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.

Jostedalsbreen Glacier

Norway’s Most Stunning Natural Wonders

With breathtaking landscapes, a rich Viking heritage, a mysteriously backward belief in woodland trolls, and the undisputable magic of the Aurora Borealis, Norway is a truly miraculous place. For dreamers, it’s a romantic world of outstanding natural beauty. For avid travellers, it’s an endless playground of must-see bucket list places. Here are some of the most stunning natural wonders of Norway.

Pulpit Rock, Preikestolen

This incredible natural wonder has a 600 metre drop down to Lysefjord – one of the most terrifying and beautiful places on earth. With no safety railings, this cliff gives visitors a thrilling experience whilst providing an unrestricted view of the surrounding fjord area.
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Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord

Found in the Sunnmøre region of Møre og Romsdal county, these two stunning fjords have to make your bucket list for Norway travel. They are two of the world’s deepest fjords and if you never see another fjord in your lifetime, be sure to see these. Explore the endless vertical cliff faces, the stunning waterfalls and the quaint local towns nearby, Geiranger and Hellesylt for a taste of Norwegian life in the south. For tours, visit the Hurtigruten travel website.

Geirangerfjord and Nærøyfjord

The Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters waterfalls have an average fall of 250 metres, an impressive height with stunning natural surroundings. The best time to see the Seven Sisters (in Geirangerfjorden) is between May and July when the transitional season sees melting snow and a revival of the waterfall.

Places to go in Norway this year

The Midnight Sun

Most travellers and holidaymakers have already heard of the Northern Lights. In fact, many have witnessed the natural phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis light display for themselves. But the Midnight Sun is a lesser known miracle which occurs only in the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle in the summer.

The enchanting Midnight Sun happens only in the summer months in Norway. To embrace this puzzling natural wonder, you can book Midnight Sun cruises.

Midnight sun in Norway

Jostedalsbreen Glacier

With a total area of 487 square kilometres, the Jostedalsbreen glacier is the largest one in Europe. But this isn’t the only glacier to see whilst travelling in Norway. Over 2,000 square kilometres of the country is still covered by glacial beauties, taking us back in time to the Ice Age. Visiting the glaciers of Norway is a very unique experience and glacier walking has become a sought after activity for many adventure seekers. It demands the right equipment as well as some basic knowledge of the outdoors so it is not recommended to go glacier walking on your own. For safety, choose a guided walking tour with experienced guides.

Jostedalsbreen Glacier

Saltstraumen

A ‘maelstrom’ is an extremely powerful natural whirlpool. Although the myths of ships getting sucked into maelstrom whirlpools are entirely fictional, the powerful vortexes of water are still incredible (and can be dangerous) to experience.

The Saltsraumen is the most powerful one of them all. This is the world’s strongest and most dangerous maelstrom and it’s located by Bodo, part of the traditional region of Salten. Visit when the tide is high and you will be able to feel the Saltsraumen’s full vortex power.

Saltstraumen

Do you know of any natural wonders in Norway? Or perhaps you’ve visited some of these sites already? Tweet us @travelwithamate

 

where to go in Norway Bergen

6 amazing places to visit in Norway

Norway is an awesome country to discover step by step. It changes a lot from one season to another; it enchants the winter traveler with its soft white atmosphere, its sweet winter tenderness that creates a cosy world with short dark days transforming your stay in an explosions of different sensations, and it astonishes the summer traveler with its midnight sun, everlasting days and beautiful bright colours.  You can’t help loving Norway, its people and their language.

Amazing places in NorwayOff the main tourist routes you have the opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, probably in the world. With almost the same surface area of Italy or New Zealand, Norway has only 5 millions inhabitants…the rest is Nature and sublime beauty! Here is a collection of spots you shouldn’t miss when you are there. Some of them take time to get to but once you find them, they will stay in your heart forever.

Bergen

Whether you arrive by train, boat, plane or car, when you arrive in Bergen you have the feeling you are finally in Norway! Bergen is Norway’s precious pearl. The town is beautifully built along the fjord, with the small colourful wooden houses on the Bryggen shining off of the fjord which is usually gray from the rain. The Bryggen is the old Hanseatic Wharf and is the oldest part of the town as well as it’s symbol. Despite being destroyed by fire many times throughout the centuries it has always been rebuilt to as near as the original as possible.

where to go in Norway Bergen

Bergen is one of the most rainy towns in Europe! If you are unlucky enough, it can rain for your entire stay in town! It can rain for the whole summer actually. It can rain for months, in Bergen! Still, this makes this town unique and special. It’s funny and pretty common to find vending machines selling umbrellas along the sidewalks.

Downtown, everyday, from the earliest hours of the morning, the famous Fisk Torget, the Fish Market, keeps the town alive and full of joy, giving visitors the opportunity to taste all kinds of fresh fish.

Tips

Go around and about the Fish market, talk to the people selling fish, listen to their stories, sometimes they are travelers from all over the world who have settled there just to sell fish in the center of this amazing town! And then get a panino with fresh prawns or salmon for breakfast…it will make you come back again and again, looking for something else as tasty as that!

In front of the Fish market you can catch the Fløibanen, the funicular that goes up to the top of Mount Fløyen, one of the peaks of the area. From the top of Floeyn you have a spectacular view of the entire town and Bergen fjord. It’s simply outstanding! If you arrive there on a clear evening, around sunset, in summer that can be around midnight, you can experience one of the most beautiful sceneries of the entire country.

