I know that Ryan Air, Easy Jet, et. al. have reasonably priced flights throughout Europe.
My question is: is air travel a decent alternative to rail travel for people wanting to see a lot of countries in a short amount of time?
These are our top destination choices.
Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre, etc.)
Spain (Madrid, Barcelona)
Will we save time and money hopping on planes? Can anyone with experience doing this let me know what worked and what didn't work?
nevermind! i found a thread that addressed a similar question.
i think flights are more confortable than trains, but you need to plan all your journey months in advance.
for italy, airports best served by low cost airlines are Orio al Serio/bergamo (the closest to Milan), Rome, venice,(myair) pisa (the closest airport to 5 terre), maybe something in palermo and catania (sicily) with airone and windjet; alghero (for sardinia with ryanair)
parigi is served by low cost company from all over europe.
i can list you:
vueling, easyjet, ryanair, blue air, thomsonfly, skyeurope, bmibaby,germanwings, snowflakes, aerlingus( sometimes makes good offers)HLX, airberling, wizz air, jet2, aireuropa, smartwings,airbaltic.
that list cover more or less rome and milan as well, and madrid.
I think copenaghen is less served, as well as greece.
if you check all these flight companies, you can have a good idea of all the itineraries and the good offers you can find.
remember that, usually, you've to reserve at least 3 months before if you want to find something really cheap.
I agree with Bjorn, but in a short time you can visit by train a country, at least 2-not too big.
Personally I don't like to visit 10 countries in 15 days, I usually choose a little area of a country (or maybe an area on the borders between 2 different countries) and I visit it with relax.. but I visit Europe, all the capitals are no more than 3 hours far from Rome, I can come back any time I want (when I can afford... )
Maybe If I went to USA, or to Australia, I would try to visit as much as possible, because obviously the flight ticket is expensive, and I couldn't afford to come back few months later..
It's not true that all the low cost companies use airports very far from the city.
easyjet land in Paris Orly, vueling land in barcellona airport and in barajas airport (the main madrid airport);Skyeurope take off from Rome fiumicino...
there are also some airport very close to the city(dublin airport connected with airbus 747, 30 minutes from dublin center, or pisa airport, connected by public buses or by train to the center, just 10 minutes travel.. you've just to check..