The rail company has announced eight new holiday itineraries which are suitable for smaller groups of up to 20 people, including locations in Switzerland and Italy.

The new itineraries are ideal for smaller groups who want to get off the beaten track when travelling overseas.  

Great Rail Journeys wants to encourage groups to explore the more remote and lesser known places throughout the UK and Europe with the comfort of travelling by rail.

Highlights of the tours

The eight new tours will visit Italy, Switzerland, France, Wales, Scotland, and England. Around 36 of these tours are already scheduled for 2019.

The first tours for the 2019 season, departing on 7th April, are Edinburgh, the Jacobite & Isle of Skye and Châteaux of the Loire Valley.

The Châteaux of the Loire Valley itinerary includes exploring the Loire Valley, visiting castles, sampling wines, guided tours of Chateau du Rivaur and a cruise along the Loire River.

The highlights of each holiday include private dining experiences, hands-on activities and access to places not always easily accessible when travelling in a larger group.

Other experiences groups might have on one of the trips include taking a tour with a Princess Cruises, entering a hotel by railway, traversing the natural wonder of the Gorges du Doux by heritage train, or exploring a wilderness reserve in a 4x4 adventure.

Tours also include viewing mountains and lakes, historic treasures or exploring Europe's lesser known spots.

Lindsay Dixon, head of trade sales said: “We’re so excited about this new ‘smaller group’ concept. We know that lots of holiday-makers believe ‘people make places’ and that some of the best experiences are the ones shared with newly-made friends on a tour. 

“The exciting new itineraries will allow customers to venture further afield and further into a destination as we’re now things that have never been in the tour programmes previously”.

For more information, visit www.greatrail.com