Five No-Fly Destinations to Inspire an Eco-Conscious Getaway

Five No-Fly Destinations to Inspire an Eco-Conscious Getaway



Cutting
down your carbon footprint and avoiding the rigmarole of
airports doesn’t have to mean that your travel choices are limited
to staycations. In fact, the world is connected by
a network of trains, boats and roads – you just need to get
creative and join the dots. Need a break from the UK? Read on for no-fly holiday inspiration that
will whisk you from Ireland to island-hopping in Greece and on to
Morocco. Yes, you read that right.

Travelling without wings: plane-free itineraries to inspire
your next adventure


Galway

Ireland

Why? Crowned as the European Capital of Culture
2020, Galway toes the line between ecstasy and escapism, welcoming
visitors into its knees-up bohemian city – think live music, street
theatre and boutique shops selling handcrafted Claddagh rings – as
well as being a gateway to the rugged Wild Atlantic Way.

How to travel: Catch a train to Holyhead in
Wales, where two ferry services – Irish Ferries and Stena Line –
take you to Dublin Port in two to three hours. Look out for
combined rail-and-sail tickets; these are often the most
budget-friendly option. From here, take a train west (about two and
a half hours) to Galway.

Stay: Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites


Greece

Why? If there’s ever a time to embrace slow
travel, this is it. Reaching Greece by rail and sail may take a couple of
days – a route could include trains from London St Pancras through
France and Milan to Bari, a ferry ride from Corfu – but there’s no feeling quite like
gliding into a vibrant port or spotting ribbons of sand from on
deck. Once you’ve touched base, there’s an island to suit every kind of holidaymaker. For
something more off the beaten track, make your way to Greece’s
remote northwestern region of Epirus and join The Slow Cyclist for a two-wheeled jaunt along the
deserted roads and ancient mule tracks of Zagori.

How to travel: Sunvil can help you curate a rail-and-sail
adventure from the UK to Corfu, Paxos, Lefkas, Parga and Sivota. If
you plan on hopping from sun-soaked shore to shore by ferry, the
Eurail Greek Islands Pass covers 53
islands.

Stay: Coco-Mat Eco Residences


Switzerland

Why? Sure, road trips are more eco-friendly
than flying, but putting pedal to metal isn’t fantastically green.
Enter Switzerland’s E-Grand Tour, a 1,970km route that threads from
Geneva to Gallen, through a showreel of Swiss sites: five Alpine
passes, 12 Unesco World Heritage Sites, 22 crystalline lakes, a few
cities and a host of postcard-perfect villages and meadows. The
route is lined with 300 charging stations and eco-friendly
accommodation, and a retro-chic Grand Tour Snack Box can be purchased and
refilled with regional foods en route. Like this? Catch a train to
Saumur in France’s Loire Valley, where the eco-conscious La Grande Mansion has launched zero-emission
wine tours using electric cars and bikes.

How to travel: Take the Eurostar from London to
Paris, and a TGV train onwards to Geneva (about
six hours in total) or Zurich (seven hours) where you can hire an
e-car
.

Stay: Whitepod


Marrakech

Morocco

Why? After months of isolation, we’re craving
the sensory onslaught of ever-beguiling Morocco. Feel the pulse of
the Red City as you navigate the dusty, bustling medina, working
your way between colourful souk, through the Majorelle Gardens to
Musée Yves Saint Laurent, before taking in sunset from the pink
rooftop of Le Jardin Secret.

How to travel: It’s a bit of a mission to get
from London to Marrakech without taking to the skies, but
feasible nonetheless – and, cliché as it may be, this is a journey
that is as much fun as the destination itself. Our route? Take the
Eurostar to Paris, followed by the TGV
through the Pyrenees to Barcelona. Dart through the Spanish
countryside on a high-speed AVE train to Antequera-Santa Ana for a regional
service to Algeciras. From here, take a ferry across
the Strait of Gibraltar to Tangier, where the Al Atlas train rattles down the Atlantic coast,
through Fez, Rabat and Casablanca, to Marrakech.

Stay: El Fenn


Val d’Isère, France

France

Why? Flying for a ski trip never made much
sense. Airline baggage allowances are rarely accommodating for
boots, skis and various gear, while Europe’s airports are often a
fair distance away from its best slopes. Trains, on the other hand,
can hug mountains close to resorts (you’re likely to get from your
front door to the slopes quicker than by plane) and have more
generous luggage allowances to boot. We’re already planning our
winter 2020/21 trip to Val d’Isère, where the snowfall is good and
the après scene buzzing.

How to travel: Eurostar’s Ski Train service runs on Fridays and
Saturdays between December and April, with stops in Moûtiers
(around nine hours from St Pancras), Aime-la-Plagne and
Bourg-St-Maurice. From Bourg-St-Maurice, it’s an hour’s bus journey
(40 minutes by taxi) to Val d’Isère.

Stay: La
Mourra

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