The Al-Andalus tourist train: “a palace on wheels”

Anyone who has crossed Europe on sleeper trains will know that they’re not always so comfortable. However, the Spanish Al-Andalus tourist train is possibly the most spacious and luxurious train of its kind in all the world. So much so that it is billed as “a palace on wheels”. The cars containing the sleeper suites were in fact built in France between 1928-1930 for use by British royalty travelling between Calais and the French Riviera. These exquisite railway classics, with spacious en-suite bathrooms, feature full two metre long double beds that convert into comfortable sofas during the day and are truly fit for a king or queen. Rounding out the luxurious feel of an elegant hotel in the deluxe suites are a mini bar, wardrobe, safe and climate control.

Beyond the luxurious sleeper suites there are another four saloon cars, also in the classic style and built in the same period. Here travellers can lounge in style, enjoy nightly live entertainment, and share drinks and gourmet meals. A different breakfast is served daily and on-board meals highlight representative flavours of the locales through which the train passes.

Al-Andalus train

While the train makes its way through many regions of the country on pre-scheduled dates, the most popular and oft running itinerary is the romantic Andalucian route, running for six days and five nights through the major capitals including Cordoba, Granada, Jerez and the departure and return point in Sevilla. There is plenty of time to stretch the legs and venture out on foot as the train never travels for more than three to four hours at a time and stops nightly in station to allow guests to explore at leisure and enjoy a quiet night’s sleep on board. Included in the fare are additional meals at top restaurants in select locations en-route. It’s a great way to discover Andalucia on the surface and in style, but perhaps best paired with a longer stay after the tour to get a better insight into the culture and cuisine.

Al-Andalus train

Fare for the Andalucían route begins at €2850 per person in the low season, or €3400 for a deluxe suite, and can be booked through a select network of agents by country. See the Spanish rail site Renfe for more information.

Alan Hazel is Owner and Director of Cortijo El Carligto.

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Comments (1)

  1. Hammad Tariq says:

    Looks like a great tour! Price seems good for a six days and five nights tour. Would give it a try someday!

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