Travelling on the Al Andalus train is like going back in time. Conceived from the start as an exponent of elegance and comfort, its magnificent lounge carriages and its comfortable suites take passengers back to the Golden Age of the foxtrot and sophistication of the Belle Époque. Delicate inlays, lacquered panels and geometric plant engravings, original hatters and exquisite interiors tell us about other times and fashions, the legacy of luxury and the exclusivity of its origins.
It is not surprising that its cabins once clattered along the tracks that cross France from Calais to the French Riviera with the members of the British monarchy as illustrious passengers.
The Al Andalus train started as a tourist product three decades ago, recovering and restoring early-dated coaches to deploy once again its elegance and sophistication in the Spanish railways. Today, its lounge cars are the perfect scenario in which breakfast is served à la carte and dinners and threecourse meals are designed by our well-known chefs.
Enjoy areas to chat with other travelers, have an espresso, a sherry or a delicious cocktail, or just let your imagination run free and relax while the landscape passes by the vast windows.
Day 1, Friday
Seville - Zafra
Rendezvous at Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville at 10.30am. Luggage will be transferred to the train while we visit the capital of Andalusia, boasting the most extensive historic city centre in Spain, home to the Gothic Cathedral, its bell tower named Giralda, the Royal Alcazar and the General Archive of the Indies. Return to the Al Andalus and welcome cocktail with the crew. Lunch onboard while travelling to Zafra. Visit this historic town that preserves significant traces of its rich past. Dinner and overnight in Zafra.
Day 2, Saturday
Zafra - Merida
Just as every day, we begin the journey with a delicious buffet and a la carte breakfast while the train takes to Mérida, capital of Extremadura, where we will spend the day. Visit an Iberian pig farm, the Lake Proserpine, Milagros Aqueduct and the town’s Roman temples. After lunch, we will discover the National Museum of Roman Art, the Amphitheatre and the Roman Theatre. Free time before dinner. Overnight in Mérida.
Day 3, Sunday
Merida - Caceres
Journey to Cáceres, an impressive Roman-origin city with an almost intact historic city centre listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Guided city tour followed by lunch and free time. Optional activities include a visit of Vostell Museum or Helga de Alvear Foundation. Dinner onboard and overnight in Cáceres.
Day 4, Monday
Caceres - Monfragüe
We will travel to Monfragüe while having breakfast to enjoy a morning in nature, visiting this National Park home to over 200 species of vertebrates, and many more that winter or can be seen during migration to other latitudes. After the tour, enjoy lunch and entertainment onboard. Dinner and overnight in Monfragüe.
Day 5, Tuesday
Monfragüe - Torrijos - Toledo - Aranjuez
The Al Andalus train will take us to Torrijos, from where we will board our coach for Toledo. Visit to the Visigoth capital listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, an "Imperial City" where the Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures coexisted for centuries. Once we had lunch, there will be free time to get embraced into Toledo’s enchanted spell. Back at the train and while having dinner, we will go to Aranjuez, the Royal Site of the Spanish Crown since the 16th century. Overnight in Aranjuez.
Day 6, Wednesday
Aranjuez - Madrid
After enjoying our last breakfast onboard, we will visit the town of Aranjuez, with its magnificent Royal Palace and extensive manicured gardens, before visiting the historic winery Carlos III. Back on the train, and over lunch, the Al Andalus will take us to Madrid, where the trip ends.
The suites cars that today make up the Al Andalus were built in France for use by members of the British monarchy when travelling between Calais and the French Riviera.
Together with the saloon coaches, also built during the same epoch, they form a train with Belle Epoque air, without equal in comfort, elegance and space. In the Al Andalus, the original elements that make these coaches genuine railway classics, coexist with the latest technological advances, thus allowing travellers to enjoy maximum comfort and safety.
Spacious and elegant cabin combining the 21st century comforts with the original features of this historic train.
Its perfect design allows travellers to enjoy a 2-metre long double bed, which is converted into a comfortable sofa during the day, leaving lots of space for reading or to conveniently enjoy the scenery in the privacy of your own cabin.
All suites are equipped with wardrobe, luggage rack, safe, minibar and individual climate control, along with large windows and a superb ensuite bathroom, comfortable and spacious, with hydromassage shower/steam sauna, hairdryer and varied set of quality toiletries, with an exclusive fragrance.
