Corners of Europe far from any airport have been forgotten by modern travellers … but they make perfect short break destinations by train. We pick three in Burgundy, the Austrian Alps and the Dutch coast
With each passing year, the opening of new air routes reshapes our mental map of Europe. Once-favoured way stations on rail and ferry itineraries from England to the Alps have slipped from visibility. Areas on the near continent previously feted by English artists and writers are now bypassed. Where in the past an Italian grand tour might have included a few nights along the way in the Moselle or Rhine valleys, today’s travellers jet directly to their main destination. As recently as the 1960s, many travellers to Savoy might have stopped en route in the Jura (straddling the French-Swiss border), and the Vosges region to its north was a popular stepping stone en route to the Black Forest.
But the rail routes of yesteryear are still there: across Europe myriad small towns, often distant from the smaller airports that serve budget airlines, make perfect short-break destinations for those inclined to take the train.