Rediscover the magic of a bygone age on a European train vacation. There is a great choice of luxury trains in Europe, sweeping guests along the romantic rails of the continent to some of the finest destinations on Earth. Revel in the glamor of the golden age of travel, while soaking up incredible views and enjoying the finest dining experiences.
Venice Simplon Orient Express
Trains simply don’t come more iconic than the Venice Simplon Orient Express. While it may be known to some for a certain murder mystery, this incredible engine is the gold standard for luxury travel and is arguably the best European train vacation. From 1919, this stunning journey has given guests unrivaled luxury on one of the premier train routes in Europe, from London to Venice. To this day, the train continues to evoke the golden age of train travel. The Orient Express still uses original CIWL carriages from the 1920s and 30s, bedecked in breathtaking art deco furnishings and finishes.
The modern Venice Simplon Orient Express route departs from London and arrives in Venice the following day, after an unforgettable journey through varied landscapes on one of the finest luxury overnight trains in Europe. This route can also begin in Venice and finish in London. There are other Orient Express routes to choose from, most of which last for one night. The trains criss-cross the continent, pulling into the grand stations of Europe’s finest cities, including Paris and Verona.
Journeys aboard the Venice Simplon Orient Express are like stepping back through history to the Roaring ’20s. Cabins and suites are drenched in deep mahogany tones with accents of rich gold and sultry red. The dining cars exude the irresistible glamor of bygone eras. Food is a highlight of any experience on the Orient Express. Menus are expertly curated and draw inspiration from gastronomic European traditions, including the finest Frech haute cuisine and mouth-watering Italian dishes.
To discover the magnificence of this world-famous train journey for yourself, you can book Orient Express tickets from the company website. Prices for the Venice to London route start at £2,379 ($3160.74).
Al Andalus Express
If train travel in Spain doesn’t immediately come to mind when you’re looking for luxury train trips in Europe, you might be surprised to know that there are several amazing journeys you can take on the Spanish rails. One of the most beautiful is the Al Andalus Express, a wondrous 7-day train tour in Europe through hot and dusty plains. Andalusia, Seville, Cordoba, Ronda, and Granada are just a few of the fantastic destinations on this luxurious tour.
The Al Andalus Express evokes the sensual allure of La Belle Epoque. The train is the longest on Spanish tracks and has 14 carriages with charming cabins, elegant lounges, bars, and restaurants featuring buffet and a la carte dining. But the scenery is the true star of the show on the Al Andalus Express. Cabins have panoramic windows that immerse guests in the beauty of the Spanish countryside.
To embark on this incredible rail journey in Spain, train tickets can be booked on the Al Andalus Express website. Prices for the week-long trip start at 6650 euros ($7525.13).
The Bernina Express
Experience the majestic splendor of the Alps on a trip on the outstanding Bernina Express. A panoramic observation train, the Bernina Express route takes you from the Mediterranean warmth of Italy to the mountain towns of Switzerland via the most amazing scenery you can find in Europe. The trip begins in the pretty Italian border town Tirano. The scarlet red carriages of the train carve through the center of the city. The journey starts with a front-row view of the beautiful 16th church, which the train rolls right by.
Over the next 4 hours, the Bernina Express negotiates the winding tracks of the Alps. The train snakes through 55 mountain tunnels and over 196 bridges past glaciers, valleys, and mountain peaks. It’s one of the most ingenious train systems in Europe and a testament to the determination of man. At its highest point, the track reaches 2253 meters above sea level. The glass-sided carriages of the train seem to brush the sky as it cruises through Europe’s most famous mountain range.
The onboard experience is as fabulous as the journey itself. Guests can enjoy a free audio guide via their phones. The guide gives fascinating insights into the history of the Bernina Express as well as stats about their journey. Headphones are available onboard from the minibar, at a cost of CHF 2 ($2.17). The mini bar is also a one-stop-shop for refreshments. Choices include Italian coffee, prosecco, and snacks, as well as souvenirs of the journey.
A one-way trip on the Bernina Express costs from CHF 62 ($67.42). You can buy tickets on the Rhaetian Railway website.
La Dolce Vita, coming soon in Italy
Scheduled to open in 2023, La Dolce Vita is set to be the ultimate luxury train trip in Italy. It is the most exciting new train trip in Europe. Passengers will be able to choose from 10 routes visiting Italy’s most beloved destinations, as well as some hidden gems. The carriages will be styled with a retro luxury feel, with the decor paying homage to the movies of Federico Fellini and the irresistible allure of Italy in the 1960s.
Trips will range from 1- 3 nights, and embark on a rail-based love affair with Italy. Destinations include the swooningly romantic lakes in the north to the technicolor wonder of Cinque Terre and the timeless glamor of the Amalfi Coast. La Dolce Vita aims to ignite a love of slow travel. A more seductive, eco-friendly form of tourism where the sights of Italy are savored, rather than rushed. The whole experience will be quintessentially Italian, with vintage artwork, local craftsmanship, and, of course, irresistible Italian cuisine. Find more information about Europe’s new luxury train on the block on the Orient Express website.
The Belmond British Pullman
Take a trip through history on one of England’s most revered trains. The historic Belmond British Pullman luxury train has carried royalty, world leaders, and celebrities. It even served as Winston Churchill’s funeral train on his final journey. The train retains an elegant 1920s style and runs passengers on day trips from London Victoria Station to beautiful destinations across England.
One of the most popular trips aboard the Belmond British Pullman is Highclere Castle, the filming location of Downton Abbey. Routes also include the enigmatic Roman city of Bath, the seaside town Folkestone and the beautiful Cotswolds region.
The onboard experience on the Belmond British Pullman is all about understated luxury. Celebrity chefs, including Michel Roux Jr, provide sumptuous menus championing seasonal menu items from British producers. There is also a carriage designed by American cinema maestro and vintage train enthusiast, Wes Anderson. The Cygnus carriage is sprinkled with the director’s whimsical storybook style, bringing a touch of The Darjeeling Limited to the English countryside.
Day trips aboard the Belmond British Pullman start at £340 ($451.69). The Belmond website is the place to book tickets. The train does not run any trips in January, as that is its annual refurbishment and maintenance month.
Book a luxury vacation home in Europe with Top Villas
Get your European train adventure on the right track with a stay in one of our exquisite villas. From the winding canals of Venice to the russet plains of Andalusia, we have luxurious properties to enhance your rail journey. Staying in a destination before or after your train trip will give you the opportunity to explore these amazing places further. With fantastic facilities and authentic design, these villas will ensure that the luxury vacation experience doesn’t end when you step off the train. Find and book vacation homes on our main site, or contact our knowledgeable team for more information.