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First Time trip to Europe (France, Italy, Greece)

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Hello All, After reading a few handful of posts on this website, I'm convinced this is a good place to ask questions about our upcoming trip to Europe. My wife and I are planning to go to Europe for the first time during the end of May 2013. We set aside 2 weeks and we are flying from Portland, Oregon USA.

We are into romantic walks, breathtaking photos, food, art, history, culture, and beaches where possible. So far, we are planning the following destinations with the length of stay listed beside it.

1.) Paris - 5 nights, 4 days

2.) Venice - 4 nights, 3 days

3.) Santorini - 4 nights, 3 days

We are consulting friends who have been to these places but we have so many questions. We are also considering getting in touch with a travel agent but some folks on this website say consulting fellow members is better. Here are my initial questions:

- Are the length of stays appropriate? We think Paris is appropriate but not sure about the others?

- Are there any other destinations that are better suited for our interest? Friends suggested Malta and/or Crete, for example.

- What are the quickest, most cost effective transit methods to get from Paris to Venice and Santorini?

- Do you trust rented units (think www.airbnb.com) over hotels when traveling?

Thanks.

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