10 day trip to europe

Old Jun 16th, 2024, 01:42 AM
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10 day trip to europe

My Wife and I want to take a 10 day trip end of september/early october from the UK to europe.

We would like to ideally end up in Switzerland but thats not absolutely necessary, its all about having a nice time so happy to accept ideas.

It will just be my wife and I ( I am 65 she is 55 ).

We love culture, scenery, history etc

We were suggested this route if we wanted to go to switzerland

Folkestone / Reims / Strasbourg / Basel / Interlaken / Lausanne / Dijon / Orléans

p.s. for reasons I dont want to go into flights are not possible just just driving / train


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Old Jun 16th, 2024, 02:23 AM
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You could get the Eurostar from St Pancras to Paris, then the TGV Strasbourg (or Geneva?). There are quite a few options from the UK, it depends on what you want to see along the way, or if you want to get there quickly, then enjoy Switzerland once you arrive. Coming back (presumably to the UK?) do you particularly want to visit Dijon or Orleans? Or is the quickest route better for you?
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Old Jun 16th, 2024, 02:58 AM
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Have a look at seat61.com, the bible for rail travel anywhere. There will be information on a variety of routes to Switzerland.
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Old Jun 16th, 2024, 03:26 AM
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I'd do that trip by train as you suggest

Orleans seems a bit of an outsider

As for planning I'd start with rome2rio just to get a shape to your plan and then focus in on the interesting details.
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Old Jun 16th, 2024, 03:38 AM
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Certainly aim to do your trip before October 6th when the Schengen Entry/Exit Scheme is due to start.
If Switzerland is you goal then take KayF's advice and take the train. If you go by car with only ten days you will see a lot of boring toll motorways on your way there, and watch the train overtake you along the way.

If you'd rather go by car but don't try to get to Switzerland. Pick a part of France and explore that.
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Old Jun 16th, 2024, 07:20 AM
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Thanks to everyone

We are very open to suggestions and it does seem that 9/10 days is a push for Switzerland, certainly by car and maybe we might have to stick to France

We mentioned Dijon,, Orleans etc purely as I saw them on the map not for any reason. If there are beautiful and interesting places in France to visit that would make the 10 days easier then more than happy.

We did wonder ( if we decided to still go as far as switzerland ) what about motor-rail.. is that a possibility ?

cheers

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Old Jun 16th, 2024, 07:31 AM
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Seat61 has full information about remaining motor rail routes but the simple answer is no.
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Old Jun 16th, 2024, 11:54 PM
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How about finding the quickest train journey to Switzerland and back and spend the rest of your time seeing beautiful Swiss scenery?

Or train to Paris, train to Brugge, train to Amsterdam, stay in all 3 places.

Or TGV from Paris to Bordeaux, stay in La Rochele on the coast as well.

There are so many options (ferry to Jersey?). A bit more info on what you like or don't like would help.
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Old Jun 20th, 2024, 05:07 AM
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Your itinerary is lovely and if I were doing it, I'd opt for no driving, however, I'd fear that to see all the cities you've listed, you risk spending a bit too much of your time on train platforms, and not actually seeing the cities you want to see. However, for some train nerds (I certainly qualify) that may be exactly what you are looking for. Assuming you don't want to spend too much time actually going to/from rail stations, I would suggest dropping two cities, and personally I'd suggest dropping Basel and Orleans, depending on what you want.
I have been to Dijon and it is a lovely city. They have a "Beaux-arts" museum collocated with the large historic Ducal Palace, the Eiffel designed Indoor Market, and a fine cathedral, all worth a look. If you are a wine aficionado,, a side trip to nearby Beaune, the very heart of Burgundy wine production, is certainly worth considering. You can google search vendors who can be contracted for a 1/2 day winery tour.
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Old Jun 20th, 2024, 06:59 AM
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Beaune is probaby the very heart of wine sales, but has little to do with production. Just saying
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 11:45 AM
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Thanks for all the replies

let me be a bit more informative..

First, Switzerland by car was just an idea as my wife wanted to go there but we realise that a 10 day trip to Switzerland aswell as other towns/cities would be too rushed

In essence we just want to get away for a europe road trip for 10 days and visit interesting places. We love pretty towns, lakes, rivers, coffee shops ! and craft places for example

Of course my wife would love to be by the coast but I dont think that would be possible by car

Despite me thinking we could mix car/rail it seems from the comments we cant

We would be happy stopping at hotels or airbnb type places

and finally the reason we wanted to go by car was for the flexibility and scenery / towns we would drive through

Thanks a lot
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Old Jun 24th, 2024, 11:54 AM
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Ok, with apologies for projecting my own bias into your thread, since you listed "Basel and Strasbourg" you may want to linger a bit in the Alsace region. I understand the towns there are lovely and the history is remarkable. In particular there was much heavy fighting around Colmar in late 1944 and three are many military museums in that region as a result. Also, jsut up river from Basel is, of course the Rhine falls and Stein am Rhine, also very scenic and seems to fit your criteria.
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Old Jun 25th, 2024, 07:40 AM
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Euro trip

Originally Posted by danielgarner4901
Ok, with apologies for projecting my own bias into your thread, since you listed "Basel and Strasbourg" you may want to linger a bit in the Alsace region. I understand the towns there are lovely and the history is remarkable. In particular there was much heavy fighting around Colmar in late 1944 and three are many military museums in that region as a result. Also, jsut up river from Basel is, of course the Rhine falls and Stein am Rhine, also very scenic and seems to fit your criteria.

