Most Exciting European Rail Routes

Travelling through Europe doesn’t get much better than rail. As this continent is pretty compact and incredibly well connected, a rail holiday will allow you to experience loads in a short space of time.

Trains run all around Europe, passing some of the most spectacular sights and scenic routes. Not only is this form of travel very convenient, but it is also an exciting way of getting around. Rail travel allows you to really soak up the environment that you are travelling through while sitting back and relaxing.

If you are interested in some amazing European rail routes (such as the ones found here https://www.tailormaderail.com/), then be sure to check out the exciting choices below.

Italian Lakes and the Amalfi Coast

A summer holiday in Europe could hardly get better than this! This route allows you to experience two of the most magnificent regions in Italy – the great lakes and the iconic Amalfi Coast.

The route will take you via Dijon towards Lake Maggiore. From here you will travel down Italy towards the sparkling Amalfi Coast. Stops along the way include Stresa, Positano, and Innsbruck.

Those wanting to experience the best of Italy on a summer rail holiday will absolutely love this route.

Magical Journeys of Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the most beautiful European destinations – especially if you experience it via train! While there are a number of great routes around this country, you can take a single journey that combines three of the absolute best. These are Glacier Express, Bernina Express, and Jungfrau Mountain Railway.

This route is best enjoyed in winter, as you will pass some incredible snowy scenery. This also means that you get to experience Switzerland’s famous snowy peaks! Along the way, you will get to cross the famous Landwasser viaduct, and visit Jungfraujoch – Europe’s highest train station.

If you love mountain landscapes, snow, and extensive natural beauty, then this route comes highly recommended.

The French Riviera

A rail holiday along the Cote d’Azur is one of the most glamorous ways of enjoying Europe in summer. This route will take you along the stunning French Riviera, stopping at Nice and Cannes along the way. Both of these are a must when visiting the gorgeous region!

This stretch of coastline covers some of the most beautiful French towns, beaches, ports, and attractions. You will get to experience yachts, luxury shopping, markets, art galleries, world-class restaurants and so much more along this classic route.

Croatian Coastline

Croatia is one of Europe’s absolute gems when it comes to summer holiday destinations. The Croatian coastline stretches past some of the most incredible beaches, islands, and port towns imaginable.

The rail route along this country’s coast passes the amazing city of Split. From here, you can make a stopover at Hvar – one of the most popular island destinations in Croatia. The route will then continue south to Slovenia, where you can make a stop at the inspiring city of Ljubljana.

Anyone wanting to experience one of the most beautiful portions of Eastern Europe should definitely consider this journey.

Rhine and Moselle Valleys by Rail

Exploring Germany’s most scenic valleys is best done by train. This route takes you through the gorgeous Rhine and Moselle valleys, passing plenty of iconic sights along the way.

You will get to stop at beautiful Trier, Boppard, and Rudesheim while you travel along the banks of the Rhine river. This route is great for those wanting to experience historic cobbled towns, green valleys, and castles along the way. Germany is a wonderful country, and this route shows off some of its absolute best sights. 

Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Brussels

One of the great advantages of travelling around Europe is how easy it is to move between different countries and cities. This amazing rail route will take you between some of the most iconic European capitals – Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Brussels.

Besides experiencing the amazing culture and history that these cities have to offer, you will get to pass some truly wonderful landscapes along the way. This popular rail route could be limited to the three main cities, or it could be customised to suit your personal preference. This route is best done starting from and returning back to London.

Venice and Vienna

The Semmering Pass rail route connects two spectacular destinations via one of the most scenic stretches through the Alps. Travelling along here combines some of the best sights of Europe, including stops at Turin and Cologne.

Venice is always a favourite destination – with its one of a kind canal network and historic landmarks. The route continues to stunning Vienna, one of the most gorgeous cities in Europe. All along the way, you can enjoy some exciting mountain scenery from the train.

Norway

When it comes to rail travel, it’s not all just about the destination. The time spent travelling between places is what makes these trips extra special. Taking a train journey through Norway is definitely one of the best ways of experiencing the Scandinavian countryside.

Exploring Norway via rail will involve taking the route from Bergen to Oslo. Along the way, you will get to pass pretty villages, fjords, and incredible views of Norway’s unspoiled natural beauty. This is a country that you want to appreciate as you pass through it, which is what makes train travel such a good idea here.

Cinque Terre Discovery

The Cinque Terre is an absolute gem of Italy. These five little towns are found along the country’s Ligurian coastline and are best experienced via train. A popular route will take you from London to the Cinque Terre, passing some truly spectacular places along the way.

This route will pass through Freiburg, Rapallo, and Turin. Along this voyage, you will cruise through the Rhine Gorge and the Gotthard Pass too. While the colourful Cinque Terre towns are the highlight of this journey, the scenery and stops along the way are what makes this a truly exciting rail route.

