6-7 Weeks in Europe

Apr 21st, 2003, 09:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
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6-7 Weeks in Europe


Myself and 2 friends will be spending 6-7 weeks in Europe from Mid-June to August, we will start our vacation by spending 10 or so days in Paris, the rest of the trip is basicallu unplanned.

What we want to do is basically take a self-drive tour for the remaining 4-5 weeks, and see as much of France, Portugal, Spain and Italy as possible, perhaps Germany if time allows. No coming From Australia , we are used to driving great distances, but i would like to get an indication how much do you think we can achieve within that time frame, also we want to be as flexible as possible, and really have only a vague idea as to where we want to go, will finding decent accomodation on a day to day basis be a problem?? Any other suggestions that you feel may be relevant, will be most appreciated.

Thank You
jetman is offline  
Apr 21st, 2003, 10:30 PM
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Sounds like you will have a great time. Have you thought about a rental car. Auto Europe has a lease program if you renting for more than 17 days. It includes all insurances and taxes. You won't want a rental car for Paris. I suggest you travel down the west side of France into Spain and Portugal then back up the east coast of Spain to southern France. Over to Italy and then up to Germany. It will all go by so quickly. You should have some wonderful memories to last a lifetime. Good Luck!!
Chatmandu is offline  
Apr 21st, 2003, 11:43 PM
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For any rental longer than 17 days you should consider leasing. Autoeurope has a Peugeot leasing program, as mentioned by Chatmandu. Renault also has one. Renault prices seem to be slightly lower. Check their web site. Consider a diesel since you are planning ambitious distances. For 3 persons, you will need a car the size of a Peugeot 307, unless you are extemely light travelers. Reservations must be made from outside the EU and at least one month ahead of time.

For what you want to see outside Paris, get a map of Europe and several guide books and see what sounds interesting within a general travel pattern. For example, on the way to Spain, you might want to see a couple of chateaux in the Loire valley and perhaps drop down to the Dordogne and visit that area a little. Or from the Loire valley you could go directly to Bordeaux and then to Spain. There you might want to see San Sebastian, Bilbao and then drop down toward Burgos, Segovia and Salamanca on your way to Portugal; or go to Santiago and then drop down to Portugal. The choice is yours. Your question is so broad that it is difficult to offer specific advise.

Michael is offline  
Apr 21st, 2003, 11:50 PM
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I forgot a couple of items. Unless driving is your main pleasure, do not count on more than an average of 150 miles per day, although you might do 300 or more on some days. I generally travel without reservations, but there are exceptions. Popular areas require reservations for decent accomodations. Some of these are the Loire valley, San Sebastian, Barcelona, Florence, Siena, Venice, Rome--others can add their own locations. Looking for an available hotel can eat up a lot of daylight hours and can be very frustrating. If you speak the language, calling just a couple of days ahead of time might be sufficient.
Michael is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 12:30 AM
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Thanks for your reply, we plan to use Renault's leasing service for the car. Our very basic plan is to leave Paris, head to Normandy, then the Loire Valley, return to the Atlantic Coast, and follow it into Spain and the Basque Region, then head to Madrid, then into Portugal, starting with Porto, and then following the coast line to the Algarve, and then returning to Spain, and following the coast to Barcelona,re-entering France ,then onwards to the Montpellier area, then North to Lyon and the Alps, before returning through Provence to the Cote D'Azur, then entering Italy.In Italy , we traverse Tusacny on the way to Rome, then return to the north, with stops in Bologna, Venice, Brescia and Milan, we then exit Italy into Austria, with visits to Innsbruck and Salzburg, then onto Germany and Munich, Stuttgart, heidelberg, darting back into France to see the Alsace Region, before ending our trip in Belgium, with visits to Brugge and Brussels.

That's the general idea, and we sure have a lot of gaps to fill in, i just wanted to know whether you think the Itinerary is too ambitious, for a 4-5 week period, of course as we will be basically 100% flexible , we can choose to omit certain regions if time is getting the better of us.

Thank you for the advice re:accomodation, i would like to book slightly in advance if possible, but to keep flexibilty in the vacation, that will probably be only a few days in advance at best, but its good to know, that you think that it is possible.
jetman is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 11:04 AM
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Jetman: Coming from Australia, you should not need European beaches--maybe near Arcachon and between San Sebastian and Bilbao on the way to southern Spain. My prejudice, of course. If this is a grand tour that will be rarely undertaken, I would not use the coasts as my defining travel itinerary. For example, from the Loire valley, it would make more tourist sense to go through the Dordogne and then angle over toward the Landes area and its coast. Instead of coming back along the coast from southern Spain, I would go towards Toledo, with a side trip to the Don Quixote windmill country. From Toledo go to Barcelona via Cuenca.

There is plenty of information on the Loire valley on this forum. Last summer, we stayed in Langeais, in a pleasant hotel whose name is associated with Anne de Bretagne. Reasonably priced (98 euro demi-pension), with dining in the garden when the weather is nice.

On the way from the Dordogne to Spain we stopped in Orthez--we did not hit the coast until San Sebastian, preferring to drive through the Pyrenees. The hotel was Au Temps de la Reine Jeanne. No reservation necessary, but we usually try to stop our traveling around 4 or 5 p.m. The meal in the hotel was delicious.

From Munich, I would go toward Fussen and then Schaffhausen, Stein-am-Rhein and Basel (I'm partial to the nearby Vitra Chair Museum and the Fondation Beyerler), and hit the Alsace from the south. Head north and cut back toward Stuttgart and Heidelberg, and from there go through Luxemburg to Belgium.
Michael is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2003, 04:38 PM
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jetman - What a GRAND grand tour - I envy you, but I hope it doesn't kill you. I figure you have 39 days to sight see, not including Paris and you have listed 28 areas (cities) you want to see. I am sure you will want to spend more than 1 night in Madrid, Lisbon, Barcelona, Florence, Venice, Rome, and the Munich Salzburg area. This leaves you with only 4 "free" days. Do-able, but I am not sure enjoyable. I would personally omit either the Spain - Portugal segment, or the Germany- Belgium segment and spend more "quality" time in some quality areas- such as the Loire, Andalusia, Tuscany or Bavaria, rather tham just driving through! What ever you choose, enjoy your grand tour!
CharlieB is offline  

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