What are the most scenic train rides in the world?
Nothing beats a good railway journey and the world’s most scenic train rides promise an unforgettable adventure! Travelling by train is comfortable, eco-friendly and lets you view the passing landscapes. Across the world, certain train journeys have become famous for their epic scenery or historic significance. So, if you’re searching for the world’s most scenic train rides, why not plan your next vacation around these incredible railway trips?
Glacier Express, Switzerland
Nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the Glacier Express railway connects the mountain towns of Zermatt and St. Mortiz. If you want to enjoy the incredible scenery of the snow-covered Alps from the comfort of a luxury train carriage, the Glacier Express is the ideal choice. This direct train covers just over 290 kilometres during its 8-hour journey. Furthermore, the train passes over 291 bridges and through 91 tunnels along the way. Interestingly, the first Glacier Express began operation in 1930. Today, it is one of the top tourist experiences for visitors to Switzerland. Furthermore, the Glacier Express offers comfortable seating, an in-train dining experience and extra-wide panoramic windows for incredible views!
Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia
The longest railway in the world, this incredible train ride is on the bucket lists of many travellers. Stretching for over 9,289 kilometres, riding the full length of this famous railway is an immense achievement. On the other hand, many travellers choose to only ride certain sections in order to fit this one-of-a-kind experience into their travel plans. Beginning in Moscow, the Trans-Siberian crosses the Ural Mountains and weaves through the vast wilderness of the Siberian forest. The line terminates in Vladivostok, having spanned the entire width of Russia. The total journey time is roughly 7 days and the amazing natural sights, such as Lake Baikal and the mountains of Krasnoyarsk, make it one of the best train rides in the world!
Flam Railway, Norway
A much shorter, but no less beautiful railway journey can be found in Norway. With a total journey time of around 1 hour, the Flam Railway is thought to be one of the world’s most scenic railway journeys. Connecting the tiny village of Flam with the mountain station of Myrdal, this humble train line climbs 863 metres during the course of its journey. Beginning at the Sognefjord, the line passes through 20 tunnels and idyllic mountain scenery before reaching its final destination. Furthermore, if you visit Norway in the winter, you’ll be treated to spectacular snowy scenes along the route!
Rovos Rail, South Africa
Dubbed the ‘most luxurious train in the world’, riding Rovos Rail is an unforgettable way to experience the diverse landscapes of South Africa. Furthermore, the train even has routes through neighbouring Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania! Onboard, guests can enjoy fine dining, specially selected South African wines, themed entertainment and luxury sleeper cabins. Priding itself on its exceptional service, Rovos Rail is truly one of the greatest train journeys in the world. No matter your interests, this railway includes routes through wildlife-rich national parks, historic battlefields, and captivating cities, so there’s always something new to see from the window. Undoubtedly, one of the most luxurious ways to travel through Southern Africa.
Blue Train, Sri Lanka
One of the most ‘Instagrammable’ train journeys on earth, Sri Lanka’s famous Blue Train journey between Kandy and Ella is a bucket-list favourite! Although these colourful trains run throughout the island, this particular route is loved for its lush scenery of tea plantations and rolling hills. Around an hour after leaving Kandy, the landscapes transform. Entering the tea-growing regions, expect to see the incredible views that have made this route so popular with tourists. The total journey time can take anywhere between 6 and 9 hours. In fact, the train stops in all manner of charming highland villages and towns along the way. One of the world’s most scenic train rides, it’s little wonder these little blue trains have become so famous!
Ready to set off on a railway adventure or inspired to travel by other means? Discover our selection of extraordinary trips on our official website:
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