Ålesund

things to do in Ã?lesund Norway

Ålesund is one of those cities that people like to call “The Venice of the North”, due more to the atmosphere that they can recall rather than the real resemblance to the original. Ålesund is indeed a sweet beautiful place, half way between Bergen and Trondheim. Downtown, along the fjord, you can see the majestic Hurtigruten, a Postal boat heading back from the North Pole, as it greets the town at its arrival in the harbour.

Ålesund’s beauty is due to the misfortunate fire in 1904 which all but destroyed the city. This sad event attracted all the brightest architects to rebuild it and so it happened that many of the best young Nordic architects recreated this wonderful town in Art Neuveau style.

Spectacular views

From the high peaks of the Sunnmøre Alps surrounding the town, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the entire town and of the fjord. The town at your feet looks almost unreal, with its myriad of turrets, spires and beautiful ornamentation that give it its distinctive character like something from a fairytale.

Geiranger fjord

From Ålesund you can catch one of the boats sightseeing the Geiranger fjord, one of the most impressive and beautiful fjords in the whole of Norway. Once in a while a special algae starts to grow colouring the water a spectacular green colour. If you are lucky enough to be there at this time you will be able to see waterfalls falling into these gorgeous green waters.

 

Trondheim-Bodø (by train)

From Oslo you can catch the train to Trondheim, and one more to Bødo before you can even start thinking about getting to the Lofoten Islands. As Norway is a long country, the railways are build in such a way that for the entire trip you will have beautiful scenery be it mountains, valleys or fjords, on one side of the train or the other. It is impossible to sleep on such a route, as every time you close your eyes you feel like you are missing something incredibly beautiful.

where to go in Norway Trondheim Bodo

The railway from Trondheim to Bødo is something that takes your breath away. After hours of traveling the train slows down and the driver announces that around that area, semi desert and full of snow, you could see elk. He stops the train for a while to give passengers the chance to look out of the window. It’s amazing! As soon as you put your head out of the window and into the cold air, you hear the silence of those lands and get the feeling that you have reached the edge of the world, it really gives you a thrill.

I’m not even sure if you can see elk up there, I like to think that the driver wants to have a break in the middle of that beautiful “nowhere” and share the beauty of Mother Nature with us.

Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten Islands, just off the northern coast of Norway, are one of the most incredible places you can visit in Europe! Their uncontaminated Nature, the little rorbu villages with typical red fishermen houses on the water, dried fish hanging on wood everywhere and the quiet, unreal atmosphere transform this destination in a true enchanted adventure all off the beaten track.

places to visit in norway Lofoten Islands

It is very easy and useful to hitchhike here as bus connections are limited and people driving like to help travelers. At one of the extremities of the isles there is Å i Lofoten, the village with the shortest name ever. When you arrive at the village, you will see just off the road the Tørrfisk Museum. One amusing fact is that the Museuem has its sign written in both Norwegian and Italian. The owner of the museum, a friendly Nordman who knows everything about fishing and fish, explained that the Italian name is there for 2 reasons: first because he loves Italy and the Italian language and second because Italy is the greatest buyer of Norwegian cod (tørrfisk) fish in the world.

Tip

Lofoten is simply outstanding, as much as Reine, the main village of the islands. It hides behind wild mountains, but once revealed Reine steals a piece of your heart. If the weather is nice, climb one of the mountains and go up to one of the peaks to have a sit and enjoy the amazing beauty of the midnight sun on the Ocean! It makes you feel small but also the happiest person in the world!

Prekestolen

Prekestolen, or Pulpit Rock, is a huge cliff 600 meters high on Lysefjorden, in the south-western fjords. The top of the cliff is a large flat square and from there the view is one of the most impressive natural sceneries in the world.

Getting to the Pulpit Rock is not that easy. The walk through the forest, heading up, is long and tiring but well worth it. On the way you meet all kind of people climbing it, like a sort of pilgrimage to one of the most beautiful natural cathedrals of Europe.

things to see in norway Prekestolen

When you arrive to the top, the view can be outstanding, even when it is foggy. The fog gives a mysterious and silent atmosphere to the surrounding shapes. Visitors get a whole variety of feelings once up there. Some of them feel like flying, and cannot even get close to the edge of the rock as they are scared they will jump off; others can’t even make it to the steps on the main square surface. I saw people arriving at the top and get a panic attack just a few meters away from the rock. Others like challenging their fears sitting with their feet over the edge. The feeling is unbelievable you and your fears become one. The instinct to not look down makes you grovel on the floor then, after a while, when you become more confident with the place,you can enjoy the view. When the fogs lifts the Lysefjorden reveals itself to be rather awesome surrounded by high mountains that draw the shape of the fjord for kilometers!

The Prekestolen is one of those must see places of your life, not only for the experience in itself, but for the sublime feelings you have once up there

Traena

And then there is Traena! Traena is a small island off the Norwegian north-west coast. There is only a small fishermen village on the island. It’s one of the most unknown places on the planet, but in summer, for a weekend, it becomes the centre of the music world! A music festival is held every year in July. Musicians from all over the world, but mainly Scandinavia, come here to play their music surrounded by the most beautiful scenery.

holiday ideas for norway Traena

The main concerts are held inside a cave, on the top of the highest peak of the island. You have to go all the way up there if you want to attend the concerts and inside the cave the acoustics are faboulous. In the village there isn’t enough space to accommodate all of the visitors of that weekend so events are held all over town, from the gym to the church and the school to the pub. They all host concerts, meetings and conferences about music, books or photography and the entire island becomes one big campsite. You can place your tent wherever you want with some fantastic views. The fishermen bring you from one isle to another and you are surrounded by the majestic power of the place. Last but not least you are there to enjoy one of the smallest music festivals in the world! It sounds great! It is unique! I will keep you updated about this great adventure as I will be attending this summer!