I would like to explain my current conundrum, in hopes for some input from those who are well travelled and experienced in the regions of France (namely Paris, though I look to explore more) and the Grecian islands.
My boyfriend and I (we are 25&32 years old) are going to Europe for 2 weeks in Feb/March or March/April. One of the main reasons for the trip is to visit some friends that moved to Paris (actually live in Villejuif), but we would also like to venture off and explore a bit on our own as well. Our tentative plan is to fly into Paris and stay in the area for the first week. I would love to see some other sights in France as well- some things that top my list are
.Cancale/Dinan/St. Malo (we LOVE oysters and seafood, and have heard that Bretons are the nicest people and I am a big fan of anything medieval),
.Chartres ( I have done a lot of labyrinth work and have oohed and awed at the pilgrimages there),
and also growing up in the Wine Country in California we would love to see(/taste!) theirs so of course Burgundy and Champagne sound lovely but are largely unresearched & ambiguous to us. I realize I have just about mentioned the entire country so I am trying to narrow down to some place that would be a good trip for a day or two from Paris by train during the time of the year we will be going that won't be too expensive. I'm sure we could also spend the entire time in the Paris area and find plenty to do...
As for Greece, I have a psychology degree and the roots of which are deep in Greek mythology. I want to spend a day or so in Athens visiting ruins and being historians, but have the bulk of the remaining time be spent on the islands which seem to ooze beauty and romance. The Cyclades (namely Santorini with the picturesque white cube houses on the hillside) and Crete (Minoan histology) are what have caught my eye. Mykonos' night life sounds amazing but it doesn't seem like it would be alive during the time we have available. In fact, I worry that going the earlier timeslot would mean Greece would have ghost towns since the tourist season doesn't start until April (right?).... except that Tsiknopempti is March 6/7 and Carnival is the following weekend. I have read that this shouldn't be missed and takes place largely in Crete.
To conclude my windy explanation, my main questions are
When would you recommend us going for the most pleasurable experience? The options for two week time periods are Feb. 20 to March 15 or March 24 to April 9
Where in France would be most suitable for the time period and our interests?
And which of the Grecian Islands are recommended (for culture, beauty, history/mythology, and nightlife... we are also wildly into House music and enjoy a good party!)?
--> also, would you recommend traveling by boat or flying between the islands given the distance and short time period?
This is our first big trip together and we want it to be magical... exciting as well as relaxing and romantic! We are laid back kinda slow moving people who don't like strict schedules or a lot of stress. We want to be able to enjoy and experience a bit of Europe as well as eachother...
Thank you soo much for taking the time to read and respond!
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