Help Planning Europe Trip - June 2022

Old Mar 13th, 2021, 10:33 AM
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Help Planning Europe Trip - June 2022

I am planning on taking a trip to Europe for the whole month of June 2022 with my husband and two teenagers. I will be flying into Athens and staying there for three days. I will be taking a cruise for a week that ends up in Barcelona. My tentative plan is to stay in Barcelona for four days, then go to Florence for five days with a day trip to Venice on one of the days, then go to Siena for two days (one overnight), then back to Florence for two days and then three days in Rome and then Paris for four days (flying home on the fourth day.) I have been to all of these places before a long time ago and I love Florence. My question is....if I want to fit in a trip to Lerici and the Cinque Terre is that trying to fit too much in??
Here is how itinerary would look if I added that.....
Barcelona for four days, then go to Florence for four days with a day trip to Venice on one of the days, then go to Siena for two days (one overnight), then go back to Florence just to take transportation to Lerici and stay in Lerici and visit one of the Cinque Terre towns for three days, then back to Florence for one day and then two days in Rome and then Paris for four days (flying home on the fourth day.) I have never been to Lerici or the Cinque Terre towns before.

Also, interested in any things to do, restaurants, etc. outside of the obvious sites in Athens, Barcelona, Florence, Venice, Siena, Rome and Paris.

Thank you ahead for any advice and tips!!
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Old Mar 13th, 2021, 12:25 PM
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Welcome to Fodors.

Just a quick note - IMO Venice is not 'day-tripable' from Florence. The fastest train is nearly 2.5 hours so 5+ hours in transit. And in June (assuming tourism is anywhere near back to normal) the CT will be heaving with day trippers. Not pleasant really.

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Old Mar 13th, 2021, 01:10 PM
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Janis J is correct re day tripping from Florence to Venice. It does not work as a day trip; Venice cannot be seen in a handful of hours.
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Old Mar 13th, 2021, 04:03 PM
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From Barcelona, I suggest going to Rome or Venice and working your way to the other, rather than going back and forth from Florence. I love Florence too, but not for that long with teens. You have plenty of time to plan and you don’t yet know what flights will be like, but you could also go from Barcelona to Paris, Paris to Venice, Venice to Florence and end in Rome. I also would not do the day trip to Venice, especially since you have so much time allotted to Florence. At least nights in Venice would be great.
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Old Mar 14th, 2021, 01:37 AM
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Your itinerary is not one that I would enjoy. You're buzzing around Europe and not really staying anywhere long enough to enjoy it. Too much travel time, too many flights. New language, culture, logistics every few days. Not the best way to enjoy Europe (or anywhere).

I really think that you should focus your holiday to a narrower area and see a bit more. Mix up cities, small towns/villages, mountains and the sea, all within a region or two. You will have a much better time.

I find it easier to plan in number of nights (e.g. 3 nights yields 2 full days plus a bit either side) as this tells me how many full days I have in a place and where I will be sleeping (and therefore need to find accommodation). Try and avoid visiting a place more than once (e.g. Florence). Just travel through to Rome from Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is mostly about hiking, which is why I assume you want to go there. In normal (non-COVID) times, the small villages frequently can't cope with the number of tourists. Even so, going to Cinque Terre can be lovely - it's the Greece, Spain, Italy, France thing that would bother me.
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Old Mar 14th, 2021, 02:18 PM
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Actually, you are not visiting countries: Greece, Spain, Italy, France, etc. You are visiting cities: Athens, Barcelona, Florence and a bit of Italy and Paris.
IMHO, you are not accounting enough time for travel from place to place. Getting into cities and settled into your hotel from airports takes time. Lay things out as either nights or days and account for travel, keeping in mind that two nights are required to give one full day of sightseeing, and breaking sightseeing up into half days does not usually give as much quality time as whole days. Unless it is a very short journey, say by train from Rome to Florence, Do Not count travel days as sightseeing days. That makes it seem as if you have more time than you actually have. Another example of how you might over estimate how much time you have would be a cruise departure day. Depending on where you might be in Athens, and with traffic, you need to allow an hour to get to the ship, an hour or more for boarding and being on board two hours before departure on the day of. You would have a morning of sightseeing at best.
Travel to Athens is a long slog. You may be less energetic than you think. Also, you can go at a very fast pace for a few days, but when a trip stretches to a month, you cannot keep up such a fast pace and will need some down days, time to do laundry, a swim, etc. choose some good places for that, beach or hotels with pools.
Are you certain that particular cruise and ship will really be what you hope it to be? Is it one that your teens will enjoy?

Luckily, you have plenty of time to think, research, revise, check train and flight schedules, etc. I suggest not booking anything for a few more months until you do that.

Day 1: depart US
Day 2: arrive first destination.
Day 3 & 4, tour
Day 5: travel to second destination, cruise, etc.
Day 6 & 7, tour
If you are departing Paris on day four, you really have only three days in Paris. If you are counting the arrival day as a day, then you really have only two days and part of a third, not much time for Paris.
Right now, I see about five or six full days of travel out of your month.

Also, just my opinion, I love Florence, and it is great to expose young people to art, but I think Florence has the least appeal for teens unless they are serious art lovers, so think about the proportion of time there. Also, put all the time there together in one stay, not back and forth, checking multiple times into and out of hotels in the same city. That is a big waste of time. Enjoy the planning.
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Old Mar 15th, 2021, 09:48 AM
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Are you open to a car just for the Lerici bit? It would save you some time. If you stay in Lerici, there is really no need to go to Cinque Terre--you are steps from Montemarcello park, which has hiking every bit as lovely as in CT--without the crowds.
Agree with the others on Venice being far too much fro a day trip from Florence and also no need to backtrack to Florence after Siena.
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