Traveling On Rails: 3 Best Routes In Europe For Train Travel Enthusiasts
With so much to see in Europe, you may not be entirely sure which train route will give you the most out of your journey. The great news is, there’s a lot to choose from when you decide to take the train through Europe – with something that is ideal for everyone.
Traveling by train has become an excellent way to get from point A to point B in a relatively short amount of time, but also gives you an opportunity to observe the area during transit. You save more money with a journey on a train compared to trying to stretch every pound with a cruise vacation, and those who are enthusiastic about railway travel will find a lot of diversity in the offerings here in Europe.
While rail holidays in Europe are becoming popular, there is a lot of options that you need to select from. A thorough analysis was done to help come up with a list of the three top train routes that you should consider taking. Each of these routes offers you the ability to really experience what Europe has to offer, while also becoming part of the many people who still enjoy railway transportation.
Do People Still Use Trains as A Means Of Traveling?
With cars being readily available and much more affordable than they were a few decades back, and even airline tickets often offered at a discounted rate, you might be wondering if the railway is still a means of travel for people. The short answer here would certainly be yes.
According to Eurostat, an official European publication, there actually seems to be a year-after-year increase in the number of people relying on railway transportation over the last half a century. By 2017, railway travel had seen an increased interest for the fifth year in a row.
Spain saw the greatest increase in the use of railway transportation, with a 229.1% increase from 2016 to 2017. Other areas of Europe where a significant increase in the use of this transportation method was noticed include Bulgaria, Sweden, Finland, and Czechia.
In 2013, a multi-billion Euro investment plan was also initiated by Belgium in order to further expand on the railway transportation systems throughout the country and Europe over the next 12 years.
The Best Routes To Take As A Traveler In Europe
There are several routes that you can take when traveling through Europe by train. Each route has its own benefits to offer you – and a unique range of scenery that you will be able to enjoy. For the best experience, you should take a good look at the routes that are available – but also take yourself into consideration.
When you are not entirely sure what route is best, what areas to see, or how to get the most out of your travels, then be sure to pick up a travel guide for Europe. There’s a variety of these guides and books that can surely be helpful.
Understand what you expect from your experience when traveling by rail in Europe. This way, you can see which of these routes would satisfy your personal desires. We look at three of the best routes that you should consider below, each offering something unique.
1. Flavours Of Tuscany
The first train route in Europe that we will be looking at is known as the Flavours of Tuscany. This is the trip for those people who really want the full experience, with multiple stops in between and quite a distance to travel.
The Flavours of Tuscany route takes about a week to complete, and you won’t be spending all of your time on the train. If fine dining with some of Europe’s best cheese and, of course, wine is something that interests you, then the Flavours of Tuscany tour is something to be considered.
The journey starts in London and takes you all the way to Campiglia Marittima. Depending on your selection of packages, you may choose to find your way back to London by train, as well.
Once you get on the train at the St. Pancras station in London, your journey starts. During the first day, you will experience the Gare du Nord and travel through beautiful France – all the way to Turin, located in Italy. From here, you will visit Piazza Castello, experience an authentic Egyptian Museum, and observe the beauty of the Tuscan coast.
Other destinations that you will observe on the Flavours of Tuscany trip include:
- Fattoria Lischeto
- Cornia Valley
- Campiglia Marittima
During your journey, you will be able to experience the beauty of Europe, discover Winelands, where you also get to taste some of the best wines. You will also be given access to museums and other historical sites.
2. The Castles Of Transylvania Route
While the name might sound strange and make you think that you will be visiting castles that are home to vampires, the Castles of Transylvania route is actually the perfect option for those who prefer something more luxurious.
The route takes you through several areas of Europa, and yes, you will pay a vast to the Bran Castle, called the home of the vampire-count. The trip generally lasts about seven days, giving you adequate time to really explore the surroundings, discover new things about Europe, all while moving between the different locations by train.
The Castles of Transylvania route is where history meets luxury. The Golden Eagle Danube Express is the train that is mainly used for this trip. The trip starts at Istanbul and takes you to eight other locations, where you will be given a chance to discover some of Europe’s most renowned Castles, as well as many other historic structures and architecture.
Apart from Istanbul, some of the other destinations that you will also visit on the Castles of Transylvania route include:
- Veliko Tarnovo
As you can notice, the route really takes you through multiple areas of Europe. You initially start out in Turkey, and slowly move through Bulgaria, Romania, and finish your trip in Hungary.
3. The Scotland Grand Tour
If you wish to get a view of Scotland as part of your trip to Europe, then the nine-day Grand Tour might be just what you are looking for. The idea behind the Scotland Grand Tour is to give you a great view of this region’s historic buildings, including a range of castles, while also taking you on a scenic journey at the same time.
The journey starts off at the Edinburgh train station. From here, you will travel throughout a large portion of the country in order to discover some of the following attractions:
- Loch Lomond
- Eilean Donan Castle
- Dunvegan Castle
- Armadale Castle and Gardens
- West Highland Line
Plus, you will also be given an opportunity to see the Jacobite steam train in action – something to be desired by the train travel enthusiast. For the Harry Potter fan, the Glenfinnan Viaduct will be crossed throughout the Scotland Grand Tour trip – this is an area of Scotland that was featured in multiple Harry Potter movies in the past.
On your way back, you can choose to take the train again – or, if you are in a hurry, alternative means of transit are available.
A Diverse Selection Of Options When Traveling By Train Through Europe
Europe is a diverse country and offers you a lot to experience. Traveling through this country by train is considered one of the best ways to truly observe the beauty of Europe, but there are many routes that you will have to choose from. For those who want to take it slow, the Flavours of Tuscany is a touring train trip not to be missed, but the other selections shared here offers just as much adventure and excitement.