There is a reason that every flight you take these days is full. Everyone who wants to go somewhere wants to get there as cheaply as quickly as possible, and that means flying in an economy class. But if you are interested in something different, have some time and extra bucks to spend, and don’t want to do the old road and waterway trips, you need something different. You need a train. We are not thinking about bullet trains and Amtracks. We are thinking about old 20th-century technology, which also happens to be the best way to see the world’s most majestic sites and monuments.
To get started, we have made a list of all favourite rail journeys, the top 10 and best destination all around the world. Consider the luxury train that follows the Pharoh’s trail the great Pyramids, or the Gotthard Panorama Express that carves through the world famous Gotthard route. See the majestic Swiss Alps from the Glacier Express or roll through India and Bhutan in stylish Indo-Bhutan Express. The famous essayist Alan Patrick Herbert was not wrong when he said: “Travel by slow train is the only restful experience left to mankind.”
1. The Train to the Sky:
This is perhaps the best way you will spend you will spend eight hours in your whole life. You will travel from Salta in Argentina to Chile, climbs to 13,000 feet during its journey through Andes Mountains. The Tren a Les Nubes was started so that the people from all around the world could explore the Andes in style. The trip costs around $155 and please don’t worry, there plenty of oxygen supply on board.
2. Hiram Bingham Express Train:
If you have been planning that once in a lifetime trip to ancient civilization like Machu Picchu, take this as a motivation to reserve a seat on the train. The Hiram Bingham Express train is one of the most famous luxury trains in the world, with the travel price of around $100 per hour, as not only are you traveling in a stylish and luxurious train, you are following the ancient trail. The train is designed to pamper around 85 passengers. There is a kitchen cabin, a bar cabin and two dining cabins which provide an excellent facilities on the way to Incas. A day’s trip will cost you no more than $800.
3. The Rocky Mountaineer:
The Rocky Mountaineer is on our checklist for being the most enchanting train trip you could find. An exhilarating 48 hours journey over different routes through the Rockey Mountains to Vancouver, which created the nation of Canada as we know it today. Here are the green carpets of forests, rivers, wildlife, and glacier-fed lakes. The drivers often slow down and stop whenever they find some wild animal by the lineside.
4. The Royal Train:
The Palace on Wheels is not the only luxury train in the Indian subcontinent but is the best way to see the royal state of Rajasthan while avoiding the crowd, dirt, and heat of the deserts of India. Each of its carriages has its own steward. A week’s journey out of New Delhi is possibly the most relaxing way of lapping up India’s top tourist and heritage sites without getting your shoes dusty. A seven days’ journey will cost you around $3000.
5. The Trans-Siberian Railway:
You could sightsee the 5000 miles of Asian continent on one of those blue collar cabins of Tsar’s royal train. The Trans-Siberian Railways will take you from Moscow and Vladivostok to Beijing’s Forbidden City, the mysterious Great Wall, Lake Baikal and the two Kremlins, the one in Russia and the other you definitely have not heard of. The journey from Moscow to Vladivostok costs no more than $600.
6. Golden Eagle:
The diplomatic conflict between the United States and Iran has opened the way for this train between the world’s two most beautiful capitals. Taking around 20 days, the Golden Eagle passes through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Iran stopping off to visit the ancient cities and tourist sites. This must be perhaps the only luxury train where alcohol is banned on part of the route. A three weeks’ journey will cost you around $16,000.
7. The Royal Scotsman:
Grab your best suit. This beautiful train will take you in a majestic way through most of the United Kingdom’s most enchanting landscapes, with more dense forests and pine clad mountains than you have seen before. The 35 passengers will be presented the world class Scottish and British cuisine. So why not fantasize to be a member of the royal family in just $7000 for five days and four nights.
8. Rovos Rail:
The Rovos Rail takes you through Zambia, Botswana, South Africa and Tanzania over a course of 15 days. Visit Africa’s dense forests, historic villages. Victoria Falls, the famous town of Kimberley, the Rift Valley and a lot more. And one more thing, leave your jeans and t-shirts at home because, for a lady, an evening dress or a suit is a requirement while for the gentlemen we suggest a jacket and a tie.
9. Darjeeling Railway:
With its head in the Himalayan snow, it is not just a train but a memorabilia. The train climbs 6000 feet from India’s plains near the city of Kolkata to the snowy air of Raja Hills at Darjeeling. With its British-era steam engine, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway performs an important social function for the local population on its 60 miles journey. An 11-day tour will cost you no more than $3300.
10. The Blue Train:
Last but not the least, here is the world’s most famous luxury train service. Gliding luxuriously between Cape Town and Pretoria on its 990 miles, 30-hour journey showing off Africa’s stunning forests and historic villages. A 30 hours journey will cost you around $1200 but a cheaper option is another comfortable train, Shosholoza Meyl, which runs on the same route from Johannesburg.
So there is no better way to spend your vacations than traveling on luxurious trains in an old fashioned manner. These trains include everything you need, from comfortable dining cabins to bars and fully air-conditioned sleeping cars, they are the Palaces on Wheels. So check out the top 10 favourite rail journeys and choose the best destination you want to visit with your family and friends.