Flying is a convenient way to travel, but it isn’t for everyone. Besides, you don’t get to enjoy much scenery when you’re stuck on an airplane. When you’re on an overseas vacation, ditch the plane and the related anxiety for trains instead. Taking a rail adventure is a great way to travel across Europe and Asia while enjoying the mountains, plains, and bodies of water in every direction.
Switzerland’s Glacier Express
Travel the 7.5-hour trip between two Swiss mountain resorts on the Glacier Express. This train goes from St. Mortiz to Zermatt, both of which are in the Swiss Alps. The Glacier Express has panoramic windows that offer views of the gorgeous countryside with snowy hills, mountains, and historical ruins. You don’t have to ride the train for the entire trip. Its journey has four main legs and one alternative leg that you can use to travel between the two Swiss destinations.
Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway
The longest route on the Trans-Siberian is from Moscow to Vladivostok, which covers more than 6,100 miles. Taking the Trans-Siberian is something of a travel bucket list item for many people. This seven-day journey crosses Kazan, passes the Kremlin, and goes through Irkutsk with its elaborate wooden buildings. Trans-Siberian journeys are cheaper in winter, but to get the full effect of the Russian scenery, go in the late spring, summer, or early fall when the country gets more daylight.
Norway’s Flam Railway
The Flam Railway is a short ride of just two hours. It’s known as the world’s most beautiful train ride because of the gorgeous Norwegian scenery it passes. This is just part of Norway’s railway system, and it covers the journey between Myrdal and Flam. Since you’ll be traveling more of Norway than between these two destinations, get a Eurail pass for flexibility and convenience. Check online to see what Eurail Pass is right for your journey. Either way, the Flam Railway will be your favorite part of the journey, as you wind your way through fjords, mountains, waterfalls, and more.
India’s Maharajas’ Express
The Maharajas’ Express is a new luxury train ride designed to offer an exciting and beautiful journey through India. Take one of five journeys, each of which stops in several Indian destinations to give you a taste of the culture and panoramic scenery. The journeys take either seven nights and eight days or three nights and four days. They stop in places like Jaipur, Delhi, and Mumbai. Each train ride is designed to be a trip in and of itself, not just a way to get from point A to point B.
Because a train ride is slower than a plane, use it as an opportunity to stop in more places while you’re traveling. You can always stay a night somewhere and catch the next train in the morning. Many train rides are designed for tourists, and the give you a way to experience the highlights of a country as you travel through it.