My wife and I along with my two kids (6yo and 1.5yo) will be arriving in Barcelona in mid March next year and departing from Amsterdam in about four weeks time. We are looking for everyone input on how we can manage the trip as enjoyable and relaxing as possible since the kids will hold us up more than anything else. We love the outdoors and visiting old towns and villages with local characters and foods of course. Also love hidden gems that obviously less touristy and less travelled. I am thinking of spending 1.5 or 2 weeks down south before moving up as the weather hopefully better approaching April and catch the flower show in Amsterdam.
This is the third time we go to Europe but has never been to Spain or regional France. Some of the itinerary we are looking at is: SPAIN: Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, Cordoba, and seeing Alhambra. Then to FRANCE: Lourdess, Provence, Arles, Avignon, and if possible Nice. Then we plan to go north through ?Lyon? or other interesting cities and perhaps seeing Mont St Michael, Rouen, and Paris Disneyland through to maybe Dinant or Bruges in BELGIUM, continues to Rotterdam and finally Amsterdam.
My first thought regarding transportation is to take train within Spain then to Avignon or surroundings before renting a car to drive up north till Rouen. At this stage, we skip Paris altogether since we have been there before and bypass it to go to Disneyland.
My specific questions are:
1. What cities are interesting to look at along the way including in Netherlands? We went to Strasbourg and love it. Also Siena in Italy was gourgeous.
2. Also destination that are for kids or kids-friendly
3. We plan to stay in apartment with cooking facility, so we can quickly cook up food especially for the little one. Is this a good option? I know it will be time consuming but if the kids are happy, we definitely will have more enjoyable time.
4. We leased a car four years ago and drove from Rome to Paris and we find it work really well to stay outside capital city and get in with public transport. We want to try this method too although now our hands will be busier with the two kids. What town or cities in France we can use as transit for the bigger cities such as Provence, Avignon, Rouen?
5. What is the best way to reach Bruges or Dinant from Rouen? I am still weighing which one to visit as I am not sure if I will have time to visit both of them. Where should I drop off the car so I can make use of it till the border before changing to train?
Any suggestions are more than welcome or anything that I mentioned not worth visiting, please say so.
Thanks a lot.
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