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Europe has a superb train network. It connects every point of the continent, from big metropolitan cities to remote, picturesque mountain villages. Europe’s train network passes through some of the most difficult terrains, including fjords, icy rivers, snow valleys, and green highlands. It gives us a chance to enjoy some of the best scenic train journeys in Europe. And inspires even more travelers to visit the Old Continent. Now let us see a list of places we can enjoy via train on this continent.
El Transcantabrico, Spain
There is nothing better than experiencing the staggering natural beauty of northern Spain with a 5-star train. During this journey, we get to stay in an original 1923 Pullman coaches with all the modern facilities of the 21st century.
The tour includes exploring the historic town of the region. Then visiting the finest beaches along the Bay of Biscay and boarding the train overnight. The journey starts at Irun, close to the French border, passing through San Sebastian, Bilbao, Asturias, Santander and Ferrol in eight days. It allows passengers to see the best Northern Spain has to offer.
Slow trains through Asturias
El Transcantabrico is an expensive experience. But if we take away the accommodation in an original 1923 Pullman coach, we can experience the journey for a fraction of a price. Asturias is famous for the slow trains that pass through the region. Which allows passengers to see the virgin beaches, picturesque fishing villages dotted with red-roofed homesteads and horreos and seeping bays.
The most picturesque part of the journey id from the hidden town of Cudillero to the historic city of Ribadesella. The journey takes 3-4 hours. It is the best budget option to experience a part of the magic of El Transcantabrico.
La Rhune, France
Train de la Rhune is one of the best scenic train journeys not only in Europe but in the whole world. The journey lasts only 30 minutes. We will ride on an old-fashioned train that passes through a 100-years-old railway that leads from Saint-Jean-de-Luz to a 900-meters-high peak of the Pyrenees. Where we get a 360 degrees panoramic view that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pyrenees and the coast of Basque. It is one of the most spectacular viewpoints in France and we could have it for only 19 Euros.
Train de la Cote Bleue, France
The south of France is famous for its laid-back, Mediterranean vibes, beautiful nature and jaw-dropping landscapes. This list of the best scenic train journeys in Europe wouldn’t be complete without at least one train ride from this region. To fully experience this journey, we have to take the regional Train de la Cote Bleue.
France’s TGV trains are too fast to enjoy the view and often turn even the most scenic journey into the most disappointing experience. Train de la Cote Bleue runs between Marseille and Miramas and the journey includes 1.5 hours of scenic views of the shimmering blue sea, lush-green forests dotted with picturesque small towns.
The little yellow train, France
The little yellow train has been one of the most popular journeys in France for more than 100 years. This journey starts at Villefranche-de-Conflent, goes through the Regional Nature Park of the Catalan Pyrenees. All the way up to the highest train station in France, Bolquere and ends at Latour-de-Carol-Enveitg. During summers the train runs with an open-top carriage.
Another good thing about this journey is that we wouldn’t have to worry about booking tickets in advance. The ticket for the little yellow train can be purchased at the train station before the journey.