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La Robla train and Rioja by rail
Travelling from Bilbao to Santander, the train will stop along the route for visits to places of interest including Torrelavega, Unquera to visit the spectacular ravine of the 'La Hermida' and Valley of Liebana, Ribadesella, the splendid port city of Gijon and the Cider Museum of Nava, as well as a boat trip from Santona to Laredo. The La Robla train enables you to relax and enjoy the passing scenery and also stops overnight for you to sample local restaurants and sleep.
Other highlights of the tour inlclude Bilbao, Burgos with its historic architecture and gothic cathedral dating from 1221, the fascinating and elegant city of Vitoria Gasteiz, Haro, a small but busy wine town home to some of the great bodegas of La Rioja, and also Laguardia. You will have an overnight stop in Biarritz on the outward journey.
- Return Eurostar/TGV from St Pancras to Biarritz via Paris with coach transfer in Paris, returning from Hendaye.
- One nights accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the four star Mercure Centre le President, Biarritz
- Five nights accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the four star Husa Jardines Bilbao (one night), Puerta de Burgos (two nights) and Silken Ciudad de Vitoria (two nights), based on shared occupancy of a twin room
- Three nights accommodation on board La Robla train in twin cabin on full board basis with breakfast on board and lunch and dinner taken at local restaurants
- Transfers and full coach touring programme as detailed in the itinerary
- Tour manager throughout
- Single room supplement
- Standard Premier/First class upgrade on Eurostar/TGV. On the Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink with upgraded seating only on the French railway leg
- Meals other than those stated
- Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
Porterage and gratuities
PLEASE NOTE: As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages.Trollies are available at St Pancras but bags do need to be carried on to the platform.
Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Paris and onwards to Biarritz by TGV. On arrival, transfer by coach to the Mercure Centre le President hotel for a one night stay.
Transfer by coach to Bilbao (approximately 1hour 30mins) and the Hotel Husa Jardines de Albia. A guided tour of the city will include entrance to the Guggenheim museum. A modern and prosperous city, Bilbao nestles in a narrow valley, the surrounding mountain slopes peeking through the high rise buildings of the city centre. The arrival of the Museo Guggenheim in 1997 transformed the city into a tourist hotspot and although not as pretty as its near neighbours there is plenty to do here – the Casco Viejo is a charming place to explore.
Free morning before transferring to Bilbao’s Feve station. You will spend three days/four nights onboard La Robla train. With cosy accommodation on board, as well as a lounge car where you can enjoy the passing scenery or relax with a drink, the train stops overnight for you to sample the local fare at a restaurant (including wine, water and coffee) and get a good night’s sleep. Dietary requirements can of course be accommodated but please note that the meals are set menus offering a high standard of Spanish cuisine and this culinary exploration is a major component of the our.
Please note that all timings below are provisional and subject to change.
14:00 Passenger reception at Feve station.14.30 Food and wining tasting on board La Robla.15.30 Departure from Bilbo to Santander.18.30 Visit the city of Santander.20.15 Transfer by bus from Santander to Torrelavega.20.45 Dinner and overnight in Torrelavega.
On board La Robla.
07.45 Train departs Torrelavega for Unquera.08.30 Breakfast on board La Robla.09.30 Transfer by bus through the spectacular ravine of ‘La Hermida; to the Valley of Liébana.10.45 Visit the Monastery of Santo Toribio.12.00 Visit Potes.13.00 Transfer by bus to Fuente Dé for lunch.16.30 Transfer by bus back to the train at Unquera.18.45 Train departs Unquera for Ribadesella.20.30 Dinner and overnight in Ribadesella.
On board La Robla.
07.45 Train departs Ribadesella to Gijón.09.00 Breakfast on board La Robla.10.15 Sightseeing tour of Gijón and free time.13.15 Transfer by bus from Gijón to Nava.14.00 Lunch in a ‘Llagar’ to taste the typical gastronomy of Asturias.16.15 Transfer by coach from Nava to Infiesto.17.00 Train departs Infiesto to Llanes.18.45 Visit Llanes.20.30 Dinner and overnight in Llanes.
On board La Robla.
07.45 Train departs Llanes to Gama.09.00 Breakfast on board La Robla.10.30 Transfer by bus to Santoña.11.15 Visit to Santoña and the village cannery.12.15 Boat trip from Santoña to Laredo.13.15 Visit of Laredo’s Puebla Vieja (old town)14.30 Lunch at a local restaurantTransfer by coach to Burgos (approximately two hours) and the Hotel Puerta De Burgos.
