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Train travel in Europe

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My Wife and I have just booked a trip to Europe leaving on January 6th returning back to Canada February 7th. We are landing in Paris and flying out of Barcelona and trying to figure out our best options for getting around. Our plan is to spend 3-4 days in Paris then make our way to Italy with a stop near Dijon for a night then in Switzerland for a night. We would then like to hit Venice, Florence, Rome and hopefully a small town or 2 along the way then over to Barcelona. Now we are looking at a 3 country rail pass to get us around Switzerland, Italy and Spain. I know we will need to purchase or pay for our legs thru France. I guess my question is, during this time of year is a rail pass the way to go or because it's low season would it be cheaper to purchase tickets as we go, not so much at the station the day of travel but even a day or 2 in advance? We don't want to be stuck to a schedule as we may want to be in 1 place longer or shorter depending on how it goes. Question number 2 is what is the best way to get from Italy to Barcelona? Should we do Rome first and work our way up and then take the train over or end up in Rome and then Fly over? I guess given the fact we only have 4 weeks we want to maximize our time, throwing around the idea of hitting either Ibiza or the Canary Islands for the last 5-7 days of our trip to unwind a bit but realize this May not happen given all the places we have in mind we want to see.

Any help, comments, advise you can pass along is greatly appreciated and I thank you for your time!

Chris and Cathy
Edmonton, AB Canada

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