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El Transcantábrico, San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela

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10 days From £8,995 per person
Independent

2024 Tour code: TRI24

About the tour

Discover Northern Spain in luxury and style when you take the journey of a lifetime aboard El Transcantabrico, a train that whisks you away to a place of mystery and legends, and takes you back in time to the golden age of travel. Explore unspoilt beaches and historic towns and cities, when you visit jewels of Northern Spain like Santander, Gijon, and Santiago de Compostela. Taste the local wines and delve deeper into the food and culture of this lesser visited area of Spain.

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Unforgettable Experiences

El Transcantabrico
El Transcantabrico
Journey across Northern Spain on the country’s oldest and most luxurious train.
Guggenheim Museum
Guggenheim Museum
Explore the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
Lake Enol
Lake Enol
Visit Lake Enol in Picos de Europa National Park.
Parador de Santiago
Parador de Santiago
Stay in the unique Parador de Santiago, considered one of the world’s oldest and most luxurious hotels.

What’s included

Personalise your holiday

Outbound Travel

Getting to Bilbao

Your journey begins today with your flight from London Gatwick to Bilboa airport.

Regional flights available

Arrival in San Sebastian

Day 1 - To San Sebastian

Arrival in San Sebastian

On arrival in Bilbao, you'll be transferred to San Sebastian, where you can relax in your hotel. Extend your tour with a two-night stay in San Sebastian, and you can get to know the area better on one of our optional excursions available at a supplement.

El Transcantabrico

Day 2 - El Transcantabrico

El Transcantabrico

Your rail adventure begins today when you leave your hotel, but first you'll spend some time taking a guided tour of San Sebastian and getting to know the town better. After a stroll around town, you'll enjoy lunch at one of the local restaurants before leaving San Sebastian by coach to travel to Bilbao.

At Bilbao station, the magnificent El Transcantabrico train waits for you. The crew onboard will welcome you with a drink as you become accustomed to your luxury surroundings, and then you'll be shown to your accommodation to relax and get comfortable.

When the train sets off to Carranza you'll enjoy your first sumptuous diner onboard in one of the retro dining cars, followed by evening entertainment in the entertainment car. The train will rest in the station at Carranaz and you'll spend your first night onboard.

Bilbao

Day 3 – Bilbao, the Guggenheim and Santander

Bilbao

Your first morning aboard El Transcantabrico begins with an a la carte and buffet breakfast in one of the vintage restaurant cars. Then, you'll journey to Bilbao, where you'll visit the Guggenheim museum and discover the delights of this vibrant city.

Before lunch you'll return to the train and your journey continues as you make your way to Santander. You'll enjoy lunch aboard the train, and on arrival in Santander you'll take a tour of the city. You'll then have some free time to explore Santander at your own pace. When you've enjoyed a luscious dinner, you can visit the Gran Casion de Santander, followed by a night onboard in the city's station.

Cantabria

Day 4 – Cantabria and the Herminda Gorge

Cantabria

As you enjoy your breakfast onboard El Transcantabrico, you'll travel on to the town of Unquera. Once in Unquera, you'll take the coach and travel towards Potes, a charming village in Cantabria, crossing the stunningly beautiful Hermida Gorge, one of the natural wonders of the Picos de Europa, on the way. Next, you'll head to the hotel Balnearrio de la Hermida where you can take some time in the thermal spa.

Following lunch you'll travel to Comillas, where you'll visit the mansion of El Capricho, the 19th century work by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. You'll then continue onto Cabezón de la Sal, where you'll enjoy dinner and spend the night.

Santillana del Mar

Day 5 – Medieval Spain & the Altamira Caves

Santillana del Mar

Today you will visit the ancient town of Santillana del Mar, which provides a window into what life was like here in medieval times. The centre of town is a perfectly preserved example of a medieval Spanish town and is a fascinating place to wander around and soak up the historic atmosphere. Next, get ready to be amazed when you visit the cave of Altamira where you can view the cave art of the Upper Paleolithic period. After lunch, you'll board the train again as you head to Llanes where you'll enjoy dinner and spend the night.

Picos de Europa National Park

Day 6 – The Picos de Europa National Park

Picos de Europa National Park

Following your breakfast onboard, you'll take the coach to the Picos de Europa National Park, where you'll visit Lake Enol and the sanctuary of Covadonga, which is a sacred place for Asturians.

At lunch time you'll return to the train, and as you enjoy a relaxed lunch onboard you'll travel on to Oviedo, the capital of Asturias. There'll be a guided tour of the city, and you'll also have free time to explore further on your own.

Dinner is back onboard El Transcantabrico and you'll spend the night onboard in Oviedo.

Asturian Coast

Day 7 – The Asturian Coast

Asturian Coast

Your first stop today is at the coastal village of Gijon, which sits on the shores of the Cantabrian Sea. This charming seaside village has a small beach and a lovely marina, making it a pleasant place for a stroll around. You'll enjoy lunch in the pretty village before continuing on to Luarca, a little way along the Asturian coast. A slightly bigger coastal resort to Gijon, Luarca still has a fishing village feel to it, but also has some stunning architecture in its town. You'll be given a guided tour of the town before returning to the train for dinner and overnight in Luarca.

Galicia

Day 8 – Galicia

Galicia

This morning you'll cross the border into Galicia and you'll stop at the town of Ribadeo, which sits on the border between Galicia and Asturias. Here'll you'll take the coach along the coast to Lugo, where you'll visit Playa de Las Catedrales, one of the most photographed beaches in Spain, due to its spectacular rock formations. You'll then take a tour of Ribadeo where you'll also stop for a local lunch. After lunch, and a little time in town, you'll board the train once more and head to Viveiro. Here, you'll have a guided tour of the town, and some free time to discover more on your own. Dinner will be served back onboard the train and you'll spend the night in Viveiro.

Santiago de Compostela

Day 9 – Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela

Enjoy your last breakfast aboard El Transcantabrico, while the beautiful scenery passes your window on your way to Ferrol, in A Coruña. On arrival, the coach will be waiting to take you to Santiago de Compostela. Here, you'll visit the historic centre of this incredible city, home to pilgrims for a thousand years, and with historically important buildings and monuments, including its magnificent cathedral. After the visit, you'll head to the Parador de los Reyes Católicos, where you'll round off this wonderful tour of the North of Spain. Lastly, you'll be transferred to your hotel for the night.

You may wish to extend your stay, and spend two nights in Santiago de Compostela, and take advantage of our optional excursions available at a supplement.

Inbound Travel

Day 10 – Santiago de Compostela to UK

Your epic journey ends today when you are transferred from your hotel to Santiago airport. But first, you'll have some free time in Santiago to take a walk, do any last minute shopping, or to simply sit with a coffee and watch the locals go by. From Santago airport you'll take your flight back home to London.

Ready to start planning your El Transcantábrico, San Sebastian to Santiago de Compostela holiday?

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El Transcantábrico

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