I am at the very initial stages of planning a family holiday to the south of Europe and am looking for advice on accommodation, things to see and do and possibly things to see and do between cities etc...
Plus advice on short term car leasing and/or car rentals
and anything else that you may think is worthwhile.
The planned itinerary is I guess somewhat aggressive in its nature, but I think it is doable.
So pretty much, this is my thoughts
Fly from Australia to Lisbon
Stay Lisbon stay 2 nights
Fly from Lisbon to Madrid
Pick up Car Lease/Rental
Stay Madrid 2 nights
Drive Madrid to Valencia
Stay Valencia 2 nights
Drive Valencia to Barcelona
Stay Barcelona 2 nights
Drive Barcelona to Marseilles
Stay Marseilles 2 nights
Drive Marseilles to Nice
Stay Nice 3 nights with possible day trip to Cannes, Monaco
Drive from Nice to Milan
Stay Milan 2 nights
Drive from Milan to Venice
Stay Venice 2 nights
Drive from Venice to Pisa
Stay Pisa 2 nights
Drive from Pisa to Rome
Stay Rome 4 nights
Fly from Rome to Australia
So as you can see it is a very packed schedule, but I am sure it would be one that we would enjoy.
So as I said any recommendations or maybe changes to how many nights we should stay at places or even if we should stay at some of these places and anything else that you experts could assist with would be greatly appreciated.
Even any kind of events that may be happening as I am looking at the September/October area of the year for the holiday.
Pick up a car and drop it off two countries away? Have you tried pricing this? Normally if you do not drop a car off where you picked it up, there is a steep one way charge but driving a car through Spain, France and Italy, the car company may not allow it or may not cover you for insurance. I would try a company like Hertz which is a major chain.
It may be better to travel on public transport (bus, plane or train) between destinations and hire a car as needed.
Though you can walk around the central part of Lisbon, a car is handy there and nearby places like Sintra.
A car in a major city like Madrid, Barcelona, etc can be a serious problem. You need to get early into a parking garage. Illegally parked and it might be towed (very expensive). Legally parked on the street and some idiot might double park and block you in. Parking will be a serious problem in a number of destinations.
You have some serious driving to do there and roads can be very busy, with traffic fast and furious. Seemingly endless toll booths on some roads do not help either but to use them with add very substantially to your journeys.
Driving across Spain 12th to 13th September last year, I had some seriously hot temperatures in my car so air conditioning might be an idea.
Not a lot in Marseilles or Nice. You can do Cannes and Monaco on the way (I stay in close by Menton overnight when I did a similar journey some years ago, which is a lot cheaper than Monaco. Possibly you could have a day in Florence (one day is sufficient for Pisa).
Places like the Prado, the Leaning Tower, the Uffizi Gallery and such it is better if you buy tickets on the internet beforehand rather than joining very long queues.
Don't forget Pompeii.
One day in Valencia.
[ Edit: Edited on 18-May-2012, at 13:04 by Cyberia ]
Nearly forgot accommodation:
lowcostholidays, trivago, hotelscombined, hotels.com, hostelbookers, etc.
When in Lisbon you might want to take one day to see the city and one to see Sintra, a small romantic village one hour from Lisbon but worth the visit.
One day in Lisbon: walk the medieval neighborhood of Alfama, the romantic neighborhood of Bairro Alto and the XVII century neighborhood of Baixa (also called Baixa Pombalina)
About Madrid I see you mentioned the museum El Prado. Is a nice one with clssic spanish painter like Goya, Velasquez ... I love Goya very related with the french invasion.
Check about the Reina Sofia (Queen Sophia) you can see there the Guernica, from Picaso and som Dali paintings.
Being in Barcelona I love to go to Ciutat Vella, is an old neighborhood near the Port Olimpic, quite interesting. Naturally the Ramblas, the Sagrada Familia (lovely)
If you need more input, you can send me an email.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]