If air travel is not for you, here’s Rebecca Gamble's pick of this summer’s best breaks using alternative transport

No-fly travel

Go Italia

Sit back, relax and let someone else do the driving as you head for the dramatic beauty of the Italy’s Lake Garda by coach.

✤ Appreciate the stunning vistas of the rugged mountains that fringe its shores, explore its attractive villages and take a lake cruise to enjoy its serene beauty from the water.
✤ Sample local wines in one of the many cantinas, follow the scenic walking trails and enjoy day trips to the nearby historic city of Verona – the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet – and Venice where you can visit
magnificent St Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace.

How to do it

(01709  385 874; leger.co.uk/italy/tours) offers an eight-night trip to Lake Garda, by Silver Service coach with more legroom than standard coaches, on 3 June 2017. Itinerary includes trips to Venice and Verona, with optional excursions available. Prices start from £839pp.

That Riviera touch

If you fancy a trip to the glamorous Côte d’Azur, what could be easier than hopping on a train?

✤ Board the Eurostar service in London to Paris, change trains there, then enjoy views of undulating countryside as you travel south to Nice, a long-time favourite of the rich and famous.
✤ Stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, browse the city’s designer boutiques and make your way down to the sparkling sea.

✤ Later, dine in one of the many fine restaurants of the old town before heading to the bar at the opulent hotel Le Negresco to sip cocktails and listen to jazz.

How to do it

Planet Rail (01347 811 810; planetrail.co.uk) offers four nights’ B&B at Hotel Le Grimaldi, first-class return rail travel from London to Nice (Standard Premier service on Eurostar), private taxi transfers in Paris, from £549pp.

Gorges and gourmet food in Germany

Dust off your walking boots and drive to Germany’s Black Forest, using the super-convenient Eurotunnel to cross the English Channel.

✤ Explore the Black Forest Highlands, which ooze Hansel and Gretel charm, on a self-guided hotel-to-hotel walk, taking in the dramatic Ravenna Gorge and climbing Feldberg – at 1,493m, the region’s highest peak – as you go.
✤ Take shade from the summer heat under the woodland canopy, which frequently opens up to reveal some breathtaking views.
✤ By night, feast on gourmet food in cosy wooden inns as you tour the scenic area.
✤ Make sure you leave time to visit the pretty university city of Freiburg, which is known for its gabled houses, reconstructed medieval old town and cobblestoned lanes.

How to do it

Inntravel (01653 617 000; inntravel.co.uk) offers six nights’ half board, including Eurotunnel tickets, two picnics, walking maps and route notes, plus luggage transfers, from £845pp in May 2017.

Head to the Med

For the ultimate indulgence, wave goodbye to UK shores and set sail on a luxury cruise ship for an adventure around the sunny Mediterranean.

✤ Take in the Moorish legacy of southern Spain and the vibrant atmosphere of Ibiza, before calling at Florence, famed for its stunning cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with it’s awe-inspiring dome, and then Rome, with its incredible classical monuments.
✤ The 18-night trip also visits Barcelona, home to the Antoni Gaudí-designed Park Güell and Sagrada Familia cathedral, and its final stop is Porto, in north-west Portugal.
✤ Just make sure to pack your glad rags – with dinner at the captain’s table to look forward to, you will want to dress to impress.

How to do it

Saga Cruises (0800 505 030; saga.co.uk/cruise) offers the 18 night ‘A Mediterranean Trio’ on the Saga Pearl II, departing from Dover on 12 June 2017 from £2,799pp, including all meals, 24-hour room service, wine with lunch and dinner, on-board gratuities, entertainment and activities, all port taxes and visas, UK mainland travel service to and from Dover.

Snooze your way to Spain

Travel to Spain in a leisurely fashion on a ferry from the UK. After boarding your vessel in Plymouth, arrive in the port of Santander, on the northern coast, refreshed after a night in your en-suite cabin and drive 400km inland to the stunning university city of Salamanca, a UNESCO heritage site.

✤ Tour the Old City, with its 12th-century seat of learning, visit the two cathedrals and wander around the grand square, the Plaza Mayor, famous for its galleries and arcades.
✤ After all that sightseeing, treat yourself to local delicacies such as Ibérico ham, or palomas – balls of Russian salad in a crispy shell.

How to do it 

Brittany Ferries (0330 159 4700; brittany-ferries.co.uk) offers a seven-night package to Salamanca from £526pp, including return ferry crossing for two people plus a car from Plymouth to Santander, two nights in an en-suite cabin, five nights at the four-star Hotel Abba Fonseca B&B.