Bhutan

Bhutan has long been overlooked due to its popular neighbours, but PTG highlights the Himalayan Kingdom.

Bhutan did not allow tourists until the 1970’s and continues to cap the number of annual tourists, making a visit to this Himalayan paradise a truly special experience. The lucky people that get to visit are welcomed with friendly locals and magical monasteries, the most popular being Tiger’s Nest nestled in the cliffside of the upper Paro valley. In this predominantly Buddhist nation, visitors will be taken back in time and overwhelmed with ultimate peace.

On the way to Bhutan, stops in Kolkata and Darjeeling are essential. In Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal State, tourists will be filled with gratitude at The Mother House, where Mother Teresa lived and served and is now buried. Beyond that, you can tour a railway museum featuring 150-year-old steam locomotives, carriages and saloon cars. In Darjeeling, the highlight is a 19th century steam train on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway set against the backdrop of Mt Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain.


Sweden

Ditch the idea that Stockholm is the must-see in Sweden, the old town grandeur of Sweden’s Dutch-style cities should not be missed.

The west coast of Sweden is home to two of the country’s largest cities, each offering a unique coastal experience. In the battle for supremacy, many Swedish cities are overlooked for Stockholm. But, Malmo and Göteborg put up a good fight, offering a less-touristy environment with a more relaxing experience. They are the perfect cities to enjoy a fika break to reconnect with friends, an important ritual in Swedish culture.

The PTG train dives down into the Öresund link from København and rushes out to expose you to Malmo – where you will find Sweden’s oldest Renaissance castle and Folkets Park which is the oldest public park in the world. From here, travel up the coast to Göteborg, where travellers can enjoy traditional Nordic seafood and tour the city’s extensive tram network.


Denmark

Come experience Danish “hygge” and learn why Denmark is repeatedly named one of the world’s happiest and most prosperous countries.

“Hygge” refers to “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality” that makes visitors feel content as soon as they step off the train. The colourful buildings lining the canal only add to the magic of this quaint city. Sightseeing in the capital city, København, is nearly endless. For example, guests can take boat trips around the harbour and snap pictures of the iconic Little Mermaid statue. For historians, Elsinore Castle is home to much of the action in Shakespeare’s, “Hamlet”, and the National Railway Museum and Danish Tramways Museum offer rich history for train enthusiasts.


Ecuador

The complete restoration of Ecuador’s major railways takes train tours to lengths like never before.

Ecuador has the most biodiversity per square kilometre of any nation, and PTG will show you all of it on the newly accessible railways. Train riders will see the lush green peaks of the Andes Mountains and experience the zigzagging ride up the Devil’s Nose, a mountain with almost perpendicular walls. This impressive engineering takes you on one of the world’s most adventurous train rides. During the Andes tour, you will pass by some of the world’s most famous volcanoes, including the world’s highest active volcano, Cotopaxi.

Once off the train, visitors can tour the capital city of Quito, the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage city nestled high in the mountains. The colonial centre boasts an impressive blend of European and Moorish architecture in the 16th century churches and plazas and is filled with vibrant nightlife.


Aerial view of Cancun, Mexico

Mexico

Beyond the beautiful beaches and tasty tequila, Mexico is home to an abundance of culture and rail sites to excite historians and rail fans alike.

There is more to Mexico than just white sands and clear Caribbean waters. From the poignant pre-Hispanic artefacts of the Aztec and Mayan civilizations to the colonial architecture and dramatic landscapes of the temperate zone, there is much to explore in Mexico. The World Heritage sites of Chichen Itza and Teotihuacan immerse visitors in pre-Columbian civilization and a horse-drawn car to a hacienda offers a new way to experience a railway journey.

PTG Tours takes you on a two-day journey on the spectacular Copper Canyon Railway to see some of the best views of the country’s mountain scenery. Plus, there will be plenty of opportunities to sample Mexican tequila on the Jose Cuervo Express train. No trip to Mexico would be complete without at least dipping your toes into the warm sand at one of the iconic coastal resorts, so the journey ends in Playa del Carmen.

Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico

Rail & Cultural Journeys In Mexico



Jordan

The historic city of Petra and the lively capital of Amman provide an amazing Middle Eastern cultural tour.

