Byway and Intrepid Travel have joined forces to offer flight-free slow trips across Europe by train and boat. Jenny Southan reports

Flight-free travel company Byway has partnered with adventure travel outfit Intrepid to make it easier for travellers to explore Europe without getting on a plane.

Travellers who book a small European group adventure trip with Intrepid will be invited to visit the Byway website to arrange their flight-free journey by train, sleeper train and boat. The multi-day Byway journeys include en route pauses and overnight stays and become an extension of the Intrepid holiday.

The service is available for Intrepid trips in Italy and Spain initially but more destinations will be be added in the next phase of the partnership.

Slow travel is a growing trend in the UK as more consumers want to make sustainable travel choices post pandemic. A survey commissioned by Intrepid of 1,000 people in June 2022 showed that 54 per cent of British people think travelling sustainably is important. A total of 45% said they wanted to take their time exploring destinations and 52% said they planned to travel for longer periods post pandemic.

As fellow B Corp companies, Byway and Intrepid have a common focus on purpose-led sustainable travel and off-the-beaten track adventures.

Cat Jones, founder and CEO of Byway, says: “It’s going to take real industry collaboration to materially lower our carbon impact, and the best way to do this is to offer delightful holistic door-to-door slow travel experiences. We’re delighted to be partnering with Intrepid, a well-known and superb tour operator, to offer their customers truly flight-free round-trip travel.”

Susanne Etti, global environmental impact manager at Intrepid, says: “We are excited to be working with Byway in what we believe is an industry-first – two travel B Corps supporting each other to make it easier than ever for people to enjoy slow, 100 per cent flight free holidays.”

Sample partnership trips

Italy Real Food Adventure from £2,020pp
Your journey to Venice £737pp
Your journey from Rome £718pp

Spend a leisurely four days travelling from London to Venice by train with Byway before embarking on Intrepid’s Real Food Adventure. Travelling by train, you’ll have the chance to explore Paris, Zurich, Switzerland’s oldest city, Chur, and the charming small town of Tirano along the way. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rhaetian Railing with its spectacular panoramic views is a real highlight.

Once in Venice, you’ll join your Intrepid group to embark on a culinary journey through Italy. With plenty of hands-on cooking demos, you’ll learn there’s far more to Italian food than pizza and pasta. You’ll taste the real balsamic vinegar in an acetaia, learn about wine and olive oil production in a farm stay in Tuscany and learn how to roll pasta like a pro in Bologna.

After your Intrepid adventure ends you’ll enjoy a final day in Rome before heading slowly home by sleeper train, stopping along the way to explore the culture and cuisine of Munich, Cologne and Brussels.

Total trip length: 16 days

Premium Tuscany from £2,930pp
Your journey to Rome £661pp
Your journey from Venice £776pp

Travel from London to Rome over three days by train with Byway before discovering the treasures of Tuscany on Intrepid’s Premium Tuscany. On the way there, you’ll whizz through Belgium on a German ICE train and spend a night in Cologne, renowned for its gothic architecture. You’ll have the chance to enjoy dinner in Munich before boarding a Nightjet sleeper through the Alps to Rome.

In Rome, join your Intrepid group for an eight-day Premium adventure through the heart of Tuscany.  You’ll explore Venice’s Piazza San Marco, Pisa’s Leaning Tower and Rome’s iconic colosseum under moonlight with a local guide. Spend a memorable night in the vineyards of Tuscany in a hotel converted from an 11th-century convent and visit the wine-growing region of San Gimignano to sample world-class wine at a family-run winery.

Once your Intrepid tour ends in Venice you’ll travel by train to Milan, then over the Rhaetian Railway, famous for its spectacular Swiss Alpine views, and stop off in lesser-known Chur for fondue in Switzerland’s oldest city. Your last stay will be in Zürich where you can see the city by boat before heading home.

Total trip length: 15 days

Highlights of Andalucia from £1,144pp
Your journey to Seville £624pp
Your journey from Granada

Spend three days travelling by train from London to Seville. Along the way stay one night in Avignon, a beautiful medieval French city with a rich history visible in its architecture, museums and galleries. You’ll also spend a night in Madrid – the city renowned for its art museums, historic buildings and nightlife.

Once you arrive in Seville, spend eight-days with your Intrepid group marvelling at the sights, sounds and smells of Spain’s south. You’ll see the highlights of Seville, Ronda and Granada while feasting on region-specific tapas and exploring historic hilltop cities. Enjoy an olive-oil tasting at a local family-run mill and tasting of local beers and Iberico ham from the owner of a local deli.

From Granada, the end of your Intrepid tour, you will travel home via Madrid and Girona with Byway, visiting the Royal Palace and the Dalí Theatre-Museum, if you like. Your last night will be in Paris, with time to enjoy shops and bars along the Canal Saint-Martin.

Total trip length: 15 days

Byway was founded in 2020 as a slow travel planner for flight-free travel. Each multi-stop trip is fully personalised for the holidaymaker, and optimised for quality of experience instead of speed.