Top 10 Destinations for your 2021 Summer Holiday by Rail

4 December 2020

Top 10 Destinations for your 2021 Summer Holiday by Rail

Looking for a relaxing summer getaway with sun, sea and sandy beaches? Or perhaps an adventurous overland journey? Perhaps you’d prefer to head for the hills and take in some beautiful Alpine scenery from a train window? Whatever your summer holiday plans for 2021, we’ve got you covered. Have a look at our suggested destinations below.

You can also have a look at more of our summer holiday suggestions on our dedicated Summer Holidays by Rail page


Ideally-situated in the heart of Europe, Slovenia truly has a bit of everything.  From the captivating coastal city of Piran, to the attractive capital Ljubljana, and beautiful Lake Bled, surrounded by the peaks of the Julian Alps, Slovenia packs a punch for such a pocket-size destination. 


Croatian Coastline

The coastline from the Istrian peninsula in the north to the pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik, in the south boasts some of the Mediterranean’s most spectacular scenery.  The Roman ruins and stunning amphitheatre are the main attractions of Pula in Istria, with beautiful port towns of Zadar and Split, all the way down to Dubrovnik with its famous city walls.  Not to mention 718 islands all along the Adriatic coast ready to be explored.



Travelling to Andalucia in summer is to experience true Spain.  Watching the sun go down late in the evening over the Alhambra Palace in Granada is one of life’s bucket-list experiences.  There’s also the fascinating Mezquita in Cordoba, the white-washed, orange-tree lined streets of Seville and the dramatic gorge in Ronda to discover, and for a spot of sea air, there’s also Malaga or historic Cadiz to visit.


Cinque Terre

The five towns along the coast to the north of La Spezia are all achingly beautiful and well worth exploring.  Base yourself in one and walk along the coastal path from one to the other, take a ferry or simply catch a train between them – each one of the towns has a train station with regular services towards La Spezia and Pisa to the south, and to the north towards Rapallo, Santa Magherita Ligure and Genoa.



The southernmost part of Switzerland is very different from the typical image of alphorns, yodelling and chocolates.  Ticino is the region where Swiss efficiency speaks Italian, and during the summer there is no better place to be if you are a fan of mountains, lakes and rivers.  The climate on the ‘sunny side of the Alps’ is warm, but complemented by the fresh mountain air so not too warm. You’ll rarely feel overpowered by the heat.



Portugal’s lively capital is a paradise during summer, where you can take in a beautiful fado (folk music) concert while sipping on a fine port or ice cold Sagres beer, take the famous yellow tram to the top of the Alfama district and wind your way back down through the pretty narrow streets.  Don’t miss a visit to Belem, home to the famous Torre do Belem and where the delicious Pastel de Nata custard tarts originate from.



Sweden is best enjoyed in summer, when long nights and pleasantly warm temperatures provide an ideal setting for your rail adventure. Cross the famous Oresund Bridge from Denmark into Malmo. Discover majestic capital Stockholm or historic Gothenburg. Between June and August, you can also travel on the stunning Inlandsbanan up to the Arctic Circle.


Italian Lakes

Italy’s ‘lake district’ has been a popular summer destination for centuries. Easily accessible by rail, Lake Garda, Lake Como, Lake Maggiore and lesser known but equally lovely Lake Orta are all tempting locations for a relaxing break. Spend a week in one place or hop between them and find out which you like the best!



The summer colours of Provence have inspired the likes of Van Gogh, Cézanne, Gauguin and Picasso. Enjoy visits to historic cities such as Avignon and Aix en Provence, soak up the sun in St Tropez, look out for wild horses and flamingoes in the Camargue or explore pretty hilltop villages like Gordes and Lacoste. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to make time long, leisurely lunches with a bottle of local wine.



The island country of Malta may not have any trains but we can’t hold that against it. Especially when it’s so lovely. You can also make up for the lack of rail transport by using the train (and a couple of boats) to get there! Not to be missed is a visit to beautiful capital Valletta, established in the 16th century by the Knights of St John.


For more ideas, or to tailor make your own perfect summer holiday, give us a call on 020 3322 7741 or email us at

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