomic delights that northern Spain has to offer, as well as indulging in a choice delicious wines. The Transcantábrico chefs pride themselves on using Spain’s freshest ingredients, whipped up into traditional recipes with a contemporary twist. There’s a considerable focus on fine dining throughout this holiday, along with fully immersing travellers into genuine Northern Spanish culture. With such delicious, authentic cuisine on offer, you’re sure to discover a real taste of Green Spain!


Your evenings spent aboard the Transcantábrico will be anything but boring. Entertainment is on offer every evening, varying between live, traditional Spanish music or a disco on the dance floor. For those that prefer a more peaceful evening, head to another public car for a chat or a board game, or settle in a quiet corner with your favourite book.


A Northern Spanish Adventure


When you travel with Planet Rail, your luxury holiday on the rails is a seamless, stress-free adventure. Commence your journey at London St. Pancras, where you board the Eurostar to Paris. Upon arriving at Avignon, you’ll make your way to the 4* Hotel de l’Horloge for a cosy and comfortable night’s rest. Whilst here, you have the opportunity to explore beautiful Avignon, discovering the winding streets and pretty squares of this historical walled town.


The next day you’ll be whisked to Madrid, where you can take the time to see what the Spanish capital has to offer. Following this, you’ll head to elegant Santander, where you’ll have an evening to get to know another iconic Spanish city. After a restful night’s sleep, it’s finally time to board El Transcantábrico Clasico!


The real adventure begins with breakfast aboard this stunning train. While you feast, you’ll be transported to Cabezon de la Sal, where you can spend a morning wandering the medieval streets of this charming town. Next, you’ll visit the Neocave of Altamira, and then the train passes into Asturia, where you’ll visit Ribadesella before settling in Arriondas for the night. Picos de Europa National Park is next on the agenda, where you’ll visit the stunning Lake Enol, before heading onwards to Aviles, and then Luarca, renowned as the White Town of the Green Coast. A peaceful evening in this quiet location will be much needed after a jam-packed few days of travelling, and we recommended our holidaymakers enjoy a relaxed meal with a glass (or two!) of wine before bedding down for the night.


The next day, you’ll be treated to a fun-filled day on the coast, visiting one of the most fascinating beaches in the world – Playa de las Catedrales, or ‘Beach of the Cathedrals’. This stunning patch of coastline showcases natural arches and caves that are only visible at low tide, offering ultimate photograph opportunities. For the rest of the day you can explore the rest of Ribadeo, perhaps walking Illa Pancha before settling down for a cold glass of beer.

El Transcantábrico Train Interior

This evening should be spent enjoying the luxurious Transcantábrico for the last time. Wine, dine, socialise and reflect on your trip, appreciating the natural beauty and mesmerizing cultures of northern Spain. The next morning, the train makes its final stop in Ferrol, where you’ll disembark and head to Santiago de Compostela via coach. You’ll stay in this historical gem for two nights, where you can indulge in even more fabulous sights and fantastic cuisine. Our holidaymakers then have the option of heading directly home or continuing on to Madrid and Barcelona, where your voyage can be extended into the country’s vibrant, bustling, cosmopolitan capital. Two nights here is the perfect finale to your holiday, and as you return to London via super-fast TGV and Eurostar, you can sit back and reminisce about your exciting, authentic Spanish adventure.


You can discover the detailed itinerary of El Transcantábrico Clasico here, or visit our full website at Planet Rail to view our full collection of luxury train holidays.