History is easy to find throughout Jordan, but the jewel in the crown of Jordan’s antiquities is Petra, the magnificent rock-hewn “Red Rose City”. Built during the 5th and 6th centuries BCE, Petra was once the capital of Nabataean Arabs. It is strewn with temples, monuments and tombs with intricate carvings, some of which are still buried beneath the sands. Entrance to the city is through the Siq, a narrow gorge flanked on either side by high cliffs. Al-Khazneh (the Treasury) is the most famous structure, and other must-sees include an ancient theatre and the impressive Ad-Deir Monastery which is accessible by a flight of 800 rock-cut steps.

Beyond Petra, Jordan hosts other historical sites such as the Amman Citadel and the Roman Ruins of Jerash. You will leave a tour of Jordan with a deeper appreciation for Middle Eastern culture and history with some stunning photos to document the experience.

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Israel

Israel is undoubtedly a religious epicentre, but it is also undeniably beautiful with alternating scenes of sea, desert, ancient relics and nature reserves.

Israel is home to many juxtapositions. From the holy city of Jerusalem to the modern metropolis of Tel Aviv, from hiking in the mountainous Golan Heights to floating in the Dead Sea – the lowest point on earth – Israel delivers more than you may have expected. So come to explore its ancient sites, experience its diverse cultures, and truly relax when you lounge on one of its many beaches.

With PTG, visitors will get to travel on both standard rail lines and a private charter train on freight lines, meaning you will go to places that cannot be reached by commuter trains. Join us on this unique tour to explore the diversity of Israel in its food, people and geography; it will be an unforgettable train journey.

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Georgia

The gorgeous Georgia is a land of snow-capped mountains with a balmy climate, and on those verdant lower slopes, Georgians have been making wine for 8,000 years, it is little wonder that Georgia is known as the ‘cradle of wine.’

“A guest is a gift from God,” according to Georgians, and you will feel this from the friendly locals the moment you get off the plane at Tbilisi, Georgia’s intriguing capital infused with European and Asian characteristics. The country is rich in history and the lands are dotted with ancient monasteries and fortresses. One of the most stunning is the Vardzia Cave Monastery, an entire city set in sandstone cliffs.

As part of the 13-day itinerary, you will also visit the seaports of Poti and Batumi, both on the Black Sea coast. Plus, there will be plenty of opportunities to sip fine Georgian wine, such as Kindzmarauli, a semi-sweet red wine with rich berry tones.

Georgia Embedded

Rail & Cultural Journeys In Georgia



Moldova

Previously labelled as the world’s least happy place, Moldova is sure to have the opposite effect on all those who visit this beautiful Eastern European nation today.

Tucked in-between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova is remarkably picturesque, with endless country scenes, and mostly hilly terrain boasting copious viewpoints to take in the rural vistas. Ancient cave monasteries balance atop soaring cliffs and peaceful local villages overlook grasslands scattered with cows.

For five decades, this country was part of the Soviet Union, and it still features plenty of remnants from this era. The capital, Chisinau, in particular, is home to Soviet-style architecture and pre-WWII structures, amid leafy streets, pretty parks and rows of cafes. Just outside of the city, stretches of golden vineyards yielding notable labels can be found, and with PTG Tours, you will get to stop over at the famous Mileștii Mici tunnels – an underground cave network that houses the world’s biggest wine cellar. Our ‘Clear Moldova’ tour also offers a unique opportunity to travel on locomotives dating back to the Soviet period, across several freight branches and magnificent landscapes.

Moldova Embedded

Rail & Cultural Journeys In Moldova



USA

This colossal country may run from the east to the west coast, but in-between you’ll find an incredible selection of memorable vistas, varying cultures, delicious cuisine, beautiful buildings and iconic sights.

In America, they like to do and make everything big – from the buildings to the cars to the food portions: bigger is better. And given the sheer size and scope of the country, it’s easy to see why this view prevails. With 50 states to visit, as well as the capital Washington, D.C., this country appeals to those who yearn for exploration. On the one hand, there’s bustling Downtown New York; on the other, there’s the 3,500 square miles of scenic Yellowstone National Park. Then there’s the hot and humid summer nights of Florida or the wildlife wonderland that’s Alaska.

These are just some of the contrasting experiences that can be discovered in America. While it’s impossible to see everything that this truly wondrous country offers in just one sitting, PTG Tours runs two escorted and comprehensive rail tours. As the railroads helped shape modern America during the Frontier era, it’s only fitting that we journey along them on the ‘Trains & Treasures of the Western States’ tour that sees us take in six states across 15 days. The ‘Rail & Natural Wonders of Alaska’ tour allows travellers the opportunity to see the spectacular state in all its glory.