There is another Spain, beyond the endless miles of golden beaches and resorts that have attracted holidaymakers for decades. Let Great Rail Journeys introduce you to a sun-kissed land that is bursting with passion, culture, history and natural beauty on a fabulous escorted rail tour of Spain.
Sit back and enjoy the view as we journey by train to the vineyards and villages of rural Spain. Admire the beauty of the Rioja region before sampling a glass of its famous produce in a rustic wine tavern. If the lure of the coast proves irresistible, join us on an excursion to the fishing village of Cadaques was a favourite retreat of Salvador Dali.
If your preference is for the buzz and excitement of the city you'll be thrilled by our journeys by train in Spain as you'll visit the architecturally-stunning Valencia with its mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings, the historic and picture-postcard perfect Barcelona and vibrant Madrid, Spain's compelling and cosmopolitan capital which is steeped in art, culture and attractions both ancient and modern.
Spain is a destination that can truthfully claim to deliver all things to all people, and when you join Great Rail Journeys for a holiday in Spain by train we'll show you the very best of this beautiful country.
Showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Andalucia, this tour takes us from Spain's bustling, fashionable capital city, through the iconic Moorish citadel of Granada's Alhambra, to the elegant city of Seville, via the whitewashed passages of Cordoba's Old Town.
The beautiful, unspoilt town of Roses is our base for nine nights on the rugged Costa Brava. Our relaxed itinerary introduces the cultural highlights of the region, including the incredible Cap de Creus National Park, the picturesque fishing village of Cadaques, Barcelona, Figueres and the Dalí Foundation.
This remarkable rail odyssey takes us through Spain to Morocco, North Africa's most beguiling cultural destination. During this exciting rail adventure we encounter royal palaces, ancient mosques & minarets, souks and mysterious snake charmers, while immersing ourselves in the true flavours of Moroccan life.
Catalonia has many claims to fame, from its stunning scenery and the pull of cosmopolitan Barcelona, to the more artistic vein coursing through this diverse and cultural region. All this and more awaits to be discovered during the course of your Catalan adventure, combining chic city and stunning coastline.
Flowing from northern Spain to the ocean in Porto, the Douro River carves our route through a rolling landscape of vineyards, gorges and villages. From vibrant Lisbon, we head up the coast to Porto where we board our five-star floating hotel for a spectacular cruise through the Douro Valley's incredible scenery and fascinating communities.
After relaxing in Montreux and exploring captivating Venice we set sail on board the fabulous Norwegian Spirit. Our voyage of discovery takes us to ancient Athens, Izmir and Ephesus, Istanbul and Mykonos, before we sail into the western Med to visit Naples, Rome, Tuscany and Provence, ending our cruise in bustling Barcelona.
Join us on this remarkable tour encompassing eight of Europe's countries on an epic adventure by rail. From elegant Brussels to romantic Paris, we explore the lively pulse of Berlin, the Gothic beauty of Prague, the splendours of Austria, the timeless classicism of Italy's iconic cities, the wonderful Cote d'Azur coastline and the beauty of vibrant Barcelona.
On this remarkable tour of Northern Spain we stay in magnificent Barcelona, the pulsating heart of Catalonia, before travelling into the exceptional countryside of La Rioja. We taste the famous wines of the region and explore its charming towns and villages from our base in Haro, then enjoy time to discover the glamourous coastal town of San Sebastián.
Spectacular Moorish palaces and pretty white-washed streets are nestled amongst a rugged landscape of deep gorges and the dramatic Sierra Nevada mountains - the beauty of Andalucia is waiting to be explored.
Capturing the true essence of Spain, this rail tour takes us from Gaudi's ritzy Barcelona on the Mediterranean, to the elegant Atlantic seafront of San Sebastián, via the majestic bustling streets of Madrid, handsome Toledo, historic Segovia and the golden city of Salamanca.
Experiencing Spain with Great Rail Journeys
Whether you're sampling tapas in Seville, marvelling at the exquisite Alhambra Palace in Granada or browning on the beach at Benicarlo it's because Great Rail Journeys seeks out a selection of the best destinations and excursions for its Spanish rail tour itineraries.
Everything that appears on your varied and exciting itinerary is included in the cost of your train holiday in Spain, as are all the travel arrangements, quality accommodation and a selection of meals. Add in the services of our professional and helpful Tour Manager who is on hand to assist and advise guests whenever needed, and you'll agree that our escorted rail tours of Spain provide excellent value for money.
Good accommodation is essential to the enjoyment of your holiday and we ensure that every hotel we use is the best available in terms of value, location, guest facilities and comfort. We like to choose family-run hotels where possible which typically provide a more personal service and an informal environment in which guests can fully relax.
Spain Traveller's Guide
Spain, Europe's fifth-largest country, is situated on the Iberian Peninsula in south-western Europe and bordered by Portugal to the west and France and Andorra to the north-east. Spain's northern coast faces the Atlantic Ocean, its east coast the Mediterranean Sea.
For the last 35,000 years Spain has been settled, invaded and controlled by various races from the Ancient Greeks and Romans to the Germanic Visigoths and the Moors of northern Africa. Following the reclamation of Spain from the Moors at the end of the fifteenth century, rule of the country alternated between Spain and France for the next three centuries until simmering animosity between Spanish Monarchists and Nationalists eventually resulted in the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939. The Nationalists won and Spain effectively became a military dictatorship under General Francisco Franco until his death in 1975, when the current monarchy - and democracy - was restored.
The eastern side of Spain benefits from a Mediterranean climate which provides hot, dry sunny summers and mild wet winters. Winter temperatures grow colder towards Spain's central plateau. On the Atlantic coast summers are slightly cooler and heavier rainfall is experienced in winter.
Spain's cuisine is relatively simple and is based on the easy availability of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and particularly seafood. The settlement of different races throughout Spain's history has also influenced its gastronomy, such as the widespread use of olive oil; an ingredient associated with Greek and Roman culture. There are many delicious Spanish specialities to try but among those most commonly available are paella - a stew of shellfish, chorizo sausage and rice, the hearty Tortilla Española (Spanish omelette), Gazpacho, soup of fresh tomatoes and herbs served cold, and Jamón serrano; ham that has been cured and aged. Churros, deep-fried doughnuts, piped in a straight line rather than a circle, are a popular dessert and snack. Spain is famous for its red wines such as Rioja, and the fortified sherry, whilst sangria, a red wine punch with fresh fruit, brandy and sugar is popular, refreshing and available everywhere.
Touring Spain by train it is almost impossible not to be introduced to someone's children and it is here that many visitors show a misunderstanding of Spanish culture. In Spain it is polite to shake everyone's hand starting with the oldest and working down to young children.
Guests on our tours of Spain by train are accompanied by a Tour Manager who arranges for local services including many meals. Should you choose to dine separately at a restaurant of your own choice, it is customary in Spain to tip between 5% and 10% of the value of the meal.