This article was created by National Geographic Traveler (UK).
Swap your plane for a train and embark on an adventure that’s more than just a way to get to your destination. Whether you’re looking for a multi-day trip to catch a glimpse of the waves crashing against the cliffs or a quick, scenic glimpse of the glistening ocean, these coastline rail lines offer a taste of life in the slower lanes. Masu.
From Christchurch to Picton (New Zealand)
Departing from Christchurch on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, the Coastal Pacific Railway winds its way to the picturesque little port town of Picton in just over five hours. Primarily used as a tourist service, the vehicles are fitted with panoramic side windows and skylights, allowing passengers to enjoy a slideshow of farms, vineyards and windswept beaches. You can take unlimited photos in the open-air observation vehicle.
It’s worth stopping your trip at the vineyards of Blenheim or the town of Kaikoura. This is home to sperm whales, and he is one of the few places in the world where visitors are almost guaranteed to see their tails popping out against the backdrop of the turquoise water. Mountains covered with snow.
How to do it: The train will run from September 21st to January 28th (Thursday to Sunday) and February 1st to April 28th (Monday to Sunday). One-way tickets start from NZ$177 (£83).
2. Mandovi Express
From Mumbai to Madgaon, India
One of the greatest rail journeys in India’s vast rail network, the Mandvi Express departs from the metropolis of Mumbai around 7 a.m. and zips along the Konkan coastline to Goa. The Arabian Sea sparkles on one side, and the Sahyadri Hills soar on the other. Home to the famous pantry car, this service is a haven for those who love to indulge in chicken lollipops, fresh samosas, and fried okra. Meanwhile, passengers play cards, sing Bollywood hits, and chai vendors clink vats in the aisles. tea.
How to do it: The Mandvi Express departs daily from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminal and takes approximately 12 hours to reach Madgaon. One-way tickets start from £5.
(Mumbai to Goa: Journey on Mandovi Express. )
3. Riviera Railway
From Cannes, France to Ventimiglia, Italy
A regular commuter service that runs multiple times a day, this double-decker bus rumbles out from Cannes and takes passengers on a 90-minute journey along the backs of terracotta-colored villas and apartment blocks, taking passengers to the French Riviera. You can get a glimpse of the private happenings of residents. Dogs snooze under the seats, students scroll on their phones, retirees carry baguettes in paper bags, while to the right a curve of golden sand fringed with palm trees stretches out and the train crosses the border. The Ligurian Sea sparkles in the sunlight as we cross into Italy.
In summer, you can see bronze bodies dangling from pontoons, surfers paddling in the ocean, and bright pink bougainvillea cascading down. Break up your trip in Antibes or Juan-les-Pins with a slice of pizzaladiere, a traditional flatbread from the south of France with onions, olives, and anchovies, then take a walk along the tranquil coast before finishing the final mile. Please consider returning to. Ventimiglia, an Italian market town.
How to do it: A one-way ticket costs €14.30 (£12). Tickets can be purchased at the station on the day of your trip or in advance on Omio.
4. Unified Express
From Hue to Da Nang (Vietnam)
Like an iron spine, Vietnam’s main railway line crisscrosses the country from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, making this two-night adventure from north to south one of the world’s greatest journeys. A highlight is his two-and-a-half hour journey between the former royal capital of Hue and the prosperous port of Da Nang.
As the train winds its way uphill through the jungle, bananas come into view like thick green fingers, with the smell of morning dew on the leaves slapping against the open windows. With its many twists and turns, flashes of blue appear through the bamboo leaves, and the train winds over cliffs, amidst glorious flames, cream-colored sand, and sunlit bays as it travels the distance to Da Nang. The South China Sea appears.
How to do it: A one-way ticket with air-conditioned soft seats costs around £4.
(A journey through history on Vietnam’s Unified Express train. )
5. Coast Starlight
From Sacramento to Los Angeles (USA)
The Coast Starlight, powered by the best of Amtrak, begins its journey from Seattle to Los Angeles, but it’s the second day’s scenery from Sacramento that draws passengers to the tourist lounge’s panoramic windows, California Chardonnay in hand. is.
There’s a noisy dining car serving everything from coconut-crusted shrimp to griddle steak with port wine sauce, and on the train, strangers make friends, students play guitar, and politics are dissected. It’s crowded with people. The journey ends as the train clings to the edge of a cliff, the sea rolling from green to blue, waves lapping against the flour-soft beaches, and the red sun melting into the horizon as the train approaches Los Angeles.
How to do it: The train leaves Sacramento at 6:48 a.m. and arrives in Los Angeles at 9:11 p.m. One-way tickets start at $61 (£48).
6. From St. Erth to St. Ives
cornwall, united kingdom
The scenic 10-minute journey from the village of St Erth to the seaside town of St Ives will take passengers up close to the Cornish coast. The train rattles along the River Hale estuary, uphill over sand dunes and around the curves of Port Kidney Beach. There, the water shines a pleasant turquoise color. Through the open windows, passengers can smell the salt in the air as they meander over Carbis Bay and soak up the sun on the golden sands before entering St Ives.
How to do it: A one-way ticket costs £3 and can be purchased from South Western Railway or the station on the day of your journey.
(How to plan a family rail adventure through Europe. )
Monisha Rajesh is the author of Around the World in 80 Trains (Bloomsbury, £10.99).