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France & Italy, May or June

Old Jan 13th, 2017, 08:45 PM
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France & Italy, May or June

Hello! I'm planning to go to France and Italy. I will have 20 days excluding plane flights. The places I want to visit are Paris and Chamonix in France and Rome and Dolomites in Italy. My question is which month is better? May or June? I've read that June is better in Chamonix and Dolomites but I'm afraid it will be very hot in Rome or Paris. I wont be doing any crazy hikes in Chamonix or the Dolomites. I want to take the cable cars and maybe do a 1-3 hrs of hiking. I know I have very limited time but I want this trip to be a combination of the usual tourist spots in Paris and Rome and beautiful view of mountains.

I will be travelling by public transport the whole time. My plan is to fly into Paris and fly back home out of Rome. My travel plans is this:
Paris--->Chamonix--->Dolomites--->Rome
I will add some other cities to visit but I haven't decided yet.

What do you guys think of my plan?
Are there alternatives to Chamonix/Dolomites if travel to these places is impossible? Like maybe a beautiful lake?

Any feedback will be very much appreciated.

Jen
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Old Jan 14th, 2017, 03:21 AM
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I would suggest that you go in early June, and reverse the order. Get Rome out of the way early, when the risk of excessive heat is lower.
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Old Jan 14th, 2017, 03:25 AM
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Everything is possible. But first you have to tell us what you mean with Dolomites:
Dolomiti di Brenta?
Val Gardena and Alta Badia?
Cadore?
Agordino?
Lienzer Dolomiten?

June is better than May as there will be less snow and more working mountain railways and cableways.
June in Paris (and may be Rome) is rather rainy than hot, but weather is always unpredictable in Europe.

Paris - Chamonix by train:
TGV Paris - Geneva plus direct bus
TGV Paris - Lausanne plus connecting trains to Martigny - Chamonix (scenic itinerary).

Chamonix - "Dolomites" by public transport,
most scenic itineraries:

Chamonix dp 7.54 by train to Martigny - Brig 10.32/11.18 - Glacier Express - Samedan 17.45/18.13 - Scuol-Tarasp 19.23/19.30 - Mals 20.58/21.10 - Meran ar 21.39
stop over at the most scenic places like Moerel/Riederalp/Aletsch Glacier, Pontresina/Bernina/Diavolezza, Scuol Thermal Spa.....

Chamonix - bus - Courmayeur - Aosta - Milan - train - Desenzano del Garda - boat - Riva sul Garda.....
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Old Jan 14th, 2017, 08:15 PM
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Thank you both for the suggestions!

I'm deciding between Val Gardena and Alta Badia as my base in the Dolomites. Which would you recommend? Are they both easily accessible by public transport?

I also want to make a little stop in Lake Braies. What is the best way to travel here?

Again, all feedback will be very much appreciated.
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Old Jan 14th, 2017, 10:57 PM
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I'd say that you should avoid Paris during May - there are several holidays which make things difficult, people tend to take 3 or 4 day "weekends". There are often peaceful "manifestations" which can make transport difficult.
May Day - 1
Ascension - 8
Pentcote - 25

It will not be too hot in June. July and August will be bad, though.
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Old Jan 15th, 2017, 02:00 AM
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I would definitely recommend June for the Dolomites because in Val Gardena some of the lifts don't open until June.

You can get info here http://www.valgardena.it/en/hiking-b...rekking/lifts/

We spent a week doing walking in the area and loved it!

You can see our pics here

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pug_gi...57636058614266
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Old Jan 15th, 2017, 02:34 AM
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WOW!!! Your photos are amazing Jamikins!! To be honest, I'm now more excited to see the Dolomites than Rome or Paris.
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Old Jan 15th, 2017, 02:47 AM
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Chamonix - Dolomites by train and bus (not easy, very stressing, but feasible on weekends only):
Chamonix dp by bus 4.45 - Geneva airport ar 6.45, dp by train 7.02 - Geneve 7.09/7.39 (train change on same platform) - Verona 13.28/13.50 - Ponte Gardena ar 15.47 - Fortezza 16.14/16.20 - Toblach ar 17.35
Connecting buses:
Toblach dp 18.01 - Pragser Wildsee/Lago di Braies ar 18.29
Ponte Gardena dp - Ortisei ar
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Old Jan 15th, 2017, 03:22 AM
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Thanks jft99 - we loved our trip there!

Don't miss the Otzi museum in Bolzano. http://www.iceman.it/en/ Very interesting small museum!
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Old Jan 15th, 2017, 05:24 AM
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Chamonix - Dolomites on weekdays:
Take a taxi to Le Chatelard French/Swiss border (19 kms).
Leave Le Chatelard-Frontiere by train at 7.52, change at Martigny, Sion and Verona and arrive at Ponte Gardena at 15.47 and at Fortezza at 16.14.
Pragser Wildsee/Lago di Braies ar 18.29, Ortisei ar 16.27, Corvara/Alta Badia ar 18.13
or
Chamonix Sud bus stop dp 8.30 - Courmayeur 9.15/9.35 - Torino Porta Susa bus stop ar 12.50, dp by train 15.15 - Verona 17.28/17.50 - Ponte Gardena 19.47/20.25 - Ortisei ar 20.57
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Old Jan 15th, 2017, 08:18 AM
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Are the Ascension and Pentecost holidays really on specific days of the year in France? The actual religious holidays this year are about a week later than those dates. (In Italy, they're not national holidays at all.)

Rome can already be very hot in June, but the risk is less the earlier you go. The past few years, May has been rather rainy and chilly.
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 03:16 AM
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Thank you so much neckervd for taking the time to list all the possible ways to go to Dolomites from Chamonix.
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Old Jan 16th, 2017, 03:11 PM
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Hello again!
Do you guys recommend stopping at Lake Garda for one night from Chamonix before going to Val Gardena? Or any recommendations on where to stop for 1-2 nights before going to Val Gardena?
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Old Jan 17th, 2017, 09:17 AM
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If you have 3 days at your disposal, you could travel through the Swiss Alps instead of the Italian Padan Plain (see my first post above).
If you prefer to travel via Milan, however, a 1-2 nights stop along Lake Garda would be a good solution. You may also go by ferrry from the Southern end of the Lake (Desenzano or Peschiera) up to the Northern end and continue from there by bus to Rovereto and by train to Ponte Gardena.
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