Traveling in modern times comes with its fair share of frustrations: traffic jams, flight delays, expensive cab rides, the list goes on. But there is one means of transportation that remains as reliable and hassle-free now as it has been for the hundreds of years of its existence. The advantages of traveling by train are numerous, from being able to gaze out the window at stunning vistas to enjoying the luxury of a nap or snack. Some train routes around the world must be experienced first-hand for their beauty to be understood and praised. Here are our top rail holiday recommendations.
The Golden Triangle of India
Known for its impressive history, spicy and exquisite cuisine, and the amazing nature, the seventh largest country on Earth has some of the most visited cities in the world, and first-time visitors can get a bit overwhelmed. Fortunately, the country’s three largest cities – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur – are conveniently located near one another, in the shape of a ‘Golden Triangle’, so dubbed because of the astonishing culture and history they boast. One of the best and most comfortable ways to travel in the Golden Triangle is by train, leaving all your travel-related concerns in the hands of the conductor.
We begin our journey in Delhi, the country’s capital. One could wander the city’s streets for weeks on end and still not see everything that it has to offer. Take the chance to try some of the inescapably spicy local cuisine – we recommend the Nihari, a slow-cooked, spicy meat.
Go on a private shopping tour in Delhi
Roughly 280 kilometers south of Delhi, past spectacular country vistas, lies Agra, famous the world over for a grand mausoleum built by a former emperor for his wife, the Taj Mahal, once described as “the tear-drop on the cheek of time”. To admire the stunning building from afar, try the Taj Nature Walk, or if you prefer, lounge on a bench and enjoy the passing rickshaws as the sun sets behind the Taj Mahal.
The final stop on this tour is Jaipur, a metropolis famous for its architectural history and sweet delights. Give the Ghevar a try, a round sweet cake made from flour and drizzled with sugar syrup. Nicknamed ‘The Pink City’ for the terracotta pink color of its historic center buildings, Jaipur is a feast for sight and taste alike.
If you feel like breaking off from the triangle a bit, visit Amer (also called Amber), a city surrounded by immense hills and historical buildings, located just 50 minutes away from Jaipur. The unmissable Amer fort, constructed with the most beautiful marble and red sandstone, offers amazing views of Maota Lake, and feels like a trip back in time.
Join a private trip from Delhi to Agra including the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
Eastern and Oriental Express
Like something out of an old novel, the Eastern and Oriental Express is reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie or even James Bond: classical luxury from the golden age of travel. The express has several routes which showcase the beauty of South-East Asia from the comfort of a private cabin.
One of the most popular routes is the breathtaking two-day journey from Singapore to Bangkok, crossing the impressive Southeast Asian countryside and offering glimpses of centuries-old temples, tea plantations and historical monuments. All meals are included, from continental breakfasts to four-course dinners and, of course, afternoon tea.
Live and breathe the nightlife of Bangkok, or discover history and culture on a Singapore food tour
The journey also includes a tour of the Ubudiah Mosque, Museum of Perak and the Sultan Shah Gallery. You can also choose to tag along on a tour to the Bridge on the River Kwai and the Thai-Burma Railway Museum. If you’re up for it, you can even take a cooking class where you will learn to prepare some traditional Thai cuisine.
Traverse the River Kwai and marvel at the Thai landscape
The largest and certainly one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy, Lago di Garda, is located between Verona and Venice, on the edge of the Dolomites. It’s so expansive that it actually has several prominent islands, the largest being Isola di Garda, which has been inhabited since the early 11th century. The lake is surrounded by stunning historic towns, which attracts flocks of international visitors.
One of these towns, the unmissable Sirmione, has several thermal springs and was a spa destination as far back as Roman times. The city center has typical Italian cobbled streets and a castle from the 13th century. One of the world’s most stunning train routes goes there all the way from Zurich, passing through the mesmerizing Swiss lakes and Alps to Milan, where one can transfer to a direct train to Sirmione.
Get a ticket for an unique natural spa, Garda Thermal Park, or visit Gardaland for a great day for the entire family
The idea of traveling by car doesn’t sound that appealing anymore, does it? Luckily, the train journey of your dreams is just a few clicks away!