The best holiday moments are not always gained from the comfort of a sun lounger; quite often, we make the best memories on the way to the destination. That epic train journey, chugging past rugged mountain scenery, road-tripping under the sun on winding coastal roads or relaxing on deck with a cocktail in hand as you sail past glittering islands.
This summer, enrich your time away and explore Europe’s gems from a different perspective. We’ve rallied together some of our favourite rail, sail and outdoor adventures with our handpicked partners to show you how getting there is half of the fun.
Go on an Icelandic road trip
Iceland's wondrous Northern Lights may be the calling of many tourists who come to this fjord-filled land, but summer is a great time to visit due to the mild climate, blooming wildflowers and the natural phenomenon of the Midnight Sun, which brings almost 24-hours of daylight. The best way to experience this country's scenic wonders – think bubbling lava flows, cascading waterfalls, geysers and active volcanoes – is by hitting the open road. Our specialist partner, Discover the World, offers an incredible 10-night self-drive, taking in the best of this country's primal landscapes and jaw-dropping vistas. Relax in the steamy waters of the famous Blue Lagoon, spot the local wildlife – seabirds, reindeers and whales, to name a few – and go hiking in Vatnajokull National Park, home to Iceland's largest ice cap. And with the flexibility to tailor the itinerary to you, including a choice of accommodation from hotels to farm stays, you can explore Iceland your own way.
Let's talk. Ask our Personal Travel Experts in store for more information about authentic experiences in Nordic Europe and beyond with our new partner, Discover The World.
Escape to the waterways of rural France
If you love the idea of a villa holiday but would also like a change of scene, a holiday on a luxury hotel barge offers the best of both worlds. Spend summer gliding through the tranquil waterways of rural France, stopping at idyllic villages, local chateaux and vineyards along the way. Borrow an onboard bike and cycle through the countryside to pick up freshly-baked bread from a nearby boulangerie, take a refreshing dip in the spa pool, or simply relax and enjoy the journey as your experienced captain, chef and hostess ensure that everything is taken care of. With itineraries in Bordeaux and Burgundy, the Loire Valley and the Canal du Midi, we can help find the right barge cruise for you, tailoring the activities to suit your interests.
Let’s talk. Ask our Personal Travel Experts in store for more information about short breaks, music holidays, cultural tours and lavish hotels with our short-breaks specialist, Kirker Holidays.
Sail around Italy on a super yacht
Visit Italy’s breathtaking south in style aboard Emerald Azzurra, the newest luxury superyacht to join Emerald Cruises’ fleet. Their eight-night Highlights of Southern Italy cruise begins in ancient Rome, with time in the lemon-growing coastal town of Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, Sicily and Dubrovnik. With only 100 guests on board and a crew of 64, you can expect outstanding service, as well as plenty of space on board. Take a dip in the infinity pool, drink in the views and the sparkling cocktails from the Sky Bar and enjoy delicious dining paired with sommelier-selected wines. This high-spec vessel is designed to sail into ports and harbours that only small ships can access, so you’ll have the freedom to explore on your own as well as take advantage of the complimentary excursions, including a walking tour of pretty Taormina and gelato tasting in Sorrento.
Let’s talk. Ask our Personal Travel Experts in store for more information about river and yacht sailings with our new cruise partner, Emerald Cruises.
Six-star sailing in the Mediterranean
Uncover the beauty of the Mediterranean in six-star luxury aboard the Scenic Eclipse, the World’s First Discovery Yacht™. This spectacular yacht has 10 world-class dining experiences, a blissful spa and luxurious suites with your own butler, who’ll bring your morning coffee, take care of your laundry and deliver a Champagne sundowner to your veranda. And even better – everything is included; gastronomic cuisine, premium drinks, excursions and extraordinary events. We love the 10-day Mediterranean Odyssey cruise, which sails to charming ports and villages, spectacular Santorini and the Venetian harbour town of Chania before sailing on to Malta via Sicily.
Let's talk. Ask our Personal Travel Experts in store for more information about luxury cruises with our handpicked partner, Scenic.
Let off some steam on a UK adventure
Nothing evokes memories of a bygone era more than a classic steam train puffing through the countryside. Travel through the UK’s most beautiful regions on board the Mayflower – only one of two remaining B1 Class locomotives – seated in elegant Pullman-style carriages. This September, you could enjoy a whistle-stop tour of Windermere on a three-day break with our sister company Jules Verne. Departing from London, enjoy a welcome glass of fizz and fine dining as you take the steam-hauled journey to Wordsworth Country, where you’ll stay in a choice of hotels set on the shores of Lake Windermere. Or, head off on a long summer weekend to Scotland’s dynamic capital on their Steam to Edinburgh – The Balmoral Express short trip. Watch the scenery go by as you journey in style through the Yorkshire Moors and Northumberland before arriving in Edinburgh, where you’ll stay in the prestigious five-star Balmoral hotel. After a day of shopping and sightseeing in the city, travel back to London along the Seattle and Carlisle line, dubbed as the UK’s most impressive railway, enjoying the sumptuous cuisine and top service on this iconic train.
Let's talk. Ask our Personal Travel Experts in store for more information about inspiring worldwide small group escorted tours with our sister company, Jules Verne