Enjoy the journey with a no-fly travel experience

Date: Monday, 21 March 2022 11:20 Source : Direct Ferries

Enjoy the journey with Direct Ferries for an unforgettable, no-fly travel experience: 8 Inspiring travel routes by sea and road to experience the world at your own pace, in your own time, to discover the world in a meaningful and mindful way!

Trusted by over 2.5 million customers worldwide, Direct Ferries offer top no-fly 'ferry and drive' routes for travel in 2022. Direct Ferries' customer service team are also on hand to advise, guide and support throughout - in your language of choice - for a seamless, connected and immersive sea and road travel experience.

1. Moroccan delights

Start your journey to the 'gateway to Africa' at Portsmouth, known as the Great Waterfront City, as it has an impressively long beachfront. Why not experience the view from Spinnaker Tower – the stunning 170-metre icon of the South Coast. Neighbouring Southsea is a popular boutique beach resort and is an 8-minute drive away. The moated Southsea Castle, built by Henry VIII, has cannons and views across the Solent.

Stay at: Somerset house hotel

Eat at: Minnie’s Kitchen Southsea

Take the Portsmouth to Santander Ferry with Direct Ferries, and you'll arrive at Santander, which is at the tip of Spain, bordering South West France, in under 24 hours.

Onboard Brittany Ferries' state of the art ferry, Galicia, which launched in December 2020, you will enjoy complimentary meals, including a 3-course dinner and a continental breakfast. When heading to bed, you can choose from a wide range of 2 and 4 berth cabins. Sailings are up to twice a week outbound from Portsmouth, usually on a Monday and Friday.

During the sailing, head to deck 10, where you can find a spot on the sun deck to sunbathe whilst taking in the stunning views or, for the more adventurous, try out some of the sports equipment they have on offer.

For a taste of Santander, Hotel Chiqui offers great views of the Cantabrian Sea. Set by the sea and located minutes from the Santander Ferry Terminal, it features a stylish infinity pool to relax and unwind in.

The next ferry destination on your Moroccan dream trip is Tarifa. The drive from Santander to Tarifa port is approximately 10 hours, so taking the slow route is infinitely more appealing. The Direct Ferries travel experts recommend taking a break in the city of Valladolid in the northwest of Spain as your first stop en route. It's located in the province of Castile and León, northwest of the capital of Madrid and is a small, culturally vibrant city, which comes alive after dark. Perfect!

Stay at: Hotel Felipe IV

Eat at: El Caballo de Troya

Three hours south of Valladolid on the route to Tarifa is the town of Caceres, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Eat and stay at: Atrio is the much-revered food and wine hotel of co-owners, Michelin star Chef Juan Antonio Pérez's and his wine expert and collector José Polo.

Your next stop is Seville, a must-see on your Spanish road trip, which is two and a half hours from Caceres. It's a lively, historic and bijou city with stunning Mudejar, Gothic and Renaissance architecture, ancient Moorish walls, Roman ruins and Baroque churches on every corner.

Stay at: Triana House is an uber-chic hotel Art Deco.

Eat at: Seis for modern Mediterranean-Asian menu at superb value.

Direct Ferries insider tip: Metropol Parasol - known locally as Las Setas, the Mushrooms - Seville's modern architectural icon and the world's largest wooden structure. Consisting of six mushroom-shaped parasols, the 28-metre-tall facility houses an archaeological museum, a food market, bars, and a concert area. It's a must-see.

The next ferry destination on your Moroccan road trip is Tarifa, a 2-hour drive from Seville, where you can take the ferry to Tangiers. The ferry route is expected to reopen in the summer. The Tarifa Tangier ferry route connects Spain with Morocco and is operated by 2 ferry companies. The FRS service runs up to 12 times per day with a sailing duration of around 1 hour, while the Inter Shipping service runs up to 6 times per day with a duration from 2 hours. Then your Moroccan adventure begins!

