Though European trains and railpasses are extremely popular, buses may prove a better option. In Spain, buses are on par with trains; in Britain, Greece, Ireland, and Portugal, bus networks are more extensive, more efficient, and often more comfortable than train routes; and in Iceland and parts of northern Scandinavia, bus service is the only ground transportation available. In the rest of Europe, scat tered offerings from private companies can be inexpensive but sometimes unreli able. Often cheaper than railpasses, international bus passes typically allow unlimited travel on a hop-on, hop-off basis between major European cities. In gen eral, these services tend to be more popular among non-American backpackers.
Eurolines, 4 Cardiff Rd. LU11PP Luton (UK®015 8241 5841; www.eurolines.com). The largest operator of Europe-wide coach services, Eurolines offers unlimited peak-season 30-day (UK£259, under-26 UK£209) or 60-day (UK£299/229) travel between 30 major European cities in 16 countries; off-season prices are lower. Euroexplorers mini passes offer stops at select cities across Europe (UK£55-75).
Busabout, 258 Vauxhall Bridge Rd. London SW1V IBS (UK ®020 7950 1661; www.busabout.com) covers 60 European cities. Sells 2 week, consecutive-day passes (US$339, students US$309) and season passes (US$ 1149/1039). Flexipasses valid for 7 days out of 1 month (US$339/309) or 24 days out of 4months (US$909/809) also available.