Apr 28th, 2015, 04:11 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,263
Hi ceepee,

Without knowing your age and interests it's hard to give you advice. If you are young and want to be in Greece when you can enjoy the islands at their best along with other young people, then definitely go there in summer. Yes, it's hot and crowded in peak season, but why would so many people go there at that time if it were as bad as made out? That's the only time some (students, for example) can take their holidays, but still...

If you are older, like so many of us who post on Fodor's, then October/November would be a good time to go. It's more pleasant to visit the archeological sites in cool temperatures, and the islands are very quiet, something us oldies often enjoy. For the record, I am in my 70s and prefer the islands and mainland Greece in late August and September.

That said, there is no point in zig-zagging all over the continent trying to fit everything in at the best time of year.
Heimdall is online now  
Apr 28th, 2015, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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If we're not going to be anywhere when it's particularly warm and we're not going be anywhere when it's particularly cold, are we going to be experiencing these places in their in between state? Because we'd love to see them in all their glory!

It's seeming like either way you win some & loose some.

So if Italy/Greece etc aren't particularly great to be in during September, October, Novemeber then the only place left that is worth exploring during those months is Northern Europe? Is this correct?>

Not IMO - Italy and Greece are great in Sept, October and November IME - weather still really nice vs sweltering and mobs of tourists in summer and northern Europe yes can always have mediocre weather in summer but in the fall it often deteriorates and the days get awfully short and dark and dank - IMO not an enjoyable thing at all - northern Europe is in its 'glory' at the heighth of summer - if you can call it that!
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 28th, 2015, 01:47 PM
Original Poster
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Thank you! Sorry I should have mentioned that we are both 21 years old and have just finished studying. We want to experience as much of the culture as possible. We are interested in food, art, theatre, events, exploring nature and making friends.
ceepee is offline  
Apr 28th, 2015, 05:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
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I think you should leave Greece off this trip. It isn't on the rail pass and you would have to find other transportation there. There are many young people studying abroad in Italy in the fall. I am sure if you "hang out" in Florence or Rome you will meet many of them. I would do as PalenQ suggested and stick to the North/South route ending in Italy. Really spend sometime there enjoying the marvelous sights with our the hordes of people and fly back to London for your flight home. Or pop over to Spain and finish from there. So much to see, but you really can't make a bad decision
PS I love NZ! Kiwis are some of the nicest people on the planet. You will have a great time....
Bon Voyage
heart2travel is offline  
Apr 28th, 2015, 11:48 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Greece is a great destination and I would not skip it, but you need to pay attention to details. For example most people want to get a taste of the islands. Say the so praised Santorini is a tiny island with around 12000 people pernament population. Go say on September, no problem, tons of people around you, the island welcomes literally millions of people each summer. Go on December and you will find empty streets, 90% of shops and restaurants closed and nightlife next to zero.
Travel logistics are important too. No local has any reason to travel between Mykonos and Santorini for example, so there is no easy way to visit both on winter without lots of backtracking. Go on summer where ferry routes are added for tourists and on 3 hours you connect from one to the other.
Mainland transportation is fine but after November sites and archeological sites will close most likely around 3pm and might have a day off too. More careful planning required. Go around Christmas on a mountain destination or ski resort in Greece and you may find all accommodations booked. I guess the same applies more or less on all countries, specifics vary.
mariha2912 is offline  
Apr 29th, 2015, 01:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,263
I've never been an advocate of following the weather like a migratory bird. I'd rather be somewhere when I can get the best out of each destination, and that means the Mediterranean in summer. If you are interested in "food, art, theatre, events", they will be better, if anything, in Paris and London during winter months.

If you want to make friends your own age when traveling, think where they will most likely be at different times of the year.
Heimdall is online now  
Apr 29th, 2015, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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northern Europe outside of summer IMO not very enjoyable at all - southern Europe in summer too hot and suffocating crowds - those should be your two salient things that are facts.
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 29th, 2015, 08:11 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,263
Well, I've lived in England for about 40 winters now, and enjoy that time of year very much. I go to southern Europe for holidays in the summer, and enjoy them too! You are showing your age, PalenQ! ;-)
Heimdall is online now  
Apr 30th, 2015, 03:50 AM
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 5
So, 5 months from July takes you to Christmas or maybe to a bit/all through January?
IMO , sightseeing in northern European cities can be pleasant on a little warm summers day, but remember there are temps up to 30c even in UK in the last few summers. So, if it’s a cooler, cold, may be some rain, you are moving around cities, plenty of things to do inside/under cover.
German/Belgian, French and UK cities are very festive heading to the Christmas season and it’s good time for partying and sightseeing if that’s what you’ll enjoy.
The summer is for fun in the med, the adriatic, the Aegean, blue seas no good under grey skies.…ignore the sun-dodgers, have your time there first.
yiannis1089 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2015, 05:06 AM
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You want to be in Morroco or Egypt by the end of the holiday
bilboburgler is offline  
Apr 30th, 2015, 05:13 AM
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Yannis, I was thinking the same thing about winter festivities, especially the Christmas Markets in Germany: It would also give someone from the southern hemisphere a chance to see a White Christmas.
Heimdall is online now  
Apr 30th, 2015, 05:51 AM
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South Island ski slopes not withstanding
bilboburgler is offline  
Apr 30th, 2015, 09:24 AM
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Bilboburgler, you do realise it is mid-summer in New Zealand at Christmas?
Heimdall is online now  

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