2. Balearicas!

Spend some time at the start of your trip to the White Isles in Plymouth, known as Britain's 'Ocean city'. Plymouth in Devon is famed for its maritime heritage and historic Barbican district with narrow, cobbled streets. In the harbour are several marinas and a fish market, the Plymouth Fisheries, a must-see as the fisheries hub of the region and acknowledged as one of the most important in the UK.

Stay at: Residence One, by Bistrot Pierre, a beautiful Georgian house now a hotel lovingly restored by the owners.

Eat at: Rockfish - Owned by chef Mitch Tonks, Rockfish serves locally caught, fresh, and sustainable seafood.

Take the Plymouth - Santander ferry with Direct Ferries. Pont Aven, Brittany Ferries' flagship vessel, runs the route, carrying up to 2,400 passengers and 650 cars.

Onboard there is plenty to keep guests entertained, with a cinema for the kids and even a swimming pool. The crossing operates up to 2 times each week with sailing durations from around 20 hours and 15 minutes. Arrive at Santander and take the AP-68 and AP-2 to Barcelona.

Stay at: Zaragoza, Spain's fifth-largest city and the capital of Aragon, which used to be its own kingdom and home to some of the best Moorish architecture outside Andalusia.

Eat at: El Fuelle - Head to the Old Town to sample one of the city's two most popular dishes. Migas de Aragón (fried breadcrumbs with chorizo, bacon and garlic with fresh grapes and a fried egg) or ternasco (roasted lamb) at this classic Spanish restaurant, steeped in family history.

Direct Ferries insider tip: If you want to avoid the crowds of Barcelona, head instead to Figueres or Cadaques. Cadaques was the summer home of Salvador Dali and is known as the jewel of Spain. You will likely be so enchanted that you will want to stay on for a while, so why not consider a workcation for a few days? Kayak report that 40% of Gen Zs plan to take a "workcation" (working while travelling—but not travelling for work) in 2022. Hurrah to that!

Then, from Barcelona port, take one of many the ferries available with Direct Ferries to Palma with Trasmed GLE, Balearia or new operator GNV. You can take an overnight crossing or choose the faster option, going to Alcudia in only 5 hours. Or choose Menorca for a more low key, relaxed experience. Take the ferry to the port of Mahon, Menorca's capital and one of the world's natural deep-water ports or in the summer months, Ciutadella on the west coast. Whether you choose to fiesta or siesta, your experience will be unforgettable.

3. Authentic France

Why not take a long, leisurely road trip through France, ending up on the beach in Corsica. If Rick Stein can do it, so can we!

Head to Dover and take the ferry from Dover to Calais with Direct Ferries. With over 35 sailings daily outbound, Dover to Calais is the most popular ferry service to head towards the continent. The journey takes just an hour and a half, and there is plenty to keep you occupied onboard. Whether it's the onboard restaurants or club lounges with nibbles that the three operators all have on offer. If speed is what you're looking for, we'd recommend purchasing priority boarding, which means you're first on the ship at Dover and first off when you arrive in Calais.

Take advantage of the Duty-Free shopping both onboard or at Calais port and free WIFI offered by all operators.

Set your own pace on the route from Calais to Nice, taking in the many sites along the way. For an even longer journey, the A26, Autoroute des Anglais, the main autoroute between Calais and the South of France, and the A40 will take you via Geneva, an incredibly beautiful city surrounded by the Jura mountains and the Alps.

Laon is a great first stop en route, situated just off the A26. Lovely restaurants and a beautiful Cathedral make this a perfect entrée to your French odyssey.

Shop and stay at: Les Souris Dans Le Grenier is a great little brocante (second-hand shop) with fabulous antique finds. The owner also runs Les Vendangeoirs d'Orgeval, a very stylish B&B and cottage comprised of two beautiful stone houses, built in 1715 and 1775, that hug a wooded hillside, 20 minutes away.

