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France to Italy advice needed please

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Hi everyone,

So the ideas for my six week Europe trip from Australia in July and August keep flowing, and so does the confusion of what to pick!

So far we have eight nights planned for Spain, from July 4 to July 12, then four nights in the Pyrenees to watch some of the Tour de France, before heading up to Paris. Here I want to stay at least three nights.

Then I really wanted to go to Chamonix. My travel companion wants to go to Venice so we could go our own way for a few days. Or I could go to Venice with her (both totally different experiences I know but will the mountains in the Pyrenees suffice and therefore is Venice worthy of seeing?) I should say I love the great outdoors and the natural beauty of the world the most - so hiking, running, cycling are my things ... but I also love cities and culture ...

So if we left Pairs on July 20 we would have to spend that day travelling no matter what I did. That would give me from July 21 to 26 to do either Venice or Chamonix. If I did Venice for two nights, i could perhaps go to the Dolomites (and therefore still get my mountain fix ..?) But it appears to take such a long time to get into and out of this area. From there we want to to to Cinque Terre - another long day of travelling to get to from the Dolomites ...

I guess my question is am I better off going to Chamonix and hiking and enjoying five or so days there and then putting up with just one day of long travel to get to Cinque Terre, or is it worth flying from Paris to Venice, heading up to the Dolomites (or is there somewhere else closer to Venice that I could get some great outdoors experience??) and then heading from there to Cnque Terre?

So much to think about!

Thanks :-)

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