There's something immensely special about experiencing a country's unique landscapes through the window of a moving train. Sit back, relax and admire spectacular mountains, lakes, rivers, remote villages and in many cases some incredible feats of engineering allowing you to travel through some of the most scenic landscapes in the world. Whether your rail journey is an excursion on a steam-hauled heritage line or travelling overnight in a sleeper carriage, you can discover destinations from an entirely different perspective.

Be inspired to see more of your holiday destination by train with these trips as suggested by our destination experts. They may not all offer the fastest journey - but rest assured they will be the most memorable.

Europe

1. Flåm Railway, Norway

The Flåm Railway has been described as one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world and is one of the leading tourist attractions in Norway. As one of the steepest standard gauge railways, the train runs through some of the wildest, most dramatic scenery in Norway through 20 unique tunnels, and offers so many viewpoints that, for many people, a single trip up and down is not enough to capture the many photo opportunities including Flåm’s magnificent Aurlandsfjord. At the end of the line, be sure to check out the Flåm Railway Museum and 17th century church. Travel from Myrdal for a scenic ride down to the quaint, fjordside village of Flåm with our 7 night Norway in a nutshell itinerary.

Flam Railway Flam Railway

2. Odontos Railway, Diakofto, Greece

Although Greece’s railway network is not massive, as it only connects its largest cities, the local train service between the towns of Diakopto and Kalavryta in Achaea, Peloponnese has its own, unique history and beauty. Built between 1885 and 1895, a journey on the Odontos train is considered one of the finest rail trips in Europe. The modern route runs for a total of 14 miles from the town of Diakopto through the famous gorge of Vouraikos and the old monastery of Mega Spilaeon, all the way up to the historic town of Kalavryta.

It is possible to do a day trip, travelling up in the morning and back in the afternoon. We can arrange stays in both Diakopto and Kalavryta as part of a fly-drive itinerary - you could leave the car at Diakofto and pack an overnight bag for Kalavryta.

Diakofto

Odontos Railway Odontos Railway

3. Douro Presidential Train, Porto, Portugal 

During your holiday to Porto, why not treat yourself to a once in a lifetime gourmet train experience aboard the historic and luxurious Presidential Train. Built in 1890 and magnificently restored in 2010, the Presidential Train has transported Presidents, Heads of State, Kings and Popes for more than a century, until it was officially withdrawn from circulation in 1970. The return journey from Porto to the Vesuvio winery passes through stunning scenery of terraced vineyards winding through the spectacular Douro Valley in northern Portugal. Travel through history in an atmosphere of luxury and comfort whilst enjoying a gastronomic treat – a meal prepared by some of the world’s leading culinary talents, aboard the most exquisite train in Portuguese history. 

Alas, 2020 is the final time that you will be able to experience this journey, as the train will be retired from service which means you have one last opportunity to hop aboard and wine and dine like royalty.

Porto

Presidential Train Presidential Train

4. Electric trains in Sweden 

Sweden is renowned for taking a strong stance on environmentally friendly practices and the country’s rail industry is a shining example of sustainable development – combining renewable electricity-powered trains with innovative methods of raising customer awareness on environmental issues. The Inlandsbanan is a scenic train route in Sweden that's 1,300 km long which starts in Kristinehamn in the south and ends in Gällivare in the north. The railway takes you on a voyage of discovery through the beautiful Swedish countryside. You can travel from Värmland in the south via Dalarna up to Swedish Lapland in the north. The journey takes you through 19 municipalities allowing you to explore nature and local heritage as well as sample local cuisine such as cloudberries, whitefish and reindeer. The railway is open for tourist journeys with daily departures from the middle of June until the end of August. 

Sweden

Southern Sweden Southern Sweden

Latin America

5. Belmond train in Peru, Cusco to Lake Titicaca

South America's first luxury sleeper train glides from Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire, allowing you to appreciate the region’s spectacular sights as you travel across the lofty Andean plains to Lake Titicaca. The Belmond Andean Explorer marks a departure from classic vintage luxury, instead evoking a contemporary aesthetic perfectly designed to frame the awe-inspiring Andean landscape. Your overnight journey begins with a lunch of Andean specialities in the sophisticated dining car as you watch the captivating scenery unfold. After lunch, visit the Incan archaeological site of Raqchi, which is nestled around Templo de Viracocha, an Inca ruin which was once one of the holiest shrines in the Inca empire. Once back onboard, enjoy a delicious dinner before retiring to the comfort of your cabin. It’s worth setting your alarm to watch the sunrise above Lake Titicaca before having breakfast and bidding farewell to your fellow guests and crew. This journey is one of many that can be taken aboard the Belmond Andean Explorer that promises countless memories during your holiday to Peru.

