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3 week trip to europe,French Riviera or not?o?

3 week trip to europe,French Riviera or not?o?

Mar 10th, 2008, 08:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
3 week trip to europe,French Riviera or not?o?

I need expert advice please!!

My current Itinerary is as follows;
Salzburg 3 days
Venice 3 days
Rome 4 days
Tuscany 3 days
Eze, France 4 days
Wengen, Switzerland 4 days

This is the plan I came up with after reading lots of Itinerary questions on this board. I am pretty happy about 3-4 days in each place and think this is a good pace for me.

I am pleased with all the locations , but am having second thoughts about the French Riviera.
I am concerned about the heavy traffic in this area and I imagine a lot of transportation headaches.

I don't know what it is but I cant get a real feel for this area, and am in need of some advice.
I am tempted to skip it all together and add some more days to tuscany and Switzerland
The revised itinerary would probably look like this
Salzburg 3 days
Venice 3 days
Rome 4 days
Tuscany 5 days
Luzern Switzerland 2 days
Wengen Switzerland 4 days

So what would you do?

Keep in mind that this is my first trip to Europe.
cheweydan is offline  
Mar 10th, 2008, 11:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,916
It's both easy and cheap to get around the Cote d'Azur by bus and train. However, the area is packed with vacationers in July and August. When would you be there?
TimS is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 12:15 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
First of all, I think it is a good idea to spend 3 to 4 days at each location. This is a good compromise between visiting as many destinations as possible and going into depth.

Second, regarding French Riviera:

I have been about 20+ times at the
Cote d'Azur - each time by car - and was never really annoyed by traffic problems. The only month which is somewhat congested is August (because August is THE vacation month for the French). But I have been there in August too and I got along.

Cote d'Azur is a wonderful region in Europe and very different from your other destinations. I would not skip it. What to expect:

- Gorgeous coastline and most scenic drives: (1) The stretch between Nice and Monace (with Eze in the middle). (2) The stretch between Cannes and St. Raphael (fantastic red rocks and secluded bays, a protected wilderness area in the middle).

- World-class museums, especially on modern art: Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, Leger, Miro... they all worked here and left many of their works in outstanding museums. Some of the museums are outstanding and absolutely unique - like the Musee Message Biblique (Chagall) and the Fondation Maeght (with a garden, sculptured by Miro).

- Vibrant cities and grand hotels: Catch a little of jet-set feeling when you stroll through the yacht harbours and when you sip a glass of champagne in one of the hotel bars!

- Picturesque mountain villages (Eze is most famous, but there are two dozen others, equally picturesque).

- And, of course, beaches of all kind: wide sandy beaches, rock-framed bays and this unbelievably blue water!
traveller1959 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 03:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,269

>So what would you do?

Keep in mind that this is my first trip to Europe.<

I would take your revised itinerary and drop Switzerland and Salzburg.

Do them on your next visit.

I would:
Fly into Rome, 5 nights

Rent car and drive through Tuscany, including Florence - 5 nights

Drop car in Venice - 4 nights

Fly www.myair.com to Paris - 6 nights

Fly home.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 05:42 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 27
Thanks for the replies.

I will be going in late June and will have a car for the whole trip . I am a little concerned that the extra drive to the area would be worth it, or if it would be better to spend more time in tuscany and switzerland.

Every other part of the trip is set in stone, as I have Paris and surrounding area in my future plans for 2 weeks in 2010 or 2011.

So the real question is do I go to the French Riviera for 4 days or do I add 2 more days to tuscany and 2 more days to Switzerland?

Keep in mind I will already be seeing great museums (Rome,Florence, etc.) great scenery (Austria,Switzerland,drive thru the Dolomites) and great food (Italy)

I appreciate all the comments, and would welcome more.


cheweydan is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,518
I like your revised plan very much---a good mix. I agree that dropping the Cote d' Azur makes sense. But, I am not sure what you do with your car in Rome and Venice. Frankly, I would drop Rome and add Lake Como that time of year, but I love natural spendor.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 06:25 AM
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Posts: 65,038
You are driving this whole route??

That is a lot of travel and you will have less than 3 or 4 days in each location.
janisj is online now  
Mar 11th, 2008, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,149
I was wondering how you were going to get from one place to another. Have you planned all this out on one of the mapping sites, like www.mappy.com or www.viamichelin.com? Some of those driving days look long, like Tuscany to Lucerne. Plus you must be arriving some place other than Salzburg before you start your trip.

So, for every destination, you'll have to subtract a day for getting there.

For Venice you'll have to pay to park the car for the duration of your visit. And I'd drop the car either before Switzerland or when you arrive. Trains, buses and boats work wonderfully in Switzerland. You can sightsee as you go. And IIRC Wengen is a car-free village. I don't think you can even drive to it. Don't remember seeing any parking lots.
Mimar is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 07:17 AM
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Posts: 27
Thanks for your replies.
I am driving the whole route.

I have done the math and it will be cheaper to drive and park for 4 of us, than to use the train. I will also be parking free in chuisi and take the train down to Rome.

The car will also come in handy exploring Tuscany and getting to birthplace of my great great grandfather in Switzerland.
We will be using the car park in lauterbrunnen while staying in wengen.

I have used via michelin and the driving times between cities are roughly 4 to 4.5 hours( very doable)

Believe it or not I am looking forward to the drives between cities as it allows me to experience stops along the way that are not overrun by tourists like me.

I also believe it adds to the sense of adventure.

The 7 hour leg between France and Switzerland may be too much though.

So given the situation (driving between places and already seeing great museums, scenery, and hill towns, is going to France worth it?

thanks for your time in assisting me, I appreciate everyones opinion and the wealth of information on this board.



cheweydan is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
I still find this itinerary doable and good.

You will see different things. Regarding museums: Rome is strong in antiques, Venice is strong in medieval art, Tuscany is strong in both, Cote d'Azur is strong in modern art.

Regarding scenery: You will see the Alps in Salburg and Wengen. You will see gentle rolling hills in Tuscany. And you will see dramatic coastline at the Cote d'Azur.

Driving is IMO doable. We often drive much longer distances in Europe.
traveller1959 is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 07:55 AM
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I'm not sure about staying in Eze for four days, but would stay in Nice instead. It's a great mid-sized city, with easy access to Antibes, Eze, and lots of other day-trips. We stayed at the Hotel le Grimaldi there, and loved it.
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