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Costa Verde Express

Costa Verde Express: Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela

8-day luxury rail journey from £4,345 pp incl. flights


Short description

Visit medieval villages, stunning national parks and unique cities on a no-fly journey across northern Spain


  • Enjoy a Grand Class cabin with double bed, ensuite bathroom with sauna and hydro-massage
  • Join on board activities from live music and performances, to parties and dancing in the pub bar
  • Sample the culinary delights of Northern Spain with all meals included on and off the train
  • Be part of guided tours off the train
  • Celebrate with an end of trip party

In Brief

  • 1 Night Bilbao
  • 1 Night Santander
  • 1 Night Llanes
  • 1 Night Oviedo
  • 1 Night Luarca
  • 1 Night Viveiro
  • 1 Night Santiago de Compostela


Recommended for:
Food & wine | History & culture | Off the beaten track | Rail journey

This luxury rail journey brings you off the beaten track to some of Spain's most treasured towns and villages, you'll take the Costa Verde Express on a scenic rail journey through the country's north, enjoying the comfort of your Grand Class suite and luxurious dining and bar carriages as you go. From the industrial splendour of Bilbao and the famous Guggenheim Museum to the cobbled streets of Santillana del Mar, there's plenty to explore; highlights include the prehistoric Altamira Neocave and the stunning Picos de Europa National Park. It all ends with a stay in a historic Parador in Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK > Bilbao

Begin your trip in style with complimentary airport lounge access before your flight to Bilbao, a city of striking architecture surrounded by green mountains on the banks of the Nervión river. Your accommodation is on the doorstep of the world-famous Guggenheim Museum, its shining titanium structure an icon of 20th-century design. From this enviable location, you're perfectly placed to explore the delights of the city, from the boutiques and cafes of the old town, Siete Calles, to the broad promenades along the river. For unrivalled views over the city, a funicular railway takes you up Artxanda Mountain in just three minutes. Back in your hotel, enjoy a Turkish bath or sauna in the Wellness Centre before a well-earned night's sleep.

Stay: Gran Hotel Domine, Bilbao (Deluxe)

Day 2
Bilbao to Marron/Ampuero

Today you'll board the Costa Verde Express and settle into your Grand Class Suite. Your room features a comfortable double bed, air-conditioning and ensuite bathroom with hydromassage shower, its wood panelling and elegant furnishings inspired by the train's original decor. The lounge carriages offer space for dining and socialising, while the pub coach offers nightly music and entertainment for all guests. Before departing Bilbao you'll enjoy lunch and an included tour of Bilbao and the Guggenheim Museum.. Once on your way, you'll enjoy lunch as the train leaves for Santander where the train will stop for you to spend the night, in the afternoon you will have free time in the city and dinner will be served in one of the city's many restaurants. 

Stay: Costa Verde Express

Meals: B L D

Day 3
Santander to Arriondas

This morning you'll leave Santander and head west for Cabezón de la Sal, where you'll take a luxury coach to Santillana del Mar. This historic town has an incredibly well-preserved medieval quarter and is home to the Colegiata de Santa Juliana, a 12th-century Romanesque monastery with beautiful carvings in its cloisters. You'll also visit the site of the famous Altamira 'Neocave', where Palaeolithic paintings dating back to between 14,000 and 20,000 years ago were rediscovered in 1868. The cave itself is accompanied by a museum and scientific reproduction, as visitors are restricted into the original cave to prevent deterioration of the paintings. After lunch, your train will return to Ribadesella in Asturias, with a tour, dinner and overnight stay in Llanes.

Stay: Costa Verde Express

Meals: B L D

Day 4
Picos de Europa to Candas

Enjoy a leisurely and scenic breakfast as the Spanish countryside whips past your window on the way to your next stop,the Asturian capital of Cangas de Onis, then continue to the heart of the Picos de Europa mountains; Covadonga Sanctuary, and Lake Enol. Return to the train and head to Oviedo.and the heart of pre-Romanesque Asturias, this characterful town is home to such treasures as the 9th-century San Julián de los Prados church and the fascinating Archaeological Museum of Asturias. You'll have free time to explore the bustling streets at your leisure, then dinner in Oviedo.

Stay: Costa Verde Express

Meals: B L D

Day 5
Candas to Luarca

After breakfast, a morning visit to the medieval flavour and historic quarter in Oviedo, capital of the Principality and example of pre-Romanesque art with World Heritage status, before continuing to Gijón, a city near the sea and full of energy offering a combination of maritime tradition, monumental heritage, enjoy free time and lunch in Gijón, maybe trying Cocido, a thick bean, vegetable and meat soup prepared in a special pot. In the afternoon back on-board the train arrive into Luarca, visit, dinner and night in Luarca hidden on the Asturian coast, this quiet town of white houses preserves all the charm and attraction of its seafaring tradition.

Stay: Costa Verde Express

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Luarca to Viviero

Enjoy breakfast on board as the train slowly arrives into Ribadeo, the first Galician enclave on the route of the Costa Verde Express, there is time to enjoy leisure time and the culinary delights of Galicia in Ribadeo such as the grilled fish dish of parillada de pescados, a local delicacy. In the afternoon the train and the journey continues to Viveiro for dinner and a night in the city, built at the mouth of the Cantabrian Sea on the banks of the river Landro, the most important city in the region of A Mariña.

Stay: Costa Verde Express

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Viviero > Ferrol > Santiago de Compostela

Today you'll be served a final breakfast on board before saying farewell to the train.  Rolling into Ferrol, you’ll wave goodbye to its coastal fortress – the Castello de San Felipe – to catch the coach inland to the Galician capital, Santiago de Compostela. Visit and lunch at the Parador Reyes Católicos, before an afternoon farewell, and time at leisure to  follow in a long line of pilgrims to its famous cathedral, whose great Gothic tiers date back nearly a thousand years, then explore the narrow street maze among tapas taverns and delicate squares.

Stay: Parador Santiago de Compostela

Meals: B L

Day 8
Return to the UK

This morning head to the airport for your flight back to the UK 



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Deluxe

8-day luxury rail journey from £4,345 pp incl. flights

Deluxe 2023

Low Season

from £4,345 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £4,430 pp. incl. flights

The Costa Verde Express operates between Bilbao and Santiago de Compostela and v/v between May and Oct

Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela: 27 May, 10, 14 Jun / 08, 22 Jul / 16, 30 Sep / 14 Oct 2023

Santiago de Compostela to Bilbao: 20 May / 03, 17 Jun / 01, 15 Jul / 09, 23 Sep / 07 Oct 2023


  • Complimentary UK airport departure lounge access
  • Return flights between UK and Bilbao and returning from Santiago de Compostela
  • Private return airport transfers in Bilbao and Santiago de Compostela
  • 1 night accommodation in Bilbao on a B&B basis
  • Accommodation in Grand Class Suite with double bed and ensuite bedroom on a FB basis including wine, water, soft drinks and coffee
  • Welcome drink and End-of-trip party
  • Toilet bag and toiletries and slippers
  • Mineral water in suite's minibar
  • Onboard activities: live music and performances, parties in the club car
  • Tickets for museums, monuments and shows
  • Programmed trips and tours
  • Daily newspapers and magazines
  • Accompanying guide throughout the trip
  • Guided tours
  • 1 night accommodation in Santiago de Compostela on a B&B basis

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

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