Cusco/Peru

The Belmond Andean The Belmond Andean

6. Vistadome train - Cusco to Machu Picchu 

Travelling on the The PeruRail Vistadome train offers a unique connection with the stunning scenery along the way to Machu Picchu. The panoramic windows around and above your seat will bring you close to nature unlike anything you’ve experienced before. The journey from Cusco takes 3 ½ hours as you travel through Ollantaytambo, a village in the Sacred Valley of south Peru, set on the Urubamba River amid snow-capped mountains. It is well known for the Ollantaytambo ruins, a massive Inca fortress with large stone terraces built on a hillside.  Also enroute to Machu Picchu is Urubamba, a town surrounded by rugged mountains in the Sacred Valley region of southeastern Peru. Onboard the train you sample the ‘real’ Andean experience with live dances and a snack made with local ingredients, all the while wondering at the incredible landscapes that make you feel you're part of the nature that surrounds you. Arriving into Machu Picchu train station, you’ll find yourself surrounded by clouds and scenery reminiscent of a prehistoric past and the iconic Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains lives up to every expectation.

Peru itinerary

Machu Picchu, Peru Machu Picchu, Peru

7. Train of wonders. Quito – Guayaquil, Ecuador 

This 4-night journey begins south of Quito and runs through the “Avenue of the Volcanoes”, the name given to these singular geological formations of the Andes. The avenue, in fact a valley, runs below over 20 volcanoes and mountains including the majestic Cotopaxi and the imposing Chimborazo. Discover more about the Andean cultures and their lifestyle while visiting Guamote, an authentic, indigenous local market, dating from pre-Hispanic times. You can also experience the mythical train of the Devil’s Nose! Taking you on an unparalleled adventure descending through the intricate, steep, zigzag to the valley of Sibambe. The trip concludes after riding through the coastal valley past endless sugar cane, banana and cocoa bean plantations, while discovering the captivating landscapes of the Ecuadorian coast and the first Ecuadorian train station. Carrying just 50 passengers, these lovingly restored, antique locomotives pull a convoy of two luxury, colonial and republican-style themed passenger cars along with two comfortable observation lounges and an open-air terrace. Overnight accommodation is available at selected properties along the route.

Ecuador

Ecuador Ecuador

8. Train to the Clouds, Argentina 

Taking a trip on the famous Train of the Clouds is one of the best ways to see the incredible landscapes of Salta in northern Argentina from a great height. The ‘Tren a las Nubes’ is a tourist train in Salta Province, Argentina which runs along the eastern part of the Salta–Antofagasta railway line of the Belgrano Railway. The line connects the Argentine Northwest with the Chilean border in the Andes mountain range, over 13,850 ft above sea level, making it the fifth highest railway in the world.

Chugging along at only 35km per hour for 21km, this three-hour journey from San Antonio de los Cobres to the end point at Viaducto La Polvorilla and back again takes you through arid landscapes and places of geological wonder, all of which can be fully appreciated thanks to the leisurely pace of the train. While other parts of Argentina have a noticeable European influence, Buenos Aires in particular, the northern regions of Salta are most definitely indigenous in both culture and ethnicity. You are likely to see people in colourful indigenous dress and many of the artefacts and crafts sold in shops are made locally, so you benefit from a truer sense of Andean culture here than anywhere else in Argentina.

Argentina

Train of the clouds Train of the clouds
The Sunvil Family

By The Sunvil Family

31st January 2020



The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

Sunvil's holidays are designed by passionate travellers just like you. Our reservations experts and product teams, many of whom have been with us for many years, are passionate about our destinations and, through their personal, first-hand knowledge can answer any questions that you may have. They are well qualified to advise and recommend, based on your own holiday criteria. We can point you to those special, little-known places, some not found even in guidebooks.

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

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