From Laon, head to the beautiful town of Avignon, known as the gateway of Provence. Home to Le Palais des Papes, a 14th-century fortress and the largest gothic palace in the world.

Stay at: La Divine Comédie

Eat at: La Cuisine du Dimanche

From Avignon, it's a 3-hour drive to Nice. Enjoy the delights of Nice for a time and then head to the port to take the Nice to Bastia (Corsica) ferry with Direct Ferries. The crossing operates up to 6 times each week with sailing durations from around 5 hours and 30 minutes. Then, voilà, you are at the beach!

4. Dutch Old Masters Tour

The Dutch Golden Age came about mainly due to an explosion of wealth from trade at the end of the 16th century and lasted well into the 17th. The Dutch nation became one of the wealthiest and most powerful in the world, and the buying of art was no longer the preserve of just kings, queens and religious orders. Anyone with money to spare was commissioning, which resulted in a huge demand for portraiture. Enter Rembrandt, Vermeer, Steen, Hals, Van Dyck and Rubens.

Start your Dutch Old Masters tour by exploring the historic seaside town of Harwich. Notable residents include the famous seafarers Frobisher, Drake, Newport, Fryatt, Hawkins and Jones, who all sailed on numerous expeditions from Harwich. It is also well known as the town of the historic Mayflower, which carried the Pilgrim Fathers to America in 1620.

Stay at: The Bakehouse - A quirky and homely cottage super close to the beach.

Eat: Fresh lobster at The Alma Inn

Take the ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland with Direct Ferries, the most direct route to the Netherlands and Germany from the south of England. The crossing operates up to 14 times each week with sailing durations from around 6 hours and 45 minutes and 2 sailings to choose from. The overnight sailing is very popular and usually departs Harwich around 11pm, arriving in Hook of Holland at 08:00 the following day. Why not board a few hours beforehand and have dinner at one of the two onboard restaurants? There is also a cinema with a selection of the latest releases, a variety of games for the kids, and Duty-Free shopping.

On arrival, Amsterdam is just an hour's drive away.

Visit: the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is the national museum of the Netherlands and houses the most extensive collection of Dutch pictures in existence, including The Milk Maid by Vermeer and The Night Watch by Rembrandt. Also, a must-see is the Self-Portrait by Vincent Van Gogh.

In the Mauritshuis, you'll discover iconic masterpieces such as The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer and the Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt.

Stay at: The Hoxton Amsterdam

Have a cocktail at: Flying Dutchman Cocktails. This buzzy cocktail bar smack in the centre of Amsterdam is racking up global award nominations.

5. A Greek Odyssey

Your Greek travel adventure will be truly unforgettable, covering some incredible sights and scenes and ending at the enchanting Greek island of Corfu. Direct Ferries recommend considering a workcation during this trip to maximise the enjoyment and overall experience.

Start your journey at Portsmouth, and take the Portsmouth to Caen ferry with Direct Ferries. The crossing operates up to 21 times weekly with a sailing duration of around 5 hours and 45 minutes.

With 3 sailings a day and the option to travel overnight within a 2 or 4 berth cabin, the choice is yours. Selected sailings have cinemas with the latest movies on offer, alongside 2 onboard restaurants and a fantastic kids' soft play area for families travelling with young kids.

From Caen, you will be heading to Ancona in Italy. There are many great stops along the way. Direct Ferries recommend:

Make your first stop at Versailles - approx 2 hours into the journey. The Palace of Versailles has been listed as a World Heritage Site for 40 years and is one of the greatest achievements in French 17th century art. Next, head to Chablis. Known as the Golden Gate of Burgundy, Chablis is famous for its prestigious wine, located 20 kilometres from Auxerre.

Stay at: Hôtel Les Maréchaux

Eat at: Au Fil du Zinc, located in the heart of the vineyards. Try the tasting menu.

Direct Ferries insider tip: Explore with a wine tour: Chablis Vititours offers year-round wine- and vine-themed guided tours.

