I love train travel, it clears my mind like nothing else. A while back I was lost in the Guardian Travel supplement, dreaming of escaping when I saw an amazing holiday through Switzerland by train. Trains in Europe have an allure which UK trains just don’t. They take me back to my travels as a student. Shaz and Penny’s Grand tour of Europe and visits to a family friend in Munich.
I remember the sun setting over the fields as me and my friend M took the train from Munich to Salzburg. I remember leaving Genoa drunk and waking up hungover in the Alps, perplexed to be surrounded by skiers. I remember S kissing goodbye to the man whose heart she broke in Lyon, as the snow flakes drifted down. European trains are epic, punctual and in my mind, feature the kind of romantic carriages you only see in films in the UK.
So when Planet Rail, whose train holidays have recently been short listed in the British travel Awards as the Best holidays by train company, got in touch, I was really happy to preview some of their offerings here.
From luxury train holidays on the Orient Express and the Trans-Siberian railway to escorted rail tours around Italy and Switzerland we offer tailor-made rail holidays to suit you.
We have devised some sample itineraries based on our own experience which offer you an excellent blend of quality and value for money. We would like to stress that these are merely example rail holidays to get you thinking and demonstrate that bespoke train holidays don’t cost the earth!
Look at this for an amazing train view!
Top of my list is The Glacier Express and Scenic Switzerland. I would love to see the scenery unfold, while re-reading Heidi. I can’t imagine climbing over the Oberalp Pass at 6,670ft, but it gets higher, on Day 2 the spectacular Jungfrau Railway takes you to the highest railway station in Europe at 11,333ft. On route you can potter in Swiss towns and visit a 13th century Chateau. (From £1,395 per person)
I wrote about the incredible Lake Garda last week, but how about an Italian train journey there? Whilst Italian guards are fearsome, the trains I travelled on were hopelessly romantic. Milan is an incredible station, I can vouch for it. The Charm and Beauty of Lake Garda option also allows you to see Milan, Venice and fair Verona. (from £975 per person)
Train holiday definitely goes on the list. Although I can sadly see the kids losing interest in the amazing views, I also think travelling by train keeps them quiet enough for me to appreciate the scenery and makes covering long distances really pleasurable. I’ve always wanted to go on a sleeper train. What do you reckon?