By Anna Fishman
The desire to connect places has led deep thinking engineers to produce some of the most picturesque rail networks in the world. These rail routes take you to your destination, cutting through some of Europe’s most scenic landscapes. Your one task? Sit back and enjoy the view!
- Bernina Express, Chur to Tirano
Starting in Switzerland (Chur or St. Mortiz) through the border to Italy (Tirano), the ride on Bernina Express is epic. It cuts right through two world heritage sites, nearly becoming one itself. The panorama windows on this ride offer you a clear view of everything – glaciers, peaks, palms, and spectacular alpine valleys.
- The Flam Railway, Myrdal to Flam
Want to take a tourism inspired train ride? Get on the Flam railway, a railway strictly for the pleasure of ogling tourists. Once a bustling rail line, this ride offers you a slow view of the Nali tunnel, stunning fjord views, and the picturesque Kjosfossen waterfall.
- Glacier Express, Zermatt to St. Mortiz
Calm, serene and scenic alpine valleys line the path between Zermatt and St. Mortiz, Switzerland. Found somewhere between two of Switzerland’s most reputable mountain resorts, the Glacier Express is the Mecca for ski lovers. The panoramic windows of the Glacier Express give you a stunning view of the Swiss mountains and alpine valleys.
- Black Forest Line, Offenburg to Konstanz
A surviving ancient forest, “Hell Valley,” and pristine lakes are just some of the wonders your eyes can feed off on this splendid ride. This natural woodland of Southwestern Germany, and its accompanying pastoral lifestyle has been well preserved through the ages.
- Centovalli Railway, Domodossola to Locarno
A ride through 100 valleys is one you don’t want to miss. This wonder route from Italy to Switzerland presents you a view of one of Europe’s most impressive landscapes. Vineyards, sturdy woodlands, stone cottages, and waterfalls complete this experience.
- Raumabanen Railway, Andalsnes to Dombas
The unspoiled lands of the Nordic country lie before you as you enjoy this ride through Norway’s wonderful terrain. The Troll wall, Europe’s tallest vertical rock, is likely to be the height of this journey. Take in the breathtaking sites of the emerald green River Rauma, high mountain peaks, striking fjord views, and low-lying valleys. It’s a journey of highs and lows, literally.
- Rail Europe, Madrid to Oviedo
Starting at the Spanish capital, cutting through some of Spain’s magnificent Northern countryside, climbing the Picos de Europa Mountains, and stopping at Austria’s beautiful region, Oviedo. What’s not to like about this journey. Little wonder, then, that this route is a sweetheart for tourists.
- The Great British Heritage Route
Castles – the making and evolution of the British kingdom. The history of the United Kingdom is hardly complete without these stunning edifices. The Great British Heritage Route takes you on a guided tour through these sites, including the Dover and Bamburgh castles. You can take the full 15-day tour through over 500 attractions or cherry-pick the tour for your preferred attractions.
- Groningen to Amsterdam
This route is all about the timing. It might not have the stunning peaks of other “heritage sites,” but it does leave you inspired, nonetheless. Take this route through Netherlands in mid-April and the colors on display will leave you stunned. Colorful tulips, windmills, and the Keukenhof gardens. Spring is the beauty of the Dutch.
- Semmering Line, Wiener Neustadt to Bruck an der Mur
This route came to prove that high-elevation travel was possible. Over 100 curved stone bridges and multiple 2-storey viaducts make this route simply awesome. At the time of opening, it was the highest line in the world and especially beautiful. Little wonder that this stunning route is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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