The best flight-free vacations to avoid the plane – including to Spain, Portugal and Italy

FLIGHT cancellations, lost luggage and a sizzling British heatwave that melted runways have created carnage at UK airports in recent weeks.

And that chaos looks set to continue with easyJet boss Johan Lundgren admitting he ‘can’t guarantee’ passengers won’t experience more disruption this summer.


Flight cancellations, lost luggage and a scorching UK heatwave that melted runways have created carnage at UK airports in recent weeksCredit: Shutterstock
Travel chaos set to continue this summer


Travel chaos set to continue this summerCredit: AFP

That doesn’t mean the holidays are out the window though – and with train, coach and ferry packages you’re not restricted to staying in the UK either.

Sophie Swietochowski sums up some flightless vacations in Europe.

CRUISE: Scandinavia

FOODIES will be in heaven on this seven-night cruise with a line-up of celebrity chefs that includes Masterchef’s John Torode, Saturday Kitchen’s Matt Tebbutt and food writer Rachel Allen.

Departing from Southampton, the Princess Cruise voyage will take you on a culinary tour of Scandinavia, stopping in Oslo, Norway and Copenhagen, Denmark.

We round up some flight-free vacations in Europe


We round up some flight-free vacations in EuropeCredit: Kevin Dunnett
UK hotspots that are replica wonders of the world - can you tell them apart?
Summer strikes CANCELED as BA staff vote to accept another pay rise

On board the Enchanted Princess, you will have access to a chic casino, a cigar lounge and a jazz bar as well as a swimming pool and a beauty salon.

GO: The seven-night cruise costs from £569 pp, room-only, departing Southampton on August 26.

This price is based on two people sharing a double bedroom with a bathroom. See

STAY: Norfolk

TEMPERATURES in the UK have even exceeded those in Jamaica this week – and with sunshine set to continue, you won’t need to venture far to get your dose of sizzling summer vacation.

The four-person Breeze Cottage is bursting with character and is a three-minute walk from Norfolk’s Cromer Beach, famous for its delicious crabmeat.

Norfolk's Cromer Beach is famous for its delicious crabmeat


Norfolk’s Cromer Beach is famous for its delicious crabmeatCredit: document

Try some at one of the seaside restaurants (it’s guaranteed to be good), but not before hitting the waves for a surf lesson.

After busy days at the beach, take a dip in the chalet’s freestanding bathtub or stick a film in front of the fire – if it’s not too hot!

GO: Seven nights’ rental in the two-bedroom Breeze Cottage costs from £829 in total. See or call 0345 268 0766.

CRUISE: Spain & Portugal

THOSE who aren’t restricted to traveling during school holidays can save a fortune if they go later in the year and this two-week P&O Cruises trip around Spain and Portugal is a godsend.

Departing from Southampton, you’ll sail to Vigo, Spain, home to an impressive art museum and the perfect place to sample a traditional paella, before heading to Malaga, Alicante and Barcelona.

Spain cruises also visit Barcelona


Spain cruises also visit BarcelonaCredit: Getty
The 14-night, full-board cruise costs from £658 pp from Southampton on October 29


The 14-night, full-board cruise costs from £658 pp from Southampton on October 291 credit

The boat stops in the ancient port city of Cadiz before sailing to Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, where you can indulge in delicious flaky pastry de natas (custard tarts) and take a photo with a traditional yellow tram .

GO: The 14-night, full-board cruise costs from £658 pp and leaves Southampton on October 29. See


The Eurostar is one of the easiest means of transport, especially if you live near the capital.

Hop aboard and in less than four hours you’ll be in Amsterdam, a city steeped in culture and teeming with bars, cafes and restaurants on every cobbled street.

Hop on the Eurostar and have an adventure in Amsterdam


Hop on the Eurostar and have an adventure in AmsterdamCredit: Shutterstock

Stroll along the criss-crossing canals, or better yet, book a day cruise where you can tick off all the top sights in a matter of hours.

