After our 2 month stint travelling through Europe with our Eurail pass in hand, jumping on trains from country to country, we have come across some pretty incredible scenic routes along the way. We thought we would put together a list of our top 10 most scenic rail routes in Europe you do not want to miss!
1. The Black Forest Line (Germany)
The Black Forest seems like it has come straight from a fairy tale, and technically it has – being the inspiration for the Brothers Grimm Hansel & Gretel. The Black Forest scenic train route takes you through the south-west Germany, passing through the beautiful region of Baden-Württemberg. The train winds around conifer-coated mountains and passes cute, fairytale style villages.
2. St. Moritz to Tirano (Switzerland to Italy)
Taking the Bernina Express through Switzerland and into Italy is one of a kind. Going through a number of tunnels and across some stunning bridges, the train has extra-large panorama windows offering an incredible viewing experience to take in the glaciers, lakes, peaks and villages high above the Swiss Alps.
3. Amsterdam to Groningen (The Netherlands)
This train journey is all about timing. If you want to travel this route you must do it during April to see the blanket of colours that result when the famous Dutch tulips are in full bloom. During the two hour route you will also be able to spot plenty of windmills, another major part of the Dutch landscape.
4. Cologne to Mainz (Germany)
The West Rhine Railway takes you along the river Rhine and reveals some of the most picturesque sites of Germany. The rocky slopes covered in vineyards with old castles on top are by far the highlight along with passing the famous Lorelei rock in St. Goarschausen, which rises 120m above Rhine. If you find yourself in Germany don’t miss out on this route, trust us!
5. Dombås to Åndalsnes (Norway)
Take in the breathtaking views of high peaks, jagged rock faces and windswept plateaus as you travel along the Rauma River. You will pass Europe’s highest perpendicular rock face in Trollveggan and the beautifully arched Kylling Bridge near Verma.
6. Cinque Terre (Italy)
This may only be a short route but is the best way to experience the five Italian Riviera villages of the Cinque Terre. The trip is only about 40 minutes in one direction, so we recommend taking the train one way, then spend the day hiking the amazing village-connecting trails back to where you started.
Watch our experience: The Most Colourful Place In The World
7. Fort William to Mallaig (Scotland)
Passing rugged highlands, isolated lochs, stunning coastline and Ben Nevis (UK’s highest mountain) – this train ride has some of the most scenic views in the world. The steam trains that run along this picturesque line were even featured as the Hogwart’s Express in the Harry Potter films (now we are sure you are 100% convinced to try this route out)!
8. Paris to Nice (France)
A trip through the South of France is must be done at least once in a lifetime. The train journey starts with purple lavender fields and bright sunflower fields as you make your way to the French Riviera, a gorgeous coastline of dramatic beaches and picturesque villages.
9. Madrid to Oviedo (Spain)
This train ride gives you a glimpse of classic Spanish countryside on its way from the capital to the north coast. As you travel through the country the train climbs into the clouds atop the Picos de Europa mountains. This train route is a very unique way to see a lot of Spain’s beauty and charm.
10. Zurich to Lake Como (Switzerland to Italy)
Some of our favourite train rides have been ones that show a transition from one place to another, watching the landscape change as you cross the border. Starting in Zurich’s city center the train ascends into the Alps, passing turquoise lakes, snow capped peaks and quaint Swiss villages. A few hours later and you are in Italy riding along the shores of beautiful Lake Como.
Watch our experience: Most Scenic Train Route In Europe
Have you experienced any of these scenic train routes?
A big thank you to Eurail for allowing us to experience Europe by train.