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The BBC's Great Continental Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo

The third series of Great Continental Railway Journeys follows Michael Portillo around Europe. Michael's adventures often follow George Bradshaw's Edwardian book, the Great Continental Railway Guide.

Many of our customers enjoyed the previous series and are interested in finding out whether our tours head to destinations that are visited in the programme. Check this page to see all Great Continental Railway Journeys episodes and the corresponding Great Rail Journeys tour. 

You can also view the Great Continental Railway Journeys series 4 and series 5 here, and associated tours.

Great Indian Railway Journeys.


Series 3

Tula to St Petersburg

The opening episode of series there sees Michael travel through eastern Europe travelling through Russia and visiting places such as Tula, Moscow, St Petersburg and traveling on the first ever railway built in Russia between St Petersburg and the Tsar's village - Tsarskoye Selo.

Rome to Taormina

The second episode features Italy and Sicily as Michael travels down the spine of Italy visiting Rome, Naples, Capri and Reggio Calabria before boarding a ferry over to Sicily. In the episode Michael visits historic landmarks such as Pompeii, Mount Etna and the ancient hilltop town of Taormina.

Warsaw to Krakow

Episode three sees Michael travel to Poland starting off in historic Warsaw and then travelling to Lodz, Poznan, Wroclaw and finishing in the ancient capital of Poland, Krakow. 

La Coruna to Lisbon

Episode 4 sees Michael in Spain visiting the stunning city of La Coruna. He then journeys along the pilgrims trail to Santiago de Compostela later jumping aboard the West Galicia Railway. Michael then journeys over to Portugal, visiting Porto, the Douro Valley, Coimbra and Lisbon.

Haifa to the Negev

In Episode 5, Michael visits the Holy Land, Israel. His journey begins in Haifa, taking in the beauty of the Shire of the Baha'I and its beautiful gardens. Michael then travels to the more futuristic city of Tel Aviv and the historic city of Jerusalem. He then crosses the separation barrier, heading to Bethlehem, the Dead Sea and Beersheba.


Series 2 

Madrid to Gibraltar

Michael Portillo discovers the Spanish capital before moving southwards to Andalucia, stopping to explore Cordoba, Seville and Ronda. He continues to Jerez and Algeciras, then concludes his journey at the Rock of Gibraltar.

Turin to Venice

This week's episode begins in Turin, the home of Fiat, and continues via Milan to beautiful Lake Como. From here, Michael Portillo travels to the historic city of Verona, home to a magnificent Roman amphitheatre before ending his journey in the romantic city of Venice.

Dresden to Kiel

Beginning in the eastern German city of Dresden, Michael Portillo takes Germany's first mainland railway to Leipzig. He then travels northwards to Hamburg before completing his journey in Kiel, a large maritime city standing on the southwestern shore of the Baltic Sea.

Copenhagen to Oslo

This week, Michael Portillo starts his journey in the Danish capital before crossing the Oresund Bridge which links Denmark with Sweden. After stops in Lund and Gothenburg, he continues into Norway and ends his journey in Oslo.

Prague to Munich

A journey through Bohemia and Bavaria, which sees Michael Portillo start his journey in the Czech Republic's beautiful capital, Prague. He then travels to the spa waters of Marianske Lazne, test drives a train in Pilsen and continues via Furth-im-Wald to the Bavarian capital of Munich.


Series 1

London to Monte Carlo

Michael Portillo returns to travel in Edwardian style through Paris and the glamorous Cote d'Azur to Monte Carlo.

Hungary to Austria

This week Michael roams between cities of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, from the majestic twin-city of Budapest to classical Vienna and on through the beautiful Salzkammergut region.

Berlin to the Rhein

Exploring the history of Germany on a great rail journey through its capital, Berlin, Michael continues through the scenic Harz Mountains and along the country's most prominent river: the Rhine.


Michael begins his journey in Basel, taking in the city of Zurich, before heading into the Alps where he visits beautiful Lake Lucerne and makes the journey to Europe's highest railway station, Jungfraujoch.

Amsterdam to Northern France

Beginning in Amsterdam, Michael visits the cities of the 'low countries' before travelling to the Belgian capital, Brussels, and then on to northern France to the Western Front of the First World War.