This charming suite retains the size and Belle Époque appeal of the original cabins.
Guests enjoy the convenient set-up of two twin beds that turn into comfortable sofas during the day, leaving extra space for reading or to conveniently enjoy the scenery in the privacy of your own cabin.
All suites are equipped with wardrobe, luggage rack, safe, minibar and individual climate control, along with large windows and a beautiful ensuite bathroom, with shower, hairdryer and varied set of quality toiletries, with an exclusive fragrance.
The train Al Andalus is probably the most spacious and luxurious tourist train in the world. Its four lounge cars are exquisite railway classics built between 1928 and 1930.
The original features that make the Al Andalus’ carriages authentic railroad classics coexist with modern amenities and services, offering a splendid setting for a range of activities: enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner in the dining car, relaxing with a drink or enjoying a musical performance in the piano car.
* On the day the trip begins, the access to the suite is not guaranteed until 18:00 h, although other services are already underway. On the last day of the trip, the suite must be left before 12:00 h, although all other services continue until later.
The local cuisine will influence each dish served on the different routes taken by this palace on wheels. The Andalusian gastronomy features world famous products such as olive oil, sherry or Jabugo Iberian ham, with dishes such as gazpacho and oxtail. A new generation of cooks is now bringing a blow of fresh air to the Mediterranean and Andalusian cooking traditions. On other routes throughout Spain, travellers will enjoy the excellent fish, meat and vegetables that are the basis of Galician cuisine, taste the roasts that have brought fame to Castile region or get to know traditional dishes such as cocido maragato.
Breakfast is always served onboard through a personal table service. There is also a varied buffet available. Local specialties will be presented during the tour in the form of sweets, tortillas, pies, cheeses, cold meats, etc., thereby ensuring that every day is different and original - even at the breakfast table. Lunches and dinners will be served both in the elegant train dining cars and at respected restaurants that make up our selection of restaurants during the journey.
Menus are set in advance, seeking a balance between the traditional cuisine of each area, the creativity of our professionals, and the innovation that has made Spanish chefs famous internationally. Nevertheless, special food requirements due to health or personal choice shall be addressed without prejudice to the quality of meals on offer. All you need to do is notify us - preferably at the time of booking - to ensure that your culinary needs are catered for on the journey.
OTHER SERVICES AVAILABLE AT CLIENT'S EXPENSE:
- Door to door luggage: pick up and delivery of luggage and belongings from customer's home and the train. Ask for information and conditions. Available at national level only.
- Laundry service.
- Bar service.
LIFE ON BOARD:
For the duration of the journey, the train Al Andalus will become your living room, your means of transportation, your socialising place, your bar, your bedroom: a hotel on wheels in which you sleep and wake up in a different place every day. The landscape passing by the window of your suite or the lounge where you are having a coffee is never the same. That simple fact makes the trip itself unique and unlike any other experience.
To ensure passengers a good night’s rest, the train will remain parked at a station at night. The train lounges are especially designed for relaxation and unfettered enjoyment of the evocative ambience, also offering the chance of sharing the company of fellow travellers. Many friendships have been formed over a drink onboard Al Andalus.
After dinner, an evening of entertainment. Every night is party night, with various live performances throughout the trip. Given the length of the train, these will not affect those who prefer retiring earlier to the privacy of their suite. You can also choose to have a quiet drink on one of the other saloon cars, or go for a stroll in whichever town we are spending the night. The train will remain parked at the station until the next morning.
In general, comfortable clothing and shoes are recommended for the daytime when we will be out and about on our excursions, while at night you can opt for more formal attire, although no particular dress code is required at any time.
INFORMATION FOR THE JOURNEY:
All travellers must have documents confirming their identity. For foreigners, the documentation required for travelling by train is the same as that required to enter Spain from the country of origin. Spanish citizens may use their national ID cards or passports.
The legal currency in Spain is the Euros. There is no obligation to tip.
MEDICINES AND HEALTHCARE:
In Spain, medicines are purchased at pharmacies. Travellers from EU countries or states that have agreements in place with Spain, will benefit from the same pharmaceutical benefits as Spanish citizens. All trains have a first aid kit onboard, and the crew has been trained to use it. Furthermore, we are in continuous contact with health centres located along the different routes, in the case a traveller needs special medical attention.
