There is something magical about travelling by train through beautiful countryside (unless you are commuting, then it’s hell). I find it to be relaxing and peaceful to watch the landscape roll by or zip by if you’re on the TGV. I found some great train travel inspiration from National Geographic Travel’s article, Top 10 European Train Trips and thought I would pick my favourites.
1. Sweet Switzerland: The Chocolate Train
Route: Montreux to Broc, Switzerland
Duration: 9 hours, 45 minutes, roundtrip
This is a dream trip for me. Switzerland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world for train travel. Soaring mountains, serene lakes and adorable villages, Switzerland has it all. The highlight of this trip would be stopping off at Gruyères, a small town famous for its cheese and double cream. Gruyères has been on my mind since reading this post and I became obsessed with visiting after this one. Alas, I am still yet to make it to this foodie destination.
2. Tunnels Galore: The Bernina Express
Route: Chur, Switzerland, to Tirano, Italy
Duration: 4 hours, 14 minutes
The most appealing part of this trip for me is the destination. I only recently discovered that Tirano, Italy was the home of my great grandfather. He moved to Australia to find his fortune in the gold rush in Kalgoorlie but moved on after struggling to survive in the inhospitable town, leaving his children behind. I find it fascinating to learn of my family’s history so a trip to Tirano is a must for me.
3. The Epic Journey: Trans-Siberian Railway
Route: Moscow to Vladivostok, Russia
Duration: 6 days
The Trans-Siberian railway is the longest and most famous train ride in the world. It’s a once in a lifetime journey and a trip I planned to take on my first round the world trip in 1994. Unfortunately, finances and paperwork put and end to that dream but it’s still high on my list of must do travel adventures. You can read about the Trans-Manchurian trip over at Nomadic Chick which is a good option if you want to end up in Beijing rather than Vladivostok. It’s good to know that the 6 day train trip can be broken up with a few side trips.
4. Waterworld: The Flam Railway
Route: Flam to Myrdal, Norway
Duration: 1 hour
I’ve yet to set foot in Norway but would love to correct that omission sooner rather than later. The Flam Railway seems like an ideal way to take in the beautiful Norwegian fjords and waterfalls and the train even stops for a photo op during the summer months. How considerate. Check out QuirkyTraveller’s post for a first hand account of this unique train ride.