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Ferries are becoming a popular alternative for travelers who have a fear of flying or prefer a more scenic route to their destinations. This mode of transport allows for the convenience of taking your car or pets on holiday with you, making it a more flexible option for many travelers. The demand for ferry travel is on the rise, with millions of searches for ferry related trips in recent months. This increased interest in ferry travel has led to the discovery of some exciting and unusual ferry routes throughout Europe.

One such route is the journey from Italy’s east coast in Ancona to Split, a picturesque city in Croatia known for its beaches and historic sites. This particular journey can take anywhere from eight to twelve hours and is usually an overnight trip. With multiple sailings a week and various companies offering the route, travelers have flexibility in planning their journey. The cost can vary depending on whether you are traveling by foot or with a car and how many passengers are included in the booking. Once in Split, travelers can enjoy a scenic seafront promenade, charming local restaurants, and various historic sites within the old town located in a 1,700-year-old Diocletian Palace.

For those looking to explore the Greek islands, ferry travel from Athens offers a multitude of options. The Aegean Sea has been a traditional mode of transport for centuries, making it a popular choice for travelers wanting to explore the region. From Athens, travelers can visit islands such as Mykonos, Santorini, and Naxos, while also having the option to venture to less crowded destinations such as Rhodes, Chalki, or Tilos. Ticket prices for ferry travel from Athens to various islands can range from €30 to €60, with subsequent hops costing around €20 to €40 depending on the popularity of the destination.

Travelers looking to explore Spain can opt for a ferry journey from the UK’s south coast in Portsmouth to northern Spain in Bilbao. This journey, although the longest on the list, takes more than 24 hours but provides the convenience of bringing a car along for the trip. With excellent road links in both Portsmouth and Bilbao, travelers can easily explore the region once they arrive. In Bilbao, visitors can enjoy cultural attractions such as the Guggenheim Museum, take a day trip to San Sebastian, or simply soak up the city’s vibrant atmosphere. Prices for bringing a car on this journey average around €1,200, with foot passenger fares slightly lower at €880.

An unusual ferry crossing in Europe offered by Italian rail company Trenitalia is the journey from Milan or Rome to Sicily by train. Travelers can board their train onto a ferry in Calabria and sail to the port of Messina before continuing on to Palermo and Siracusa. With services throughout the day and sleeper trains that run through the night, travelers have flexibility in planning their journey. Prices for this unique route can range from €19.90 to €100, depending on the departure point and timing of booking. This option allows travelers to access Sicily from various parts of Italy and link up with other European train routes for a more extensive rail adventure.

For those looking to travel outside of Europe, a ferry journey from Gibraltar to Tangier in Morocco provides an alternative to flying. The journey takes just an hour and a half or less and costs around €25 if booked in advance. Travelers can also depart from nearby Algeciras or Tarifa in Spain, with various operators offering multiple crossings per day. Upon arrival in Tangier, visitors can explore the city’s history, including sites such as the Cave of Hercules and the 160-year-old lighthouse on Cap Spartel. Additionally, Tangier offers markets, known as souks, where travelers can find arts and crafts, jewelry, carpets, and ceramics. Trains onward to Fez and Marrakesh are available for travelers wishing to see more of Morocco without a car.

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