Railway enthusiasts and history aficionados can now add a unique destination to their must-visit list: the “Titanic of the Mountains,” a once-abandoned train station that has been transformed into a luxury hotel. The Canfranc International railway station, once the largest in Europe, earned its nickname due to its immense size. Situated in the quaint village of Canfranc in the Spanish Pyrenees, the station became known as the “Casablanca in the Pyrenees” during World War II for its role as a crucial crossing point for goods and a hub of espionage activities for Nazi and Spanish authorities.
The railway has been out of operation since 1970, and its tracks once carried the Pau-Canfranc railway beneath the Pyrenees into France. The station even served as a filming location for the 1965 film, Doctor Zhivago. Despite its dilapidated state, Canfranc continued to draw visitors, particularly photographers eager to capture a piece of European rail history.
Following several false starts, the Royal Hideaway Canfranc Estación Hotel has finally opened its doors, offering 104 rooms with rates starting at €149, or approximately $165 per night. The vast property includes three restaurants and two bars, with two of the dining establishments housed in restored train carriages. Guests can also enjoy a 4,300-square-foot Wellness Spa. The hotel is conveniently located next to Candanchu, one of Spain‘s oldest ski resorts, providing an additional recreational option for visitors.