Romantic railway journeys

Romantic railway journeys

For a honeymoon with old-fashioned glamour, which embraces slow travel and means no designated driver, these romantic railway journeys might be just the ticket…

Belgrade, Serbia - Bar, Montenegro

All aboard for… one of Europe's most scenic railway journeys

Full steam ahead: Watch the beauty of the Balkan scenery pass by on one of Europe's prettiest stretches of track. Although Belgrade and Bar at either end of the line aren't obvious romantic destinations, Belgrade has some great restaurants and nightlife, and Bar is the gateway to the beautiful Adriatic coastline. You can do this trip as an overnight departure (in second-hand French sleeper carriages) or during the day if you prefer to look out the window - the journey takes around 10hrs.

Tickets please: Single tickets in first class seats cost from around £26 (with a £5 reservation fee) if you book online from Serbian Railways.

London - Venice on the Orient Express

All aboard for… the most iconic train journey in Europe

Full steam ahead: The Venice Simplon Orient Express may not get you all the way to the Orient as it used to in its heyday, but you won't find a more stylish way of getting across Europe. The 1,071 mile journey takes 31 hours in surroundings that not only recapture the golden age of international railway travel, but are authentic into the bargain. Most of the carriages date back to the 1920s and 30s. If you do want to end in the mystic east, there's one departure per year from Paris to Istanbul.

Tickets please: London - Venice costs from £1,830 per person, including gourmet meals. Book through www.orient-express.com.

Stockholm, Sweden - Narvik, Norway

All aboard for… the night train to the North

Full steam ahead: Whether you bask in midnight sun through the window, or cross the Arctic Circle in the dark depths of winter, the overnight train from Sweden's capital to Narvik in northern Norway is a Scandinavian institution. Cosy up together as you pass Lapland's lakes, fjords and reindeer. When you get to Narvik, head to Lofotens - a nearby group of islands that are as breathtakingly beautiful as they are secluded.

Tickets please: Travel from Stockhom to Narvik from around £157pp in a private compartment - food from the onboard bistro is included. Book tickets here.

Wernigerode - Quedlinburg, Germany

All aboard for… an old fashioned steam train ride through fairytale forests and mountains

Full steam ahead: Experience the power and charisma of a steam locomotive at close quarters as you chug through the Harz Mountains of Lower Saxony, Saxony Anhalt and Thuringia. Riding behind the historic HSB (Harzer Schmalspur-Bahnen) engines is something of a pilgrimage for dedicated locomotive lovers, but the sheer romance of the scenery on this 5hr daytrip should make converts of railway rookies.

Tickets please: the HSB website has timetable details and prices, although the site is mostly in German. Details of how to get to Wernigerode (where the line starts) can be found on Deutsche-Bahn.

Moscow - Beijing on the Trans Mongolian Express

All aboard for… an epic cross-continental adventure

Full steam ahead: For couples to whom romance equals adventure, a journey on the TME could be just the ticket. This epic journey takes seven days if you do it straight through, but you'll need to be very much in love, or have no sense of smell as there are no showers on the train. The rolling countryside guarantees you a variety of beautiful scenery - from the snowy depths of winter to the lush forests in summer. Stop at Irkutsk to visit the beautiful Lake Baikal, and at the rugged capital of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar for wide open plains and cosy yurts before continuing to the splendor and bustle of Beijing.

Tickets please: Seat61.com is a great resource for planning your trip, and Real Russia can help you with booking tickets and visas. Don't forget you'll need visas for Russia, Mongolia and China - if you're not using a visa service, start with your final destination country (you can travel the route both ways) as you'll need to prove your onwards journey. 

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