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The Little Trains of the Pyrenees at Christmas

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To book this holiday please contact our Travel Experts directly on

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A MAGICAL BLEND OF SUN AND SNOW

Experience Catalonia as you’ve never seen it before with a voyage through the snow-capped southern Pyrenees.  

Discover the region’s alpine treasures in the villages of Axat, Rivesaltes and La Jonquera as you enjoy an open-air ride through the mountains, courtesy of TPFC’s Little Red Train. With your hotel situated in Girona’s historic city centre, enjoy a Christmas break adorned in the region’s Catalan charm, culminating in a journey deep into the fabled Nuria Valley aboard the area’s famous rack railway.  



What does this price include?

  • Four nights’ half-board accommodation at the four-star Best Western CMC, Girona
  • Four breakfasts, four dinners and one lunch
  • Two heritage train journeys aboard the TPFC ‘Little Red Train’ and the Vall de Núria Rack Railway
  • Day trip in French Catalonia via Perpignan and Axat
  • Visit to La Jonquera
  • Day trip to Núria Sanctuary with local product tastings
  • Return flights to Barcelona
  • Coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

View a full breakdown of your holiday to help you plan your trip

  • You’ll fly to Barcelona airport and be welcomed by your friendly local tour manager before boarding a transfer to Girona. After you’ve checked into the centrally located hotel, you’re free to explore the city’s heart as well as the Christmas Markets in Plaça de la Independència (Liberation Square). Enclosed by restaurants, bars and bistros, this plaza draws hundreds of visitors every day and commemorates those who defended the city against French forces during the Napoleonic wars. Throughout December, though, the historic open-air square is inundated with artisanal market stalls, traditional Catalan fare, and festive decor 

    Having settled into your new surroundings, enjoy dinner at the hotel. 

  • Begin your Christmas Eve with an early breakfast today and wrap up warm ahead of your first excursion into the Catalan mountains. Crossing the border into southern France, you’ll arrive in the town of Rivesaltes. As you await your day’s transport, the iconic TPFC Little Red Train, you’ll find no better place for a little festive indulgence than in the heart of Roussilon’s wine country. Why not experience Rivesaltes’ seasonal traditions with a glass of the region’s famed Christmas wine, Muscat de Noel? The sweet wine was originally prepared for Catalan nobles, visiting across the Christmas period, and is the perfect way to commence your festive celebrations.

     

    Soon after you’ll be met by the Little Red Train, which will carry you deep into the Catalan mountains; a true winter wonderland complete with snow-dusted pine trees and frozen landscapes. Take in the natural splendour of the Pyrenees as you speed through the ever-changing alpine scenery in either the comfort of normal carriages or the brisk chill of the train's open-air options.

    You'll then arrive in the picturesque Catalan Mountain village of Axat, where you'll experience life in the Aude valley at its authentic best. You'll have the chance here to explore the region’s dramatic vistas at your leisure and refuel with some lunch, payable locally.

     

    After a morning in the mountains, it's time to return westward to your final destination for the day, La Jonquera. Here you'll have the chance to explore the Spanish border town, which offers outlet shopping as well as a host of nearby vineyards and historical ruins.

     

    Once back in Girona, settle in for dinner at your own leisure in the hotel.

  • Merry Christmas! Enjoy this morning at your own pace or choose to join your tour manager for a scenic and gentle 35-mintue stroll to Girona Cathedral, also known as Catedral de Santa Maria. Located at the highest point in the city, this symbol of the city is where you can enjoy the Christmas Day service with the locals.

    Settle back into the hotel as you’ll be treated to a special Christmas lunch alongside the other travellers.

    You’ll then have the rest of the day to spend however you see fit; perhaps setting off on a stroll through the city’s illuminated streets.

    After a relaxing day, return to the hotel for dinner.

  • On Boxing day, following breakfast, you’ll continue your mountain adventures by travelling to Núria Valley - a remote glacial valley steeped in folklore and tradition. From here, you’ll board the Vall de Núria Rack Railway, which dates back to 1931, and travel deep into the Catalan Pyrenees. The iconic railway spans over 12 kilometres, across an elevation of over 1,000 meters, making it the highest-running rail line in southern Europe.

    You’ll travel high up along the tracks to Núria's Sanctuary, located at an altitude of almost 2,000 metres. This ancient refuge, completely untouched by motor traffic, encompasses a neo-Romanesque church, a hotel, Sant Gil chapel, and the nearby Sant Gil spring.

    It’s believed that Sant Gil came to Núria in the 6th century and hid a hand-crafted carving of Mare de Déu (Mother of God) there. The relic was later found by a pilgrim, resulting in the location becoming a popular place of pilgrimage for Christians across the world.

    While taking in the spectacular vistas, you’ll also have a chance to sample some local products from the region before taking advantage of free time to walk around.

    After the day’s exploration, you’ll journey back to Girona for a final dinner with your new-found friends.

  • Once you’ve had breakfast, you’ll bid farewell to idyllic Girona, transferring to Barcelona for your return flight 

Dates & Prices

To book this holiday please contact our Travel Experts directly on

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Hotels

Best Western CMC, Girona

A polished and modern hotel located in the city’s commercial centre within walking distance of several shopping outlets.  

View Hotel

Further Information

  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 2 hours.

  • We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.

  • Packing for the occasion will be key; from the frozen Catalan mountains to Girona’s warmer climate, you’ll experience a diverse range of weathers and temperatures, so it’s just as important to bring a good coat as it is shorts and t-shirts!  

  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.

  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

  • Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.

  • Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.

  • Rules may have changed since you last travelled to European Union countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The following are useful guidelines which will help you prepare for your next adventure. You do require government issued passport to travel.

    Names - It is very important that all passenger names are exactly as per your passport although we do not require middle names.

    Passport - Your passport must meet two requirements to travel to an EU country and to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It must be: Less than 10 years old on the day you return home (please check the "date of issue") and valid for at least 3 months after the day you return home (please check the "expiry date").

    Visa - You do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.

    European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS) - Commencing in late 2023 or 2024, all citizens of the United Kingdom will require a ETIAS electronic form completed prior to their arrival into the EU and Schengen member countries. The cost for this travel authorisation will be €7.00 per person with exceptions for under 18’s and over 70’s. The latest information and further details can be found at www.etias.com.

Why book with us

The smallest details are what matter the most when it comes to your holiday, and we aim to elevate every experience you encounter on each one of our award-winning tours.

Complete financial protection

We offer complete financial protection through our membership of ABTA and our ATOL licence, giving you total peace of mind with regards to your money.

Dedicated tour managers and local guides

Every one of our holidays is escorted by friendly, dedicated tour managers and local guides. It's their local knowledge that will turn your wish-list holidays plans into lifelong memories.

Award-winning service

We've won more than 70 awards during our 40-year history, and best of all, you've voted us winners at the British Travel Awards 11 years in a row.

Available 24/7

Wherever you are in the world, you'll be able to contact us. There are many ways to get in touch, and we promise you'll always be speaking to a human, not a computer.

So much included

The price you pay includes all your travel, accommodation, touring itinerary, tour manager and much more. There's no need to pay for annoying extras you weren't expecting with us either.

Holding your hand

Wherever you choose to go next, our team of experts are on hand to assist you before, during and after your holiday, so you can focus on relaxing and enjoying your experience.

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