Formed of original 1923 Pullman coaches, this is an opulent gem of railway history
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The Transcantábrico Gran Lujo’s signature eight-day itinerary brings you along Spain’s northern coast between San Sebastián and Santiago de Compostela. You’ll sweep past pretty beaches and cragged cliffs, dipping back inland to discover its verdant interior marked with heritage stops. In turn, station highlights include Bilbao’s artistic wonders, the medieval town of Santillana del Mar and the shrine-dotted Lake Enol. Indeed, a journey aboard the Gran Lujo also offers the chance to turn off the beaten track with your guided excursions bringing you to Palaeolithic cave art and idyllic fishing villages alike.
Boarding this luxury train is like stepping back in time to the 1920s – the golden age of rail travel. Its all-suite accommodation is entirely panelled in polished timber, with regionally inspired artwork and gilded detailing adding considered touches. And, alongside the two-metre-long double – or twin – bed(s), there’s everything that you’d expect in a luxury hotel, including a wardrobe, minibar and living room, complete with sofa and table. There’s also a range of mod cons, including LED screens, an in-room music turner, climate control and even a computer with complimentary internet access. Lastly, the en suite bathrooms are particularly impressive. Here you’ll find a hydromassage shower and a steam sauna.
Dining is a real highlight aboard the Gran Lujo. You’ll take your meals in the opulent restaurant car, immaculately presented in stained glass accents and regal fabrics. Here you’ll be treated to all the culinary fineries of northern Spain, with the gastronomic identities of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country showcased across innovative menus. You’ll start the day with buffet breakfasts with tortillas, pies, cheese and cold meats among the highlights. Lunches and dinners are a more considered affair, with dishes including such regional favourites as Asturian fabada stew, baked fish frixuelos crepes. However, it’s the Galician seafood that is the real standout; the region is famed for its juicy octopus.
Each night, the bar coach, alongside its 24-hour drinks service, is host to parties, music recitals and live performances. It’s a truly social space, with guests mixing over fine wines. For further relaxation, head to the tearooms or panoramic carriage where windows reach into the ceiling to take advantage of the spectacular views. But the excellent service doesn’t stay on the train. At each stop your expert guides will get you right to the very heart of each destination with a curated range of excursions.
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