Sometimes it’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey. And trains allow you to immerse yourself in that journey in a way no aeroplane or cruise ship can. We’ve always believed that travelling isn’t just about the stamps on your passport; it’s about the sights and smells of the places you visit. It’s about the people you meet and the lives you touch, and train journeys are the best way to do that.
That said, here’s our list of the 7 greatest train journeys in the world that promise to leave you enthralled.
1. The Trans-Siberian
Route: Moscow to Vladivostok
Possibly the most iconic train journey in the world, the Trans-Siberian takes you on a seven-day mammoth journey through some of the most breath-taking landscapes on the planet. From the onion-domed Cathedral of Vasily in Moscow’s Red Square, the train trip takes you past historic cities like Kazan and Ektarinaberg, through 7 time zones and a whopping 9289 km. Oft overlooked by Russia tour packages a ride on the Trans-Siberian Railway deserves to be on the top of every adventurer’s bucket list.
2. Train to the Clouds
Route: Saltea to La Polvorilla
They say the worst trains take you through the most magical places and the Train to the Clouds does just that. Worlds apart from the more luxe trains on this list, the Tren a las Nubes, as it is called in Spanish, doesn’t offer much to tourists in terms of luxury. What it does offer is an unforgettable journey through the mighty Andes. The train itself is a quaint riot of colour with brightly painted carriages and comfy, welcoming interiors. The train even offers the services of a doctor when the high altitudes of the Andes bring you down.
The journey begins at Salta, known for its pastel cathedral and cobbled streets. It passes over the dizzying Polvorilla viaduct and ends at the Chilean border. If you like veering off the beaten track, this one’s for you. If not, there’s a host of our curated South America tour packages for you to choose from.
3. The Palace on Wheels
Route: New Delhi-Jaipur-Udaipur-Bharatpur-Agra-New Delhi
One of the most luxurious tourist trains in the world, the Palace on Wheels showcases the best of the Land of Kings in an exquisite Rajasthani setting with ultra-luxe amenities, two restaurants, 14 saloons, a bar and a spa. The train lets the guests visit Northern India’s most popular attractions, including the cities that make up the famed Golden Triangle; Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, all in the lap of luxury. Not for the light pursed, the Palace on Wheels lets you live it up like a viceroy for an impressive 9000 USD offering a great alternative to the run of the mill Rajasthan packages.
4. Glacier Express
Route: Zermatt to St Moritz
Enjoy mesmerising views of the Swiss Alps as you travel between the exclusive resort towns of Zermatt and St Moritz. Ride past snow-capped mountains, gushing waterfalls, rolling meadows and, of course, glaciers in what’s called the “Slowest Express Train in the World”. Another narrow gauge train on our list, the Glacier Express takes you through Switzerland’s prettiest spots including the Rhine Gorge, charming alpine villages, Zermatt with the Matterhorn looming over it and the playground of the rich and famous, St Moritz. A fantastic way to experience the Alps, a ride on the Glacier Express would make a great addition to your Switzerland holiday package.
Also Read: 8 Breathtakingly Beautiful Places To Visit In Switzerland
5. Puffing Billy
Route: Belgrave to Gembrook Victoria
The Australian Continent is known for its gargantuan rail journeys that span the outback. However, the Puffing Billy is nothing like those. This steam powered train is a charming narrow gauge that chugs through the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne, Australia. The first train to ply the route set out in 1900 and the route has attracted passengers ever since most of whom spend the train ride with their legs dangling out the window, with the wind in their hair. Great for families travelling with children, the Puffing Billy is a highlight of most Australia tour packages.
6. California Zephyr
Country: United States of America
Route: Chicago to San Francisco
One of North America’s most scenic rail journeys, a trip on the California Zephyr takes you across the breadth of the United States, from Chicago in the Midwest to San Francisco on the shores of the Pacific Ocean passing through the magnificent Rockies, the plains of Nebraska, the cliffs of Utah and the breathtakingly beautiful Sierra Nevada. Add the California Zephyr to your USA tour package to experience the rugged natural beauty of the American countryside.
7. Blue Train
Country: South Africa
Route: Cape Town to Pretoria
One of the oldest trains in Africa, the Blue Train is also one of the most luxurious. Traverse South Africa in a “five-star hotel on wheels” through the untamed savannah, towering mountains and sprawling deserts. The train takes its guests down south to Kimberley for a tour of one of the world’s best known Diamond Mines, the Big Hole and up north to Matjiesfontein for a sherry in the historic Lord Milner Hotel. When it comes to the South Africa tour packages, this is the best way to live it up.
While these iconic train journeys are sure to catch the fancy of even the most jaded of travellers, head down to akbartravels.com for infinite more ways to experience the culture and beauty of this planet we call home.
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