Is there anything better than seeing the world go by while situated in a plush seat on a luxury train? We think not. Any time we’re in Europe, we love jaunting to smaller towns and cities via trains. Even high-speed commuter trains are great ways to get around and see more of the country you’re visiting. But we’re also up for a longer train rides taking us through some of the most scenic parts of the globe.
Maybe it’s because in Canada we don’t have a strong train culture. But something about taking a train through Europe, streaming past fields in South America and channeling through covered bridges in Africa makes us think luxury. We round up the world’s most stunning train rides where you not only get luxury, but also amazing views.
World’s Best Train Rides: South Africa
South Africa is a vast country – each corner, coast, city and reserve just waiting to be explored. Flights can be on the pricey side – as can the taxis you would need to take to and from the airport. But seeing more of South Africa is a bit easier when you hop onto a luxury multi-day train ride. Chug through the city of Pretoria en route to the famous Victoria Falls on a three-day journey. You’ll take in the Magaliesberg Mountain Range, ride along the Botswana and Zimbabwe boarders, and take a safari from the train as you pass through the Hwange Game Reserve before finally reaching your prime photo opt at Victoria Falls.
World’s Best Train Rides: Peru
This all-day train ride will take you through some of the most beautiful terrains in this South American country. It’s also regularly voted as one of the best train rides in the world. Hop on the old-school 1920s inspired train cars in Cusco and head south to finish in Puno and Lake Titicaca. You’ll sweep past a mix of lush and dessert-like hills, the Andes and the stark, dusty plains along the countryside. You’ll also make a pit stop in La Raya, at 4,321 meters above sea level. Here you can shop from the locals (be sure to pick up some baby alpaca scarves, mittens and sweaters – this part of Peru is deceivingly chilly). It’s also the perfect spot to snap a few pictures with alpacas and llamas.
World’s Best Train Rides: Canadian Rockies
The Rocky Mountaineer has been showing off the Canadian Rockies for over 20 years. You’ll be going past the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies on board your luxury train. If you pick the Canadian Rockies Getaway Package you’ll spend 8 nights (4 on the train, 4 in hotels) trekking your way through the Yoho National Park. It’s easily one of the more romantic things to do in Canada, and the views can’t be beat.
World’s Best Train Rides: Scottish Highlands
The words safari and Scotland don’t usually go hand-in-hand. But we’re pretty sure you’re going to love the combo if you take this Scottish Safari train tour with The Royal Scotsman. Your train will twist and turn through the lush green countryside of Scotland’s rolling highlands. Trips range from two-to-seven nights – but there’s more than pretty green hills to gaze at, hence the safari theme. You’ll be riding past osprey, reindeer, red deer, pine martens and more. Many of which can only be found in this remote part of Scotland. All while you have luxe private accommodations, fine dining in the fancy dining car and live music and stories told post-dinner each night for the 36 guests on board.