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2nd European Family Adventure: favourite spots?

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Jan 17th, 2015, 03:35 PM
  #1
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2nd European Family Adventure: favourite spots?

WE are off with our three kids (ages 5,10,12) this summer for our second European adventure. We spent six weeks in S France, Tuscany, Venice and Paris in 2013. The question is where to go next. I know this is vague.....but we are totally open.
We have 17days including travel days from Canada.
Here is what we like:
House or apartment for a week at a time. We love to shop and cook and relax a bit.
Smaller towns or countryside for majority of the trip.
One major city for approx 3 or 4 nights. Preferably at the end of the trip.
We are really active and love hiking, biking, swimming. A day at a beach, lake or hot springs is heavenly. Biking was one of the highlights of our last trip - but at a child's pace
We also love to immerse ourselves in the language, food and life in the country we are getting to know.
Occasional museums or historical sites but not every day,
Our kids LOVED Italy so we are open to exploring another area there. I LOVE France so another region there is a possibility as well.
BUT something completely new is more appealing.
OK folks...where should we go??????
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Jan 17th, 2015, 03:56 PM
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how about Croatia?

there's a great recent thread about it and it fits a lot of your criteria. terrific beaches, beautiful islands, Lake Bled, the Plitvic national park, and Dubrovnik at the end of the trip.
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Jan 17th, 2015, 05:32 PM
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annhig I will look for the thread. Have you been there?
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Jan 18th, 2015, 02:34 AM
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FwF - we went for our honeymoon, 36 years ago, [during Tito's time and before the war and bombing of Dubrovnik] so I expect it's changed a bit. but the stunning countryside and coast will still be the same. friends went sailing round the islands a year or so ago and loved it.

I will look for that thread.
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Jan 18th, 2015, 02:37 AM
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here's what fodors is showing up on a search but I can't see the thread I'm thinking about.

http://www.fodors.com/search/results...search=croatia
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Jan 18th, 2015, 02:57 AM
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I can't find the one I was thinking of, but these TRs, both excellent, may interest you:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...t-explores.cfm

as may this:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...nd-croatia.cfm
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Jan 18th, 2015, 03:59 AM
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Ile de Re with a side order of La Rochelle.
http://www.mybikeguide.co.uk/Ile_de_Re_Guide.php
Avoid August as the Parisians come for holiday then and it gets crowded, rest of time the place is lovely
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Jan 18th, 2015, 04:01 AM
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Croatia came to my mind, as well. Our family holiday (2 adults, 2 Teens, 1 Dog) this June will include a week in Puglia (rental house with pool and barbecue), and then we are splitting the second week between Rome (a return visit at the request of the children) and Venice (we loved our visit last October so much we're returning for a few days to see a little more). Originally we had considered the lakes district in Italy, but then we fell in love with Venice.
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Jan 18th, 2015, 09:29 AM
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Just to put another option out there, we did a trip that included the following:
Fly into Munich, spend a few days there enjoying the city. Good day trips outside of Munich, as well.
Drive to Salzburg. Stay there is you want to see some of the Sound of Music sights or visit the castle. Otherwise drive a little further on to St. Gilgen in Austria and rent an apartment. St. Gilgen is right on a lake and you can boat and swim there. Lots of fun hiking in the area. Our kids loved taking the gondala that leaves from the town up to an easy hike with beautiful scenery, cows with bells, and a little cafe to stop at for hot chocolate and cake. Look up sommerrodelbahn (summer tobaggan run) for a fun adventure, as well as a trip to Hallstatt to visit the salt mines.
We found everyone in Austria to be very friendly, and it's not as expensive as some other places in Europe. We've taken our 2 kids to Europe 4 times, and this was definitely their favorite trip.
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Jan 18th, 2015, 07:02 PM
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I will definitely take a much closer look at Croatia. I have heard it is incredible,
I had never considered Austria but it could be great to combine a week of hiking and exploring the lakes with a week in the countryside in Italy. All my kids want to do is go back to Italy. We spent two weeks in Tuscany and visited Venice.
Possible itinerary for approx 17 days
Fly into Austria, one week in an apartment or house. St. Gilgen has been suggested..any other spots? Apartment suggestions?
Drive to Italy. Once week in an apartment In the countryside. Which region to explore?
3 nights in Florence, fly home to Canada from there.
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Jan 18th, 2015, 08:36 PM
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My thought was the same as Jennifer, Austria and Germany.

You could add some of Mad King Ludwig's castles in Germany before heading into Austria.

I very much enjoyed St. Wolfgang which is a bit larger than St. Gilgen but on the same lake. There is also a train you can take to the top of a mountain. The kids would enjoy that too in addition to Jennifer's suggestions.

You could fly into Munich and out of Vienna (or vice versa) instead of backtracking to Munich. It is the multi-city option on airlines websites.

But, picking up a rental car in one country and dropping it in another will incur a drop fee. I believe there is a Europecar office in Grrmany close to the Austrian border. You could drop there and take a taxi into Austria to pick up another car.
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Jan 19th, 2015, 09:50 AM
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I know that you are now tending towards Austria/Italy, but here's the TR I was thinking about:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...m#last-comment

The bit about Croatia is at the beginning BTW so it shouldn't take much finding.
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Jan 19th, 2015, 01:47 PM
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We loved our apartment in St. Gilgen, but they are no longer renting it.
On this trip, we had actually driven to Italy as well, through the Dolomites. We stayed overnight in Castelrotto. It's one of the most beautiful areas I've ever seen. (it's worth googling Castelrotto to see some images) It's on our bucket list to go back and spend more time in.

The area is also interesting because of its mix of Austrian and Italian history. If we go back, we want to go to Bolzano to see the ice man, and go on one of the via ferrata trails.
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