The train is not just for commuting, it can also be a travel destination or a tourist attraction in its own right. Spain offers more ‘destination trains’ you would think. Destination trains are trains you book for the experience, not to travel from A to B.
From Santiago de Compostela (Galicia) to León (Castile-Leon), on El Transcantábrico Clásico; or from Santiago to San Sebastian (in the Basque Country), on El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo, through Green Spain, in the north of the country. These are the routes of the two variants of El Transcantábrico during eight days and seven nights.
The Transcatábrico is a luxury train with luxury prices. It usually runs from April to October.
The Al Andalus operates in Andalusia in the south of Spain. The train’s four saloon cars are treasures of railway history dating from 1928 and 1930. In these carriages the breakfast buffet, lunches and dinners are served and there is entertainment every evening.
There are two types of accommodation: Deluxe suites and Gran Clase bedrooms. In both cases, the carriages belong to the same series used for the British Royal Trains in the early 20th century. Today their original belle époque décor also includes a full range of modern amenities.
The train leaves Seville towards Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera. There are stops in Ronda and Granada. The sixth day brings you to Linares, Úbeda and Baeza and on the seventh day you’ll arrive in Córdoba.
There are 10 itineraries for scenic trains in Galicia, a green region rich with flowers, architecture and gastronomy.
La Robla Express
La Robla Express operates between Bilbao and León and between Bilbao and Oviedo.
It has enormous windows so you can admire the countryside while you travel, as well as common recreational areas including saloon cars with permanent bar service, newspapers, library, video library, television, games area, free breakfast buffet, piped music, computers and free internet connection.
Its sleeping cars have individual air conditioning and heating, and their own separate bathrooms with hydro-massage showers. In order to ensure your undisturbed rest, the train remains stationary at night so that passengers are not awakened by the movement.
Catalonia, world famous for Barcelona, has scenic steam trains in Lleida between April and October. The journey starts at Lleida station with the whistle of the Garrafeta, a historic steam locomotive. Once it reaches Balaguer, the journey continues in the Yeyés (old-fashioned diesel locomotives), which borders the reservoirs of Sant Llorenç de Montgai, Camarasa, Cellers and Sant Antoni.
The vintage period train with its wooden furnishings and large windows adds a special charm to the tour.
The Tren de la Fresa or Strawberry Train takes you from Madrid to Aranjuez. The train runs regularly between the end of April and June and during the months of September and October, on weekends, and leaves from Príncipe Pío Station in Madrid.
The line, which opened in 1851, was the second to operate in Spain.
Campos de Castilla train in Soria
Danny and I have yet to explore this vintage trains in Spain. But they sure are intriguing.