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Ten tours aboard scenic trains for a chance to effortlessly enjoy the view of the most breathtaking parts of the world.
Two thousand miles of high plateau with snowcapped mountains in the background, on which temperatures can drop to 45 degrees below zero. The railway line linking Beijing and Lhasa (4062 km, 48 hours), capital of Tibet, is the world’s highest railway which boasts awards thanks to the passage of the Tanggula Mountains at 5,072 meters. The profile of the Himalayan mountains is surely partly to blame for its success. It has garnered travelers since its inauguration. The distance saved and the fare cost perhaps: 35 to 115 euros, depending on chosen seat and whether you’re a hard or soft sleeper.
The whole huge Australia can be traveled across with one train. From east to west, the Indian Pacific service runs Sydney-Perth. The Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin covers, ie crosses the country from north to south. In addition, there are two trains of short trips: The Overland that goes from Melbourne to Adelaide and the most exclusive of all, The Southern Spirit, with several options to the south. These trains are comfortable with all the services required by tourists, and not too expensive: from 300 euros to 1,300 euros.
“A five star hotel in motion.” The official website of The Blue Train does not lie. It gives you the chance to tour the interior of South Africa still wearing your tuxedo. Luxury suites (or super-luxury), elegant lounges for a martini lounge mixed (not shaken) and gala dinners in an elegant dining car with live music by the Soweto String Quartet. Opulence on rails for a distance of 27 hours and 1,600 kilometers from Cape Town to Pretoria. Prices, somewhat prohibitive: between 1,000 and 1,800 euros, depending on the season and type of suite you choose.
We must dare: 10 hours of travel at a maximum speed of 35 kilometers per hour. The reward though, is spectacular and affordable: 157 euros each way, dinner and afternoon tea included. The train that runs through the highlands of Peru, from Cusco to Puno, let’s you observe carefully the magical region of the Andean country. Adobe villages in the midst of immense valleys and snowcapped mountains exceeding 5,000 meters. La Raya is the highest point of the travel, over 4,000 meters and begins a slow descent to the banks of the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca.
An American entrepreneur based in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, eager to expedite the transport of goods to the United States gave birth to the idea in the mid-nineteenth century. One hundred years later, Chepe the Copper Canyon, as the train is known runs through the green landscapes of the Sierra Madre. It begins to roll from the Pacific and heads towards the heart of the Mexican desert. It is currently the only country charro tourist train (4 hours of travel, between 55 and 110 euros).
Without going to the untamed landscapes of the Yukon, Alaska, intractable from the novel by Jon Krakauer, the strong Canadian train winds through the Canadian Rockies in its rambling rail from Toronto to Vancouver. The tour dazzles and exhausts: three days on rails (1,900 euros sleeper, 330 € without) seasoned with generous delays of several hours. Passes through the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and stops in Jasper, the heart of the Rookies, an amusement park for lovers of nature in its purest form: glacial lakes, white deer and dense green forests where the unthinkable is not ruled out meeting with a grizzly, the world’s largest bear. Everything is possible in Jasper National Park. The final leg to the west, through British Columbia, reports yet another breathtaking scenery.
The Royal Scotsman offers up six possible routes around Scotland. Luxury trains to travel to the Highlands from Edinburgh to Elgin, Dundee, Tain. miles of green and lakes. Meals, excursions and open bar included in the price. The company as part of the Orient Express also offers a one-week trip around the UK. High prices: from 3000 euros for two nights to 10,000 € for the tour of seven days.
Red on white. The Glacier Express goes through the heart of the Swiss Alps, Zermatt to St. Moritz, with the punctuality of trains Helvetians feature. From comfortable interior and restaurant on board, this scenic train crosses 291 bridges, 91 tunnels and a maximum altitude of 2033 meters in step Oberalp during its seven hours of travel. For its large panoramic windows parade Graubünden region and glacial landscapes while crossing the sunny Valais Switzerland. The special three-day program (includes visits to St. Moritz and Zermatt before and after the trip) ranges from 380 euros from January to March 337 € April to October (three-star hotel with breakfast).
The Venice Simplon Orient – Express is a piece of art that covers various trips to Europe. London or Paris-Venice-Budapest-Bucharest-Istanbul are some of its most popular. Luxury trains with an air of old Europe, Dom Perignon fine cutlery. Prices, as French champagne.
The Transcantábrico (www.transcantabrico.feve.es) is a safe bet. Leaves Leon or Donosti and ends in Santiago route, and vice versa. In between, stops in Bilbao, Llanes, Oviedo, Ribadesella, Santillana del Mar and Santander. Spacious suites, four stunning cars lounge, bar, dance floor and excursions. Prices range from 3,500 to 6,000 euros for a suite privilege.
By Elsi H
Photo 1:ogy, Photo 2: Bingley Hall, Photo 3:zug55, Photo 4:cathyse97, Photo 5:brianlarkin, photo 6: Metro Tiff, photo 7: Andy Wills., photo 8:rhaetischebahn, photo 9:luxorium, photo 10: Train Chartering & Private Rail Cars