Basically me and two friends are going to europe to travel, where all 18 year old students and its our first taster of travelling we fly to barcelona on the 21st of July, and 4 weeks later have a return flight from amsterdam.
Inbetween we have inter rail tickets starting 4 days after we arrive in barcelona for 3 weeks of travel, basically we have a start and an end point, and 3 weeks to travel around Europe, we have simple plans of where we want to go, the trouble is we would love to see Istanbul but 3 weeks to get from barcelona to Istanbul and back to amsterdam seems a stretch,
Does anyone have any routes around the med, places to see on a budget and realistic distances to fit as much of europe into the 3 weeks as possible.
3 weeks is not a whole lot of time. If you're ambitious, you might want to try to get to Sicily, get a ferry back to Spain (not included in your ticket, but not overly expensive if you don't book accommodation), and that's it. Getting to Sicily with a few stops in between (Perpignan, Marseille, Nice, Florence/Siena, Venice maybe, Rome, Naples, Catania) easily takes 10 days or so.
within 3 weeks, you won't have time to go to istanbul or greece !
I mean you will just run all the time and see nothing !
Enjoy Bacelona, the pyrennees (both side, french and spanish), go to perpignan, nimes, and then go up north by the alps (Mont-blanc is to see), and then stop by Paris, stop a few days here in the sun, and then finish your trip in Amsterdam.
Your time is already gone !
4 weeks and a rail pass that is valid for 3 weeks? That is not a lot of time. As a rule it is recommended that you spend 2-3 weeks per country, so you'll have your platter full just travelling around Spain, France and the Netherlands.
Tip: To use your Interrail pass to the max I would travel a lot in the countries where train travel is very expensive. If you can afford it Switzerland is the place to go. The interrail pass covers some of the otherwise very expensive panoramic trains (Glacier Express, Bernina Express). I would probably go from France through Switzerland down to Italy (Venice) and than back up through Austria (Salzburg) and Germany to Amsterdam.
Thanks for the advice, I think while its our first time and we dont have a lot of time to travel we'll just go with the flow and see where we end up.
Barcelona to Istanbul will take you about 4 days on the train(s). Your best route is via Milano, Zagreb, Beograd and Sofia. Then coming back to Netherlands from Istanbul, I would suggest train to Bratislava (lovely city), then Ryanair from Bratislava to Dusseldorf - from €6 one way including tax. A train from Dusseldorf to Amsterdam takes about two hours.