Some people consider traveling an unnecessary burden that you have to deal with from time to time out of sheer necessity. On the other hand, people who possess that spark of true wanderers and explorers can’t get enough of it. Wanderlust is the word that is most commonly used to explain the state of mind of these people are in. This incredible passion for traveling, experiencing new cultures and civilizations, and seeing new scenery is not easily quenched but also brings a lot of benefits for the traveler as a person. Modern means of transportation, like airplanes, are hardly a good choice when you are traveling with this specific purpose in mind.
This is why people like to take trains when traveling for the sake of traveling. Trains have always had that certain level of causality, as well as the air of mystique that makes them a desirable means of transportation. They are far more comfortable than buses, cars or airplanes, and they provide you with the opportunity to really enjoy magnificent sites during your travels. For this reason, we have decided to compose a list of the most beautiful train routes from around the globe, attempting to provide an option for anyone to experience a stunning train ride that will last through the ages.
1. Bergen Railway, Norway
Not many people living outside of Europe are aware how beautiful the scenery of Scandinavia really is. Riding from Bergen to Oslo, you will experience beautiful sights and the environment will change seemingly as if the seasons are changing as you go along. Beautiful fjords, snowy mountaintops and stunning grassy plains will compose this scenery.
2. West Rhine Railway, Germany
Most travellers that go to Germany focus on Berlin and its immense history, high culture and vast cultural life. Still, Germany has a lot more to offer and one of the more beautiful parts is its wine country, the highlight of which is the Rhine valley. The railroad stretches from Mainz to Koblenz and there are a lot of things to see along the way.
3. Bernina Express Railway, Switzerland to Germany
The route this train ride will take you through is part of the Swiss Alps and has been put under official the protection of UNESCO as a world heritage. The Bernina Express Railway will take you through the magnificent scenery of the Swiss countryside, lakes and breath-taking glaciers. We recommend taking panorama cars for the best experience possible.
4. Christchurch to Greymouth Railway, New Zealand
After the European Alps, let’s pop off to the Southern Alps train ride in New Zealand. If you take a train from Christchurch to Greymouth, you are in for a treat. Canterbury plains and the Waimakariri River, with its beautiful gorges await you along with the magnificent view over the Southern Alps, which will spread out before you.
5. Douro Line Railway, Portugal
Back to Europe, to north Portugal to be more specific. This scenic railroad line got its name from the Douro river and was first started in 1887. It follows the river the majority of the way and it’s a big part of the landscape you are going to feast your eyes on. The valley is also a key element of the picturesque scenery that this ride has to offer.
6. The Royal Scotsman, Scotland
If you want a top-class luxurious experience, then you are going to enjoy the one The Royal Scotsman has to offer. Even the name itself echoes luxury and elegance! Take a trip from Edinburgh and enjoy the magnificent Scottish Highlands along with its lochs and beautiful green landscapes. The train itself is high quality and ensures maximum comfort.
7. The Sunset Limited, USA
When it comes to legendary sceneries in the USA, there is nothing more iconic than its deserts which always brings scenes from western movies to mind. There is simply something beautiful in the ruggedness of the desert and there is no better way to experience it than from the seat on The Sunset Limited! The train goes from Los Angeles and New Orleans and you are going to enjoy every minute of this 48 hour journey.
8. The Danube Express, Hungary to Turkey
Another luxurious train ride that starts from Eastern Europe, in Budapest, all the way to the oriental Istanbul in Turkey. One of the countries that this very unique line passes through is Transylvania (Romania), home of the famous Vlad Tsepesh, more popularly known as Dracula and see the castle of the historical figure that the legendary vampire character was based on. The journey ends in Istanbul where you should visit the famous Haydarpaşa Terminal, one of the more famous train stations in the world.
9. Al Andalus Express, Spain
Andalusia, a region of southern Spain, is considered one of the more beautiful landscapes in the world. Ever since 1930, Al Andalus Express has been giving people the opportunity to experience the Andalusia in a breath-taking and relaxing manner. This six-day journey starts from Seville and ends in Cordoba.
10. Maharajas’ Express, India
If you want to see the extravagant side of India, the Maharajas’ Express is the best option for you. This train ride has been titled “World’s Leading Luxury Train” and “World’s Most Expensive Luxury Train in Asia”, and these titles talk volumes about the quality of service and accommodation during the trip. From Mumbai to Delhi, prepare to be amazed!
11. Denali Star Route, Alaska
There are very few places in the world that can match the primal beauty of the Alaskan landscapes. The route that the Denali Star takes will take you through many charming small towns and villages as well and bring you to the magnificent Denali National Park. The entire trip is over within a day, but keep in mind that this is a 12 hour expedition.
12. Talyllyn Railway, Wales
Ok, if you are a train enthusiast, then you certainly know about the Thomas the Tank Engine book and TV show. What if a I told you that you could ride the line that served as an inspiration for this character. Enjoy a charming ride through the Fathew Valley riding on a steam powered train line that dates all the way back to 1865.
13. Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia
One of the legendary train rides that isn’t recommended for novices. The 5,772 miles journey from Moscow, on the west of the country to Vladivostok in the east take somewhere around 13 days to complete in its entirety. An ominous number isn’t it? This is a real adventure through one of the harshest regions of the world.
14. Hiram Bingham, Peru
South America always had a certain veil of mystery with legends about its rainforests, tribes and so on. One of the most famous archaeological sites of the pre-Columbian Peru is the citadel Machu Picchu. The Hiram Bingham train route can take you around the mountain in a journey that lasts six hours and includes exploring all the best sites.
15. Durango & Silverton Railroad, USA
This classic American train has been proclaimed “Best North American Train Trip” by National Geographic Traveller. The train route has been around since 1881 and travels a 45 mile journey between Durango and the town of Silverton.
The thing that makes train vacations a good idea is the fact that they can be a perfect summer or winter vacation and the dispute concerning which is better has gone on for ages. Pictures are worth a thousand words and experiences vary from train to train. The thing that is definitely true is that you will remember them for the rest of your life and once you try a scenic train journey, you will always love it.