Summer Guide 2013: Railways

 

Take a whistle-stop tour of Norway on a new 10-day rail journey from Diamond Rail Holidays (0844 544 3801; diamondrailholidays.co.uk). The trip travels to Copenhagen and includes a cruise along Naeroyfjord and Geirangerfjord. Departs 15 July and 2 September from London St Pancras; £2,095pp, based on two sharing.

The Al Andalus luxury train, pictured, in Spain will operate between Madrid and Zaragoza for the first time this summer. The "Iberico" five-night itinerary calls at Pamplona, Rioja, Burgos, Avila and Segovia. The train has a lounge, bar and restaurant dating from the late 1920s. The cabins in the sleeper carriages all have en-suite shower rooms with toilets. Price €2,550 (£2,163)pp, based on two sharing, through the Luxury Train Club (01249 890205; luxurytrainclub.com), with full board and excursions. International travel is extra.

Follow in the footsteps of Henri Toulouse-Lautrec on a rail journey through France – using normal scheduled trains – calling at places connected to the great artist. The trip starts in Paris, where he spent much of his life, then Albi where he was born and ends in Bordeaux where he died. From £1,550pp, based on two sharing, with Expressions Holidays (01752 878050; expressionsholidays.co.uk), including return travel on Eurostar and French Railways, six nights' B&B and car hire.

INSIDER TIP

Paul Pugh, Chief Executive, Identity and Passport Service (direct.gov.uk/passports)

“Don’t book your trip without a valid passport. Often people plan every part of their holiday and forget one of the most important things – their passport. They then apply at the last minute, running the risk of missing the holiday – or paying up to £55 more for a counter service.”

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