Lovers of vast expanses, unique and authentic landscapes, if there is an unusual way to be surprised it is traveling by train. Transportation, which enjoyed a golden age at the beginning of the last century, is now on the back burner. However, traveling by train is still the only way to access certain landscapes of raw nature, places whose immensity fascinates and that cannot be seen in any other way. Now you just must let yourself be carried away by this top 10 of the most beautiful train trips in the world that will convince you that the important thing is the trip, not the destination.
# 1 The Venice Simplon Orient Express (Europe)
A legendary train connecting Europe’s most romantic capitals, the Venice Simplon Orient Express, successor to the legendary Orient Express, also takes you back in time. Vintage cars with leather, velvet, precious woods, glass …
Through the valley of the Alps and the Danube, this luxury train brings the roaring twenties back to life. You can sample refined cuisine inspired by the region you pass through during your meal, and you can savor excellent wines while donning our best clothes to ride in the piano-bar car.
# 2 The Rocky Mountaineer (Canada)
A chain that offers several different routes to discover the Canadian Rockies. We travel by day from Vancouver, not to miss any of the breathtaking landscapes of the Canadian expanses and the discovery of British Columbia. Canyons, glistening lakes, valleys, waterfalls and glaciers, the traveler will be in awe!
During the journey, the Rocky Mountaineer team tells stories about the natives and the surrounding nature, which the visitor is likely to encounter during layovers. Every night the train stops, and travelers sleep in a luxury hotel.
# 3 El Chepe (Mexico)
Ferrocaril Chihuahua al Pacifico, its true name, is the only passenger train in Mexico, part of Chihuahua in the north and through canyons, waterfalls, and deserts to reach Los Mochis on the Pacific coast.
The train crosses the spectacular Copper Canyon, deeper than the Grand Canyon of Colorado, and stops in towns to meet the various Mexican communities that sell their crafts and food on the line, such as in Cuauhtémoc (a Mennonite community) or in Creel (Tarahumara Indians). There are two different trains, which leave every morning from Chihuahua, the first class and the economy class, which is cheaper, but longer because it has more stages.
# 4 The Trans-Siberian (Russia)
The legendary train that crosses Russia from west to east, whose real name is Rossiya, gives access to places impossible to see otherwise. Opened in 1916, it links Moscow with Vladivostok over more than 9,200 km and crosses seven different time zones.
From Vladivostok, it is possible to take the Trans-Manchurian or the Trans-Mongolian to reach China. For an unforgettable journey of unique landscapes, it is possible to choose different packages that remain accessible, since the Trans-Siberian has never become a luxury train like most of the legendary trains. Along the way, travelers meet Uzbek or Kazakh peasants, Mongolian nomads, Chinese merchants, and members of the Russian army.
Starting from Moscow’s Red Square, the train travels along Lake Balkai for 200 km, the Siberian taiga, crosses the Amur River, then with the Transmongol, the infinite steppes to finish in Beijing along the Great Wall of China.
# 5 The Rovos Rail (South Africa)
Nicknamed “The Pride of Africa”, it is said to be the most luxurious train in the world.
Pulled by authentic restored steam locomotives, connecting Cape Town with Johannesburg, the train travels through the most beautiful places in South Africa, through the savannah, past the coast, the reserves, and the famous Victoria Falls. Extensions also allow you to reach Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tanzania or even go to Cairo in Egypt!
# 6 The Royal Scotsman (Scotland)
Here is another train that is reputed to be the most luxurious in the world, in any case it is the most expensive! The Royal Scotsman offers one of the most beautiful voyages in the world, through the Scottish countryside. From the luxury Belle Époque trains, with typical Edwardian décor, planned to accommodate only 36 people at a time, these wealthy travelers are taken to taste delicious food and wine through the sumptuous landscapes of Scotland.
The train leaves with the sound of the bagpipes and it is possible to fully admire the landscape from an observatory car equipped with a large window, thus passing through the lakes and castles.
# 7 The California Zephyr (United States)
Mythical train that crosses seven different states of the United States, the California Zephyr on its way to conquer the west and represents a privileged means of transport to discover the authentic and varied landscapes of the American West.
Connecting Chicago with San Francisco, the Zephyr covers more than 3,900 km for a 51-hour journey. Comfortably installed in economy class or in private cabins, it is possible to travel with various budgets, the meals included in the trip are really cooked and there is a panoramic cabin! Among the many landscapes that it is possible to observe during the tour; the Rocky Mountains, the plains of the Midwest, the Sierra Nevada, the Canyons, lakes, rivers …
# 8 The Cloud Train (Argentina)
Train to the clouds, the cloud train that runs through Argentina through the Andes mountain range forms one of the most spectacular railways in the world.
The route has 13 surprising iron viaducts that cross ravines several hundred meters long, the most spectacular being the Polvorilla viaduct. The Train of the Clouds runs from Salta, in northern Argentina, to San Antonio de Los Cobres.
# 9 The Ghan (Australia)
On the route of the Afghan camel drivers who traversed Australia from north to south with their caravans, the Ghan, originally called “the Afghan express” traverses the desert lands of Australia from Darwin to Adelaide, passing through Alice Springs.
Gorges, cliffs, rivers, bushes, forests, the Ghan crosses many landscapes but above all it reflects the desert and the wild immensity of red earth in the center of the country.
# 10 Eastern & Oriental Express (Asia)
A luxury train like the famous Orient Express, the Eastern & Oriental Express departs from Singapore, crosses Malaysia to Bangkok and travels more than 2,000 km in three days.
This mythical train, whose carriages previously belonged to a New Zealand luxury train, has been redesigned in a refined oriental style, mixing marquetry, lacquered wood, and oriental tapestries, includes several dining cars (with a French chef!) As well as a library. wagon and even a wagon with a colonial gallery that allows you to contemplate the moving landscape.
And what a landscape! Between the rainforest, rice fields, tea fields, markets (the train must slow down, sometimes it stays behind), houses on stilts or even old colonial villas, this is one of the most beautiful railway routes in Asia.