Making Tracks Through Spain

Spain by Train

Andalucia, Barcelona, Madrid, Seville

Duration: 10 nights

Price: From $3,250 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, train transportation, private transfers and taxes

Spain has it all. From fantastic culinary experiences to magnificent culture and history, all bathed in a beautiful sunny glow, it’s hard to think of anywhere that offers a more complete experience to vistors. On this luxury rail holiday to Spain, you’ll combine all of that with the romance of train travel, one of the most evocative – and stress-free – ways to get around the country. You’ll begin in the Catalonian capital Barcelona, home to striking Art Nouveau architecture and a world-class art scene, before making for the elegant squares and boulevards of the capital, Madrid. The next part of your journey sees you exploring Andalucia, taking in the Moorish palaces of Seville, Cordoba and Granada. With all train travel included, you’re free to follow the suggestions given here, or shape your own adventures.
Perfect forA wide-ranging rail adventure that takes in the very best of Spain.
In the knowConsider extending your trip with some beach time in the Balearic Islands.

Best for

  • Train Journey
  • History & Heritage
  • Cultural Immersion
  • First-timers

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Itinerary details

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Your adventure through Spain begins in Barcelona, the Catalonian capital and one of Europe’s great cities. You’ll ease in to your trip with two nights at the Mercer Barcelona, a modern five-star boutique hotel built on ancient Roman foundations in Barcelona’s historic Gothic Quarter. Begin your exploration of the city at the Picasso Museum down the road, where you can take in the work of one of history’s greatest artists. Other must-sees include the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s famous unfinished cathedral, and Park Guell, populated by the same artist’s surreal sculptures. You should also dive in to the city’s famous Catalan food scene, with tapas bars and fresh seafood on every corner.
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2 nightsMADRID

A train journey of around three hours takes you to the Spanish capital, Madrid, where you’ll spend two nights at the stylish The Principal. With a prime location on the Gran Via, Madrid’s main boulevard, you’re perfectly placed to explore the sights of the city centre. Begin at the Plaza Mayor, the capital’s grand main square, where you can relax with a coffee and watch the city go by. Then, immerse yourself in Madrid’s world-class art scene with a tour of its ‘Golden Triangle’ of art museums. Museo Prado houses one of the world's finest collections of pre-20th-century European art, with works by the likes of Hieronymus Bosch, Goya and Velazquez. The Reina Sofia is the place to go for modern art, with Picasso and Dali foremost among the artists on show. The Thyssen, meanwhile, contains works by Van Gogh, Monet and Pissarro.
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2 nightsSEVILLE

Boarding the train again, you’ll take the high-speed line to the south of Spain and the city of Seville – a journey of around 2.5 hours. As the capital of Andalucia, Seville sums up the region, with its architecture telling the story of centuries of intermingling European and Moorish culture. Your home for two nights is the suitably historic Palacio Vilapanes, a sanctuary of five-star luxury in a grand 18th-century building.

Having settled in, it’s time to start exploring the historic sights of Seville. Start with Seville Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece which looms over the city with its famous Giralda bell tower. Then, visit the majestic Real Alcazar to get a perfect snapshot of Seville’s melting-pot past. This Christian palace, built on a Moorish fortress, sums up the city’s long status as a crossroads of culture.
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2 nightsCORDOBA

The Andalucian leg of your adventure continues as you take a short train trip to Cordoba, home to yet more beautiful fusion architecture. You’ll spend two nights here at Hospes Palacio del Bailio, a luxury hotel housed in a medieval Moorish building built on Roman ruins – in short, a perfect snapshot of Andalucia’s rich and unique history.

The star attraction in Cordoba is the magnificent Mosque-Cathedral, also known as the Mezquita. As its name suggests, this palatial structure has served numerous purposes over the centuries – it’s now a Catholic cathedral, but was a mosque for 500 years. As a result, it’s a stunning mash-up of marble-striped Moorish arches and Christian architecture. For a taste of Cordoba’s artistic culture, check out the Centro Flamenco Fosforito, where you can get a feel for flamenco and even try tapping out some rhythms and singing.
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2 nightsGRANADA

Boarding the train for a final time, you’ll make a 2.5-hour train journey to your last stop, Granada. This is perhaps the most stunning destination on your journey – no small feat in such a magical place as Spain. That’s largely down to a wealth of beautiful medieval buildings, in particular the storied Alhambra. This magnificent palace complex boasts a stunning location, rising from a dense forest on top of a hill.

You’ll stay in the ultimate style at the Alhambra Palace Hotel, a five-star hotel with the Alhambra itself on your doorstep. The majestic palaces, ornately carved with impossible attention to detail and set in elegant gardens, can easily occupy two whole days. Don’t miss the opportunity, though, to check out some of Granada’s other attractions – the Capilla Real is a magnificent mausoleum to Spanish kings, while the Basilica San Juan de Dios is a stunning Baroque church.
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Travel is not recommended

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