From Chablis drive to Bonneville, in the Haute-Savoie department and Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region where you can refuel at L’Aimant, a relaxed café, cantine and bistrot.

From Bonneville, drive on to Como in Italy. Located on the Italian - Swiss border, Como overlooks the southwest end of its lake, surrounded by green ridge hills and unparalleled natural scenery.

Stay at: Little lake house - A gorgeous small lake house with a private garden and parking spot.

Take a private boat tour from Como, or if you want to relax on a beach, go to Lido Villa Olmo, a beach with two swimming pools and a bar that offers a beautiful view of Lake Como and the opposite coast.

From Como, make an early start to Ancona (about 4.5 hours). Located in the Marche region of Italy, Ancona is around 280 km to the northeast of Rome on the Adriatic Sea coast between the slopes of two extremities of the promontory of Monte Conero, Monte Astagno and Monte Guasco.

The city's port is popular with passenger traffic and is one of the main ports on the Adriatic Sea.

It is popular for passengers travelling to countries surrounding the Adriatic Basin, including Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Albania and Montenegro. Destinations include Split, Rijeka, Zadar, Hvar, Dubrovnik, Bari, Patras and Igoumenitsa.

Take the Ancona - Corfu ferry with Direct Ferries, which offers a combined 4 sailings per week with a sailing duration from 15 hours. Then, your Greek expedition begins. And for a trip to the mainland, it couldn't be simpler. Direct ferries have daily sailings to Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland.

6. La Dolce Vita

From Portsmouth, take the Portsmouth to Caen ferry with Direct Ferries. The crossing operates up to 21 times weekly with a sailing duration of around 5 hours 45 minutes.

From Caen, you will be heading to Naples, Italy. There are many great stops along the way.

Direct Ferries recommend:

Make your first stop at Auxerre. Situated around an hour and a half from Paris and between Paris and Dijon, in the northwest of Burgundy is the historic riverside city of Auxerre. With a medieval historical heritage dating back to Gallo-Roman times. Auxerre's historical hotspots include an imposing abbey founded by St Germain and a clock tower dating back to the Middle Ages.

Stay at: Château de la Resle

Eat at: Kizoku D’Or

From Auxerre, head south to Chamonix, the globally renowned ski resort which also thrives in the summer and autumn seasons as an exhilarating sport and wellness Alpine tourism destination. Many of the ski lifts that operate in the winter are also open in the summer, giving access to stunning mountain walks and hikes and paragliding and mountain biking for the more adventurous.

Stay at: Rocky Pop Hotel

Eat at: Restaurant Le 3842 - Take a trip on the cable car to the highest gourmet restaurant in town and Chamonix's number one tourist attraction.

From Chamonix head to Bologna, Italy's gastronomic capital and home to Europe's oldest university, dating back to 1088. It's a city of unique historic architecture, including Le Due Torri (The Two Towers), which are the symbol of the city. Located in the old town, the Two Towers are great for gauging where you are as they can be seen throughout the whole city.

Stay at: Art Hotel

Eat at: Go classic Italian at Da Nello

From Bologna, you'll head to Naples, a 5-hour drive away. Along the way, stop at Orvieto – a stunning hilltop town in Umbria about a 3-hour drive away. Orvieto has a spectacular position perched on the top of the hill with incredible views of the Umbrian countryside. It features a stunning gothic duomo, considered one of the most beautiful churches in Italy. Before you set off for Naples, take a coffee or a slice of pizza at the Palace Caffè, Piazza del Popolo.

On arrival at Naples, take the Naples to Palermo ferry with Direct Ferries, connecting Italy with Sicily. The crossing is operated daily, with sailing durations from around 9 hours and 30 minutes. With Direct Ferries, you can book your trip onboard Rubattino or Florio, which offer fantastic restaurant options for dinner.

And now relax... take some time out on the beach in Sicily!

