The most magical winter train trips in the world

Traveling by train is one of the most romantic and nostalgic means of transportation, especially during winter. Nothing is more calming than curling up in your opulent sleeper cabin and watching the snowflakes fall as the train passes frozen rivers, snow-capped mountains and charming villages.

The most magical winter train trips in the world

There’s a winter train trip to suit your interests and budget, whether you’re looking for a multi-day overnight excursion with luxurious dining and bar cars or just a quick sightseeing trip that lasts a few hours.

Glacier Express: St. Moritz to Zermatt, Switzerland

The “window to the Alps” is another name for the Glacier Express train in Switzerland, which offers a wide view of many mountain ranges. This eight-hour hike takes passengers from St. Moritz to Zermatt over the Swiss Alps.

Costs vary depending on ticket type and departure point. As the train climbs uphill to more than 2,000 meters above sea level, this eight-hour epic offers snow-laden pine forests, lonely mountain chalets belching coils of smoke, and approximately 300 bridges with the kind of views you would expect. represented on cans of Swiss chocolate.

Aurora Winter Train: Anchorage to Fairbanks, Alaska

The famous Aurora Winter Train in Alaska offers more than just panoramas of frozen trees and snow-covered trails. This train gives travelers the opportunity to experience the Northern Lights and runs from late September to mid-May. 

The most magical winter train trips in the world

North America’s tallest mountain, Denali, can be seen from the route. You can immerse yourself in the quiet serenity of the snow while enjoying a fine dining experience next to the cabin’s large windows. The pristine Susitna River between the Talkeetna mountain ranges is another incredible sight to behold.

Sea Train: Gangwon-do, South Korea

If picturesque winter train excursions, passing through mountains and over rushing rivers, are too common for you, then taking a trip on South Korea’s famous Sea Railway might be your best option. 

The most magical winter train trips in the world

Travelers take a three-hour round trip on this specially equipped sightseeing train from Jeongdongjin Station in Gangneung to Samcheok Station. In winter, you can enjoy a clear view of the East Sea by booking a front-row seat on this four-car train. The train has theater-style seating, with both rows facing east.

Andean Explorer, a Belmond train: Cusco to Arequipa, Peru

One of the highest train excursions in the world is the two-night trip from Cusco to Arequipa. The road passes through the snow-covered Peruvian Andes. When the sun rises, be sure to keep your eyes fixed on the stunning Lake Titicaca and the Uros Island floating above its waters. 

The most magical winter train trips in the world

The best place to get off is in Saracocha, a small town in Puno. This place offers fellow astrophiles the best chance of seeing stars! The trip also offers world-class Peruvian food and spa services with Andean influences.

Rovos Rail African Trilogy Journey: Pretoria, South Africa to Walvis Bay, Namibia

Rovos Rail, a South African rail operator, offers customized train journeys across the African continent through vast snow-free landscapes, even in winter. The 15-day African Trilogy Scenic Tour, which is its flagship and longest tour, takes travelers across southern Africa, from the Atlantic coast in the west to the Indian Ocean in the east. 

The most magical winter train trips in the world

You’ll be able to watch the region transform as you travel through South Africa and Namibia, from the vibrant rust-coloured sands of the Namib Desert to the verdant Valley of a Thousand Hills and the golden bush plains near Kruger National Park.

Tsugaru Railway “Stove Train”: Tohoku, Japan

Traveling aboard the Tsugaru Railway “Stove Train,” famous for its “daruma stove” service, is one of the best ways to experience Japan’s winter season. In these old stoves from ancient Japan, coal is burned to heat the space. The train runs 20 kilometers between Tsugaru Goshogawara Station and Tsugaru Nakasato Station, carrying passengers. 

The most magical winter train trips in the world

Each carriage has an antique stove to keep you warm while you sit and gaze at the greater winter beauty from the windows. Apart from that, you will get to see the magnificent Mount Iwaki (also known as Tsugaru Fuji) and the extensive snowfield up close.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express: London to Paris

With a locomotive heritage dating back to 1982, the Venice Simplon-Orient Express is the epitome of train greatness and the most popular ticket. With stops in Florence, Paris, Venice and Vienna, its Deco carriages travel across Europe every December. 

The most magical winter train trips in the world

While visiting these alluring towns during the holiday season is reason enough to make the trip, taking in views of the silver-clad countryside while toasting a silver service dinner (with menus carefully curated by chef Jean Imbert) or from the comfort of a private. The cabin is like stepping back in time to the heyday of train travel.

Caledonian Sleeper: Scotland

The most magical winter train trips in the world

Nothing is as breathtaking as witnessing the sunrise over the countryside as you wake up in a luxurious sleeper train. The Caledonian Sleeper connects London to other Scottish locations, allowing you to sleep in the capital and wake up to stunning scenery of lochs, enchanted Highland glens and, of course, the Glenfinnan Viaduct, as true Harry Potter fans know. Recent renovations have made this Scottish night train look more like a hotel on wheels.

Trans-Siberian Express, Russia

The legendary Trans-Siberian Express is a winter train journey through some of the most secluded and stunning landscapes in Russia. This railway line runs more than 9,000 kilometers between Vladivostok and Moscow. 

The most magical winter train trips in the world

Along the route, it stops at several locations, including Yekaterinburg, Mongolia, and Ulan Ude, the capital of the Republic of Buryatia. Although the trip lasts fifteen days, it is worth it as you will be able to see the winter landscape of Siberia while we savor our wonderful vacation from the comfort of the luxurious train car.

Tadami Line: Fukushima to Niigata, Japan

The Tadami Line, which runs through the mountainous areas of Fukushima and Niigata in Japan, is a scenic trip in any season, but its diverse landscape is particularly impressive in winter. 

The most magical winter train trips in the world

After an 11-year closure due to severe flooding in 2011, the 135 kilometer route was finally restored to passenger service in October 2022, at the request of local people. Traversing the magnificent Tadami River Valley, flanked by high mountains, the route passes through ice-covered trees as it crosses the frozen Tadami River.

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