Catherine Livesley is a sustainable travel skilled who has traversed practically every region in Europe overland. She has produced dream visits at some of the world’s primary rail and sustainable travel providers and labored as a guide for unbiased travel organizations. She is the founder of flight-cost-free tour operator and vacation club, No Fly Travel Club.
Even though doing the job as a tailor-designed journey expert, regular flights have been as significantly a aspect of my lifestyle as a beer immediately after operate. But when the pandemic hit, I was compelled to keep grounded a great deal longer than anticipated. This led to a gradual revelation. Increasingly anxious about the local weather crisis, it turned apparent that my flight practices experienced to adjust. Not only that – I preferred to assist others make the change too.
In November 2020 I stop my position to get started No Fly Travel Club, working with my knowledge in overland vacation to support others swap their wings for rails.
We specialise in overland journeys starting and ending in the Uk – as nicely as giving a membership club for individuals wanting for flight-totally free journey tips and inspiration.
If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint without reigning in your adventures, here’s all the insider facts on how to travel Europe flight-absolutely free.
Coach journey is fantastic benefit for every person – but specially a person form of traveller
When arranging an overland trip, inquire you these two thoughts: how substantially time do I have and what type of holiday do I want?
Are you looking to town hop? Hike in beautiful environment? Or just unwind on the seashore?
The additional forward you program, the more affordable your journey will be. Preferably you should really e-book trains 2-3 months in progress. This will give you the most option for the most affordable price.
Yet another way to conserve cash is to be versatile with your dates. For the very best specials purpose to journey outside the house of faculty holiday seasons and weekends. For journeys with quite a few legs, you should really also search into whether or not an Interrail go would be less costly in the conclude.
With a bit of insider awareness, travelling by teach can be specially affordable for people, since several teach operators provide cost-free and discounted seats for children.
Taking the prepare with youngsters could be significantly much less expensive than flights
Most European prepare businesses supply free tickets to young children (precise age restrictions change but it can be up to 6). There’s no need to have to buy a ticket – only buy a ticket for any other passengers and bring your young children along for the journey.
If you want to reserve your minor ones their individual seat, you can do so with a ‘child seat supplement’ from just €9 per person.
Some trains in France, Italy and Switzerland even have carriages especially made as participate in spots, so young ones can run around freely.
For children under 12 reductions ordinarily volume to about 50 per cent off. Simply just add the ages of each and every passenger when scheduling and you are going to immediately see the charges. This is significantly helpful if you’re travelling on an right away train as you can secure all the beds in a cabin for your spouse and children at a discounted price tag. It is a good way to advantage from additional privateness presented by rail travel.
How to journey to leading locations
France – the land of cheese, wine and picture-perfect villages
France has put in many years investing in its higher speed rail network, making it great for exploring by educate.
Known as TGVs, France’s highspeed trains link major towns at an extraordinary 320km/hour. When you factor in time travelling to the airport, checking in and collecting baggage, travelling to France by substantial pace prepare becomes more or fewer comparable to flying. The most acquainted route for United kingdom travellers is, of class, the Eurostar, connecting London to Lille in 1 hour 15, and Paris in just 2 and a 50 % several hours.
Equally these Eurostar hubs provide a great deal of selection for onward vacation. Connecting in Lille is perfect if you want to stay clear of having to cross chaotic Paris. Huge towns in areas these types of as Brittany and the Loire Valley Alsace can be easily reached in 4-5 hrs from London, and you could be sipping Pastis in the Mediterranean region of Provence in as minimal as 7 several hours.
Regional trains, regarded as TER services, link more compact places as perfectly as providing a less costly, slower selection for intercity travel. There are also a small quantity of right away trains connecting Paris with the south of France (locations involve Nice, Toulouse, Marseille and Perpginan). Reclining seats are the most affordable selection – starting up at all over 19 euros per man or woman. Alternatively decide for a ‘couchette’ for finances (and loved ones) accommodation, or update to a sleeper cabin for the top in right away ease and comfort.
Italy – shorelines, vineyards and pizza are all in straightforward attain
After in France, Italy is straightforward to attain. Significant velocity connections run immediate from Paris to Milan and are supplied by both SNCF and TrenItalia. With routes priced to rival finances airlines, there are lots of bargains to be uncovered. Fares get started at €39 per particular person and the journey requires around 7 hours.
If you reside in London, it’s probable to go all the way to Turin or Milan in a day – or for people coming from further afield, I suggest breaking up the journey with a pitstop in Paris or Lyon.
From Milan, onward journey to most components of northern and central Italy is brief and easy thanks to the great large speed rail network. Right away solutions also operate to the south, letting you to drift down to Rome, Naples or Sicily in fashion. Tickets can be ordered from TrenItalia, as perfectly as private substantial speed train operator Italo.
Greece – hop from practice to boat to explore hundreds of Grecian isles
Manufactured it to Italy? Then you are just a boat experience absent from Greece. Ferries cross the Aegean from many locations along Italy’s east coast.
Higher pace rail connects major Italian ports like Ancona, Bari and Brindisi. These present every day sailings to Igoumenitsa (on Greece’s west coastline) and Patras (in which you can decide on up a bus to Athens). There are also recurrent sailings to Corfu and other Ionian Islands – but check out your dates as these never run each individual working day. Most provide overnight vacation, taking among 8 and 24 hrs relying on the place. As with overnight trains, you have different solutions for distinct costs. You can sleep ‘on deck’ for the least expensive price, or reserve a cabin for an supplemental cost if you want to assurance a relaxed night’s sleep.
Turkey – keep grounded right up until you achieve the scorching air balloons of Cappadocia
Whilst it might be ideal reserved for the a lot more adventurous traveller, it is possible to arrive at Turkey overland from the United kingdom. The least complicated choice (available late April – early Oct) entails travelling from London to Munich through Brussels. From in this article you can consider overnight trains to Budapest and then on to Bucharest, with a remaining right away hop getting you from the Romanian money to Istanbul – and the incredibly edge of the continent – on day 4.
Though it might not conquer the 4 hour flight in a race, you’ll get to soak up the landscapes in a few of Europe’s most exciting towns on the way – and which is anything no airline can provide.