Full day in Burgos with guided tour. The historic capital of Castile, Burgos is a treasure trove of historic architecture. The city is dominated by its vast Gothic cathedral dating from 1221, and is rich with other religious architecture, including the Monasterio de las Huelgas with its remarkable cloisters and the Carthusian Cartuja de Miraflores. The historic centre can provide hours of exploration, whilst the squares and riverfront provide a place to relax and people watch.
Transfer by coach from Burgos to Vitoria- Gasteiz (approximately 1hour 15mins) and the Hotel Silken Ciudad de Vitoria. This afternoon is free for you to explore at your leisure. A flourishing medieval wool and iron trade created the elegant and undiscovered city of Vitoria-Gasteiz, filling it with Renaissance palaces, beautiful churches and grey-gold stone mansions. The medieval core of the city is arranged over a small hill and is a wonderful place to wander and discover plazas, palacios and Basque restaurants.
Full day tour to Haro and Laguardia. La Rioja is one of Spain’s most famous wine regions, so naturally the lush landscape is dotted with vineyards and charming towns. Haro is a small but busy wine town, home to some of the great bodegas of La Rioja as well as a fascinating architectural heritage. Laguardia is a historic Basque town and site of a 10th-century castle. As well as old cobbled streets and medieval walls, there are many tunnels dug out of the rock, used to store locally produced Rioja wine. We will also visit the Marqués de Riscal winery in Elciego with its Frank Gehry designed buildings and the Museo de la Cultura del Vino at Briones.
Transfer back to Hendaye station to catch the return TGV to Paris. At Paris, board the return Eurostar service to Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.
Located overlooking the ocean and close to the city centre, the four star Mercure Centre le President Biarritz offers modern and spacious bedrooms with private bath/shower, TV, telephone, safe, air-conditioning, minibar, hairdryer, and tea/coffee making facilities.
Husa Jardines de Albia, Bilbao
The four star Husa Jardines de Albia hotel is located just a few metres away from some of the city's main sights including the Guggenheim Museum and the historic centre. Facilities at the hotel include bar, restaurant, gym and comfortable bedrooms with air-conditioning, bath/shower, TV, telephone, safety deposit box and hairdryer.
La Robla Train
The La Robla train has four sleeping cars, each of which has seven compartments. The compact air-conditioned compartments are fitted with private shower/WC, two berths, wardrobe, luggage carrier and reading light. The train remains stationary each evening for you to sample a local restaurant and get a good night's sleep. La Robla also has communal air-conditioned lounge areas which offer a permanent bar service and generous windows to enjoy the views as the train travels steadily on its way. Breakfast from the self service buffet is served here and newspapers, magazines, video library, television and a computer with free internet access are available. Whilst aboard lunch and dinner are taken at typical local restaurants offering excellent cuisine (set menus) which include wine, water and coffee. Dietary requirements can of course be accommodated, but please note that the meals are set menus offering a high standard of Spanish cuisine and this culinary exploration is a major component of the tour. Coach transfers to places of interest and restaurants are included.
Puerta de Burgos, Burgos (2014 dates)
The four star Puerta de Burgos hotel is located close to the city centre, approximately 10 minutes walk away. Facilities at the hotel include a restaurant, bar, and comfortable, spacious bedrooms with private bath/shower, air-conditioning, TV, telephone, wifi, minibar, safety deposit box and hairdryer.
Silken Ciudad de Vitoria, Vitoria
The four star Silken Ciudad de Vitoria hotel is located in the centre of Vitoria and is close to all the city's highlights. Facilities at the hotel include a bar, restaurant, fitness centre and modern comfortable bedrooms with private bath/shower, TV, telephone, air-conditioning, minibar, hairdryer and safe.
This holiday is booked by phone. Click 'book now' to make a reservation request to our travel partner who will call you back to confirm your booking details and take payment. To speak to a representative now please call 0330 333 6761.
Very good tour, Sandra was an excellent manager. It was a very ‘busy’ trip with not much time to relax. Note that you spend very little time on the train during the day. This is not an ideal trip if you have mobility problems! The cabins are very well designed and comfortable – but compact. We liked Bilbao - but preferred the outside of the Guggenheim to the inside!