The world moves so quickly that we frequently forget to only relax and luxuriate in the view. Put away your phone and laptop, get comfortable and watch because the ever-changing landscapes of Europe flicker past because the train speeds seamlessly onwards. Complete your moment of tranquillity with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, and appreciate what a very good landscape can do for the soul.
Here are five of our favourite train journeys across Europe, inspired by DK Eyewitness’ new book ‘Unforgettable Journeys: hamper and See the World’.
More about Unforgettable Journeys
DK Eyewitness’ latest hardback travel guide, ‘Unforgettable Journeys’ celebrates the thrill of slow travel. Featuring 200 entries, DK has picked epic journeys across a number of the world’s most stunning landscapes. Whether it’s cruising through Antarctica to watch Adélie and gentoo penguins, or trekking through Australia’s rugged Blue Mountains, this guide is there to inspire and inform. The book is organised by sorts of transport, including hiking, biking, train, car and boat.
The stunning images alone are sure to get you reaching for your passport and planning your next adventure.
Train travel through Europe is an adventure unto itself, and you’ll book an Interrail pass lasting between one and three months with access to over 40,000 destinations across 33 countries.
It are often hard to understand where to start out , so we recommend beginning with a cultural and culinary odyssey through France and Italy. begin in Paris, the “City of Lights, Love, and therefore the Louvre” and have a wander through the tangled streets of Montmartre before boarding the train to Lyon. Catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower as zoom to the culinary capital of France, where you’ll sample a saucisson brioche (a fancy, French sausage roll). Next stop is Milan, then you’ll head south through the Emilia-Romagna countryside to Bologna.
Grab a bench as you journey through Tuscany and watch because the rolling vineyards and cypress trees unfold outside your window, before disembarking in Florence. the ultimate stretch of the journey will take you past the beautiful medieval city of Siena and on to Rome, which holds the key to at least one of history’s most fascinating civilisations.
Discover Switzerland’s alpine landscapes with this high-mountain rail route, starting at the sunny resort of St. Moritz and ending in Zermatt, home of the Matterhorn, The Jewel of Swiss Alps. The Glacier Express began within the 1930s and has earned the accolade of Europe’s slowest express train (at a mean speed of 39 km/h or 24 mph).
You certainly won’t be becoming bored , because the scenery is otherworldly. Snake past frosted lakes, over historic viaducts, and past jagged peaks. From your bench , you’ll get a glimpse of the Rhine Gorge, affectionately dubbed Switzerland’s Grand Canyon . You’ll also undergo a powerful 91 tunnels, each resulting in a replacement natural spectacle.
Immerse yourself within the golden age of travel and step aboard the gleaming blue carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Immortalised by authors including Christie and Fleming , the Orient Express and its unrefined luxury and window to the past.
Cabin stewards wearing royal-blue uniforms greet you once you arrive on the platform at London Victoria station. Once onboard you’re encouraged to mingle as smartly-dressed waiters serve delicious cocktails.
Your 24-hour journey will take you thru England, France and Switzerland, before gliding through the Lombardy region of northern Italy, and eventually on to Venice, where you’ll enjoy tea overlooking the city’s grand canal. Take your trip to subsequent level by partaking during a three-course meal with matching within the brocaded piano lounge.
A perfect family adventure, the trip aboard the Jacobite Steam Train takes travellers along the West Highland line running north from Fort William. The seasonal tourist train starts near the very best mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, and trundles through Scotland’s rugged glens, past craggy coastlines and inland lochs. The highlight has got to be the journey along the 21-arch Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous by the Hogwarts Express within the Harry Potter films.
When the weather is sweet , the train stops along the way for photograph opportunities. It takes around two hours to urge to the fishing port of Mallaig, and travellers have an hour and a half to explore the port and luxuriate in some fish and chips before re-boarding the train and returning to Fort William.
This picturesque journey through Norway is best enjoyed within the Autumn when snowfall has fallen on the mountain peaks and therefore the landscape is awash with fiery reds, burnt oranges and golden browns. Starting within the capital, Oslo, the bustling coastal city soon gives thanks to vast swathes of farmland and old-fashioned buildings.
Trains are running in Norway since 1908, an excellent technological feat as quite 180 tunnels had to be carved into the dense mountain gneiss. During the journey, you’ll head through the frosted Hallingdal Valley and on to Finse, the very best railway station in Norway at 1,222 meters, and therefore the landscape is transformed into a winter wonderland. The train will then shuttle right down to water level past Myrdal station and onwards to its final stop, the previous capital city of Bergen.