How to see the finest of Spain by prepare

In this collection, Lonely Planet’s staff of writers and editors answers your journey difficulties and delivers strategies and hacks to assist you program a trouble-absolutely free vacation. The educate in Spain? Which is one for Barcelona-dependent, Andalucía-raised travel specialist Isabella Noble.

Question: I want to visit a metropolis, an off-the-crushed-keep track of destination and a seashore in Spain by educate, all in just one journey. How can I do it?

Isabella Noble: With a raft of new routes launching, it’s a bumper 12 months for teach journey in Spain – and there’s by no means been a much better time to discover the place by rail. In this article are two itineraries, in two regions, that will allow you see the greatest of this magical region by practice.

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“The Milk Sellers” in the Plaza de Trascorrales in Oviedo, Asturias Spain
Oviedo is just one of northern Spain’s most alluring metropolitan areas © RICARDO ALGAR / Shutterstock

A gradual-paced northern journey

A lesser-recognized pocket of Spain with divine beaches? Head to the wonderfully green north coastline. There is a go-slow natural beauty to trundling by this region on the narrow-gauge FEVE railway, hopping off and on as you make your way east from Oviedo. Invest in tickets at stations or on board at the smallest stops you could have to flag trains down, bus-fashion. 

Get started with a pair of times in sophisticated Oviedo, money of Asturias, whose charms involve amazing pre-Romanesque churches, energetic marketplaces, graceful plazas and the unforgettable Museo de Bellas Artes, along with a flourishing food items scene (feel blue cheeses and crisp ciders). Tierra Astur on the well-known Bulevar de la Sidra and Nacho Manzano’s Gloria are favored nearby eating places take into consideration a remain at the good Barceló Oviedo Cervantes. Including to the appeal is a model-new significant-velocity AVE prepare line, anticipated to (last but not least) link Oviedo with Madrid afterwards this yr. 

Future, hop on the FEVE to Arriondas (90 minutes), a peaceful tiny city in the foothills of the Asturian Picos de Europa mountains. It’s a wonderful foundation for climbing, with serene rural bases these as Posada del Valle, a restored 19th-century home with its individual natural farm. 

Aerial view of Ribadesella beach and its estuary, Ribadesella, Asturias, Spain
Golden sands and to-die-for seafood await in Ribadesella in Asturias, easily arrived at by practice © StockPhotoAstur / Shutterstock

Following, it is beach front time, by way of a 50-moment train to Ribadesella on Asturias’ cliff-edged coast. Set on an estuary, Ribadesella is acknowledged for its golden beach front and excellent seafood restaurants (attempt La Huertona). Appear evening, snooze in a thoughtfully transformed 20th-century palacete (mansion) at Villa Rosario. There’s a equivalent truly feel in nearby Llanes, a buzzing seaside city 40 minutes even more east. Lots of beautiful, remote shorelines lie along this extend of coastline (I love Torimbia, Toranda and Gulpiyuri), and the Camino del Norte route of the Camino de Santiago passes by in this article, much too. 

From Ribadesella (90 minutes) or Llanes (40 minutes), choose the FEVE east to San Vicente de la Barquera, Cantabria’s prettiest fishing town. The route stays shut to the coast involving Ribadesella and San Vicente, ahead of turning inland to arrive at Cantabria’s money Santander, household to sweeping seashores, the Renzo Piano–designed Centro Botín gallery and lovely boutique B&B Jardín Secreto.

South from Seville

For a taste of magical Andalucía, merge the soulful regional money Seville with Cádiz Province’s wildly gorgeous Costa de la Luz, with most of your journey on Renfe’s media distancia trains or cercanías (neighborhood commuter trains). You can prebook media distancia tickets cercanías tickets are conveniently acquired at the station on the working day of your travel.

A flamenco dancer in motion, Seville, Andalucía, Spain
Sensuous Seville by no means fails to delight © Andrea Pistolesi / Getty Photos

3 times is ample time to soak up Seville’s urban delights – the Moorish-origin True Alcázar, flamenco-loaded Triana, the magnificent cathedral – and the thrilling Andalucian tapas scene (La Brunilda, Eslava, Las Teresas). Lodge Casa 1800 Sevilla offers an evocative, central base in a reimagined 19th-century mansion. Time permitting, minor-visited Carmona can make a amazing aspect vacation from Seville, with Roman, Moorish and Mudéjar relics it is simply arrived at by bus (75 minutes).

Heading south to Cádiz from Seville, really do not skip a evening or two in energetic Jerez de la Frontera, middle of sherry and flamenco. It is a 1-hour practice from Seville’s Santa Justa station to Jerez, where by you can stay at fashionable Hotel Bodega Tio Pepe, tour ancient bodegas like Lustau or Tradición and dive into the buzzy tabancos (sherry bars). 

From Jerez, cercanías (45 minutes) and media distancia and Alvia trains (equally 35 minutes) zip onwards to Cádiz, a single of Europe’s oldest towns, with its buzzy historic center perched on a wind-lashed headland. Cádiz has a clutch of fabulous golden-white seashores, which includes Playa de la Caleta (bordering the previous town’s Carnival-loving Barrio de La Viña) and surfy Playa de la Victoria, south of the centre. Savor the city’s popular tapas scene at Taberna La Sorpresa, Casa Manteca and the Mercado Central, and keep at Casa de las Cuatro Torres, an 18th-century mansion turned boutique resort. 

Kitesurfers and sunbathers on the beach at Tarifa, Costa de la Lus, Andalucía, Spain
At the incredibly southern tip of mainland Europe, the beach at Tarifa draws in sunbathers and kitesurfers © Ralf Liebhold / Shutterstock

But the Cádiz region’s dreamiest beach locations lie southeast of the metropolis, along the blissfully undeveloped Costa de la Luz, which stretches all the way to Tarifa on the southern idea of mainland Europe. No trains run here, but it is a scenic 1-to-two-hour bus excursion from Cádiz to the very Costa de la Luz hubs of Vejer, Conil and Tarifa – and the powdery white sands, superb gastronomy and kitesurfing vibe are the irresistible reward.