Hi all, I'm in need of desperate help. My boyfriend is currently studing cooking in Sorrento, Italy and I will be meeting him there before we take our month long trip around Europe March 19,2008 - April 19,2008. I need help planning please.
We want to hit these places for sure:
Venice, Italy - 2 or 3 days
some island in Greece
Belgium - 4 days for sure
Amsterdam - 1 or 2 days
We are not sure how long to stay in these places or where to go first. And we are looking for the cheapest forms of transportation available. I have heard that there are plenty of low cost carriers in Europe, does anyone know of any? Also, after our trip will be flying back to the U.S.A. either out of London, Paris, or Amsterdam so we need to be sure that our trip ends in one of those cities. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks in advance
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 24, 2008, at 4:47 AM by bearohony ]
OK. Here's what you should try to budget in terms of time for each city/town:
Venice - 2 days (at least one night though)
Paris - 4 days
Brugge (Belgium) - 1 day
Amsterdam - 1 day (2 days if you want it to be more relaxed)
London - 5 days (if this is your first time to London)
Check out www.bahn.de and click on the "International visitors" link to get a sense of the train schedules. I hope this helps.
I'm assuming you mean flights when you mention carriers. Ryanair and Easyjet are good budget airlines.
Venice - Paris - Brussels - Amsterdam - London
That's the route you'll want to take between those 5 places. You'll have more time to see other places though, I'm just not sure what you two want to see. You should definitely see Rome and Florence since you're in Italy. The only reason why you shouldn't is if you boyfriend doesn't want to. Since he's been in Italy for a while he's probably been to all the main cities. You should definitely make a trip to Switzerland as it's right in the middle of this route. Interlaken and Zurich are good sites. The only time you'll really need one of those budget flights is when you're traveling from Amsterdam to London. You'll find that within mainland Europe, the train is the best way to travel.
I almost forgot you mentioned Greece
There's no point in going if you want to go to one island. That's not really possible. You'll have to pass through a few of them anyway. The most well known are Santorini & Mykonos. Those should be on your list if you're going to Greece. It'll take a good 10 days minimum to visit Greece if that's really what you want to do.
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 24, 2008, at 11:03 PM by NantesFC ]
To follow up Nantes comments, if you do want to go to Greece and your bf is in Sorrento, you should go there first. Take a train to Brindisi then the boat to Igoumentsia or Patras (depending on final destination). You either then have the islands on the West coast (like Corfu or Kefallonia) or you can continue via Athens/Piraeus to Aegean/Crete sea islands. If you are on a rail pass, the ferry is included.
From there, whilst you can train all the way back up north as you don't have much time, I would aim to fly to either Amsterdam, Paris or London. Easyjet fly from Athens to Paris Orly for 100euros (i plonked in a random date in late March), though prices will rise around Easter, so book ASAP. You can then train it Paris - Bruxelles/Brugge-Amsterdam, and then fly or train/boat to London.
There is one direct Paris-Brugge train a day, but lots more if you change in Bruxelles (or Lille, though you often have to change again if you do that), and unless you book well in advance, it generally works out cheaper to buy a Paris-Bruxelles ticket, change and get a Bruxelles-Brugge ticket then (lots of trains). Note that Paris-Bruxelles/Lille requires pre-booking