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Europe Attractions and Travel tips!

Travel Forums Europe Europe Attractions and Travel tips!

1. Posted by duranseymo (Budding Member, 6 posts) 30 Apr '12 19:25

Hi Everyone,

I was just wanting to possibly get some great attractions I could visit in the following places! And also could you tell me what kind of transport I should use to get to these destinations, I am looking at training most of it for now :)

1. South-west France
2. North of Spain
3. West Portugal
4. East Spain
5. All of Italy!
6. Greece
7. Croatia
8. Switzerland

The Long trips (eg. South Italy --> Croatia) we will fly. But most other places we are looking to purchase the train passes that will allow us 19 days on the train, for 3months. I thought that would definitely be possible.

I am doing this trip in July till October, please let me know your thoughts and opinions.

Thankyou!
Duran

2. Posted by tatianaabreu (Budding Member, 72 posts) 15 May '12 01:30

Hello Duran!
I think i can give you some advice since i've been in all the countries you've mentioned and i do know a lot in particular about two of them (Portugal, where i am from; and Switzerland, where i am currently living).

I think the choice of the transportation depends a lot on whether you prefer to visit only the main cities or if you'd like to explore some other beautiful places in between cities. Because if you want to go directly from city to city without making any other stop the plane is definitely the fastest and sometimes cheapest way to travel in Europe, because we have a large offer of low-cost companies: Easyjet, Ryanair and Wizzair are the most popular among them.

In France and Italy i recommend you to use the train, because the service is great with many choices from slow to fast trains, day and night trains, "affordable" and expensive. You should know that these two countries are quite expensive and purchasing a pass would be a better idea than just buying a ticket each time you want to go to another place. In Switzerland, you could use the train too, in case you purchase the pass. I think this country has the best railway system of Europe, there's almost no place that you cannot reach with a train (even in the mountains you have the mountain-trains and cable-trains). But Switzerland is extremely expensive and transportation is not an exception. So again, i would recommend you to use the train only in case you have purchased a pass. Otherwise, you could rent a car in Switzerland, the price being correct comparing to other european countries. And because it is a small country you don't need that much time to cross the country from west to east and north to south.

Portugal is a small country, but unfortunately the rail system is not as well developed as in other countries. And it is actually slower and more expensive to travel by train than by coach (the exception is for the connection between the big cities like Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto, because there are faster trains). Like I said for Switzerland, in Portugal too it could be a good option to rent a car, in case you don't buy a pass. Because the country is small and offers high-quality roads, especially on the west coast.

Spain has a better railway system than Portugal, the problem is that the country is large and it can take you a lot of time to get to one place to another. But it has its advantages, because you can always stop and discover some place in between, especially on the east coast, if you're looking to discover the beaches (between Alicante and Barcelona there's a good railway infrastructure, which is not the case in the north of Spain, where to go from San Sebastian to La Coruña, for example, you'd have to travel more to the interior because there is no railway by the coast).
From north Spain to Portugal you can go by train, without problems.

In Greece, it depends if you will focus your trip more in the mainland or in the islands. Because there's a good and not very expensive ferry system between the islands and between the islands (of the same group at least, it's more difficult to get from one group of islands to the other) and the mainland, especially in high-season, when you'll be travelling. Also, there are several ferries running from and to Italy. The train system is good in the mainland, especially in the east and north coast, the west being less developed and best deserved by coaches. But don't forget Greece is suffering from a severe european crisis at the moment and strikes are constantly happening, so cancelled trains are very common.

Croatia is also a country you can discover by train, except for the southest region (south of Split, which includes the islands and Dubrovnik, a city not to be missed!). The center and north of the country are well connected by train. Alternatively you can take the bus (which is cheap comparing to other european countries) to visit some places that the train does not reach. Croatia used to be one of the cheapest countries in Europe, but lately, with all the tourist importance it has gained, it's unfortunately becoming more and more expensive.

I think overall purchasing a pass is the best option. Just be aware that there are some places that you cannot reach with the train. Another good thing about purchasing the pass is that you have sometimes discounts in some attractions and discounts in travelling by ferry as well.

Hope i could help you. And happy travel!

3. Posted by duranseymo (Budding Member, 6 posts) 15 May '12 02:47

Hey there,

You have been so helpful, I will most likely get the train pass, I am really pleased with your feedback! Thanks so much!

Duran

Post 4 was removed by a moderator