No vaccination is necessary in Spain; nevertheless, as anywhere in the world, it is advisable to have had a recent tetanus jab and have undertaken the official immunisation vaccines.
Smoking is prohibited in Spain in all enclosed public spaces (including public vehicles and public transport). Therefore, while on board, according to the current legislation travellers must refrain from smoking. However, each train journey stretch do not exceed 3-4 hours.
Overall, Spain is one of the safest countries in Europe for tourists. Our trains have a security service and a safe on board, in addition to security surveillance at all stations along the way.
The Al Andalus has WiFi Internet and a computer in their social carriages so travellers can access the Internet, check email, etc. All cabins in the El Transcantabrico Clásico and El Transcantábrico Gran Lujo also feature WiFi connection (subject to coverage).
If you want to call abroad from Spain you must dial 00 followed by the country code and telephone number. If you wish to call a number in Spain from abroad, dial +34 (the country code for Spain) and then the 9-digit telephone number.
We recommend that foreign travellers wishing to use their mobile phones contact their operator to activate the international roaming service and enquire about costs.
Travellers on the Luxury Tourist Trains are only covered by the Compulsory Passenger Insurance (SOV in Spanish). Therefore it is advisable to take out specific travel insurance to cover cancellation, off-board accidents, illness or similar incidents, as recommended by your travel agent or insurer.
Although all our Luxury Tourist Trains are refurbished and equipped with the latest technology, they are still vintage pieces; their interiors are laid out in a way that makes it impossible to move around on wheelchairs or walkers.
Nevertheless travel would be possible for a person with reduced mobility who is reasonably self-sufficient or travelling together with another passenger, and who only requires the support of a wheelchair once off the train. In this case, if so desired and giving reasonable notice when booking, a wheelchair can be made available to the client. It is however important that such persons do not travel unassisted, and that their travel companion is available to help on and off the train, pushing the wheelchair etc, as there is no dedicated staff available for this purpose.
When travelling with a child, a supplement or set price depending on the chosen train, will be charged. The cabins in Al Andalus’ Superior Suites offers enough space for parents to place their own travel cot or to have an extra bed.
No pets are allowed, other than guide dogs accompanying their owner.
The power supply in Spain is 230V 50Hz, with Type F round 2-prong plug outlets.
The crew consists of a team of professionals trained and ready to provide a perfect and personalised attention in different languages.
The team is led by the Trip Supervisor, who is responsible for bringing this rail cruise safely into port. This person can count on the help of all the other crew: the driver, guide, head waiter, cooks and waiters, music and entertainment organiser, maintenance personnel, bus driver and security staff, who will all make sure that passengers have nothing to do other than enjoy their journey.
The Trip Supervisor and the guide will become inseparable companions of the group, accompanying travellers throughout the journey and offering whatever information and advice they may need. The varied entertainment schedule onboard, in turn, will ensure an engaging and enjoyable time, encouraging the active participation of passengers.
All our crew, in coordination with the Trip Supervisor, are available for travellers 24/7, ensuring the same high level of quality and personal attention inside and outside the train.
- Accommodation onboard in Standard Suite.
- A la carte and buffet breakfasts every day.
- All dinners and lunches, with the finest cuisine aboard the train or in top restaurants (including wine, water, soft drinks and coffee).
- Welcome drink and snack.
- Farewell dinner – gala party.
- Traveling toiletries bag (with amenities and slippers).
- Free mineral water available in the cabin’s minibar.
- Activities on board: music and live performances, parties in the pub car, show cooking and cocktails, dancing, etc.
- Tickets to museums, attractions and shows.
- Excursions and scheduled tours.
- Luxury coach accompanying the train along the trip.
- Two Renfe train tickets with a 50% discount: one to the starting point and the other back from the end of the tourist trip.
- Taxes and services.
- Daily newspapers and magazines.
- Security service.
- Multilingual guide throughout the tour.
- Excellent crew available (Expedition Leader, guide, waiters, cooks, technicians, etc).
Everything included in the Standard Suite plus:
- Accommodation onboard in Superior Suite.
- Option of enjoying two private dinners/lunches in your compartment.
- All non-alcoholic drinks available in the cabin’s minibar (complimentary).
- The crew may unpack your luggage onto the wardrobe on arrival and pack it back on the last day.