The allure of flying, for some, has faded of late, with holidaymakers embracing the unhurried charm of slow travel – and the prospect of reducing their carbon footprint. So it’s no surprise that second-home buyers are increasingly opting for no-fly locations too.
A new network of rail routes across Europe is helping the train take the strain – after all, waking up for coffee as dawn breaks across the Swiss Alps or Tuscany is far more civilised than joining the snaking queue at airport security. Locations accessed by good motorway networks are also attracting househunters. France has long been popular with drivers, and now many families want to bring the dog on holiday too.
“The changes to the architecture, the crops, the landscape, all become way markers,” says Judith Whitlow, director of prestige sales at Beaux Villages Immobilier, Savills associate in southwest France. “The pandemic broke the flying habit for people who rediscovered the ease of driving in France and the convenience of being able to stop off – and to save on the high cost of car rental.”