This is my first post, and I got into this website while I was trying to find tips for my next long trip.
I am new to Europe, got here as an exchange student in the Netherlands and in January I'm going to travel the Coast of the Mediterranean, from Athens to Barcelona/Lisbon (haven't decided yet) and back to Amsterdam, where I currently live.
I was hoping to get tips from experienced travelers on the main places to visit or the main things to do, because it's gonna be a rather short trip (15-18 days).
The cities I want to visit are (in that order, since I'm working my way from East to West):
-Nice and the southern coast of France
-Lisbon (I dont know if i will have enough time, it's a 12 hour train ride from Barcelona and my time is limited)
I wanted to do this Mediterranean coast trip before I got to Europe and I found a guide in Lonely Planet that coincidentally had the same recommended trip, but running from Barcelona to Athens.
Thanks in advance for the help! Will be really nice if you could help me decide whether or not go to Lisbon or spend more time somewhere else, because I want to see as much as I can (this could be my only opportunity to be in Europe!).
I would totally go to Lisbon in this case, it's a beautiful city, holding the true spirit of the Southern Europe. The weather should be quiet nice too! But I'm afraid you would be too tired - 9 big and beautiful cities in only 15-18 days could be overwhelming. Have you any chance to expand your journey?
Argh. Yes. Actually I'm posting this in a different topic because I really want to get as many opinions as possible, but my actual travel plan is this:
-28 December: Arrive to Tel-Aviv (I have the ticket already)
-27 January: Arrive to Amsterdam (I dont know from where, if Barcelona or Lisbon)
That's all i know; the distribution of days is not decided yet, but for starters, I thought of 12 days in Middle East and 18 days in Europe)
As for energy, I have all the energy and im very excited. Since I dont have neither much money nor much time, I have all the energy required (I plan on catching sleeper trains to pay less accomodations, but probably thats not a good idea because I don't want to miss the landscapes)
I'm Portuguese, from Lisbon.
12 hours is not much but, if you have the time go to the castle (Castelo de São Jorge) from where you can have a nice view of Lisbon and than take the tram (electric bus) nº 28.
The 28 will cross the oldest part of Lisbon and like this you can have an idea of the city.
Take the opportunity to seat in a coffee shop and ask for a coffee and a "Pastel de Nata" which is a local cake - I just had one ehehehe.
You should definitely go to Lisbon. It's a wonderful city that combines tradition and modernity in a very unique way, the nightlife is one of the best in Europe and portuguese people are very friendly.
If you are limited in time and want to cut off some place from the plan, i would suggest Milan. Besides the Duomo (cathedral) and the famous shopping area, there's no much to see and no much beauty around.
If you get the chance, take a ferry from Athens to one of the Greek Islands. Aegina for exemple is less than 1 hour distance from Piraeus port in Athens and can be visited in a day.
Again, you can do the same from Dubrovnik. Mljet island is one of the most beautiful places i've been in Europe. It's a very green and peaceful island one hour away from Dubrovnik and it's covered in its half by a national park where you'll find some nice spots to hike or swim.
Venice and Florence can be each visited in a day or two. You should try to spend more time in Athens, Rome, Barcelona and Lisbon (if you decide to go). Be sure to check Easyjet and Ryanair, maybe they have routes between the 2 cities and you'd save some time.
Enjoy your trip
Hey, nice plans, but not enough time!
You should really reduce it to max 4-5 cities, maybe from Italy to Lisbon or or from Athens to Italy.
I guess it´s better to get a more intensive impression of the countries/cities than than just hopping from one to another.
I would advice over land trips (trains/busses) as you get an impression from the countryside, it´s often more worth than many cities. Barcelona and Lisbon are great!
PS: Don´t miss Montenegro and Dubrovnik, they´re beautiful!
PPS: Don´t underestimate time for travelling overland in the Balkan and in general. You should at least (!) plan with 2-3 days/nights per town including transfer to the next, you won´t enjoy if you just have one night in each city
[ Edit: Edited on 27-Nov-2011, at 09:45 by kmk8 ]