This route is a brilliant choice for those wanting a well-rounded European experience. You will get to see the Italian Riviera, pass through some amazing German destinations, and be exposed to a wide range of scenery on the way.

Final Thoughts

There are all kinds of different ways that you can get around Europe, but rail has got to be one of the best. This well-connected continent has a vast range of sights and landscapes to discover. Travelling through them on a train offers amazing perspectives and opportunities for you to really enjoy the area.

Instead of just jumping between destinations, rail travel allows you to make the most of the journey. This is something that can be experienced on each of these exciting routes. So pack your bags, pick a route, and get out there. Europe has so much to offer, and these train routes allow you to experience some truly inspiring places.

Brodet recipe from Croatia

Brodet Recipe – Croatian food

We’ve recently been covering Croatia on our site with our perfect Croatian itinerary, spanning much of the beautiful coastline and islands, the perfect place for the freshest seafood and beautiful views of the Adriatic.

Here’s one of our favourite dishes thats really easy to cook and is an instant reminder of your Croatian travels. Check out my Brodet Recipe.

Brodet / Brudet

This dish actually goes by a number of names but its distinctive flavour and rich colourful looks will instantly take you back to your holiday in Croatia, if you’ve yet to go then this is definitely a taste of what’s to come! Brooded is a kind of fish stew that is vague similar to other European fish dishes but what sets the Croatian version apart is its simplicity and bold tangy flavour. Its exactly the kind of food I love to cook, you don’t need to be exact with the recipe, you can easily adjust it to suit your palette and its very hands on. I find hands on dishes are much more fun and therapeutic to cook, there’s no time to sit down and wait for it to cook, just lots of preparation and stirring. I’ve seen various versions of Brodet on the internet with all sorts of seafood including Eel and Trout but in all likelihood you wont have those ingredients easily accessible to you so my version is a English kitchen friendly one!

Brodet recipe from Croatia

What you’ll need

The following should serve 4 people adequately. You can always add a side dish of Polenta to bulk up the portions.

  • Croatian recipes3 White cod fillets, cut in to small pieces
  • Olive Oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon or lime
  • Chopped parsley
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • Bay leaves
  • 400ml fish stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Shelled shrimp
  • Mussels, cleaned
  • 6 cherry tomatoes

You’ll noticed I’ve not included many measurements here and that’s because Brodet is all about personal preference and taste. These are the ingredients you’ll need but exactly how much you want to include is entirely up to you. You can also buy mixed seafood from your local supermarket which is much easier than shelling shrimp and mussels.

Preparing and cooking Brodet

A lot of recipes say to marinate your fish first in olive oil and garlic but personally I don’t think there’s much need. Brodet has a lot of great bold flavours going on so I’d be impressed if anyone could tell if the fish had or had not been marinated.

Dice 6 garlic cloves finely and place the cod fillets in a tray. Add a few dashes of olive oil and the garlic, gently massaging it in to the fish. Sprinkle on some finely chopped parsley and make sure both sides of the cod are evenly coated. This will help to lock in some of the lovely garlic later on. Squirt some fresh lemon or lime juice on to add a bit of zing. Personally I prefer lime juice as it has a more subtle citrus flavour. Put the fish to one side for a while as we get cooking the rest of the dish!

How to cook Brodet

Heat some olive oil in a large pan or wok, slice the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes until its golden and soft. chop the 2 tomatoes in to thick chunks and throw them in. Once they’re soft and cooked add a few large splashes of white wine and simmer. Add the tomato paste until its a fiery red mixture and throw in a couple of Bay leaves too. Add the fish stock now and once its simmering again you can taste to see whether it needs any seasoning. A little extra parsley, salt and pepper are best. Keep it simple and remember the seafood, garlic and onions are the strong flavours here. Once you’re happy go ahead and add your fish to the broth. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding any other seafood you have prepared. Shrimps and mussels work well with all the flavours in a Brodet but you can experiment with all sorts like a truly authentic Eel Brodet if you’re lucky enough to have a fishmongers nearby!

Seafood recipes from Croatia

At this point you can watch it simmer and cook all your seafood perfectly. I recommend not stirring the dish as your seafood is likely to break up easily if stirred too much. Instead you can give the pan a little shake to help even out the contents. At the last minute slice up and throw in your cherry tomatoes for an extra tomato kick! Don’t let them cook too long though. After about 6 – 8 minutes your meal is ready and no doubt has filled your kitchen with the distinctive aroma of the Croatian coast!

Brudet recipe

It really is that simple and looks amazing. I’d recommend putting it in to a large bowl and serving it at the dining table. It’s such a simple meal but there’s plenty of ways you can personalise it and make it your own. I really enjoyed cooking Brodet and there’s nothing quite like the smell and taste of a meal to take you right back to that amazing Croatian holiday!

Brunet fish recipe

Give it a try and let me know how you get on. Tweet us @travelwithamate and if you have any amazing travel recipes to share include the hashtag #worldonaplate.

