railways and paradores of galicia spain

all prices & options are per person

2024 - tour - pricing

Year - 2024

Departure Date - apr 5

Return Date - apr 15

This Tour Is Open -

Tour Type - tourist tour

maximun group size 16

$2,595 - Double Room Occupancy

$595 - Single Room Supplement

$500 - Deposit To Hold Space

none - Early Bird Discount

Final Payment Due By - jan 5, 2024

Tour Includes:

* 18 Meals
* Fully escorted
* Beautiful Cambados
* Lugo and Pontevedra
* 10 nights luxury lodging
* Pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela
* Leisurely days. No early starts or late finishes

2024 - tour - Details

about this tour

Join us for a tour of Galicia, Spain’s undiscovered province in the far north west of the country. A region of spectacular mountains, fertile valleys and a rugged coastline producing the best shellfish in Europe. We will visit the historic cities of Santiago de Compostela, Vigo and A Coruña as well as the Isles of Cies, one of Spain’s National Parks.

The railway lines in the region take us through some of the most fantastic coastal and mountain scenery in Spain to places that just cannot be seen by road, making the train the ultimate way to see this fascinating area. This trip is made all the more special as we stay in luxury Paradores – buildings of historic interest which have been converted into luxury hotels.

It could be the last chance to ride on the “old lines” as they are being superseded by high speed lines leaving only a skeleton service on the historic lines. Rumor are that these original routes are to be closed.

2024 - tour - Itinerary

day by day - Itinerary

Day 1 - fri apr 5

Independant arrivals in Madrid and hotel check-in.

🍽 none

Day 2 - sat apr 6

We have two options today. Old Line: In the morning we will have a visit to the national railway museum in the fabulous old Madrid-Delicias station. We leave Madrid by train in the afternoon to Medina del Campo where we change onto a regional service along the old Iberia gauge rail route towards Ourense, via Zamora. This service, just the one each day, takes us as far as Puebla de Sanabia. There is already a new standard gauge highspeed line linking Madrid – Zamora – Ourense, so this could be our last chance to ride to old Iberia gauge line with its quaint old stations. We then use the new high-speed line here for the final 60 odd miles to Ourense. We have an hour in Puebla so will try and grab our dinner here. We arrive at Ourense at in the evening and are met with our tour bus – which will be with us for the rest of the tour. Transfer to the Santo Estevo parador for the next 3 nights. New Line: If you are not interested in the old line then you can take the early afternoon high-speed train from Madrid which will get you into Ourense in the afternoon and have dinner at the parador. Set within the Ribiera Sacra region and by the Miño and Sil Rivers, this converted monastery boasts a fabulous spa and beautiful central courtyard. Enjoy regional cuisine in the fine dining room and relax in the gardens.

🍽 breakfast, dinner

Day 3 - sun apr 7

Our tour bus returns us to Ourense where we catch the new highspeed line to the pilgrim city of Santiago de Campostela. We have a guided walk of this beautiful city which is the capital of Galicia. We visit the Cathedral, with its Baroque twin towers, built between the 11th and 13th centuries and dominating the center of Santiago. Inside the Cathedral we can visit the tomb of St. James the Apostle. Then we will walk through the narrow cobbled streets and squares to appreciate the beautiful granite buildings that surround the Cathedral. Later you will have free time for lunch and your own exploration. We now catch the late afternoon train, along the old Iberia Gauge line to arrive back in Ourense at early evening.

🍽 breakfast, dinner

Day 4 - mon apr 8

After breakfast our bus transfer to Ourense for the morning train, a very picturesque journey partly along the River Mino, which is the border between Spain and Portugal. At Salvatierra look across the river to see the Portuguese town of Monção. This town was severed by a Portugal Railways branch line (from Valença) which closed in 1990. The Spanish line we are riding on today still hangs on to life, but with just one train each way a day, its days as a passenger line are numbered, but might hang on with freight traffic. Our destination is the port of Vigo (Guixar station) where we arrive at the noon hour. Time to explore this town or maybe, if there is time, take a boat across to the Isles of Cies. These magical islands sit out in the Atlantic being beaten on the west side by the Atlantic breakers whilst protecting the waters into Vigo. On the east side there are long white sandy beaches and crystal clear warmer waters. Leaving Vigo Urzaiz late afternoon for a fast train back to Ourense where our tour bus will be waiting to take us back to Santo Estevo for our third, and final, night.

🍽 breakfast, dinner

Day 5 - tue apr 9

Before saying goodbye to Ourense we have a couple of hours this morning to explore this interesting regional capital. Ourense is another old Roman City with thermal springs, and the “Font as Burgas” still spouts out water with a temperature of 150 degrees. In the old part of town is the Plaza Mayor where we will see the Cathedral which was rebuilt between the 12th and 13th centuries. On the triple-arched doorway are carved figures reminiscent of the Portico de la Gloria at Santiago.

