Taking a Rail Holiday in Spain
A Holiday in Spain
Spain is situated in southern Europe, and shares borders with France to the north and Portugal to the west. It is a hugely popular holiday destination for people from around the world, many of whom are drawn to the well developed coastal areas, where sun, sea and sand holidays predominate. Spain has far more to offer than this though, as it boasts a rich cultural and historical legacy which can be seen in its walled cites, Roman archaeological sites, castles and palaces.
There are many ways in which Spain can be explored, with perhaps one of the best being by train. There are several world class luxury and scenic railway journeys in Spain, and some of the more famous are listed below.
Great Rail Holidays in Spain
Al Andalus – This is a luxury train that runs through the Andalusia region in the south of Spain. Among the notable places that it passes through, and where tours are possible, are the cities of Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Ronda and Cadiz. Combining the romance of southern Spain with the romance of travelling by train, there is no better way to see and experience this part of the country.
El Transcantabrico – In an age where things seem to get ever faster, the El Transcantabrico prides itself on being a slow scenic train journey through northern Spain. Following a route between Santiago de Compostela and San Sebastian, the train has luxurious décor with amazing lounges from which to view the countryside, and fantastic sleeping cabins to spend a peaceful night.
Essential Travel Information for Spain
Language – The national language in Spain is, unsurprisingly, Spanish, although things are not always as simple as they seem. For example, there are many different dialects, with some speaking Castillan and others speaking Basque and Catalan. Most people learning Spanish will learn Castillan Spanish, and this is understood everywhere – Although some people in the Basque region may pretend not to! Workers in the tourism industry will almost always have a knowledge of English, and in areas frequented by other nationalities, French and German may also be understood.
Currency – Spain adopted the Euro as its form of currency along with many other European nationalities. For anyone intending to take a train holiday from within the Eurozone, this means that exchanging money is not necessary, but for those people from outside, such as UK citizens, this is not the case. Currency can either be exchanged before embarking on a railway holiday in Spain, or it can be withdrawn on arrival from an abundance of cash machines or ATM's.
Weather – As Spain is such a large country, the weather in the south can be quite different to that in the mountainous north, so it is hard to categorise the climate. Generally speaking, the south of Spain enjoys hot summers and mild to warmish winters, whist the north experiences warm summers and mild to cold winters, depending on the height. Many people choose to take a holiday in Spain during the late spring to early autumn, when the weather is at its finest and most predictable (ie – sunny and warm!).
Further reading – This article about cycling in Catalonia is a great read for outdoor activity enthusiasts!