We are leasing a car in France this summer and have 83 days to travel from Paris to Paris, after having spent five nights based in Paris having fun and adjusting to time-zones. We will be travelling from mid-May.
We have had quite a time trying to work out a viable itinerary and so far are contemplating the general route below. We thought adding Greece would definitely be too much.
Thoughts and advice on the route and distances would be appreciated.
Days - including travel and stops along the way
Drive from Paris to:
1 Versaille - Rouen
1 Mont St Michel
4 Naples/Amalfi Coast
5 Munich - Bavaria
3 Milan (via Lakes)
9 Unplanned Days along the way
Wow, now that's an itinerary!
I think the route and time (almost 3 months) is ok, and not including Greece will certainly be a good idea.
There are some places though were you spend a little to much time, like Tours (why 3 days?) and places which deserve more time, like Sevilla and Cordoba.
O, by the way, why are you doing an extra loop from Brussels southwards toward Switserland and Milan? Maybe you can fit Milan/Switserland in and go to Munich and on to Vienna from there? This way you don't need an extra several of thousands of kilometers anymore.
And although Lyon is nice, Dijon is nothing much.
Some places along the way which might be nice:
Picos de Europas (mountains in Spain)
Salamanca and Toledo
Maybe Bratislava (close to Vienna)
Have fun. Michael
Wow - your trip sounds like a dream! The only thing I'd suggest is to spend a day or two along the beaches in Normandy before or after seing Mont St. Michel. The whole area is made for driving (it's a pain trying to catch the busses there), plus the beaches and the small towns around are beautiful. I stayed in Caen, but there's also Honfleur that's supposed to be breathtaking.
I also agree with Utrecht - try not to double-back so you can save time and make the absolute most of your trip. Draw it out on a map and you can see how to adjust. Other than that, have a fantastic time!
My girlfriend and I are doing a very similar trip this summer as well -we are going around Europe for 3 months in our Kombi Van, covering germany, france and spain.
Are you looking to stay in Hostels, or camp? I was thinking a decent way to get around without paying the large fuel cost of a van might be to take an estate or a station wagon, with folded down seats as a bed in the back. Maybe a little cramped, but a cheap way of doing it.
Anyway good luck with your trip, Slovenia is a really beautiful country in the east if you've got time!
Thank you all for the feedback and suggestions.
Why "the extra loop from Brussels southwards?"
We want to see Cologne/Heidelberg as well as Salburg/Vienna and Budapest & Prague. We thought of looping up through Dresden/Berlin and then over to the Netherlands & Belgium. Perhaps we could drop back from Prague to Munich (or Berlin to Munich) and then drive west to Switzerland and then north via Heidelberg to Amsterdam.
We really had questions over whether Poland and Dresden/Berlin should be included in the trip. They take us north-east and thus the need to double back to some degree.
I also had thought of a figure eight shaped tour (crossing in Bavaria), that might bring good luck!
We plan to be staying in campgrounds and B&Bs. We will either take a tent with us or look to buy one somewhere in Paris. There must be a discount store somewhere in town. The B&B in which we stay in Paris will hopefully help point us in the right direction.
We have leased a Renault Clio. We tried one out at a local dealer. Sleeping in them would seem to be akin to tourist class on a plane. The mid sized cars weren't much better and the Espace is so much more expensive that it would pay for a very nice tent complete with a camping set! We hope to only have to sleep in the car as a last resort - which we DO expect to reach!
I'm sure that once we get on the road we will find information centres and details on where camping grounds are.