I am a solo photographer/traveler planning 22-day backpacking trip in Western Europe between July and August. I have been planning for this trip for a month and I have a pretty solid initial idea of the trip's itinrary, however, I would be willing to change and modify my plans based on the experienced insights to make this trip more realistic and enjoyable.
I am planning to fly into Paris on the 17th of July and will fly out of Barcelona on the 7th of August. and the plan is to depend on trains to move between cities. Below, please find the itinerary I have so far:
17/7: fly in Paris
21/7: leave Paris to Brussels (spend half a day ) and continue to Amsterdam
25/7: Leave Amsterdam to Milan
26/7: Milan (then overnight train to Rome arriving early on the 27th)
30-31/7: leaving Rome to Madrid (passing by Monaco, Cannes & Marseille spending half a day in each)
7/8: fly out of Bracelona heading Home
Seems crazy? unrealistic? and difficult? is it enough time planned for each major city stated above? any ideas or thoughts on how should i approach my itinerary? or have I done a good jobb here
I enjoy art, architecture, good food and drink, exploring cities and culture, and photography.
Thanking you in advance for your valuable comments
I'd cut Milan and fly straight to Rome from Amsterdam. Other than that the itinerary looks doable. Crammed to the brim in such a way that you'll be near exhausted at the end of the trip, but you're explicitly noting your travel days and not trying to add them to the city days (which is a mistake far too many people make), so that gives me the confidence that you know what you're in for.
The thing I'm most uncertain about in this itinerary are the "half days" you plan to stop for in various cities while training from place to place. I've never done that, but assume you're basing it on actual train times, and that this is in fact realistic? Be prepared for missing out on at least one of those places due to a train being delayed.
If your prime purpose is shooting, I think you're going to get fried pretty quick. I'd also cut Madrid to perhaps spend more time along the Côte d'Azur on your way to Spain, or an extra day in Paris maybe? Perhaps you could also consider Bruges in Belgium? It's your trip though - and there's no right answer. Just pace yourself I think.
Just my thoughts.
edit - just wondered. where you from?
[ Edit: Edited on 28-Jun-2009, at 15:39 by fabyomama ]
Thank you so much for you input and thoughts...It's very much appreciated really... I am from Jordan (Middle East) ..
To be honest, I guess this itinerary is gonna be challenging so I am thinking of modifying as I go... see hoe things are going to turn out when i am actually there.... the train hopping thing along the Côte d'Azur on the way to Spain is a big concern for me...I guess i just couldn't resist the temptation of checking out these areas as opposite to flying to Madrid from Rome (which might be the rational way to get there) and missing on these areas.... anyway...i guess cutting Madrid and spending more time along the Côte d'Azur if i liked it there upon arrival. That seems more logical I guess!
I have considered Bruge at the beginning but due to time limitation (the time i am dedicating to Belgium) i thought i would spend few hrs getting the feel of Brussels and leave the other destination to another trip! I will check the transportation times between Brussels and Bruge and see if I would have sufficient time to spend my half day in Bruge instead before heading to Amsterdam.
Thank you too for your thoughts...
yeah I am worried about those "half days" along the Côte d'Azur myself. and yeas i am basing it on actual train timings and it does sound realistic in theory (on paper), ofcourse those timings might change and i might end up either late behind schedule or totaly dead-ended! and i believe your concerns are right spot on! I am thinking of either skip Madrid and base myself in Nice in order to go on day trip to the stated cities or just try to make and exhaust myself LOL...i will see how it will go...
As for Flying from Amsterdam to Rome...i have tried to check out flights in the initial plan but it was either too expensive for me (costing around 100 euros)! or just not available via the Cheap airlines! so the train route was more in line with my budget....I don't mind paying something like 50 euros for such flight but 100 is a bit streched for my budget. any thoughts?