The adage “it’s the journey not the destination” certainly rings true when it comes to epic train trips. We’re not talking the daily commute here. These particular railway excursions are more about the experience and the views than the A to B transportation. From long distance expeditions to high speed thrill rides, come aboard and check out 8 great journeys with the most spectacular views imaginable from around the world.
1. Orient Express, Europe
Thank Agatha Christie’s murder mystery for putting this iconic train journey on the literary and legendary map. Officially called the Venice Simplon Orient Express, the glamorous railway ride evokes the golden age of travel. Polished panelling, wood burning stoves, plush fabrics and Art Deco details in the private cabins transport you back to the Roaring Twenties. Attentive stewards cater to your every whim while the dining car prepares sumptuous meals.
Various routes take you through London, Paris, Vienna, Venice, Prague, Budapest and Istanbul, but the train itself is the main attraction. Not surprisingly, this kind of opulence comes at a first class price point.
2. El Nariz del Diablo, Ecuador
On the other end of the budget spectrum is this adventurous train ride and impressive engineering feat. High in the Andes of central Ecuador heading south from Riobama is a switchback track known as the Devil’s Nose, ascending 1600m up and down from Alausi to Sibambe. This zigzagging journey passes through Andean villages and offers awesome mountain vistas. Just pray to the Inca gods that the breaks don’t fail. Up until recently daredevils with a death wish could ride on the roof of the train for an added thrill.