The notion of young aristocrats taking a prolonged grand tour, visiting isolated corners of the earth during the 18th and 19th centuries, has long been replaced by comfortable, contemporary travel. Thankfully, in this age of meritocracy everyone can board a train and explore the world at their leisure – but where are the best places to go?


Mass communication may appear to have made the world a smaller place, but those who really want to go exploring might like to take advantage of booking a place on one of the many touring holidays with Great Rail.



The Russian political changes during the 1990s mean that anyone who wants to travel across this diverse country can just board a train at St Pancras station in London and speed their way through Europe, stopping off at Berlin and Warsaw, until they reach their final destination of Moscow. The actual tour of Russia comprises river and canal cruises where travellers will be able to admire many incredible sights, including the UNESCO World Heritage site at Kizhi Island.

The Volga River is the one of the main rivers in Russia and for centuries it was one of the few transport links between Moscow and the Caspian Sea. In order to experience genuine Russian life, travellers will be encouraged to visit local families at the remote village of Svirstroy. If offered a bowl of authentic borscht, do try it, as it’s simply delicious.


The real Morocco is still much unknown to many travellers. They visit the major cities of Marrakech and Fez, but tend not to stray off the tourist path on their holidays. An organised train holiday will introduce travellers to traditional Berber settlements in the Ourika Valley and allow visitors to see some of the less popular towns and villages that lie between Marrakech and Fez.


The Roman ruins of Volubilis used to be more familiar to those who read history texts but the development of this type of holiday means all travellers can enjoy the experience of discovering this UNESCO World Heritage site for themselves

The city was first founded in the third century BC and was occupied for a further 13 centuries until Spanish invasions in the 11th century. To wander around this isolated spot is awe-inspiring and every year, more of the city is excavated so that travellers often return to discover more about this wonderful place.

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