Flying has negative environmental effects, unpleasant airports, and no guarantee that you’ll ever see your luggage again.
So instead of taking a harsher route this summer, why not?
There are several stunning locations around that are easily accessible by boat, bicycle, or train.
For ideas on how to spend your summer vacation without flying, continue reading.
Drive Ireland’s spectacular coast
Ireland’s north, west, and south shores are all encircled by the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way path.
On a self-drive journey beginning and concluding in Dublin, to which ferries connect daily from Liverpool or Holyhead (from £406 return with a car with Direct Ferries), sample some of its most famous stretches.
You can visit the enormous Burren National Park, whose grey karst slabs dominate the landscape, while staying in locally managed guesthouses. You also have the choice of traveling to the sandy beaches of Achill or the prehistoric sites of the Aran Islands.
Canal cruise in Scotland
This year marks the 200th anniversary of Scotland’s Union Canal, and a quick trip on a narrowboat offers a wealth of interesting relics from the past.
Before traveling through the Falkirk Tunnel, you’ll start at the Falkirk Wheel, the only rotating boat lift in the world, which was built after Callendar House’s irate laird barred a river across his land.
The road then passes by Scotland’s tallest aqueduct en route to Linlithgow Palace, now in ruins and the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots (Edinburgh is a 20-minute train ride away).
You don’t need to have any prior narrowboating knowledge because you’ll get a tuition right away and there are only a few locks to get through.
Pedal around rural France
The picturesque Loire area in central France is renowned for its centuries-old moated castles and their impeccable gardens, in addition to its river valley vineyards.
On a weeklong self-guided bicycle tour, travel between seven former royal châteaux and charming riverbank towns.
You can stop at local wineries for tastings on the fly or load up on cheese from farmers’ markets as you travel along a portion of the long Loire à Vélo route. The entire time, high-quality accommodations are utilised.
Explore the Frisian Islands
The Frisian Islands, also called the Wadden Islands and held by both the Dutch and the Germans, are a section of the larger Wadden archipelago that reaches into Denmark. The Netherlands is mostly car-free, and mudflats divide it from the rest of Europe.
using a flight-free specialist operator for rail travel Byway, you’ll spend two nights in underappreciated Rotterdam, where avant-garde architecture, like as floating farms and cube residences, coexists with risk-taking art spaces.
Then, your base on Texel’s main island will appear. Visit a beachcombing museum, meet injured seals at the Ecomare nature sanctuary, or sunbathe on one of its untamed, dune-backed North Sea beaches before sailing to distant Vlieland for woods and more.
Lake Bled by rail
Early this year, the rail package provider Tailor Made Rail stopped offering any European vacations that included flights.
It goes privately to Slovenia, spending the night in Munich before stopping in Heidelberg on the way home to rest near its attractive riverfront stronghold. You’ll spend the next four days by the expansive Lake Bled, which is stunningly framed by the snow-capped Julian Alps and forested hills.
A cute island chapel and medieval Bled Castle, another storybook castle, perched on a cliff above the north shore, seal the deal for photographers.
Roam around Rotterdam
If you don’t wish to travel by air, there are two direct routes to Rotterdam: eight-hour
A stopover in Paris is included in Byway’s custom trips to northeastern Spain before continuing by train to Girona, a Spanish city renowned for its cheffy scene.
The suggested itinerary then includes a day in Barcelona, giving visitors plenty of time to stroll La Rambla or marvel at La Sagrada Familia before visiting the upscale beach town of Sitges and the port city of Tarragona, which is home to an outstanding Roman amphitheater that overlooks the Mediterranean.
The return journey utilises a different route, alighting in ancient Avignon within walking distance of its famous unfinished bridge.
Staycation voyage for first-time cruisers
One of the many domestic alternatives offered by English Holiday Cruises is a two-night weekend introduction cruise on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal.
It departs from Gloucester’s exquisite Victorian docks and heads south to shadow the Severn Estuary, making it the ideal first cruise for toe-dipping novices. The Edward Elgar is an 88-foot-long, three-deck hotel boat that can accommodate up to 22 persons.
You’ll make stops to the Purton Ships’ Graveyard and Slimbridge Wetland Centre, which house the world’s largest captive wildfowl collection and 102 intentionally beached ships, respectively.
On the roof deck, enjoy pints of Gloucester Gold between locks and low meadows as they pass. Evenings often include wonderful cuisine and bingo or performances.