It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done – if you haven’t traveled by train, you haven’t seen it all.
Trains around the globe allow travelers to glimpse gorgeous landscapes that, in many cases, can’t be enjoyed from a car or from the sky in the kind of relaxed, scenic fashion afforded by rail.
Here is just a small snapshot of train rides that deserve a spot on your travel bucket list.
Rocky Mountaineer, Canada: Rocky Moutaineer offers several different routes through the Canadian Rockies, and you can’t go wrong with whatever you choose. The Journey through the Clouds includes Mount Robson, the highest point of the Canadian Rockies, Coastal Passage offers a ride along the Pacific Ocean between Seattle and Vancouver, and First Passage to the West includes a ride through the Spiral Tunnels. If it’s too hard to choose, passengers can combine a few routes into a longer journey.
The Belmond Grand Hibernian, Ireland: The Belmond Grand Hibernian debuted this summer as an answer for all those who’ve dreamed of taking a luxury rail journey through the Irish countryside. Up to 40 guests enjoy two-, four-, or six-night journeys, splitting time between suite-style cabins, two restaurants and an observation car. Depending on your trip, stops along the way may include everything from an opportunity to kiss the Blarney Stone to an Irish whiskey tasting.
The Flam Railway, Norway: A fjord is a narrow inlet or valley that twists and turns through steep, majestic cliffs. Norway is loaded with these natural wonders and the Flam Railway – also known as the Flamsbana, which is undoubtedly the coolest word you’ve read all day – is a perfect way to enjoy them. The two-hour round trip starts at sea level but rises quickly, ascending more than 2,800 feet to Myrdal. Along with beautiful fjords, the route rolls through tunnels and past waterfalls.
The Glacier Express, Switzerland: The Glacier Express is the slowest express train in the world, and you probably wouldn’t want it any other way. The seven-hour journey from Zermatt to St. Moritz is graced with the best of Swiss scenery, including the Oberalp Pass through the Alps, 90-plus tunnels and more than 290 bridges.
Grand Canyon Railway, Arizona: The Grand Canyon Railway is the trip back to the Wild West you’ve always dreamed of. Your experience starts in Williams, Ariz., on the iconic Route 66. Guests of the railway start their adventure with a Wild-West-themed show that (naturally) ends in a shootout. From there, it’s a scenic, 65 mile, two-hour-and-15 minute ride to the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park. En route, guests enjoy visits from costumed, period musicians and, perhaps, some train robbers.