Tourist and luxury trains to discover Spain in a different way

A new generation of tourist trains has arrived, and it gives us a chance to tour through Spain in a different way. Renfe has decided to expand its variety of train travel options, but preserving the essence they have always had. Touring through Andalusia or the northern coast can be a great experience if you choose to travel by these tourist trains. You can enjoy the landscape changing through the windows and the travellers can go for an excursion, or choose to party at dusk with live music when the train comes to a halt. At the end of the day, tourist and luxury trains are a different way to discover and enjoy the best of Spain.

Luxury trains: three unique routes across Spain

These luxury trains travel through different parts of Spain for several days, turning into a luxury hotel that moves on rails. The aesthetics of the wagons take the travellers back to the 20th century, giving a sense of nostalgia that many experience when it comes to train travel. Despite the fact that one is reminded of the times in the past, both the technology and the amenities in the trains are very modern.

The travel options always include services such as staying overnight on the train, which during the nights stops at a station make it easier for the travellers to rest. One can also enjoy varied gastronomy in the dining room within the trains and while visiting the cities. A specialized guide accompanies you in every tour, which allows you to get in-depth information of the places you visit. With regards to these luxury trains in Spain, there are three main routes to choose from.

Transcantábrico Gran Lujo

Donostia-San Sebastián is the starting point of this train route

Donostia-San Sebastián is the starting point of this train route. | Shutterstock

This train starts at Donostia-San Sebastián and tours for eight days before it stops at Santiago de Compostela, or vice versa. The rooms and common areas are internally connected in the entire train so that travellers can move around freely. The suites have a bedroom, a lounge and a private bathroom, while the common wagons are authentic Pullman cars from the 1920s, from when they first started. Parties, music or live performances are held every night, in addition to a final gala party. All this in addition to enjoying the charm of the North, with excursions that lead to the most exclusive spots of this area. If one prefers to go for the mini version, a four-day trip can be taken from San Sebastián to Oviedo.

Green Coast Express

Cathedral of Oviedo

Cathedral of Oviedo. | Shutterstock

This gastronomic and cultural journey leads through the greenest part of Spain, touring the four autonomous communities that characterize the northern coast: Euskadi, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia. The itinerary lasts six days and five nights, from Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela, and you can also opt for the short trip, from Oviedo to Santiago. The trip also includes a luxury bus that facilitates trips on excursions, like for example, a visit to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, or the sanctuary of Covadonga in Asturias.

Al Ándalus train, the Andalusian route


Granada. | Shutterstock

For 7 days and 6 nights, this luxury train allows you to tour Andalusia while evoking the magic and charm of the so-called Belle Époque. On this train, there is a possibility to choose between two types of rooms: the Grand Class Room and the Deluxe Suite, which includes more services. In either case, the traveller will travel from Seville to Malaga, passing through Granada, Córdoba, Ronda and Cádiz. You will visit places such as La Alhambra or the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art of Jerez. This train has been operating since 1985, which makes it even more historic.

Thematic trains of all kinds throughout Spain

Tourist trains in Galicia

A Coruña, with dozens of tourist trains

A Coruña. | Shutterstock

Throughout Galicia there are more than a dozen routes in which, in addition to enjoying the Galician landscape and culture, you can learn a lot about the history of the railway of this region. Its implementation was one of the most complex works of Spanish engineering. This year, in addition to the routes previously offered, travellers are presented with three new options. Firstly, the Northern Coast Lighthouse Route, which runs through the northernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula. Secondly, the Route of the Estrella Galicia Museum Experience and A Coruña 1906, which involves exploring one of the great Galician cities at the time when one of the most popular Spanish beers was born. Lastly, the Camelias Flower Route takes the traveller from Santiago de Compostela to Vilagarcía de Arousa, among gardens that hold 1000 varieties of camelias, historic castles and palaces.

The train of José Zorrilla

Sculpture of José Zorrilla, a literary train trip in Spain

Sculpture of José Zorrilla. | Shutterstock

Every Saturday, this train departs from Madrid to Valladolid, and returns the same day, as the journey takes less than a couple of hours. It takes the travellers to the city where José Zorrilla, the author of Don Juan Tenorio —one of the greatest playwrights of Spanish literature— was born. It is a cultural trip, wherein every second Saturday of the month, a theatricalization is displayed within the train, which gives the trip a complete historical experience.

The train of the windmills

Campo de Criptana, a great place to discover by train in Spain

Campo de Criptana. | Shutterstock

This train takes the travellers to the famous place where Don Quixote fought against the windmills: Campo de Criptana. Like in the train route mentioned earlier, there is a dramatization of the event in question in the train itself, thus enlivening the journey. A specialized guide accompanies the travellers to visit this place. There is barely a two-hour distance between Madrid, from Chamartín or Atocha, to Campo de Criptana.

Medieval train


Sigüenza. | Shutterstock

This train trip allows you to discover Sigüenza, its history, legends and highlights, in a different way. One can enjoy live medieval music as well as performances by troubadours, magicians and jugglers, which give a medieval charm to this journey that departs from Madrid’s Chamartín station. It stops in Alcalá de Henares and Guadalajara, and ends 50 minutes later, in Sigüenza.

Canal de Castilla train

Canal de Castilla in the province of Valladolid, a different train trip in Spain

Canal de Castilla in the province of Valladolid. | Shutterstock

This is certainly one of the most unique train journeys in Spain, because you go from the train to the boat, from the rails to the waters. Travellers can enjoy a walk along the Canal de Castilla, the great engineering work of the eighteenth century, and the only navigable canal in Spain today. It includes visits to monuments and museums for history lovers.

Wine train of Valladolid

Vineyards in Ribera de Duero

Vineyards in Ribera de Duero. | Shutterstock

This train allows you to enjoy eleven routes through the Denominaciones de Origen of Ribera de Duero, Rueda, Cigales and Toro. The journey begins in Madrid, or in Segovia, and ends in just one hour in Valladolid. One can return on the same day or the trip can be extended until the next day. In addition to learning about the historical and cultural heritage of the province, it is undoubtedly the ideal train for those who love Spanish wine.

Barcelona Es Mucho Más

Beach of Mataró

Beach of Mataró. | Shutterstock

This is one of the three novelties that Renfe presents in its thematic trains through Spain. It departs from Barcelona, with the possibility of returning on the same day. The first destination is Mataró, where you can visit the Nau Gaudí, the first work of Antoni Gaudí, or the Plaza Gran, the heart of the town, where you can experience strawberry tastings. After Mataró, the next destination is Canet de Mar. There one can visit the Casa Museu Lluis Domenech i Montaner. This train journey provides both a gastronomical and a cultural experience.

The train of Cervantes

Sculpture of Cervantes in Alcalá de Henares

Sculpture of Cervantes in Alcalá de Henares. | Shutterstock

Another novelty among the thematic trains in Spain. Just like it happens with the rest of the trains, the experience begins on the same route, which leads from Madrid’s Atocha station to Alcalá de Henares. During the trip, a group of actors present an act in which they pay homage to the work of Cervantes, whose origin will guide the traveller to Alaclá. A guided tour of the great cultural heritage of the city is also included there.

Teresa de Ávila train

Sculpture of Teresa de Jesús in Ávila

Sculpture of Teresa de Jesús in Ávila. | Shutterstock

The third and final novelty. On this trip to Ávila, which starts at Madrid’s Príncipe Pío station, travellers can enjoy a trip to the 16th century in a city that has managed to preserve its medieval past. Additionally, the program includes a visit to the figure of Teresa de Jesús, founder of the Order of Discalced Carmelites and one of the most important writers in Spanish history.

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