Dubrovnik

Croatia Travel Itinerary – My best places to visit

Croatia is a country that has seen a boom in tourism over the past decade. With some of Europe’s most beautiful coastline and more than its fair share of UNESCO World Heritage sites its great Croatia finally getting the recognition it deserves. There’s a lot to see and do here but if you’re like me you’ll be pushed for time and want to make the most of time in this culturally and historically rich nation. So with this in mind I’ve put together an itinerary covering some of the best of Croatia and also some hidden wonders in between. You should be able to cover this journey within one week but if you have more time I urge you to slow down and soak up the sights. You wont regret it in Croatia!

Start – Dubrovnik

They say save the best until last but many would say Dubrovnik is one of the best places to visit in Croatia, its also one of the most accessible with daily flights to Croatia arriving from all over Europe. This walled city celebrates some of the beauty and history of Croatia and is filled with plenty to explore. The beautiful white-stone buildings are extremely photogenic and there’s plenty to see and do here too. Definitely take in at least some of the city wall tour, some 2 kilometres long and 22 metres high, giving you great views of the town. The best time is in the afternoon when the sun is starting to drop and temperatures are a little cooler.

Dubrovnik

There’s a fabulous cable car to the peak of the hill above Dubrovnik with more great views. Remember to take your camera! For some of the best fish you’ll ever eat head to the restaurants close to the harbour. You can also kayak out to the Elafiti islands, or get a ferry if you’re feeling lazy. Definitely worth the excursion. Make the most of your evenings in Dubrovnik too as there are plenty of tiny bars and restaurants hidden up unsuspecting alleyways.

With so much worth seeing I’d recommend at least 2 full days in Dubrovnik before moving on to your next Croatian destination!

Korcula Island

The popularity of Dubrovnik can be a little overwhelming at times but you’ll feel right at home on the island of Korcula. Its green and lush woodland peaks offer beautiful views of the Adriatic sea and Croatian coastline, while the fertile lands of the island are home to local farmers and small villages. its here that you can get back to nature and explore a few quiet settlements, with numerous fishing villages along its coastline and red rooted homes dotted on the hillsides.

Korcula Island, Croatia

There’s also plenty of water sports available here and tourism is slowly growing with modest but great value accommodation. Korcula town is where you’re likely to visit first and there’s plenty of excursions from here to help you view all that the island has to offer. Its an island just shouting to be explored so take some comfortable walking shoes and worry about sleep when you’re back on the main land.

Again its probably best to have at least 2 full days here to take in both the old town and some amazing excursions further in land.

Hvar

Often referred to as the Queen of the Islands, Hvar has a rich mixture of landscapes and architecture too. Some of the most beautiful beaches can be found here with some dramatic cliffs too. The atmosphere here is distinctly relaxed and slow where even the locals appear as if they’re on holiday. Locals often claim Hvar is one of the sunniest place in Europe but the tourist crowds have yet to discover this fact.

hvar town croatia

The beaches are never crowded, the cobbled streets are free of hustle and bustle. The loudest thing on the island would be the ferries taking people to nearby islands, equally as beautiful as Hvar is. Its a real hidden paradise that you’ll always feel sad leaving. You can of course head out over the island and check out the many vineyards, olive groves and lavender lined streets of nearby villages, or you could just relax at one of the most picturesque of outdoor cafes, order a glass of wine, enjoy the view and read a good book.

Hvar Island, Croatia

Time here can easily slip away so if you’re looking for a break from busy days elsewhere on your trip you’ll no doubt lose a few days here. A night will recharge your spiritual batteries, a day or two is meditation for the soul.

Finish – Split

Heading further north on our beautiful Croatian itinerary, we end our travels in the city of Split. Here you’ll find a colourful mixture of old and new. Where the ancient history of this nation meets the modern day head-on. Once the city was a proud and powerful Palace, since ruined (and worth visiting) some 190,000 people call Split home, and who could blame them?! Diocletian, the Roman Emperor  in 295AD ordered a palace to be built here where he would spend his last remaining days. These days its a UNESCO world heritage site and one of Split’s top tourist attractions. Its also free to enter so a must while you’re here.

diocletian palace

A walk along the Riva Promenade is another must although the signs call it “Obala Hrvatskog Narodnog Preporoda”. A great place to people watch and see the cute little boats bobbing around in the water. The walkway was recently renovated and is a great place to relax, take in the sites, sounds and smells of this great city. There’s plenty of places to eat, drink and be merry here too so you’ll no doubt want to spend maybe an afternoon and evening here. If you’re feeling active a brisk walk up Marjan Hill it worth it for the views and the greenery too.

riva promenade, Split

The beaches here are a must too with Bacvice Beach and Kasjuni Beach being two of my favourites. The first being a more young and lively affair while the latter is definitely more peaceful and relaxing. I would recommend 2 or 3 days here if you have time. A mixture of active and relaxing days to end your wonderful Croatian experience. I guarantee you’ll love Croatia!