My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe from the end of June to the last week of July. We have traveled plenty before as a couple but the big change this time is a new addition - a son who will be 10 months old at the start of the trip.
Given this, we want to go somewhere that is more laid back and family friendly, and potentially rent a house / cottage that would serve as a home base for the entire time. With a baby, it will be hard to do any major excursions, but thought was to rent a car and check out the countryside / close sites.
The things that we think would be ideal are as follows:
1. Beautiful setting: ideally we would rent a home/apt overlooking the ocean with beautiful architecture in a city that isn't too big / crowded
2. "Baby-friendly": broad statement but basically easy to get to (we live in NYC so something like a direct flight and a short drive / hop to the destination. Then, while we're there, a place that is easy to use a stroller and drive a car. This rules out (from the little I know) something like the Amalfi Coast which would have too many steps
3. Nice to drive: plan is to rent a car and use that as a way to do some mini-excursions during the day into the countryside or to a local beach, etc. Somewhere that is car friendly and is "small" enough to experience diverse settings / buildings / food would be ideal
4. Safe: know crime is everywhere but don't want any places that are thought to be more at risk for robberies, etc.
5. Enough to do: I understand this is completely subjective but generally don't want to go to a small island where we would be pretty limited in the amount of area we could cover / things we could do. Our vacations pre-baby have been very busy but that isn't feasible with a baby but would like to have options available to us other than just hanging out by a beach / pool
So, hopefully that gives you experts enough to offer some guidance. Our initial thoughts are Tuscany, somewhere in Portugal (perhaps Algarve), or somewhere in the southern region of France but open to suggestions anywhere in Europe near a major body of water.
Also, if you think ~25 days is too much in one area but there are maybe two places within a relatively close distance that we could split our time, we are open to that as well.
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