The best rail journeys for 2022 and beyond - inspired by my travel partner, Explore

Rail travel is set to become ever more popular as we look for ways to travel more responsibly and avoid flying. Transport yourself into the heart of a country’s local culture and discover unique views of rural countryside and cityscapes on a rail journey in 2022 or beyond. My travel partners at Explore have so much to offer...


Sit back and watch varied landscapes roll past your window on a rail tour, arguably one of the best ways to experience a destination. With plenty of stops to see the highlights as well as explore.

 

Kolkata to Amritsar, India


Immerse yourself in the local way of life on a far-reaching railway adventure in India. Travelling from the buzzing city of Kolkata to the Golden Temple of the holy Sikh city, Amritsar, this two-week journey features various religious hubs, including Hindu temples in Varanasi and the Dhamek Stupa monument, the birthplace of Buddhism, in Sarnath.


You’ll also travel by train to see the opulent gateways of Aga’s Red Fort, the celestial Taj Mahal, and the charming mountain city of Shimla.



London to Istanbul Rail Adventure

Follow the classical Simplon Orient Express route across Central Europe on a fascinating rail journey from London to Istanbul, part of Explore’s London 2 Collection. Pass over the shallow waters of the Venetian Lagoon in Italy, ride a steam train into the Serbian mountains and wake up in Turkey after an overnight train journey from Bulgaria. Make a stop in Croatia to cruise thriving wetlands, and sample local wine within the flourishing vineyard valleys of rural Serbia.



Private Japan Rail Trip

Soak up an eclectic mix of Japanese culture on a private rail journey from Tokyo to Osaka. Whizz past ultra-modern cityscapes, explore ancient temples in Kyoto and travel via a high-speed bullet train to the rejuvenated city of Hiroshima, where you’ll come face to face with bathing snow monkeys at the steaming hot springs of Jigokudani Onsen. Travel with confidence via Japan’s dependable rail network and enjoy comfortable accommodation at each stop-over.



London to Ancient Italy and Athens by train

Climb aboard this long-distance rail journey, another of Explore’s London 2 tours, to transport yourself from the busy streets of London to the sun-drenched shorelines of Greece’s Aegean coast. Chug along the tracks to Italy to discover Baroque architecture and Roman relics in Rome and dine in the lesser-known medieval district of Testaccio. Sample delicious locally-made cheeses in Puglia, enjoy views of Ithaca and Cephalonia as you cruise across the Adriatic Sea, and take a mountain train through tunnels and past cascading waterfalls along Greece’s Vouraikos Gorge.



China Explorer Sleeper Trains

Cover plenty of ground on the fast-paced China discovery tour with overnight train trips between some of the country’s most remarkable sights. After walking a section of the Great Wall of China, you’ll board a sleeper train headed for Xian. Take in the busy atmosphere, chat with the locals and get some rest in a cosy cabin. Arriving in time for breakfast, you’ll discover the 15th-century Great Mosque and the famous Terracotta Warriors guarding the Qin Shi Huangdi Tomb before taking another overnight train to the Grand Canal in Suzhou and a high-speed bullet train to Shanghai.



Balkans Rail Adventure

Travel through seven countries in southeast Europe on this fast-paced rail journey from the leafy city of Ljubljana, Slovenia, to Kosov’s capital and largest city, Pristina. In Croatia, you’ll uncover an ethereal world of shimmering aquamarine lakes and waterfalls in Plitvice National Park, and a hop off the train in Bosnia and Herzegovina will lead you to the bustling lanes and plazas of Sarajevo. Wander the medieval streets of Kotor in Montenegro before taking a train journey through towering gorges to Belgrade in Serbia, and enjoy laid back cafe culture and delicious Turlitava stew in the Macedonian city of Bitola.



Marrakech Express - London to Morocco by train

Starting in London, this London 2 rail journey takes us to the famous wine-making hub of Bordeaux, France and then inland to San Sebastian to sample delicious bite-sized Basque tapas in local pintxos bars. Watch peaceful Andalucian villages rush past the carriage window on your way to Spain’s sunny Costa del Sol. Discover grand Moorish architecture in Granada, and browse the bustling souks of Fes in Morocco. The final destination is Marrakech, where you will delve deep into the heart of the old city to explore a maze of narrow alleyways and soak up the exotic atmosphere.



Have you been inspired by any these rail journeys by Explore. I’d love to assist in booking one for you. Contact Nikki for more information.