Green Hills of Spain & La Rhune
Thursday 13 June to Thursday 27 June 2013
This superb holiday combines the northern “Green” coast of Spain with its spectacular coastline and vibrant cities with a short visit to south western France. We travel by rail on many metre gauge lines, take the rack railway up to La Rhune and include time to explore Bilbao, Leon and Santiago de Compostela.
Day 1 By Eurostar to France
Mid-morning departure from London St. Pancras to Paris then TGV to Poitiers for an overnight stay.
Day 2 San Sebastian
We continue our journey and reach the Spanish border at Hendaye. Here we change to the metre gauge train for the short journey to San Sebastian, a thriving coastal town.
Day 3 San Sebastian to Bilbao
A scenic electrified metre gauge line links San Sebastian with Bilbao and we will arrive around lunchtime. The afternoon is free to relax and explore this famous city where an excellent metro system makes getting about easy.
Day 4 The Basque Railway Museum
Excursion by coach to Azpeitia to visit the Basque Railway Museum with its excellent collection of locos and rolling stock and steam train rides.
Day 5 West to Santander
The FEVE metre gauge rail network performs all the functions we would normally expect from a busy standard gauge main line – suburban lines around the cities, longer distance passenger routes and lots of freight. Today we have a morning journey from the splendid Bilbao Concordia station to Santander with a free afternoon to explore this bustling resort or take an optional trip inland into the mountains on the RENFE main line towards Madrid.
Day 6 Santander to Gijon
Day 7 Free day in Gijon
A free day in Gijon with its wide beach, historic and artistic heritage. Alternatively, use your FEVE rail pass to visit nearby Oviedo.
Day 8 More Coastal Scenery
We continue by local train to Pravia where we change to the train for Ferrol. En route we enjoy more superb coastal scenery and fishing villages. Ferrol is at the western extremity of FEVE so a connecting coach takes us to Santiago de Compostela for a 2-night stay.
Day 9 Santiago de Compostela
Day 10 Santiago to Leon
We take a cross country main line train link from Santiago to Leon.
Day 11 FEVE Train to Bilbao
There is just one train per day on this recently reopened cross country line – over 150 miles of wild moorland and mountain scenery. As this doesn’t leave until early afternoon, we have a free morning to relax in one of the most historic regions of Old Castile and take in the sights of Leon.
Day 12 At leisure in Bilbao
A free day for sightseeing or to explore the very many railway options which radiate from Bilbao.
Day 13 Bilbao to St. Jean de Luz
We have another chance to enjoy the metre gauge line to San Sebastian and Irun before a short rail journey into South Western France. Our base for the next 2 nights is the resort of St. Jean de Luz, some eight miles south of Biarritz.
Day 14 Rack Railway to La Rhune
Coach transfer to Col St. Ignace where we join the rack railway for the spectacular ascent of La Rhune (2970ft). This line has vintage electric locos and equally vintage rolling stock and a journey time of 35 minutes each way. Time is allowed at the summit where there are the usual refreshment facilities. On our return to St. Jean de Luz, there will be time to look around the town.
Day 15 Journey home
A TGV service direct to Paris and Eurostar to London sees us back at St. Pancras late afternoon.
|Single room supplement:||£425|
|Deposit for this holiday:||£100|
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st August 2012