Car or Train or Both?!? HELP!

May 1st, 2001, 10:18 AM
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Car or Train or Both?!? HELP!

Hi Everyone!

Planning a first anniversary getaway to Europe. Putting together an 2-2.5 week itinerary along the Mediteranian, starting in Madrid and ends in Venice (or Rome, still deciding).

Would people recommend this trip by car, train or a mixture of both? If a combination, how would you plan it?

Thanks all!
May 1st, 2001, 11:15 AM
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It'll depend on how many days along your itinerary you'll be staying in large cities (like Sevilla, Valencia, Barcelona, Nice, etc.) where a car has little or no use.

IMO you should lay down a rough plan that considers the cities you feel you want to visit and the time you think you should spend in each. In doing this first plan you shoudn't worry (take into account) transportation issues. A second stage would then be in order to make decisions on transportation means and consequences (axing some cities, including other, etc).

Also, it would help to know how do you feel about driving (I for one, use a car 95% of the times because I like the freedom it gives me).

I had planned a family of 4 trip (which didn't materialize from Milan to Spain and back by using the car all the way, but only 10 of 24 nights were fixed to be spent in larger cities (Madrid, Sevilla and Barcelona).

May 1st, 2001, 11:53 AM
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I don't mind driving too much ... being from Toronto, Canada and constantly off on weekend trips to Montreal and Quebec City which range from 5-7 hour drives.

Main cities/towns we'd like to hit are:
- Madrid (2 nights)
- Barcelona (2)
- French Riviera (4 nights in various towns or centralized with day trips)
- Florence (2)
- Venice (3) or
- Assisi (1) + Rome (2)

Again, these are just the main cities. Still haven't researche stop-overs along the way.

What do people think about the itinerary as well as the transportation?

We are interested in the romance of Europe. We like seeing the big cities since its our first time travelling around Europe, but also enjoy the small town feel just as much.

Any alternative itinerary or suggestions are welcome.

Thanks again!
May 1st, 2001, 12:07 PM
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Abe, I would do the trains as far as Nice and then get the car, using it at the Cote d' Azur and then keep it until you hit Florence. In the interim, I would see the Ligurian coast[cinque terre], the Hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria---at least Siena and Assisi--and then drop the car in Florence and train to Venice. You will have a drop off charge, but still cheaper than renting in Italy. If you need more details on the coast, Tuscany etc. let me know. Try to hit Volterra and san Gimignano enroute to the Siena area. I do not see Rome fitting in this trip---at least not both Venice and Rome. Sounds like a fun trip--can I go along?
May 1st, 2001, 01:00 PM
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Thanks Bob!

You are welcome to join ... next time

Yes please, I'll take all the advise I can get. When you suggested Cinque Terre, Siera and Assisi, are these all recommended as one night stayovers?

Also, what's the best way to purchase the rail tickets since I'm only using train at the start and end of my trip? EuroPass still worth it? What about those rail+car deals, are they worth it?

Thanks Again!
May 1st, 2001, 01:21 PM
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With 2/2.5 weeks available, there's not much more than about 5 nights per country you're visiting. Once BOB is talking you into possibly spending around a week in Italy I'm afraid there's not much "space" for Spain.

If that's so, it really doesn't make sense renting a car in Spain. Now, I disagree somewhat with Bob. If you have 4-5 days to find your way from Barcelona into Italy, I'd take a train to France and rent a car somewhere accross the border (Cerbere? if interested in visiting Collioure or maybe Nimes, Arles or Avignon?) instead of Nice. I'd also drop it when arriving in Florence.

May 2nd, 2001, 06:39 AM
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