At Rail Discoveries, we like to think outside the box and offer more than your 'Included Experiences' on every holiday, allowing you to unwind in your chosen destination and have the break you deserve. Free time gives you the chance to explore places you might not see on a guided tour and get away from the typical tourist attractions. We want you to see a different view on your holiday and independent exploration is one of the best ways to do that, so here's a list of the very best of our holidays from across Europe.
On this grand tour of Tuscany, pair famous attractions with plenty of independent sightseeing and watch this magical region comes to life before your very eyes. Explore the ancient walled city of Lucca, set on the Serchio River. Here you can wander through its cobblestoned streets or walk along the walls. If you fancy something a bit off the beaten track, then why not visit the family-run Fattoria Al Dotto winery on the outskirts of Lucca. Here, you can enjoy a private wine tasting and buy their homemade produce (maybe even gifts for the family!)
You'll also visit Pisa, home to the magnificent 12th-century Leaning Tower, that has bemused tourists all around the world for centuries. Uncover the Old Town lined with terracotta-roofed houses and winding streets. You may also like to amble over to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. Situated right next to the Leaning Tower, decorated with Baroque-style stone and 3 ornate bronze doors welcoming you inside.
Spend a week relaxing in the outstanding landscapes of the Bernese Oberland enjoying a fantastic journey on the Jungfrau Express train to the summit of Jungfrau Mountain. On arrival, you can have some time to yourself to discover the stunning views of the snow-dusted peaks and the Aletsch Glacier. Feel the icy air brush across your face and the snow crunching below your feet; it's almost a different world up here.
Also, you'll travel to the summit of Harder Kulm located 4,337 feet above sea level and crowned by its revolving restaurant. Resembling a castle - offering views of Interlaken and Unterseen below. Have a spot of lunch at the restaurant or enjoy the views of Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, or admire the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau below from the viewing platform before returning back down to earth on the funicular railway.
Delight in the contrasting landscapes of the Austrian Tyrol as you enjoy all-inclusive accommodation in Oberndorf. Discover the joys of Salzburg and take a journey on the Zillertalbahn Railway. The quaint, sleepy town of Oberndorf is famous as being the birthplace of the carol Silent Night ('Stille Nacht' in German), which was first performed at the former St Nikola parish church by the schoolmaster Franz Xaver Gruber and the young priest Joseph Mohr on Christmas Eve 1818. Visitors can call at the chapel itself, where you can take a pew Oberndorf sits on the banks of the Salzach River, which you could take a stroll along.
Journey to Salzburg: renowned for its musical and cultural heritage and is known internationally as the setting for the classic film 'The Sound of Music', as well as being the birthplace of Mozart. The perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening is in one of the small churches or historic halls, whether pure musical enjoyment or a dinner concert - the daily array of classical music events in Salzburg caters to your every whim. The historic concert halls invite everyone to explore the joys of music in an incomparably atmospheric setting.
From its intriguing history to travelling through its amazing natural landscapes on 2 rail journeys, there is so much to do in Cornwall. You have the opportunity to explore the coastal town of St Ives, known for its beaches as well as its art scene. You could take a walk to the local Tate St Ives gallery or the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, both celebrating the best of British artists. If you fancy a spot of lunch, there are plenty of delightful cafes and restaurants huddled together close to the pier. Why not try a traditional Cornish pasty in its home-country?
Visit Bedruthan Steps, overlooking a stunning sandy beach with some beautiful rock formations. After time to absorb the beauty of the area, transfer to Tintagel, which boasts gorgeous views of the Atlantic Ocean and incredible ruins with links to the legendary King Arthur. Here, you can walk to the famous ruins, or you may like to visit Arthur's Great Hall and view the stunning stained-glass windows. Continue to Boscastle, a quaint village with a picturesque harbour, where you can visit the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic.
Whether you're looking at visiting a new destination home or away, then be sure to take one of these stunning European destinations into consideration. As travel experts we're always on the hunt for gaining insights you wouldn't normally get travelling on your own. We firmly believe it's important to travel your way, which is why free time has been built into every itinerary. Who knows, you might just stumble across something extraordinary away from the tourist sights.