7. Croatian Dream

Head to Dover and take the ferry from Dover to Dunkirk with Direct Ferries. The crossing operates up to 12 times each day with DFDS and sailing durations from around 2 hours and is the second-fastest ferry route from England to France, with a distance of 47 miles.

From Dunkirk head to Reims, in north-eastern France's Grand Est region. Reims is the unofficial capital of the Champagne wine-growing region, and many of the champagne houses headquartered there offer tastings and cellar tours. And with a total of 4 UNESCO World Heritage sites, it's a town you shouldn't miss during your trip through France. So make sure to pay a visit to one of the many champagne houses. Tours can be booked here.

Stay at: La Demeure des Sacres

Next, head onto Como. Located on the Italian-Swiss border, Como overlooks the southwest end of its lake and is surrounded by green ridge hills and unparalleled natural scenery.

From Como head to Parma, a little over 2 hours away.

Eat at: Sorelle Picchi (known to be a favourite of Angela Hartnett)

From Parma, head to Bari and Stop off at Termoli, an ancient town and fishing port, now a popular beach resort.

Stay at: Hotel Santa Lucia

Set off for Bari in the morning and take the Bari to Dubrovnic ferry with Direct Ferries. The crossing operates up to 4 times each week with sailing durations from around 7 hours and 30 minutes.

From Dubrovnik, drive to Split – where you can charter a yacht and begin your Croatian dream adventure.

8. The Wild Atlantic Way - Ireland's spectacular coastal route

Discover Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way route, where 2,500km of spectacular coastline awaits. From start to finish, the route unveils wild, natural landscapes, a dramatic coastline, and a deep feeling of spirituality.

Start your Wild Atlantic Way experience by heading to Liverpool to explore the city's vibrant arts and culture scene.

Make sure to visit the Tate Liverpool 'the home of British and international modern contemporary art in the north', situated in a formerly disused 19th-century warehouse on the Royal Albert Dock. Here you can see Ugo Rondinone's Liverpool Mountain, a gravity-defying, vibrantly coloured sculpture that celebrates the city.

Stay at: Innside Liverpool

Eat at: Barnacle - Founded by four of Liverpool's most talented chefs, its menu focuses on contemporary cooking and locally sourced organic dishes inspired by the city's maritime history.

Direct Ferries insider tip: Check out the Baltic Triangle District - home to artists, vintage clothing dealers, furniture makers and innovators.

Then, take the Liverpool to Belfast ferry with Direct Ferries. The Liverpool Birkenhead to Belfast route is one of the most popular and oldest ferry routes in the UK. With 12 ferries running weekly, provided by ferry operator Stena Line, and sailing times of around 8 hours.

Either stay in Belfast and explore some of the city's many cultural and epicurean delights, The Titanic Experience is widely regarded as a must-see, or head off to the Country Antrim coast to see the iconic and mysterious Giants Causeway, known to the Irish as the 8th Wonder of the World.

Donegal is just over 2-hours away, where your wild Atlantic way journey begins.

Stay at: Tig Meaig - Dingle Stone Cottage. National Geographic calls this area 'the Most Beautiful Place on Earth'.

Continue your journey along the coastline of West Ireland and the wild Atlantic way with more unmissable and unforgettable experiences.

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Please Note:
About Direct Ferries:
Established in 1999, Direct Ferries is the world’s largest ferry ticket booking site. With access to live ferry timetables throughout the Mediterranean, Irish Sea, English Channel, Scandinavia, Asia and Australasia, travellers can compare prices and sailing times on more than 3,300 ferry crossings from more than 700 ports around the globe and book ferry tickets sold by over 230 ferry companies worldwide. Globally over 4,500 travel agencies and sites already have partnered up with Direct Ferries and use their booking technology, such as a travel agent booking portal, white-label booking engine and API.

For more information about Direct Ferries please visit: www.directferries.com

Press Contact:
Jo McConnell / Alexandra Liste
Lemongrass Marketing
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