Aerophobia - or fear of flying - is a fairly common condition that can afflict anyone at any time in their life.
For many years, being scared of flying meant that many people were unable to travel very far, leaving them stuck in their native continent or perhaps even country.
Before the aeroplane was invented people travelled long distances over land almost exclusively by train and sailed to other continents. Taking a plan is no longer glamorous and it’s not uncommon to associate air travel with unreliability, inconsistency and general stress. The popularity of trains therefore, has made a comeback.
It is now easier than ever to travel across a country, continent - or even sea - by train. This means there are no excuses for not taking a long vacation and truly exploring the world. Here is a selection of classic rail holiday ideas.
Italy is perfect for travelling by rail and easily accessible for most European travellers. Treyn rail holidays offer trips between Tuscany and Venice, meaning you can pack into one trip the historic centre of Florence and the slowly-sinking city of Venice.
From Venice, the Croatian peninsula of Istria is just a boat trip away, meaning you can sail the Med and discover the picturesque towns of Pula or Umag all in one day.
Alternatively you can head to Milan, the fashion capital of the country, or Verona, the setting of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays.
From Florence, on the other hand, you can catch a train to Rome, once the epicentre of an ancient empire.
Walk among the ruins of early Roman civilisation, head to the baths for some relaxation and recuperation, or visit the Roman Catholic Vatican City and see Michelangelo’s most famous work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Journey along the Glacier Express and experience all that Switzerland has to offer: from the charming old towns with their cobbled streets to the awe-inspiring mountains that make up part of the Alps.
Although known as one of the slowest trains in existence, the Glacier Express will really open your eyes to the marvellous Swiss landscape. Due to the fact that it journeys from mountain to mountain (St Moritz-Zermatt) you’ll never find a better time to learn how to ski.
With some of the best slopes in Europe, alpine skiing is a must for any traveller journeying to Switzerland.
When in town, be sure to sample some of the local produce including the world-famous Swiss cheese and Swiss chocolate. Or if you’re hungry for something different, maybe treat yourself to a Swiss watch.
Whether it’s Northern Italy or Switzerland that captures your heart, rail holidays will allow you to travel and explore in comfort and style.