Holidaymakers are now seeking ways to travel that reflect life’s simple pleasures and what really matters.
With more people keen to steer clear of crowds, and enjoy the great outdoors, here are some destinations that can be reached within an hour by train from top European cities.
London to the Surrey hills
From: London Victoria to Box Hill and Westhumble. Time: 56 mins.Take in some fresh air on the lush grassy slopes of Surrey Hills. Protected as an area of outstanding natural beauty, a train to Box Hill gives stunning views. Hike or cycle up the 735ft bluff to really take in the scenery. Enjoy a picnic by the River Mole, and sample a local tipple in support of the local Surrey Hills Brewery.
Paris to Giverny
From: Gare Du Nord to Vernon, followed by a short shuttle bus. Time: 46 minsDelve into the world of Claude Monet and explore the gardens that inspired his famous water lily paintings.The charming town is also worth exploring. From the Impressionist museum to the Château des Tourelles, a thirteenth century castle that sits alongside the quaint Old Mill on the banks of the Seine, Giverny is a find.
Berlin to Brandenburg an der Havel. Time: 50 mins
Lovers of the outdoors will love this trip with its refreshing lakes and greenery. Enjoy unspoiled stretches of river by canoe or cycle, or simply soak it up from the bankside.Visit the ancient Church of St Gotthardt, the National Archaeological Museum and enjoy a birds eye view from the top of Freidenswarte, the tallest building offering 360 degree views. Picnic in the Marienberg gardens afterwards.
Barcelona to Girona
From: Barcelona Sants to Girona. Time: 38 minsThe ancient town of Girona provides a charming escape from the bustle of Barcelona. Colourful houses line quaint cobbled streets.Soak up history and architecture at the Benedictine Monastery, Arab baths and Jewish Museum.For the best views, walk the medieval walls surrounding the eastern border of town and head across the red caged Eiffel Bridge over the Onyar River.
Milan to Lake Como
From: Milan Centrale to Como S Giovanni. Time: 37 minsOn the western branch of the stunning lake, visitors will find themselves surrounded by stunning mountains, medieval architecture and cool air blown in from across Italy’s deepest lake.During summer the towns along the lake bloom with wisteria, camellias and bougainvillea in soft pastels.Hop on a boat trip to other towns along the lake’s edge, such as Varena, Bellagio and Tremezzo.
Madrid to Cuenca
From: Madrid-Puerta de Atocha to Cuenca Fernando Zóbel. Time: 54 minsCuenca is best known for its casas colgadas, or hanging houses, built up to the cliff edge and overlooking the gorge cut by the Huécar and Júcar rivers.The medieval town centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site. With dramatic cliff sides and rugged hills, many little passages in the old town lead to stunning vistas.
Boris Radke, from Omio, which offers the day trips listed above, said: “Using the app ensures contactless payment and mobile ticket delivery, and offers all the same options as desktop booking would, such as seat reservations.“We’d recommend wearing facemasks and taking hand sanitiser with you.”Booking with Omio offers the added reassurance of its new Open Travel Index which gives all the latest travel information collated from its travel providers.