Why not add another element of adventure to your next holiday with Exodus by taking the train there? With accessible, high-speed connections taking you to the very heart of key regions all across Europe, travelling by train is easier than you think. Not only does it add to your holiday experience and help you avoid those airport queues, but it also significantly reduces your carbon impact.
At Exodus, we are dedicated to creating incredible adventures that are run responsibly. As part of our People, Places & Planet plan, we’re expanding our booking service to offer train travel options to many more of our European trips. Below are a few of our favourite regions and trips to travel to by train, what your train journey to reach them will look like, and all you can enjoy along the way.
The Dolomites, Italy
Getting to and from the Dolomites’ dramatic limestone peaks in northeastern Italy is just as scenic as the outstanding mountain panoramas that will greet you. If you’re planning to visit the UNESCO site of Tre Cime di Lavaredo and enjoy exhilarating walks in the Fanes-Sennes and Dolomiti di Sesto National Parks on our Classic Dolomites – Premium trip, why not take the train and extend your holiday experience?
You’ll start your journey from London St Pancras International and take the train to Paris Gare du Nord in just over two hours. From there, you’ll make a quick transfer to Paris Gare de Lyon by Metro or taxi and take the train to Turin, northern Italy, taking in the French Alps and some beautiful Italian countryside along the way. The fastest connection is just under six hours, leaving you to spend the evening in this spectacular Alp-fringed city. Whether you’re looking to wander through the elegant tree-lined boulevards or have a late dinner with a bottle of wine in one of their beautiful art nouveau cafes, you’ll soon find Turin is the perfect place for a night en route to the Dolomites. The next day, take a train from Turin via Bologna to Venice Mestre train station, where you’ll make your way to Venice airport to join the group transfer to your hotel.
After enjoying all this trip has to offer, including completing the route up Monte Piana and exploring the open-air museum that stretches between the northern summit of Monte Piano and the southern summit of Monte Piana, it’s time to make your return journey. You’ll join the group transfer to Venice airport, and will then make your own way into the “Floating City of Venice” where you’ll spend the night. Enjoy a magical evening exploring the Piazza San Marco and tuck into Venetian specialities like Baccalà mantecato over candlelight in one of the city’s spectacular canal-side restaurants. The next day, you’ll head to the Venice Mestre train station and take a two-hour journey to Milan, where you can stop for lunch and taste traditional Milanese fare like Ossobucco and local risotto. You’ll then take the afternoon train to Paris Gare de Lyon and arrive in the evening where – after soaking up the sights along the Canal Saint-Martin – you’ll spend the night in a Parisian hotel. You’ll have time to enjoy a blissful continental breakfast before making your way to Paris Gare de Nord and taking the train back to London St Pancras International.
The Austrian Tyrol
Head to the quiet village of Achenkirch, surrounded by the rugged peaks of the Rofan and Karwendel mountain ranges, on our Walking in the Austrian Tyrol trip for guided walks along the most beautiful hiking trails and flower-filled meadows.
Luckily, you can take a train to this spectacular mountainous region, while also enjoying an overnight stay in Munich on the way there, and Paris on the way back. First, you will depart from London St Pancras International Station to Paris, where you’ll change trains and spend the day travelling through picturesque French villages and wooded German countryside to Munich, via Stuttgart. You’ll stay in a nearby hotel, meaning you can enjoy a Maß of Helles (lager) beer on the banks of the Kleinhesseloher See, while tucking into a Schweinshax’n (roasted pork knuckle). Having a stein in the legendary Hofbräuhaus is also considered a rite of passage for anyone who visits the city of Munich. The next day, you’ll make your way to Munich airport to join the group transfer to your hotel.
Once you’ve enjoyed all this trip has to offer, including summiting the highest mountain in the Austrian Tyrol, Hochiss (2298m), you’ll make your descent to Maurach via the Rofanlift and head to the nearest local pub, Mauritalm, for a drink and a classic Viennese apple strudel before ending your trip in Achenkirch. For your return journey, you’ll join the group transfer to Munich airport and make your way to Munich Hbf train station. From here, you’ll take the train via Stuttgart to Paris Gare De L’Est. With the journey taking around seven hours, you’ll be able to spend a leisurely evening in Paris, finding a café to people-watch along the River Seine, before heading back to London the next morning.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
For a particularly speedy train journey from the UK to continental Europe, consider a trip to Holland. On our Holland Bike and Sail – Tulip Tour you’ll discover the beautiful vistas of storybook windmills and vibrant tulip fields that inspired the likes of Van Gogh, as you ride towards quaint farm villages and sail towards picture-perfect harbour towns. To get there, all you need to do is head to London St Pancras International Station and take the Eurostar to Amsterdam Centraal station. With the journey taking under four hours, just sit back and relax with a good book as the high-speed train takes you to the very heart of Amsterdam. Once you get there, head to Enkhuizen, Amsterdam’s cruise port where your adventure in the Netherlands begins aboard the classic Leafde fan Fryslân.
