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Make tracks like Michael Portillo with Ffestiniog Travel

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Tailor-made train holidays recreate the latest series of BBC Two’s popular Great Continental Railway Journeys

Rail travel specialist Ffestiniog Travel has created five enticing new itineraries aimed at train and TV enthusiasts alike. Based on the most recent episodes of BBC Two’s popular Great Continental Railway Journeys series – which aired shortly before Christmas – the itineraries encompass destinations as diverse as the Russian city of Tula and the Spanish sea port of La Coruña.

And, whilst the programme’s presenter – former Cabinet Minister and self-confessed rail fanatic, Michael Portillo – uses his copy of George Bradshaw’s 1913 Continental Railway Guide for inspiration and advice as he travels around Europe, the experienced team at Ffestiniog Travel will make all the ticketing arrangements for you, adding accommodation and further stop-overs as required, to create an unforgettable holiday. The only difficult decision will be which itinerary to try first…

Tula to St. Petersburg – 11 days from £1,660 pp
Travel through Russia, visiting the onion domes and icons of Tula, and cosmopolitan Moscow, before exploring the spectacular city of St. Petersburg. Optional rail highlights include a journey on the high-speed ‘Sapsan’ and a train journey to the former Imperial residence at Tsarskoye Selo, whilst culture vultures can choose to enjoy visits to the Winter Palace or Bolshoi Theatre. You’ll also spend three nights at the five-star Belmond Grand Hotel, where Michael Portillo stayed in the series.

The price is based on two sharing and includes flights (London) to Moscow/from St. Petersburg, airport transfers, standard-class rail travel as per the itinerary and 10 nights’ B&B.

Rome to Sicily – nine days from £1,035 pp

Journey along the spine of Italy from the Eternal City to the Mediterranean’s largest island on this delightful trip, taking in iconic sights such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps before heading to Naples, where Mount Vesuvius and the ancient ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum await. Travelling onwards at a more sedate pace (Italy’s high-speed trains do not operate south of Naples), you’ll pass stunning scenery and experience a train-ferry crossing over the Strait of Messina before continuing on to beautiful Taormina.

The price is based on two sharing and includes flights (London) to Rome/from Catania, standard class rail travel and eight nights’ B&B.

Warsaw to Krakow – nine days from £795 pp

Make full use of the Polish InterRail pass included with this itinerary and follow Portillo deep into central Europe, where east meets west in a fascinating fusion of contemporary and traditional experiences. Sample the elegant and artistic atmosphere of Warsaw, Łodz and Krakow, and visit Poznan, where steam engines still haul the city’s commuter trains.

The price is based on two sharing and includes flights (London) to Warsaw/from Krakow, travel by a variety of Polish trains, eight-day Polish InterRail pass, sightseeing in Warsaw & Poznan and eight nights’ B&B, two of which are spent at the five-star Hotel Bristol (Warsaw) and two at the five-star Grand Hotel (Krakow).

La Coruna to Lisbon – 11 days from £865 pp

Head to the west coast of the Iberian Peninsula on this journey from Galicia in the north to the Portuguese capital further south. Wander at your own pace around the beautiful streets of Santiago di Compostela, take a day trip by train to the coastal city of La Coruña and pay a visit to the world-famous fortified wine lodges dotted along the banks of the River Douro before travelling onwards to the historic university city of Coimbra, and to Lisbon, where a ride on the city’s tram network is a must.

The price is based on two sharing and includes flights (London) to Bilbao/from Lisbon, standard-class rail travel and 10 nights’ B&B.

Lyon to Marseille – ten days from £1,015 pp

As befits any good holiday to France, this itinerary begins in a city that is renowned for its cuisine, Lyon, before continuing south to Avignon and Arles, the latter boasting impressive Roman remains and a reputation as a favourite haunt for artists such as Van Gogh and Gaugin. An optional excursion to the nearby Camargue Delta promises sightings of wild ponies and pink flamingos, while rail enthusiasts will particularly enjoy the next part of the holiday, travelling on the Blue Train Line (originally built for freight) that hugs the coast, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean as you journey towards Marseille, 2013’s European City of Culture.

The price is based on two sharing and includes standard-class Eurostar to/from Lille (St Pancras), rail travel in France as per the itinerary and nine nights’ B&B.

To discuss your tailor-made Great Continental Railways Journeys-inspired itinerary, for more information on Ffestiniog Travel’s selection of escorted tours by rail, or to request a copy of the 2015 Rail Holidays of the World brochure, contact Ffestiniog Travel on 01766 772030 or visit

Ends / 29 January 2015

Note to Editors:
Ffestiniog Travel is owned by a Charitable Trust and profits go to support the world-famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways.

For further information, please contact Karen Carpenter or Sarah Belcher at Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 or email or


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