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Sponsored: Discover Europe by rail this summer with great discounts from talkholiday

Rail is a great way to explore Europe
Rail is a great way to explore Europe

DID you know how easy and convenient it can be to take a holiday or city break by train?

Let’s face it, some of us just don’t like flying or we can’t be bothered with sitting around in airports when there’s things to do and places to see.

The thought of sitting back and letting the train take the strain is very appealing to me as someone who can’t stand wasting time and who loves packing in as much of a country’s sights and scenery as I can, no matter how short the trip.

Paris
Paris

To get you started, travel to London from your nearest major station (a nice relaxing train journey in itself) and connect with Eurostar at St Pancras station and choose from either Paris or Lille as your next stop.

From both you can connect with loads of other top destinations across Europe. So, you’ve arrived in Paris; where to now?

Well, how about spending a day or two exploring the dazzling, romantic capital city of Paris to stretch your legs and if you want to stay longer in France, from Paris you can jump on a TGV (France’s efficient, high speed rail network) to a great choice of places such as Marseilles, Toulon or even Nice if the Cote D’Azure is calling you for some fun in the sun.

Nice
Nice

A popular choice for a multi-centre break is to cross over from France into Italy. This is an easy way to take in two wonderful countries on your summer holiday. Travelling at high speed, there are three trains per day in both directions, so travel between Paris, Lyon or Chambery and Milan or Turn is pretty easy…and quick!

Perhaps the fresh mountain air of the Swiss Alps is on your ‘to do’ list this summer, and if so, then you can also travel from Paris to Geneva by train too.

Enjoy the stunning scenery passing by your window as you cross into Switzerland where an alpine wonderland awaits you after your relaxing journey.

 

Swiss Alps Glacier Express 8-day Rail Tour from £1,335pp

 

If sunny Spain is top of your list, then you can get here by rail too. There’s an impressive choice of Spanish cities within reach from Paris from £126

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

After exploring Paris, simply connect with your train to Barcelona, Madrid, Seville or even Alicante and head off for some of Spain’s hotspots.

Trains from Paris to Barcelona from £68pp

 

The fun doesn’t stop there either. Once you’ve arrived in your country of choice, there are so many options to see more of the place by taking internal journeys, allowing you to pack in so much more. I recently spent some time in the Tuscany region of Italy and I was impressed by the rail services available.

Tuscany
Tuscany

From my base in the sleepy little hamlet of Barga, I was able to visit the likes of Pisa, Lucca, Montecatini and Viareggio – all within easy reach and the service was very punctual and reliable. The station boards were easy to navigate and the ticket prices were much cheaper than some rail journeys back home in the UK!

Take a look at some of these wonderful journeys on offer and start planning your rail adventure. We’ve added some great hotel offers to if you want to do your own thing, rather than a package tour.

The Alps
The Alps

MORE GREAT DEALS:

Eurostar journeys with Thomas Cook from £175pp

Lille 3-Night Break by rail from £239pp

European summer getaways by rail from £25.50 one way

Best Rate Guarantee on Paris Hotels from £32.39 per night

Best Rate Guarantee on Lille Hotels from £37.20 per night

Scenic Swiss Rhine 4-day Mini-Cruise from £754pp