From the beautiful centre of Zaandam, you’ll visit the charming hamlets of Zaanse Schans and bike through the colourful tulip fields in Hortus Bulborum, before ending your adventure exploring the famous Keukenhof Gardens. Ablaze with hyacinths, daffodils, tulips and crocuses, it’s estimated that there are around 7 million bulbs planted in the Keukenhof Gardens, with 800 different varieties of tulips that come to life in the springtime. After spending your final night on the Leafde fan Fryslân, simply head back to Amsterdam Centraal and take the direct train to London St Pancras International Station.
The Amalfi Coast, Italy
You can’t miss the opportunity to walk along one of the most dramatic coastlines in Europe – the Amalfi Coast. Blessed with countless lemon groves, glistening blue harbours and picturesque fishing towns dotted beneath the “Path of Gods”, our Walking the Amalfi Coast trip allows you to discover the quaint towns of Positano, Ravello and Amalfi while also exploring the ancient remains of Pompeii.
To get to one of our favourite coastlines by train, you’ll head to London St Pancras International and take the Eurostar to Paris Gare du Nord. From there, you’ll make a quick transfer to Paris Gare de Lyon by Metro or taxi and take the train to Turin, northern Italy, taking in the French Alps and some beautiful Italian countryside along the way. After enjoying an overnight stay in Turin, enjoy a brisk early morning stroll with your takeaway cappuccino and brioche in the Parco del Valentino, a long stretch that hugs the west banks of the River Po, before returning to Turin Porta Susa station to take a train to Naples Centrale station. Once you’ve arrived, make your way to Naples airport to join the group transfer to family-run Hotel Due Torri, where your trip on the sun-drenched Amalfi Coast begins.
With interesting hikes up the vast crater of Mt Vesuvius, beautiful strolls through wildflowers and moss-clad waterfalls in the Valle delle Ferriere natural reserve and ambles down the chic streets of Capri, your adventure comes to an end in Positano and Bomerano. It is here where you’ll see how locally smoked mozzarella cheese is made before your farewell dinner. Beginning your return journey from Hotel Due Torri, you’ll take an Exodus organised transfer to Naples Centrale train station. From here, you’ll take the train to Florence Rifredi station, taking around three and a half hours.
Arriving in the mid-afternoon, you’ll have the rest of the day and evening to explore the city’s superb architectural masterpieces, from the spectacular Palazzo Pitti and the Basilica of Santo Spirito to the newer architectural gems like the Piazza della Republica. You’ll find there’s so much to see when you explore Florence on foot. For dinner, try some Florentine cooking and enjoy relaxing on family-style outdoor seating with low tables, perfect for people watching, and tuck into traditional favourites like Pappardelle al Cinghiale (pasta with wild boar) or Tagliere (their famous meat and cheese platter, stacked with Prosciutto, Florentine salami, sheep’s milk cheese and Tuscan bread, vegetables and local honey) with a carafe of red wine. After a delightful overnight stay in Florence, head back to Florence Rifredi station and take the train back to Paris, via Milan and Geneva. You’ll stay overnight in Paris, so you can spend your final evening taking romantic strolls along the upper heights of Montmartre, before taking the Eurostar back to London the following morning.
Mont Blanc, Chamonix
The dramatic snow-capped mountain peaks and stunning valley descents are just some of the reasons why the circuit of Mont Blanc is one of the most spectacular walking routes in the Alps. With the snow making the routes impassable for much of the year, many hiking enthusiasts choose to tackle this exhilarating climb in the summer months. Our Mont Blanc Highlights trip takes you along key sections of the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB), where you’ll hike up the slopes of the Col de Balme, cross the Carlaveyron Natural Reserve to the summit of the Aiguillette des Houches and climb the Grand Balcon Sud towards Planpraz (2000m – 6560ft). On this holiday you can also enjoy a fully catered chalet stay in Chamonix, complete with afternoon tea and a bubbling jacuzzi – the perfect way to unwind after a strenuous day hiking in the Alps.
You can travel by train to this trip in just one day. Your train journey will start from London St Pancras International, making the under-Channel hop to Paris Gare du Nord. You’ll take a quick trip across Paris to Gare de Lyon station by taxi or Metro, and make the three-hour train journey to Geneva, travelling through beautiful mountainous terrain and crossing the spectacular Cize-Bolozon viaduct over the Ain Gorge on the way. Once you’ve arrived you can jump in a taxi to take you to your hotel in Chamonix.
After finishing your walking holiday with a hike in Planpraz, you might like to extend the end of your trip with a day in Geneva; we suggest spending the day wandering around Lake Geneva, (Lac Léman), exploring the old town filled with chocolate tasting cafés and boutiques in Place du Bourg-de-Four. Alternatively, visit Carouge, the Mediterranean style hamlet built by Italian architects who modelled it after Nice. When you’re ready to make your return journey, you’ll head back to Geneva station and take the train to Paris Gare de Lyon. Next, take the local metro or taxi to Paris Gare du Nord and catch the Eurostar back to London St Pancras International.
If this blog has inspired you to take the train to your next Exodus holiday, take a look at our train travel collection or speak with one of our friendly travel experts so they can help you plan your route.