My wife and I are planning our trip to Europe after waiting over 2 years due to our job. We have gotten leave from 9 Aug until 9 Sept and would like to see as much as possible but we have NO idea where to start. The coutries we would like to see (we think) are England, Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Greece. Different things we would like to see would be London, Normandy, Greek Ruins, Roman ruins, Venice, WWII sites throughout Germany and Austria, Paris. Beyond that, we really don't have any clue what to do. First off, we plan on using the eurorail. I planned on this because I don't want to drive 1000's of miles on my vacation and be too tired to do anything else. Is this a very flexible form of transportation? We had also planned on renting cars in certain places for seeing the countryside. We had also thought about seeing some of the olympics at this time. What other things do you reccommend? All tips/hints would be very helpful. My fear is that we get to europe and go through the whole "what do you wanna do today" dance. We would like to also do things like stay in a castle(s), see great beaches, snorlke, hike, horseback ride, and DO things.. not just see museum after museum.. thanks!
nice choice for a honeymoon. My honest opinion - for 4 weeks your plans are overly-aggressive.
I would pick a region to visit - relax and enjoy your time ....the jump on jump off trip will be a strain.
The time of year you are goin may help narrow down your choice - August in Spain is brutally Hot as well as Italy - and both are overrun with tourists.
For a honeymoon i would recommend Paris - very romantic. and for WW11 - u should see France and Germany. so ide recommend a trip around France/Germany (Bavaria is so nice)..and maybe England. London is very cheap to fly to compared to other countries on the mainland. England is great for Castles too.
hope this helps.
It does help.. but hot is relative.. I was in "the desert" during summer months in the mid east where temps were 110-120 daily. Italy and Greece were two places I really wanted to see simply because I have always been fascinated by ancient rome and greece. Spain could be something we can skip.. but I have heard they had great beaches/water activities.. is this true or can we get this somewhere else?
nice. yeah maybe you are more adept at the heat. Although i have not been to Italy or Greece, Spain does have alot to offer...for beaches but Southern Portugal had the best beaches i think - the Algarve. But now we are way off your course.
My best advice i can give is dont try to cram 6 countries in 4 weeks. pick a region and really get to know that region - whether its France/Germany or Italy/greece - i also heard the Dalmation Coast has the best beaches in the Mediteranean. enjoy!
Hi . . if you like castles then think broader than little old England . . although we have some good castles such as Leeds Castle in Kent (has a moat with water!!), Windsor (just think royalty!), Tower of London (big on history) and Stokesay near Shrewsbury (that one is fab), Tintagnel in Cornwall (think King Arthur) . . . you really need to go into Wales and Scotland . . .they really have castles to write home about and some you can stay in . . .
With regard to the rest of Europe if you only have four weeks then my advice is that you probably do need to re-think your plans if you want to get to know then well . . .at a minimum I would consider one week in each country you visit, but you could spend all four in just one, and still only get a flavour . . .
Does this help? probably not! Feel free to ignore all of my suggestions, but do let us know how you get on (PS Scotland is wonderful in September!!)
Wow, you want to see a fair bit in a month.
My suggestion would be this: give eurail the flick, start in London and have a week seeing the sites. Then catch the Eurostar to either Paris or Brussells (okay Paris, it's your honeymoon) and spend a week there. Actually, Brussells is good as you can do a daytrip to Brugge which is a bit like Venice. Then, take the Eurostar back to London and catch a flight to somewhere like Rome on one of the cheap airlines (try Easyjet, Ryannair). Or you could go to Nice, or Malaga or Majorca or Ibiza.
I think if you do a lot of travel by eurail, you'll be spending half your trip on a train, and the other half organising it.
Have an excellent time.
I agree with the above posters- that is way, way, way too much to see in one month. Limit it to 2, maybe 3 countries. Germany-France-UK would be nice, I think. In the summers in Greece you can sleep out under the stars, which would be quite romantic for a honeymoon, but otherwise, I would say save it for another trip when you have more time and it isn't August. Deffinately reserve your accomodations before you go. BTW, the accomodations in Athens for the Olympics are screwed up due to poor planning by the committee, and all the hotels and especially hostels are already filled up, so staying in Athens at that time will be futile. Don't even try. If you must go to Greece, it would be best to stay in a nearby city/town and bus/train in to see an event or 2 and then back out for the night.
When jgodek says "overrun with tourists," it is really OVERRUN WITH TOURISTS!!! Seriously, all of France and Italy go on vacation in August for the entire month!!! That is why you may want to stick to the UK or Eastern Europe during that month. Either that, or wait until September (which is a great time to travel in Europe). You probably have your wedding planned and invitations sent, though, as well as your leave from work negotiated, as you said earlier, so you don't have that flexibility to change your plans, unfortunately.
Bavaria is nice, but make sure that you have a Hosteling International card if you plan on getting a double room in hostels, because the buy-as-you-go thing doesn't work well there. A lot of Bavarian hostels don't cooperate with this.
Hopefully you can make sense of all that! Congratz and have a great honeymoon!
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Like all the others said, you can't see all of europe in 1 month
I wouldn't go to Greece, Italy of Spain in the summer. It's too hot, and there are too many tourists. Those countries are better (nice temperature and less people) in spring or fall.
A better choice would be France, Germany and the UK. And you could also go to Belgium and Holland. They are right between Germany and France, so it'll be easy to go there.
When you do longer distances, you might considder going by plane. Ryanair is very cheap if you book early.
Or you could go to eastern Europe: Poland, Tchechia, Austria, ...
I've never been there myself but I think there's enough to do and see there as well
Greetz from Belgium
I agree with the other posters here, far too much to do in one month. In any case, when you get to Spain, France and Italy you are FORCED to relax. 2 hour lunches are the norm, although in the case of Spain this can extend to several hours.
London is a must and probably a very good place to fly into. We have several low cost airlines in the UK, so a flight to Glasgow or Edinburgh could take you up to the highlands for a few days (lots of gorgeous scenery and castles, oh and don't forget the whisky). You can even fly to Southampton where you'll find the fabulous New Forest, go cycling, walking then head along the south coast to Dorset. Studland Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches on the south coast (including a naturist beach) and perfect for walking part of the coastal path. That could take care of your first week.
Northern Spain isn't as hot as the south and is absolutely beatiful. Fly to Bilbao (low cost again) and rent a car - drive into the Picos de Europa, do some hiking/biking, you won't find that many tourists around. From there the Pyrenees are very accessible (east towards France). You could take a train to Toulouse, this is another beautiful part of the world, worth a day or two stopover.
You can fly to Paris (romance capital of the world) from Toulouse for about £15 and from Paris to Rome (another romantic place) for about £35. Sienna (don't miss the Palio if you're there in September), Florence and Pisa are all very 'doable' from Rome (although a friend was there at Christmas time and said it was expensive - but isn't everywhere at Xmas?).
I would recommend building in a bit of 'slack' as you're bound to meet people along the way who say 'have you been to ...........? oh you must it's absolutely fantastic'. Of course this has to be balanced out with putting an itinerary together, flights, cars etc. Decisions, decisions.
Take a look at www.skyscanner.net. This is a search engine comparing many (if not all) budget airlines, you can search by destination, month, weekend or day. A good place to start.
Although it often pays to look in other places - British Airways have some excellent deals on (they seem to be determined to undercut Easyjet!).
Don't forget also we have a very good package deal industry in the UK. My husband and I have just booked a last minute week (booked yesterday leaving Monday) in Madeira, 3 star B&B, flying from local airport for £234.
Whatever you do, have a great time and remember, you can always come back in the future.