When booking a European trip, people often forget about the option to travel by rail. But if you really want to experience Europe in all its glory, I’d whole heartedly recommend it.
After university I spent 3 weeks Interrailing around Europe and I can honestly say I’m converted. Train travel is comfortable, cheap (especially when you book in advance), environmentally friendly and the scenery along the way is gorgeous. Plus you get to skip the two to three hours checking in and take as much luggage on board as you like!
We even picked up ideas for future holiday destinations by simply passing them on route – much more inspiring than sitting on a plane looking at cloud formations! Here are a few of my favourite holidays by train in Europe and why they’re not to be missed. Even better, I’ve suggested some great Eurocamp parcs to stay at close by too.
London to Paris (2 hours 16 minutes)
This short route takes you straight to the centre of Paris. It can often be a bit of a pain getting from Charles de Gaulle airport to the centre; travelling by train allowed us to hop straight on the métro to our hotel and get the holiday started. All after taking in the quaint farms and flower fields of the sun-drenched French countryside. I’d recommend booking this well in advance and snap up those bargain prices for your train holiday.
Stay at: La Croix du Vieux Pont, Paris
Konstanz to Offenburg (2 hours 19 minutes)
This route is one I’d take even if you aren’t considering staying in either of these locations. Talked about on multiple travel blogs and sites, this route through the Black Forest region of Germany is as picturesque as it gets. Studded with Hansel and Gretel style villages, thick pine forests and pristine mountain ranges, it’s a great way to experience this historic region of Germany.
Stay at: Herbolzheim, Germany (20 minutes by train to Offenburg)
Munich to Bologna (6 hours 55 minutes)
This was by far my favourite train journey of my Euro trip. On route to Rome, passing through Austria, we experienced scenery so beautiful I had my iPhone permanently pressed against the train window. From snow topped mountains and picturesque villages to crystal clear blue lakes and sweeping green hillsides, this route is picture postcard ready with every mile.
Stay at: one of these beautiful parcs in Tuscany and Central Italy
London to Marseille (7 hours 19 minutes)
Eurostar operates routes to Lyon, Avignon and Marseille from London St. Pancras, providing even more alternatives to air travel to get to southern France. Enjoy watching the changing terrain of France from beautiful countryside to scenic cityscapes. Look out for the river Rhone, and the historic Pont du Gard right before you reach Avignon.
Stay at: La Baie des Anges, French Riviera
Florence to Nice (8 hours 25 minutes)
Want to experience the coastline of south France from the comfort of a padded chair? Get yourself a ticket on this route. Looking out on the pebbled beaches, yacht filled harbours and picturesque towns on route to Nice got us really excited to hike the rocky hillsides when we arrived. We also got a great preview of the glitz and glamour of San Tropez and Monaco.
Stay at: Green Park, Cagnes