Popularity in tailored train rides

Ffestiniog Travel, a leading rail holiday specialist based in Wales, highlights the growing trend of train travel among tourists. Offering a wide range of services, including escorted rail tours, customized train holidays, and ticket sales for European travel, the company has witnessed a significant increase in demand, particularly among the over 50s demographic, with a 50% surge in independent, bespoke rail touring over the past two years.

Maria Cook, general manager of Ffestiniog Travel, attributes this surge in demand to several factors, including the enhanced rail infrastructure across Europe and the preference among older travelers preferring a slower pace and a more environmentally conscious mode of travel. Tailored rail tours spanning multiple countries have emerged as a popular choice, with European destinations topping the list of preferred locations. The options are very diverse, and they include combining France and Spain to exploring Germany, Switzerland, and Austria in a single rail adventure. 

With expertise in European train travel, Ffestiniog Travel excels in designing optimal routes and rail passes tailored individual preferences and budgets. Additionally, the company assists in arranging accommodation along the route and can coordinate captivating sightseeing excursions to enhance the overall travel experience. The growing availability of overnight trains across Europe further enhances the appeal of rail travel, offering tourists the opportunity to explore more destinations within a typical holiday timeframe.

European Sleeper currently operates sleeper trains form Brussels to Berlin three nights a week planning on extending its route to Prague starting March 2024. Meanwhile, NightJet introduced a new route from Paris to Berlin in December 2023, also running three times a week. Looking ahead, NightJet aims to introduce sleeper trains from Zurich to Barcelona starting December 2024, providing a convenient connection for travelers keen on exploring multiple countries by train. 

To this, Maria added that “As a leading UK retailer of European train tickets we get requests for rail routes that go beyong the simple point to point ticket and venture fof onto a country’s branch lines. We can create journeys with many stopovers en route and advice on the most suitable cost-effective rail pass, whether it be for a specific country such as the Swiss Travel Pass or a Europe wide InterRail Pass that can cover fromm3 days to 3 months. If you have the time, exploring Europe by rail becomes more of an adventure than a holiday. You can take in major cities or venture off into the provinces – no crowded airports or stressful roads journeys to contend with. 

The Alps and More

Experience a custom-designed rail adventure, commencing with an overnight stay in Cologne before journeying to Chur, Switzerland, where a series of breathtaking rail excursions await. Traverse the UNESCO World Heritage Rhaetian Railway, meander along the narrow gauge line to Collalbo, experience a nostalgic steam locomotive ride on the famed Zillertal Railway, and ascend to Lake Achensee and Scheeberg mountain via rack railway.

Green Hills of Spain

Embark on a captivating rail adventure from France to Spain’s lush northwest coastline, where scenic rail journeys and vibrant city stays await. Begin your journey with an overnight stop in Poitiers before embarking on a coastal exploration that includes visits to San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, Gijon, Ferrol, Santiago de Compostela, and Leon. This tailor-made 15-day tour offers a unique opportunity to discover the beauty of Spain’s coastal regions entirely by train. With the option to extend your time in

France, the itinerary can be adapted to suit your preferences. Priced from £2,750pp (based on double occupancy), this comprehensive package includes all rail travel facilitated by a Global Rail Pass, bed and breakfast accommodation, and select suggested excursions.

Low Countries and the Western Front 

Step into history with a themed 10-day rail tour inspired by Michael Portillo’s Great European Railway Journeys TV series, delving into the legacy of the First World War through visits to key locations and railways that played pivotal roles during the conflict. Explore Amsterdam, Den Haag, Brussels, Mons, Albert, and Amiens, immersing yourself in the profound historical significance of the Western Front. This meticulously curated tour offers a glimpse into the past and serves as a prime example of a tailored rail journey. Priced from £1,990pp (based on double occupancy), this comprehensive package includes all rail travel and bed and breakfast accommodation.