Our train departs at noon and we arrive in Lugo at early afternoon. There are only four trains a day to Lugo and we don’t want to miss a guided tour of this fascinating old town. Located on a hill on the banks of the river Miño, the city of Lugo preserves major remains of its Roman past, among them its ancient wall, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Inside the walls, the city conserves quiet pedestrian streets, wide squares and spacious gardens, where buildings such as the Cathedral, the Archiepiscopal Palace, and the City Hall stand out. After around four hours for exploration, our tour bus will be waiting to whisk us off to the Parador de Vilalba where we stay for 2 nights. This impressive tower from medieval Galicia, now converted into a hotel, dominates the landscape of this town, center of the “Terra Chá” area, which originated from this fortress, home of the Andrades, the counts of Vilalba. The hotel offers cosy, welcoming spaces with a medieval air; in the tower, 6 bedrooms share this medieval style with the Salón de los Andrade, with frescos and coats of arms. In the shadow of the tower, the new stone building is in the style of a pazo, the Galician country house, housing the remaining 42 bedrooms, the restaurant and bar.

🍽 breakfast, dinner

Day 6 - wed apr 10

Our only early start of this morning as we have to catch the morning train north from Lugo in order to complete our journey over this line. Our destination is A Coruña. When we arrive, there will be a transfer by our tour bus along the coast to the Torres de Hercules, the oldest working lighthouse in Europe. The Tower of Hercules has served as a lighthouse and landmark at the entrance of La Coruña harbor in north-western Spain since the late 1st century A.D. when the Romans built the Farum Brigantium. After our visit we take our tour bus back to the center for our guided walk through this city, sometimes known as the city of glass because of the glass enclosed balconies, built as protection against the strong winds. We then take a train north along the branch line to the porto of Ferrol. Another fine coastal line with great views. Our tour bus will return us to the Parador de Vilalba for our dinner and second night here.

🍽 breakfast, dinner

Day 7 - thur apr 11

Again a leisurely day as our tour bus returns us to A Coruna so we can enjoy the rail journey south to Pontevedra. Pontevedra lies inland at the head of the Ria de Pontevedra and north of Vigo. The city was founded by Teucer of Troy and was a very busy city until the middle of the 17th century, with its own mint and fueros granted by Saint Ferdinand lll, King of León and Castile. Pontevedra has beautiful historic buildings for us to explore in this typical old Galician town. We will enjoy a guided walk through the cobbled alleys and tiny squares with their granite buildings, as well as seeing the arcades and many flower-filled balconies of this ancient town and medieval port. After time for lunch and a couple of hours for exploration, our tour bus will take us on to the Parador on the coast at Cambados for our two night stay.

🍽 breakfast, dinner

Day 8 - fri apr 12

Today is set aside as a free day for your own relaxation, enjoyment of the parador and town. Cambados is located in the Rias Baixas on the banks of the Arousa estuary on the west coast of Galicia. The city has a historic site declared an Asset of Cultural Interest that was created from the merger of three old villages that still retain their original character. Fifinans with a marked noble character; Cambados with its beautiful squares, streets and ruins of the cemetery and sacred monument of Santa Marina Dozo; and the eminently seafaring character of San Tomé. Cambados is known for its seafood, and when the tide is out there are large groups of seafood collectors gathering clams and cockles. The town is also known for its Albarino wine and  we will have a walk through the town before a tasting of this local, slightly sparkly wine. The evening is free for you to enjoy one of the local restaurants or relax in the Parador by the pool before exploring for yourselves the beauty of this lovely coastal town.

🍽 breakfast, dinner

Day 9 - sat apr 13

Today we start our journey back to Madrid but again at a leisurely time. We will take the early afternoon train back to Ourense and onward to the junction station at Monforte de Lemos where our tour bus will be waiting to whisk us to the Parador de Monforte for dinner and overnight stay. Housed in a 17th-century Benedictine Monastery, this Parador sits on the highest point of the town of Monforte de Lemos, in northern Galicia.

🍽 breakfast, dinner

Day 10 - sun apr 14

After breakfast our tour bus returns us to the railway station so we can board the mid-morning train. This is now the only train of the day on this wonderful rail journey – listed as one of the most scenic in Spain (and Europe). León is a wonderful city, combining stunning historical architecture with an irresistible energy. Its standout attraction is the cathedral, one of the most beautiful in Spain with some of the finest cut glass windows you will see anywhere. We will stay at the fine NH Collection hotel, also in a building of historic interest, in the center of León, close to the cathedral and the Palacio de los Guzmanes.

🍽 breakfast

Day 11 - mon apr 15

We take the morning train to Madrid arriving at 12:01pm and end of our tour.

🍽 breakfast

TOUR CONDITIONS PRICING - PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

Tour Pricing:

All tour prices are subject to change without notice, at any time. All prices based on double room occupancy. Those people that use a credit card for payments a 3% conveyance fee (The 3% fee has been suspended until further notice) will be added to the tour price. We reserve the right to change tour prices if necessary without prior notice.