No need to apologise

I realis now we were far to quick to name places !

Anyone name some really nice towns/villages to visit and stay in France

Ideally some at least near some lakes, sea etc

Thanks

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Old Jun 25th, 2024, 08:02 AM
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What do people think of this

Calais.....

Lille - Stay 1 night
Alsace ( 5 hrs drive , stop for lunch somewhere, stay 1 or 2 nights )
Burgundy ( 3 hrs drive, stay 1 or 2 nights )
Bordeaux ( 6 hrs drive , stop for lunch somewhere, stay 1 or 2 nights ) - maybe too long a drive ?
Loire Valley - herbault ( 4 hrs drive, stay 1 or 2 nights )
Normandy - Rouen ( 3 hrs drive, stay 1 or 2 nights )

.....Calais

Too much ... again !!??

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Old Jun 25th, 2024, 07:43 PM
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To me, that sounds exhausting. Moving on continually means there is little time to see things or enjoy the towns. Also a lot of your 10 days is eaten up sitting in a car. Don't forget that although you may have googled the distance between towns, it doesn't take into account stopping for fuel, finding toilets, getting lost etc.
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Old Jun 25th, 2024, 11:40 PM
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I'd look at Calais, Metz/Nancy, Colmar/Strasbourg, Trier/Boppard, Calais

So three stops only over 10 days, each in very different areas and all without a tiring drive.

If you want you could swop Metz for Epernay say but...
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Old Jun 26th, 2024, 01:56 AM
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Our recent trip to France from the Netherlands was a night in Bastogne, Belgium, 2 nights near Dijon, 7 nights in a village in Isere, 3 nights in Jura, and another night in Belgium.
Looking back at it I would have done 3 or even 4 nights near Dijon, and 4 nights in Jura taking from the time in Isere. I would have actually preferred to skip Isere altogether but we went, amongst other things, to see some friends before they move to Thailand.

You are still trying to see too much in too short a time imho. One night stops are fine if you are in a campervan or motorhome but get to be a drag and expensive in a car.

Plenty of lakes in Alsace/Vosges and in Jura where you can stay, and mix in some mountains and lovely villages and towns.
Have a look at this trip report for instance to get an idea of what to see.
A taste of France (and a return to Switzerland)

Check on which areas may require a CritAir sticker too. Grenoble area does if the weather causes smog, for instance. Order the sticker from France direct, not through a third party who will charge extra for the privilege.

Alternatively take the ferry to Dieppe and explore Normandy and Brittany, or even a ferry further west straight into Brittany. Avoids the misery that is Dover or the tunnel. Don't forget the EES starts in October and there will almost certainly be chaos then.
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Old Jun 26th, 2024, 05:06 AM
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Ok.. the obvious point people are making is slow it down !

..so I had another thought for a quick 10 days break..quite different but my wife likes it too

Cheshire to Calais
Stay near Calais 1 night
Drive to Le Mans.. stay 2 nights
Drive to Nantes ..stay 3 nights
Drive/Ferry to Jersey..stay 3 nights
Ferry/Drive to Poole and stay in Dorset 1 night
back home..


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Old Jun 26th, 2024, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by smallzoo
Ok.. the obvious point people are making is slow it down !

..so I had another thought for a quick 10 days break..quite different but my wife likes it too

Cheshire to Calais
Stay near Calais 1 night
Drive to Le Mans.. stay 2 nights
Drive to Nantes ..stay 3 nights
Drive/Ferry to Jersey..stay 3 nights
Ferry/Drive to Poole and stay in Dorset 1 night
back home..
You could take a ferry from Portsmouth to LeHavre to make it a bit nicer. Le Mans has Roman walls but not that exciting while Nantes is not that bad. Jersey, of course, unless you love dramatic island scenery, is pretty dull.
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Old Jun 26th, 2024, 05:36 AM
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Agree - why go all the way to Calais when there are so many other Channel crossing routes you could take?
If you do decide on Calais then can I suggest Hotel de la Page in Calais. Simple rooms but friendly staff, a great restaurant and breakfast, about 15 minutes from the ferry terminal, same from the Tunnel, and as the name suggests on the seafront. Just don't believe Google Maps directions to it!

Why Le Mans? Why Nantes? Again you are spending a lot of time driving, and don't forget tolls if you are driving on French motorways.

Also bear in mind days will be getting shorter, weather could be getting wetter and cooler.
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