Book a room at the Ibis Amsterdam Center Stopera, in the heart of the action, with the Anne Frank House, Madame Tussauds and Dam Square on your doorstep.

GO: Eurostar runs from St Pancras to Amsterdam from £39 each way. See

The Ibis Amsterdam Center Stopera offers double rooms from £111 per night. For more details, see


IF you’re an adventure seeker and want to see the sights on a budget, renting a motorhome and heading to the rugged mountains of Grenoble will do the trick.

Take the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle train from Folkestone to Calais in northern France, then take Valentine’s Coachbuilt Motorhome, a six-berth vehicle with shower, toilet, fridge-freezer and even a TV.

Take the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle train from Folkestone to Calais


Take the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle train from Folkestone to CalaisCredit:
Then get the Valentine's motorhome and head to the steep mountains of Grenoble


Then get the Valentine’s motorhome and head to the steep mountains of GrenobleCredit: lamax – Fotolia

Pack up your bike and explore the winding mountain trails of Grenoble Alpes, where if you’re fit enough, you can cycle up Alpe d’Huez to be rewarded with breathtaking views of mountain peaks and cool blue lakes .

GO: Valentine’s Coachbuilt motorhome for six people costs from £926 per week, including two insured drivers, breakdown cover and 200km (125 miles) per day allowance.

The Eurotunnel costs from £87 per vehicle (up to nine passengers) per journey for a Short Stay Saver ticket, valid for five calendar days. See

FERRY: Guernsey

FOR stunning sea views, quality food and five-star luxury without the five-star price tag, venture to The Old Government House hotel in the heart of Guernsey, which is the former residence of the Governor.

You’ll spend four nights in a King Room, stately as it sounds, with heavy patterned curtains and decorative headboards on the beds.

It only takes three hours to reach the island by ferry from Poole.

Bring your cozzie, as Guernsey is a great place for wild swimming, from secluded coves to natural pools.

Don’t miss a visit to Moulin Huet Bay, with its turquoise waters and steep cliffs.

GO: Four nights’ B&B at The Old Government House costs from £849 pp, including ferry travel with a standard car, for select dates from now until September 30. For more details, see


GALWAY is one of the most beautiful places in Britain and for those who don’t live in Ireland it’s an easy ferry ride from Wales.

Pick up your car and travel Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, an unspoiled coastal route that stretches 2,500 kilometers between Malin Head in County Donegal and Kinsale in County Cork.

Galway is one of the most beautiful places in Britain - picture of O'Brien's Tower on the Cliffs of Moher


Galway is one of the most beautiful places in Britain – picture of O’Brien’s Tower on the Cliffs of MoherCredit: Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience

You’ll enjoy views of deserted beaches, windswept mountains and traditional villages.

Installation at the new Dean Galway Hotel.

It has 100 charming rooms, all with rainfall showers, and a rooftop bar that offers even more stunning views.

GO: The Dean Galway has double rooms from £128 a night. See

Stena Line ferry company offers one-way crossings from Holyhead to Dublin from £119 per car. See

BY COACH: Austria & Italy

BACKED by the snow-capped mountain range of the Dolomites and surrounded by miles of lush lemon groves, Lake Garda in northern Italy is definitely on everyone’s bucket list – and on this ten-day package trip days, you will be able to see the best of it.

Holidaymakers are collected by coach from pick-up points across the UK and taken to France by ferry before moving on to Italy to indulge in quality cuisine and explore historic towns.

You will then cross Austria to Innsbruck and Salzburg on the border of the Alps, which some will recognize from The Sound Of Music.

GO: The ten-day trip costs from £724 pp and departs September 9.

We gave our son a strong, manly name, but the family laughed at us
My neighbor cut LOADS of my tree - I'm absolutely pissed

It includes coach travel, ferry crossings, four nights half board at Lake Garda and three nights half board in the Austrian Tyrol as well as two B&B stays in France.

Visit for more information.

About Juana Jackson

Check Also

Review of ITA Airways, formerly Alitalia

Comment this story Comment Chunks of parmesan cheese and mounds of salty prosciutto sit alongside …