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London to Baku

Packing in a lot of countries and culture in a relatively short distance, this journey provided a brief tour of the Balkans on the route of the Orient Express, and then leaving Europe behind, across Anatolia and into the Caucasus region and its incredible diversity.

Leg 1

UK – France

London St Pancras – Paris Gare d’Nord

Eurostar E320

Leg 2

France – Germany

Paris Gare d’Est – Munich

Duplex TGV/Oui

Leg 3

Germany – Croatia

Munich – Zagreb

The ‘Lisinski’

Leg 4

Croatia – Serbia

Zagreb – Belgrade Central

Eurocity 415

Leg 5

Serbia – Bulgaria

Belgrade Topcider – Sofia

‘The Balkan’

Leg 6

Bulgaria – Turkey

Sofia – Istanbul Halkali

‘The Sofia – Istanbul Express’

Leg 7

Turkey

Istanbul Pendik – Ankara

YHT (High Speed Train)

Leg 8

Turkey

Ankara – Erzurum

‘The Dogu Express’

Leg 9

Turkey – Georgia

Erzurum – Hopa (Bus)

Hopa – Sarp (Taxi)

Sarp – Batumi (Taxi)

Leg 10

Georgia – Armenia

Batumi – Yerevan

‘The Armenian’

Train 201

Leg 11

Armenia – Georgia

Yerevan – Tbilisi

The South Caucasus Railway

Train 202

Leg 12

Georgia – Azerbaijan

Tbilisi – Baku

The Trans-Caucasus Express

Train 37

Around 5500km, with stop offs covering 11 countries in just 21 days

At times tiring, but a hugely satisfying rail adventure. One day this journey will be much easier to achieve when the railway projects in Istanbul, Ankara, and the crossing between Kars and Batumi are all complete and open to passengers. But for the time being it’s doable for those who like a few challenges!

From my travel journal

To find out more you can read my blog posts about this journey.