Our Own Way
Train-Inclusive, Tailor-Made Experiences
Wild Europe Travel are specialists in Tailor-Made, Train-Inclusive holidays to Europe’s wildest places. We take a limited number of guests away each year and no holiday we arrange is ever the same. Designed with imagination and flair, these are unique experiences arranged with painstaking attention to detail. You tell us where you want to go and what makes you tick and we’ll do the rest.
Small and Friendly
We take pride in being a small, friendly company who make an effort to get to know all of our guests personally. We meet many of our guests in person and, if that’s not possible, we’re always at the other end of the telephone or an email.
You won’t find us waving flags, using audio guides, waffling down a microphone or herding our guests into a tour bus. That just isn’t us. Hopefully that isn’t you either…
Experts in no-fly rewilding holidays
Let’s be clear about this – our current levels of aviation simply aren’t sustainable. Aviation accounts for around 3 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, and while that may not sound a lot, if the industry were a nation, its carbon dioxide emissions would rank at number six, between Germany and Japan. Furthermore, this 3 per cent of emissions is responsible for over 5 per cent of global warming. And this is a result of just 3 per cent of the world’s population flying – imagine the impact when another 20 or 30 per cent of the world start to fly. Unless we drastically change our behaviour, that scenario is coming our way: in 2019 the New York Times reported that flight emissions are due to triple by 2050.
We have enjoyed the benefits of international air travel for decades, but now we have to change, and at Wild Europe we want to help people discover the joys of flight-free travel.
We ONLY do rail-inclusive, low carbon travel and all of our trips are designed around contributing to conservation and rewilding schemes in Europe. There is another way, and it doesn’t mean wearing a hair shirt. See Rediscovering the Rails to learn why train travel in Europe is such a pleasure.
An Inquisitive Approach to Travel
We love the unusual, the quirky, the surprising and the creative – those unseen corners and untold stories in the creases and folds at the edge of the map. And we want to share these places with you.
You won’t find us among the forest of selfie sticks at tourist hot-spots; we’ll be around the corner having tea with a local baker, or nosing around those ruins over the hill. We do our homework on the best places so you don’t have to. That’s probably something to do with our years of experience in bespoke, luxury travel. All of the trips we design are informed by expert research and influenced by our taste for the unusual.
Giving back to the communities we visit
Core to our ethos at Wild Europe Travel is the desire for our trips to benefit the communities that we visit and pass through. The cost of your holiday includes a donation to the conservation and rewilding projects you visit. Not only that, but wherever possible we encourage our guests to be actively involved in any projects that they visit. Of course, this is not always feasible – some projects require specialist skills – but simply by being there, our guests are able to contribute to the work being undertaken.
Finally, every guest travelling with us becomes a member of Mossy.Earth, whose work in landscape restoration and tree planting – as well as a range of other activities – is hugely beneficial to the continent-wide rewilding effort. When you take these positive stories home to share with your friends, you become an agent of positive change too.
In a recent interview, award-winning author Sophy Roberts said that she felt mass tourism has become about place rather than people. We couldn’t agree more, and our holidays very much focus on people. In a world of growing mistrust, we want to build bridges – to raise toasts with shepherds in Tatra Mountain pastures, feast with families in Slovene villages and hear herder’s tales around camp fires in the heart of the Apennines. Our guests return home with a gamut of new friends and a refreshed connection to the world beyond their own shores.
Marley is the founder and MD of Wild Europe.
With a wealth of experience running his other company, Silk Road Adventures, (featured in the Financial Times, Sunday Times, Telegraph, New York Times and more) Marley is no stranger to owning a successful luxury travel business, and brings the same forensic level of planning to Wild Europe’s holidays that Silk Road Adventures’ guests have enjoyed since 2015. As journalist Sophy Roberts wrote in the Financial Times in August 2020, “I hung on to every one of the stories told by my fixer for this trip, Marley Burns. He knows the ins and outs, from the best trucker stops to buy fresh pomegranate juice, to the most reliable drivers, to the farmers trying to re-wild their mountains and attract visitors”.
Passionate about off-beat, responsible travel, Marley has travelled extensively in Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, completing several world-first journeys along the way. He’s followed the course of the Amu Darya through the mountains of Central Asia, tracked snow leopards in Tajikistan, circumnavigated the Black Sea and driven across Turkey and Eastern Europe in a old Mercedes fire truck.
Before his career in travel, Marley worked as a renewable energy consultant in Nepal, wrote sustainability strategy for UK and Welsh governments, and was a director of several leading renewable energy companies. He wrote a thesis on carbon offsetting way back in 2002 and spent six years of his life not flying, well before flygskam was a thing. With its emphasis on slow, responsible travel and genuine sustainability, Wild Europe is Marley’s idea of travel Nirvana.
Marley speaks once-fluent French and German and is in the process of learning Russian. An experienced public speaker, he’s spoken at numerous travel and adventure shows.
Some Wild Europe Destinations
With high mountains, winding rivers, beautiful cities and abundant wildlife, this country has it all. On this holiday you’ll track wolves, meet the last of the Slovakian sherpas, explore medieval cities and walk in old-growth forests.
Explore the deeply forested Rhodope mountains in southern Bulgaria. See protected wildlife, visit hot springs, hike, bike and meet locals in both characterful homestays and first class hotels.