If there’s one type of travel that’s bound to bring out the adventurer in you, as well as your inner romantic, it’s train travel.
Unlike other forms of transportation, there’s never a bad month in which to take a train journey. In fact, some train travels are best made at certain times of the year.
Train travel also appeals to our sense of nostalgia, particularly with the older steam trains. The sound of the hissing steam and the familiar hoot of the train never fails to put a smile on my face as you see one departing the station.
That said, it’s time to get inspired and jump on board, as we take you through some of our favourite romantic train journeys around the world.
The Eastern & Orient Express, Singapore to Bangkok
The long-distance train service was first created in 1883, transporting its passengers throughout Europe to Istanbul.
The present-day company, the Venice Simplon Orient Express Company, continues to run from London to Venice and to other destinations in Europe, including the original route from Paris to Istanbul.
The Eastern & Orient Express is a luxury train service run by the same company, but only operates in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
Expect 5-star service as you travel from Bangkok, seeing all the sights and sounds of the tropical landscape, in the confines of sheer comfort.
The journey also includes a tour of Kuala Langsar as well as the historic River Kwai Bridge.
Other highlights on board include daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, afternoon tea and a 24-hour steward service. Check the website for further details and current price lists.
Arctic Explorer, Russia and Norway
If you fancy seeing in the New Year by also catching a glimpse of the spectacular Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), the Arctic Explorer is for you.
This luxury train journey starts in St Petersburg and Moscow, before heading into the Russian and Norwegian Arctic Circle.
The tour company, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains, also provides its passengers complimentary hats, Russian traditional felt boots and gloves to keep you warm in the Siberian winter. Even better, is that they’re yours to keep!
Darjeeling Himalayan Railways, India
You can get a real feel of India’s colonial past, by riding the Toy Train of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways (DHR). The train was once used to transport overheated expats to the British hill station of Darjeeling, where they would cool off during the summer months before returning to Calcutta.
Starting from just 500 feet above sea level, the Toy Train climbs to 7,407 feet above sea level when it reaches the town of Ghum.
Get extremely cosy with your loved one, as you take in the sights of the green tea gardens and forests. If that’s not enough, the journey also has unforgettable views of the Himalayas, Darjeeling Town, and not forgetting the snowy peaks of Kanchenjunga.
The Train to the Clouds
A train journey as romantic as its name, the Tren a las Nubes, or ‘The Train to the Clouds’ chugs along part of the old line from Salta in Argentina to the Chilean border.
Maybe not the first choice for passengers restless at high altitudes, as this train climbs to 13,800ft during its 7-hour journey!
However, the dramatic Andean scenery along the way should be more than a worthy distraction. For the most up-to-date information on times and prices, visit the website.
Bullet train Tokyo to Hokkaido
When Japan unveiled its new ‘Shinkansen’ bullet train last year, travelling from Tokyo to Hakodate in Hokkaido, tickets sold out in a high speed 25 seconds.
A journey that lasts around 4 hours at its fastest speed, Hokkaido is famous for its onsen hot springs and fresh seafood – Hakodate is also known as ‘Squid City’!
If you’d like to experience the shinkansen for yourself, the best option is to buy a Japan Rail Pass before arriving. It’s only available to travellers visiting Japan for sightseeing and offers unlimited travel, and also includes the new shinkansen route!