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I have been pouring over past posts on this subject, trying to come up with a plan for our summer trip for my family of 5 (3 kids, ages 6, 8 and 10). I am hoping to secure mileage tickets as we did for our trip last summer, so the basic parameters of our plan need to be settled asap. I will have lots of time after that to work out specifics for the daily activities. We love outdoor activities, especially hiking and boating, and I love small, scenic villages (preferably with easy walking access to restaurants and such). For example, we love Positano, Ravello and Bellagio. My husband has requested that we skip the large cities this time and have a true holiday, with time to relax and enjoy the scenery and the kids. He has also requested minimal moving of accommodations (within reason). I am hoping to include the alps, the lakes, and a few days in Liguria. When we do move, I am trying to avoid super long travel days. We will have between 3 and 4 weeks. I am thinking we will spend 10 days in Switzerland, 10 in the Italian lakes, and 4 in Liguria. For Switzerland, I want to include a stay in Zermatt but would like to break up the journey from Zurich with another location in between.
Here is what I'm thinking:
Fly into Zurich and transfer to Interlaken, Murren or Lauterbrunnen. Stay for _____ days?
Transfer to Zermatt. Stay for ______ days? In these areas, I'd like to do lots of walks and hikes, visit Mt. Titlis, visit the Forest Fun Park for zip lining, try a summer luge or toboggan, and if we can come across fields of wildflowers and castles my 6 year old would be thrilled. I know there is lots more to fill in here, but mainly for now I need to settle on our base locations and how to split them up time-wise.
Travel to Stresa and spend 1 or 2 nights, then settle into a Lake Como base for 8 or 9 nights. We love Bellagio, but I am finding lodging options there to be limited. I'm really looking for an apartment (or hotel with apartments) and access to a pool for the kids. I'd also like to be in a town with walking around options for restaurants. Perhaps Mennagio? Varenna? Any suggestions for base locations here would be appreciated!
Travel to Liguria to see some of the towns (Portovenere, Sestri Levante) and do some cinque terre hikes. I am thinking perhaps Santa Margherita for our base here, but again I'm open to suggestions.
Then fly home from Genoa, Pisa or Milan (depending on ticket availability).
Please let me know your thoughts! I would especially love to hear opinions on which towns to choose for lodging and how to split the time. Would Interlaken be redundant (although beautiful) given the time we will be spending in the Italian lakes? Are the other towns too similar to Zermatt to be worth the change in accommodation? Finally, does it make more sense to do the trip in this order or in the reverse? We would begin probably the last week of June. Thanks in advance!!
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