While you might think that interrailing is all about hitting up the maximum number of cities possible in one holiday (it’s certainly an option if that’s your thing) don’t overlook the huge number of more rural destinations available to you. Europe’s countryside is hugely varied with everything from snowy mountains to lush lakes and green forests, so visiting these locations gives a completely different experience to that of Europe’s biggest city destinations. The good news for you is the Euroventure can help you plan amazing places like this into your itinerary, so you can combine the best of both worlds with all travel and accommodation sorted – check out our top pick of European country escapes below.
Nestled among the highest peaks in the Swiss Alps, Interlaken is the most quintessential of Swiss cities. Its location in Bodeli between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun means it’s surrounded by stunning mountain scenery and gives easy access to plenty of outdoor activities. From Skiing in winter to Watersports in summer, Interlaken is a centre for nature loving tourists. Unlike in bigger cities like Zurich and Geneva, in Interlaken you’re really at the heart of the Swiss alps, but with all the transport links of a major city. Two major train stations mean getting around the area is easy, and the city can be reached from transport hubs in Italy, France, Austria and Germany.
One of Italy’s most beautiful areas, Lake Garda has been a favourite tourist destination for years. With its mild climate, green forests and gorgeous mountain views it’s not hard to see why. The region around the Lake is famous for its historically luxurious lifestyle – think great wine, even better food, plenty of watersports and a relaxed pace of life. The good thing about Garda is that unlike some lakes further North, it’s really easily reached by train and also has a well used bus service connecting the lake-side towns. At only an hour from Milan, there’s no reason not to include this fairytale escape in your Euroventure.
For alpine meadows, quaint Austrian culture and plenty of fresh air and relaxation, Salzburg is a great place to catch up after a hectic few weeks of travelling. Slightly off the main interrailing path, Salzburg is only a few hours from Vienna and Munich, giving you a convenient breather from the big city. This is a land of alpine forests, snowy peaks, crystal-clear lakes and cozy wooden lodges. While the city itself has loads to offer, it’s also a great place to explore the more rural surrounding area, with plenty of fairytale castles and walking trails to enjoy. With a high speed train line going through the town, it’s easily accessed from most major cities.
If you’re looking for a lakeside retreat but want somewhere a little cheaper than the Lake Garda area, Lake Bled is a great shout. Sitting close to the border between Slovenia and Austria, Bled is famous for its stunning Lake and island castle. Here you can hire boats out to take a tour of the lake, or visit nearby waterfalls and cave formations. There’s plenty of gorgeous natural landscape to be discovered, all within easy reach thanks to the great local buses and easy connections to Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana. Most accommodation is in alpine style Pensions, which offer a cozy cabin feel.
This stunning network of clear turquoise lakes is on everyone’s bucket list. The largest national Park in Croatia, Plitvice is a magical area to spend a couple of days. Its Mediterranean climate means you’ll welcome the chance to stroll in the cool and shady forests surrounding the lakes and waterfalls. At the end of the day, you can return to one of the area’s hostels or pensions for a good night’s sleep away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Jezerka, the main village within the national park is around 3 hours by bus from Zagreb or Split, and its location between these two major tourist cities means it’s the perfect place to stop off for a few nights’ rest and relaxation.
Think you can’t get to these European country escapes on your interrailing trip? Think again! All of the locations above are available as part of our Euroventure interrailing packages and have been specially selected for their accessibility as part of a larger trip. If you’d like to include any of these destinations in your trip, why not create your own route online, or give us a call on 01138682360.