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Honeymoon in Europe (2.5-3 Weeks in June)

Honeymoon in Europe (2.5-3 Weeks in June)

Dec 12th, 2018, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,511

I'd struggle to find La Clape in an Alsace food store

Plus, of course, many people like to meet and discuss the wine bought with the people who know about it rather than just drink it. It all depends in how interested you are in wine.
bilboburgler is offline  
Dec 18th, 2018, 05:00 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 4
Hi again,

Sorry for the delayed response.

Point taken regarding the wine.

We don't want to do Venice again because we want to see something different this time around. We've also decided against Amsterdam and Bruges and think we'll save those for another trip (maybe when the tulips are in bloom in Lisse).

We're close to fine tuning a general itinerary. We've essentially decided on combining France with Spain, and now the challenge becomes how best to piece them together.

We definitely want to do Paris and will probably base there for 5-6 days, depending on how many day trips we intend (Versailles and Gilverny are definite choices there).

With respect to Spain, we're again thinking San Sebastian and possibly Madrid (depending primarily on how much of France we should cover). We're not all that interested in Barcelona because we want to avoid any sort of party scene. We also anticipate beaches to be swarming with people in June. Seville/Granada was an idea but it seems quite inconveniently located when combining with a trip to France.

Can those who have been to San Sebastian confirm whether the area is in fact worth the inclusion here?

So, assuming those end pieces are established, I still need to fill in the middle. In that sense, we prefer to spend more time in France than just a week in Paris. Do you guys recommend the Alsace region over a focus on, say, Loire Valley & Burgundy? I assume all three areas of France are gorgeous with opportunities for sightseeing, hiking/biking, and good food/wine. If the general consensus falls on Alsace/Strasbourg/Colmar despite being so far east, then would you all recommend sticking to Paris and Strasbourg for that portion of the trip? What, if anything, would people add to this re France?

Thanks again, and apologies for all of the questions!
jurispathic is offline  
Dec 18th, 2018, 07:39 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,451
If it were me, I'd go south, to Toulouse and combine that with the Basque region in Spain. The Landes national park/area is also quite something. Not yet busy then, because the summer holidays haven't started.
menachem is offline  
Dec 19th, 2018, 04:27 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,511
Like Pal I've cycled over a fair bit of the three areas, Loire/Alsace/Burgundy. Focusing on them specifically and on cycling I would describe them as follows

1) The Loire (Saumur to Tours say) is a relatively narrow valley with a fair bit of traffic mainly controlled onto major roads. There are bike paths along the river, but that is all, Luckily France has a lot of quiet back roads but Loire cycling is a bit hit and miss
2) Burgundy; Northern Burgundy is a sleepy hollow around the canal and the supporting rivers of Chablis Auxerre Irancy. Very few cycle paths but the roads are very quiet still away from the rivers/canals there are a few hills. Southern Burgundy is all about back roads and needs a bit of care and attention.
3) Alsace, has a bike path down the Rhine and then a major one through the vineyard towns on the slopes of the wine vinyards. There is also a road (with a fair few coaches/cars/tractors) but you seldom need to go on it and you can also ride on the hidden roads deep within the vinyards. The Vosges mountains rise above the vinyards and guess what, mountains are steep.

So, if you love hills (and you are young) then Alsace is a real pleasure. Apart from that then I would still prefer Alsace just because it is so fantastically pretty but if my knees were shot I might look at Loire.

Madrid in June will be hot, I stayed in an ex-brothel one year and we were running from shade to shade all the time.

I cycled through Toulouse this year, not that impressed but it would be ok, I also think you could go East from there down the "canal du midi" to Carcassone but generally I find the food in Spain better and cheaper than in the Toulouse area.
bilboburgler is offline  
Dec 19th, 2018, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,519
Loire is for chateaux - not great scenery and though it has lots of wines I'd say Alsace and Burgundy are better for that and more scenic. Beaune is a great base for Burgundy and Colmar for Alsace or any number of cute wine villages near either one. Dijon is a really nice large city and Strasbourg even nicer. I'd chose either of them over the Loire, especially for scenery and wines and vineyards seem to be much denser in those two places and more impressionable.
PalenQ is online now  
Dec 19th, 2018, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,855
As noted, there is no good reason to travel to Bordeaux to drink Bordeaux wines or to Burgundy to drink Bourgogne wines. Alsace is a bit of an outlier - you might have a bit of trouble find good reds from other regions there. But you can happily find good wines in almost every corner of France, even at supermarkets like Carrefour and LeClerc and Intermarché - and there are caves everywhere with extraordinary varieties of wine.

San Sebastián IMO is absolutely wonderful, as is the region around it (including Bilbao). I wouldn't consider it a wine mecca, but there's plenty of good wine to be had, and the food is beyond amazing. In June it isn't likely to be swarming with tourists.
StCirq is online now  
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