London to Istanbul by Rail

Rail, London to Istanbul
Image by G Adventures

Information from G Adventures

Tour description

Whether you’re looking for Europe’s most famous highlights or its undiscovered treasures, the answer lies aboard the trains running between London and Istanbul. This 25-day Rail journey allows you to check out the dramatic landscapes across Europe, as well as experiencing both medieval charm and modern cool in tiny villages and capital cities. Take in the Alpine scenery from the windows of the Glacier Express, step off to visit 'Dracula’s Castle' in Transylvania and revel in as much ancient eastern European charm as you can get. Once you’ve seen the countryside gliding by from a comfortable train, you’ll never forget it.

What's included

  • Your G for Good Moment: Magdas Hotel, Vienna Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group Your Discover Moment: Paris Your Discover Moment: Budapest
  • Eurostar ride through the Chunnel
  • Paris orientation walk
  • TGV train
  • Lausanne orientation walk
  • Zermatt stay
  • The Glacier Express train with lunch onboard
  • Dachau tour (Munich)
  • Salzburg orientation walk
  • Vienna orientation walk
  • Budapest orientation walk
  • Romanian villages and countryside tour (half-day, from Sighisoara)
  • 'Dracula's Castle' (Bran)
  • Bucharest orientation tour
  • Hike to Arbanasi village
  • Sofia orientation walk
  • Istanbul city tour with local guide
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Travel across europe by train
  • Explore tiny villages and big capital cities
  • Soak in gorgeous alpine scenery from the window of the glacier express
  • Sample cuisine across different countries
  • Get spooked at 'dracula's castle'.

Itinerary

Day 1: London Arrive at any time.

Day 2: London/Paris Board the famous Eurostar train for the journey through the Chunnel to Paris. Enjoy an orientation walk and free time to visit the city.

Day 3: Paris Spend the day with free time to visit dozens of museums, patisserie shops, sidewalk cafés or grand boulevards.

Day 4: Paris/Lausanne Take a morning TGV train to Lausanne, Switzerland. Spend the afternoon in this charming town.

Day 5: Lausanne/Zermatt Board another train for the journey to Zermatt, a tiny village in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Enjoy the afternoon in the car-free centre or hiking in the nearby mountains.

Day 6: Zermatt/Chur Board the Glacier Express for a slow and stunning ride through the Alps. Pass meadows, rushing streams, bridges, villages and massive mountains as the train heads towards Chur. Arrive in the evening after a full day of soaking in the scenery.

Day 7: Chur/Munich Take a full day to reach Munich, in the heart of Bavaria. Arrive in time for an optional evening out at a local brewery with a few steins of beer and some typical German fare.

Day 8: Munich Explore the city or head further afield to visit Füssen and the famous Neuschwanstein Castle.

Day 9: Munich/Salzburg Visit Dachau before a short train ride to Salzburg, Austria. This charming city is brimming with history and character.

Day 10: Salzburg Make the most of a free day in Salzburg. Opt to visit the salt mines or take the famous Sound of Music tour.

Day 11: Salzburg/Vienna Continue by train to Vienna. Opt to visit the famous opera house, join a city tour or visit world-class museums. Stay overnight at a G Adventures for Good supported hotel that supports migrant workers.

Day 12: Vienna/Budapest Take a morning train to Budapest, Hungary. Take an orientation walk upon arrival, then opt to enjoy a night out in this charming city.

Day 13: Budapest Enjoy a full day for exploration in Budapest. Opt to visit Buda Castle, the famous thermal baths or take a bike tour of the city.

Day 14: Budapest/Sibiu Take another free day to explore Budapest before boarding an overnight train to Sibiu.

Day 15: Sibiu/Sighișoara Arrive in the enchanting town of Sighisoara. Use your free time here to explore the cobblestone streets and medieval architecture.

Day 16: Sighișoara/Braşov With a local guide, venture into the Romanian countryside to visit traditional villages. Get a true sense of life in this less-visited region. Transfer to charming Braşov.

Day 17: Braşov Visit the picturesque Bran Castle and learn the history (and rumours) of this fascinating place.

Day 18: Braşov/Bucharest Travel to Bucharest and enjoy an orientation walk. Take time to explore the Soviet-esque architecture, the beautiful cathedral, or indulge in Bucharest's international cuisine.

Day 19: Bucharest/Veliko Tarnovo Enjoy some free time to explore more of Bucharest in the morning before travelling to Bulgaria and one of the oldest cities in the world, Veliko Tarnovo. Wander the medieval town, visit the museums, or sample your first taste of Bulgarian cuisine.

Day 20: Veliko Tarnovo Hike to the hilltop village of Arbanasi. Soak in the views over Veliko Tarnovo. Opt to go mountain biking or view the murals at the Church of the Nativity.

Day 21: Veliko Tarnovo/Sofia Travel to Sofia and take an orientation walk of the capital city. Later, wander down the pedestrian street or visit the eclectic Ladies' Market.

Day 22: Sofia/Plovdiv Travel to Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second-largest city. Visit the hilly old town, museums, or the Theatre of Ancient Philippopolis, one of the many Roman ruins found here.

Day 23: Plovdiv/Istanbul Spend the day exploring more of Plovdiv before boarding an evening bus to Istanbul.

Day 24: Istanbul Enjoy a city tour with a local Turkish guide. Opt to visit the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, Aya Sofya, and the Topkapı Palace.

Day 25: Istanbul Depart at any time.