Escorted train holidays - let the train take the strain

Are you looking for a holiday with a bit of a difference? Perhaps also one that can take you off the beaten track and show you the side of a country many travellers won’t get to see? If so, this article will help you gain insights into a form of travel that many holiday makers simply overlook: train holidays!

Creating a holiday around rail travel is perhaps one of the best kept secrets of holiday making today. Not only do benefits include pre-planned itineraries, being escorted by knowledgeable guides and all travel and accommodation being taken care of for you, but you get to visit places that ordinarily are not within the typical reach of the average holiday maker.

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Accessibility and experience

While it is of course entirely possible to get a good feel for the culture and what a county can offer by visiting a major city or resort, the best experiences are there for those who are prepared to explore a bit further. Several options are open to travellers, including self-drive, local escorted tours, coaches and hiring a local taxi driver for a day.

train holiday accessibility

Opting to drive while on holiday is a great way to see a country and gives you the freedom to explore, but naturally this comes with some downsides. The main downside is that you have to do the driving and the risks associated with that, including driving on unfamiliar roads with unfamiliar laws. Plus of course, it can be tough to get help if you break down or wander into places that may not be best suited to tourists.

If you use a local service for tours as many do while on holiday, you’ll probably get bundled in with a merry throng of other tourists and get taken around the typical tourist sites with all that entails. To be honest, that’s enough for many holiday makers, but it won’t satisfy those keen adventure seekers that really want to dig deeper into the cultural, historical, and scenic aspects of the places they visit. Also, being part of a local tour while on holiday often ends up being a bit of a rushed affair, as the guide tries to pack in as much as possible to give value for money.

For those seeking a more relaxed and well planned adventure, with little if any planning to do yourself, then an escorted rail holiday could be the next holiday for you.

Using local rail services mean you can reach parts of a destination country many travellers never get to see. You get to share a very ‘local and authentic experience’ and often get to explore the more exotic side a destination has to offer. Suddenly, that mediaeval castle offering outstanding views and a dining experience, or more remote towns with their own traditional festivities, become accessible in relative comfort and ease, instead of requiring you to hire a car and driving yourself.

Probably the best aspect of a rail based holiday is that these experiences can be strung together, one after another as part of a well planned itinerary of a week or two. Doing that yourself, driving or using a local coach, bus or taxi, will prove a bit of a strain after a while. So, as the saying goes – “why not let the train take the strain?”

Convenience and comfort

Many of our clients are repeat clients who just love the convenience of travelling with an experienced guide and following a well thought through and planned itinerary. Every time is a new and rewarding experience, with little required of our clients other than to sit back, relax and enjoy the journey.

train holiday convenience

Comfort on a rail based holiday is paramount. A huge part of the experience is with the trains we choose to use throughout the itinerary. As you might expect, we look to deliver an experience that rewards both train travel lovers and enthusiasts alike. This includes using heritage trains as well as those that are more modern and luxurious.

Similarly, while trains are a means of exploration and need to afford a good level of comfort, our hotel accommodation is also chosen to deliver an authentic experience and a comfortable one. For those looking to experience luxury train rail based holidays, check out our ‘Escorted Train Holidays in Style” page.

Authenticity and experience is central to our escorted tours

As a holiday by rail company, we’ve been offering escorted rail holidays for over 20 years.  Our tours are well proven with guides that have years of experience with the destinations visited. At the heart of our itineraries is the desire to offer a truly authentic experience. This means we aim to please clients with not only discerning requirements but also those with quite varied expectations.

Ask any traveller what they look to get out of an excursion and you’ll likely get a very wide range of needs. There are those who want to enjoy the train transportation as a more unusual way to get around on holiday, but are there for the cultural aspects of the destination, such as food and drink and history. Others are there to enjoy and experience  scenery that’s difficult to access on a regular package, city or resort based holiday. Then you have the holidays for train enthusiasts, a part of our client base. Enthusiasts are there for the trains themselves, as well as the other aspects of the tour. This is the reason we choose the trains we use carefully indeed.

Not just rail travel

Many of our tours use a destination country’s rail transport network, both public and heritage, as part of the experience and to get to where we need to go. But, it’s not the only transport we use. Some of our tours will incorporate river transportation too. For example, a cruise along Portugal’s Douro, or using the tram systems in a number of cities.

Rail travel – a greener way to travel?

Travel these days is quite a contentious subject where environmental impact is concerned. Train travel can be a greener way to travel, simply because:
green train travel

  • You’re using an existing system that would be used in any case.
  • You’re not adding to CO2 emissions by using your own transportation, such as a car.
  • Many of our European tours offer a way to reach the start of your adventure by train rather than by Air, although air travel is still the easiest and likely most economical way to join your tour.

As time moves on, tour operators such as ourselves will continually look for ways of reducing our carbon footprint by using more environmentally minded services and third parties with similar desire to help reduce their environmental impact.

Try an escorted rail holiday for a change

Given the problems we have faced over the past couple of years, the desire to get away is extraordinary. However, restrictions remain and many would-be holiday makers choose to stay at home. Those that can travel often find that popular destinations are busy, accommodation hard to get and flights even more so, and expensive.

An escorted rail holiday offers an alternative; a way of beating the crowds, avoiding the crush and seeking out the lesser visited places. Checkout our latest brochure here.