More and more of us are opting not to fly for our holiday, and with good reason. Whether you want to avoid the hassle of the airport, reduce your carbon footprint, take your time to enjoy the scenery or simply travel with fewer luggage restrictions, there’s a certain ease and romance to skipping the plane. And, if you thought that not flying meant not going abroad, think again.
No-fly rail journeys
We’re lucky, in Europe, to have some of the world’s finest trains right on our doorstep. Of course, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express remains the icon, bringing passengers out, via a short hop aboard the Belmond British Pullman, to a selection of Europe’s city greats in old-world opulence. And, while we’ve picked out a few of our favourite options on this page, all can easily be adapted into no-fly alternatives. What’s more, Belmond – the people behind the great train – have brought their signature luxury closer to home, offering equally impressive journeys in Ireland and Scotland. We also have a fantastic collection of Eurostar holidays to France, taking in everything from Bordeaux’s wine cellars to Avignon’s medieval wonders. For an expert's view, read our article on why you should take your next Europe holiday by rail.
There’s something about the ease of unpacking once, departing and returning from the same place to explore exciting destinations in floating luxury. Perhaps that means winding leisurely along France’s great rivers, taking in the spectacular fjords of the Norwegian Arctic or simply hopping between the cragged beauty of Scotland’s Hebridean islands. Whatever interests, you can be certain to find a cruise to suit how you travel, enjoying boutique ships, exciting excursions in small ports and the finest in onboard dining.
No-fly road trips
Whether taking your own car or picking one up in destination, we often forget about the variety of the UK’s ferry connections. They offer the chance to explore some of Europe’s most spectacular driving routes. Perhaps hop over to Ireland for spectacular Causeway coastal drives in the north or the medieval treasures and thatched villages of the south. Alternatively, take a ferry over the Bay of Biscay to northern Spain, where Rioja and Navarra tempt with sprawling vineyards while beach-clad coastlines and Renaissance cities vie for your attention in the Basque Country. As always, if you don’t see exactly what you’re after, our expert consultants will be able to tailor-make an itinerary to suit your exact interests.