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Nothing beats the nostalgia of a train ride .. to somewhere…

Especially if it is on board a luxurious train.
Fabulous train rides

The list of fabulous and luxurious train holidays, experiences, tours, and trips, is endless.  When looking at luxurious train rides that you simply must experience, the list is also quite long.  There is the TranzAlpine in New Zealand, The Rocky Mountaineer in Canada, The Bergen Railway in Norway or the Golden Eagle Trans Siberian in Russia and so much more. 

It is so easy to include a luxurious or awesome train ride in your holidayWe have 3 favorites.

Railway train tracks

Glacier Express, Switzerland

You cannot miss the bright-red Glacier Express as it crosses the valleys and the spectacular mountains of Switzerland.  Understandably many are referring to the Glacier Express as one of the most beautiful and scenic train rides in Europe.  The fact that the ‘picture windows’ and glass skylights allow you to take photos in all directions is fabulous.

So going between Zermatt and St Moritz, this will be your only direct service.  You can sit back and relax while taking in the breathtakingly beautiful scenery of the Swiss Alps.  (Although I would never be able to sit back and relax.  There is just too much to see to just “sit back and relax”.  I’ll be the one hopping around with my camera from one window to the other.  LOL)

The experience

“On its 180-mile (290-kilometer) journey, the train makes five stops, passes under 91 tunnels, and goes over 291 bridges and viaducts; its highest point is the Oberalp Pass between Andermatt and Disentis, which sits at 6,667 feet (2,033 meters). You can take a one-way trip in a single day, or stop off at the towns along the way and stay overnight in Zermatt or St. Moritz for a three-day, round-trip journey.

To fully appreciate the stunning landscape and easily manage your seat reservation and connections, book a Glacier Express tour and make the trip accompanied by a private guide.” – Viator  (This way you really do not have to stress about anything.)

1-Day Glacier Express Panoramic Train Round Trip in one Day Private Tour from Zürich

Experience the majesty of the Swiss Alps by train on this private 1-day Glacier Express tour from Zurich. Explore the Old Town of Chur — Graubünden’s ancient capital — with a private guide, then board the Glacier Express. Travel through the Grand Canyon of Switzerland to Disentis in the Rhine valley, and onward through Andermatt and Brig. Along the way, take in spectacular views over Switzerland’s soaring peaks and stop off to sightsee with a private guide. Then, travel along Lake Thun’s beautiful shoreline back to Zurich. - Viator

3-Day Glacier Express Self-Guided Tour from Zurich

Switzerland’s Glacier Express train route is one of the world’s leading rail journeys. It crosses 291 bridges and passes through 91 tunnels on its thrilling climb through the Alps. Along the way, listen to commentary via complimentary headphones explaining the engineering feat of building a rail line at high altitude. The 3-day tour includes discounted rail tickets and daily breakfast, overnight stays in Zermatt and St. Moritz, and two-for-one dining deals. - Viator

Things to Know Before You Go – Should you decide to go on the Express on your own:

  • The Glacier Express service runs daily.
  • Known as “the slowest express train in the world,” the full journey between Zermatt and St. Moritz takes 7.5 hours.
  • Tickets must be booked in advance and seats are reserved.
  • Glacier Express trains are accessible for wheelchair users.
  • Although it is not a luxury train holiday experience in the sense of a “hotel on wheels” it is definitely more than worth doing.

How to Get to There

OK so while it is preferable that you do the Zermatt – St Moritz route, you can board from other sections:

  • From Interlaken:  take a train to Brig and board the Glacier Express there.
  • Lucerne or Zurich:  take a train to Chur to make your connection.
  • From Geneva:  connect to the Glacier Express in Zermatt.
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Jacobite Train rides

Jacobite Steam Train (Jacobite Express), Scotland

Take a nostalgic steam train ride and enjoy the beautiful Scottish Highlands at leisure.  After all ‘Vintage is the New Chic in Travel’.

The Jacobite Steam Train is one of Britain’s greatest train experiences. This nostalgic train ride between Fort William in the West Highlands and Mallaig on Scotland’s west coast will be something you’ll never forget.

It is about an 84-mile (135-km) round-trip route which passes Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain, and the famous Glenfinnan viaduct. You can book a tour on the Jacobite Express as part of a full-day or multi-day tour from Edinburgh, Inverness, and Glasgow.  See the beautiful Isle of Sky, Glencoe, Mallaig, Orkney, Loch Lomond, and Loch Ness.  Make this fabulous train experience part of your holiday.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • You can do a one-way trip between Fort William and Mallaig, and then overnight in Mallaig.
  • Book your tickets in advance.
  • The trains are not wheelchair accessible, due to the design of the train’s carriages.

How to Get There and when

  • Trains run from Fort William station, which is located in the Scottish Highlands about 134 miles (216 km) northwest of Edinburgh and 109 miles (175 km) north of Glasgow.
  • The Jacobite Steam Train runs from May to October although there are also limited train rides around Christmas.

Should you decide to do this train trip on your own

For all the updated information you will ever need for a trip on this fantastic steam train, visit their website: Link to the website

Travel Trivia

Harry Potter

The Jacobite Steam Train was the most famous fictional Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, book a seat in the Harry Potter compartment.  Take a ride as Harry and his friends did and enjoy some of the famous film locations along the way.

Travel Tip

If at all possible, book 1st Class and travel in absolute vintage luxury.

Rovos Rail - Pride of Africa, South Africa

They call it ‘The Most Luxurious Train in the World‘, and by the looks of it (as I haven’t been so fortunate to do the trip myself), it surely is.

This privately-owned train is certainly one of the most beautiful trains in the world.  Reviews from people who have actually traveled with them speak for themselves.  Experience world-class travel in a beautifully restored wood-paneled vintage train and enjoy off-train excursions as part of your journey.  Book a luxurious train holiday and spoil yourself.

This elegant luxurious train journey with world-class cuisine accompanied by South Africa’s best wines is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime, must-do experience.  But as the train only carries a max of 72 passengers, you will definitely have to book well in advance to experience this timeless elegance.

Exploring Africa will never be the same.  This is a holiday on wheels.  I don’t think you need anything else.

The amazing countryside of South Africa and Namibia makes for spectacular scenery.  Combine that with a visit to places like Victoria Falls and seeing some wildlife, I think we have a winning combination.

They currently have the following tours available:

  • 3 Days Cape Town and Karoo
  • A 3 Day Durban Safari
  • 4/5 Days Victoria Falls
  • A 9 Day Golf Safari
  • 9/10 Days African Colage (Game, History & Culture)
  • Do a 9/10 Days Namibia Safari
  • 15 Days Dar Es Salaam
  • or a 15 Days Train of the Two Oceans

For information on the available tours, the train, and everything you need to book a fabulous tour, visit their website: link to the website

A luxurious train holiday is definitely an excellent idea for a wedding anniversary or maybe as a gift to the wedding couple.

Owned and operated by Rovos Rail Tours, the Shongololo Express offers train safaris throughout Southern Africa.

For information on the available tours, the train, and everything you need to know about the Shongololo Express, visit their website: link to the website

Don't wait. Book now. You only live once.

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