European Travel Recommendations

Old Mar 30th, 2006, 07:25 PM
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European Travel Recommendations

I hope this topic is not overly broad but my wife and I are in the early stages of planning our 2nd trip to Europe for next year and we would like to get some opinions on where to go next. We spent 3 weeks in Italy last fall and, although we absolutely loved it, we’re thinking that we’d like to visit some other countries in Western Europe this time.

We are considering the following possibilities (but are open to other suggestions as well):

* Paris, Rhine valley, Bavaria, Salzburg, Switzerland, somewhere on the Riviera (France or Italy), back to Paris, Home

* Same as above except, skip France and fly in and out of Frankfurt

* Flying in and out of Paris and focusing exclusively on France – Perhaps Paris, Provence, Brittany, Normandy.

* Flying in and out of Rome and touring Southern Italy including Sicily and possibly fitting Greece in some how

We plan to travel in late spring of 2007 and because we will be using frequent flyer miles to purchase our airline tickes, we will be required to arrive and depart from the same airport.

While in country we prefer to travel mainly by train but would consider renting a car for at least a portion of the trip. We also don’t mind traveling about but we like to stay a minimum of two nights in any one place and don’t get too stressed out if we can’t find time to see everything.

We are fans of Rick Steves and his “back door” approach and particularly enjoy staying in some of smaller villages rather than larger cities; however we also try to hit some of the “must-see” sights and cities.

While in Italy we generally avoided large hotels and preferred to stay in small Inns and Pensiones in the $$ to $$$ price range (where scale is $ to $$$$).

To give you an idea of what we’d like, our Italian itinerary was just about perfect (except we did not allow enough time in Venice and could possibly have used another day in Assisi)

Arrive Milan –
3 nights Varenna (on Lake Como)
2 nights Castelrotto (Dolomites)
2 nights Venice (definitely not enough)
4 nights Rome
1 night Assisi
4 nights Pienza (Tuscany)
2 nights Florence
3 nights Cinque Terra
1 night Milan


EEdeen is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2006, 07:44 PM
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Not to confuse you even further, but I did a great trip a few years ago that covered a few countries in the area you are interested in. Here were my stops -
1. Flew into Brussels
2. Amsterdam
3. Maastricht (Perfect netherlands city, not to be missed).
4. Luxembourg (picturesque)
5. Munich
6. Interlaken
7. Lake Como
8. Milan
9. Cinque Terre

Munich was a great taste of Germany. It was the perfect trip - spent about 25 days. Spent the most time in Maastrict, Munich, and Cinque Terre, and those were my favorites.
lesm is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2006, 08:00 PM
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What time of year are you going? It makes quite a difference. Sicily is best for May and perhaps October, but can be fiercely hot or rainy and cold otherwise. Likewise, Northern Europe is best after June and before mid-October (or even sooner).
nessundorma is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2006, 08:45 PM
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I've used FF miles to purchase open jaw tickets to Europe twice...I have American. You may want to check with your carrier to see if they allow this.

margyb is offline  
Old Mar 30th, 2006, 08:53 PM
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ooo! I like you first option ...may I hitch a ride?
hypatia is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 08:14 AM
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The alltime favorite: Salzburg, great for beer, food, Mozart, Baroque splendour and - of course - The Sound of Music. So if you travel in Central Europe, it would be a shame to miss out on it. Check for further information.
wolfadeus is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2006, 09:09 AM
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What airline are you flying? I used Delta frequent flyer miles the past two years and could return from a different airport. First year I flew into Marseille, out of Prague. Last year flew into Rome out of Paris. It didn't cost any exra miles to do this; they allow one stopover.

Unless your airline has told you that you can't use two airports, I'd check it out; it would allow a lot more flexibility in your plan.
Luisah is offline  
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