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Dream Trip Itinerary - Backpacking Asia to Europe

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Hi there. I am posting this in both the Asia and Europe forums as it covers both.

I am from Australia and I am looking at doing 6-7 months backpacking through Asia and Europe from April to October 2017, ending up in the UK to work (I will apply for the youth mobility visa before I leave).

I really like planning and I am excited about my itinerary but it would be good to hear some different opinions on the whole thing.

Before I begin I will say that I like history, art, culture, music & theatre, nature, food, adventure and diversity!

This is what I am thinking of doing. I'd appreciate tips on anything.

April 2017 - Fly to Japan, spend approx. 2wks - Tokyo, Mount Fuji, Nagano, Gifu, Ishikawa, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kobe, Hiroshima. Cherry blossoms!

Ferry from Japan to South Korea, train across South Korea, then ferry to Beijing

Beijing - about 5 days - Great Wall of China, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, Ming Tombs, Purple Bamboo Garden, panda base, zoo & aquarium

Then I want to get the train from Beijing to Moscow, but I would make stops along the way. This should be the beginning of May.

Mongolia - one week - a couple of days in the capital and a short tour to Central Mongolia - I believe that the majority of hostels can help you arrange this. I will be quite early in the season though so I might try to pre-arrange something so that I don't miss out.

Ulan Ude - 2 days

Irkutsk and Olkhorn Island - 4 days

Yekaterinburg - 2 days - Asian/European border - so I guess at this point those on the Asian forum could stop reading! Or continue if you like...

Perm/Kungur - 3 days

I would actually end the train travel in Vladimir, outside of Mosocw and see some of the Golden Ring cities/towns first. So Vladimir, Suzdal, Yaroslavl, Rostov, Sergiyev Posad.

Then I would do Moscow, Veliky Novgorod and Saint Petersburg.

Now it would be June.

I'd make my way through far Eastern Europe over 3 weeks.

Ukraine - 10 days - Kiev, Chernobyl tour, the tunnel of love in Klevan, Odessa, Yalta, Kamyanets Podilsky (I am presuming that Crimea will be safe by then)

Romania - 5 days - Sibiu, Transfagarasan, Sighisoara, Brasov, Bran, Sinaia, Bucharest

Bulgaria - 5 days - Koprivshtitsa, Plovdiv, Veliko Tarnovo, Nessebar

Then onto Turkey - Istanbul, Gallipoli, Troy, Ephesus, Cappadocia, then down to Fethiye.

At this point it should be July.

I hope to do a gullet cruise from Fethiye to Bodrum, then another from Bodrum to Mykonos. (I have researched a few options for cabin charters.)

Fly or ferry into Athens and spend a couple of days.

Then Croatia - mostly the islands, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Split, Krka National Park and Plitvice National Park. Apparently there is a classical music festival on in July also that I would love.

Now the next part doesn't make so much sense geographically, but it makes sense seasonally and timing wise. I want to avoid Italy in August - I hear it can be very hot and lots of tourists in the cities.

So instead I would fly to Switzerland and work my way east and north, taking about a month, progressively getting further away from the traditional tourist destinations.

So August would be:

Switzerland - 5 days - Berne and Interlaken. I understand it is Swiss National Day on the 1st so if my timing is right that could be exciting.

Train to Austria - seeing beautiful scenery along the way. 9 days in Austria - Salzburg, Admont, Linz, Vienna

Now I understand that the next part is a bit rushed but I sort of just want to see the main sites in these places:

Budapest - 3 days (pretty much just for the baths)
Krakow - 3 days (Auschwitz and salt mines)
Vilnius - 3 days - visit Trakai Castle and the hill of crosses
Riga - 3 days - visit Rundale Palace and Gaujas National Park
Tallinn - 3 days - visit Saareema Island or Lahemaa Park and the seaplane museum

Now we would be in September, and I'd fly back down to Italy!
Spend 2 weeks - Naples/Pompeii, Rome, Florence (Tuscany & Pisa), Cinque Terra, Venice. Maybe Milan.

Then Prague - 3 days

Then Germany - timed for Oktoberfest. And Autumn leaves in the forests. Spend 2 weeks - Berlin, Leipzig, Nuremberg, Munich, Heidelberg, Stuttgart and The Black Forest.

Now we would be in October.

Into France - just the south - 1 week - Strasbourg, Nice (with the Gorges du Verdon) and Montpellier (with Saint Guilhem-le-Desert). Maybe Carcossone.

The rest of October would be in Spain and Portugal, hopefully 3 weeks - Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Toledo, Cordova, Granada, Seville, Evora, Lisbon, Sintra, Obidos, Coimbra, Agueda, Porto, Guimaraes, Braga (Definitely need to narrow this down! Too many places to see!)

Finally fly into London. I would have spent 90 days in the Schengen area so at this point I will have to get out to wait for my 90 days to reset. I budget to have about $5000 AUD left when I get to the UK, so I don't starve while I find a job. Hopefully I will work there for about a year. And do some more travel. Maybe work in Ireland as well. Willing to do anything really, but I will have administration experience and qualifications so hope to utilise that.

Places that would be left on my list to see are:

Obviously England, Ireland and Scotland, Paris, Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Sweden, Finland and Lapland.
I would also revisit anything that I really loved during that first 6 months.

If I somehow got a well paying job in the UK, I would also keep some money aside to go to Africa before coming back to Australia. Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria (friends there), Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa. Possibly do some volunteering.

What do you think? Pretty elaborate and crazy, but for me it would be the trip of a lifetime and I could die happy after that.

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