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I Know You Can Help Me With My Decision: Where To Go

I Know You Can Help Me With My Decision: Where To Go

Nov 19th, 2009, 11:44 AM
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I Know You Can Help Me With My Decision: Where To Go

I am really unable to make a decision about our vacation. We are planning on the last week of May and the first week of June, 2010. We are thinking of two weeks but really are not tied to those amount of days. It could be more but not less. I am having a difficult time picking the place. Mr. Sher could care less where we go.

We are tied to FF miles. And from PIT that means it is easier to plan in and out of one city. But maybe that could be reworked.

These are the two destinations we have narrowed it down to:
Rome and Sorrento for one week. Then Sicily or Sardinia for one week.

Paris for three or four days and then Languedoc for the remainder of the time.

We have been to Rome, Sorrento and Paris before but would revisit . We usually rent a car for at least part of every vacation. Of course, not for the city parts.

We always try to spend part of every vacation near the sea. We don't expect to see everything in one trip but feel that we could pick several sights that are of interest in each place and make a list for the next time. We are content to enjoy small towns and really not into nightlife. We do not care if it is warm enough to swim. Just seeing the water and watching the sunsets is enjoyment enough. We have eclectic food tastes and like to try different things.

We do not travel extensively by train but know that with these itineraries I would have to consider doing my homework, Also, I would have to bone up on ferries if we consider Sicily or Sardinia. I am probably thinking we would just fly some low cost airlines.

Well, Anyway. I really do need your help because if I want to use miles I have to get busy. I have read so many trip reports here but still am stuck. This has turned out to be a long request but I thought a good explanation might help.

Sher is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 12:41 PM
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I'm not sure what you are trying to decide. Between Sicily and Sardegna?

Or between France and Italy?

Since you seem to want to be near water, you've not picked destinations in France that would facilitate that.

If you are willing to rent a car, I think you might have a grand adventure in Sardegna, where the best beaches are more easily reached by car, away from the most touristed sections. If you have eclectic food tastes, Sardegna has a unique cuisine, highly regarded, as its local wines. Although it is hardly undiscovered, it's local culture is still very strong. There are not a lot of guidebooks to help out, yet it is working hard to make visitors happy (Sicily is often of two minds about that, fun as it can be).

Sardegna is served by ferry from both Rome and Genova (and perhaps Sicily?) in case you don't feel like flying. Given the amount of time you have, you might find an overnight ferry a lot of fun.

All that said, Sicily has a great many more monuments of historic and artistic interest. If that kind of vacation is more appealing to you, rather than a countryside adventure, you should probably focus on Taormina (but consider staying in Castelmora, the town above it, less touristy), Siracusa/Ortygia. You might consider ferrying from Napoli (or Salerno?) first to one of the Aeolian Islands, then moving on to Taormina and Siracusa/Ortygia, and then flying out of Catania back to Rome.
stepsbeyond is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 12:42 PM
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YOu could seriously look at Puglia by train (thats the heel bit) which has good roman features and little towns on hills.

Langedoc, might be interested in Carcasonne or Canal du Midi
bilboburgler is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 01:35 PM
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how about Naples and sicily [a train connects the two that looks fun to do]?

or puglia and sicily?

or just sicily? - loads to do in 2 weeks or so.

oops - looks like stepsbeyond had the same idea. we can't both be wrong!

if you choose Sardinia, you can fly into Olbia from Gatwick, Geneva, Milan, Berlin and Lyon with easyjet.
annhig is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 01:42 PM
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Would you consider The Dordogne area coupled with Biarritz/Bidart on the SW coast...5 hour TGV run back to Paris from Biarritz. (6-7 days in each location (or more)

One of our favorite lodgings in France is Villa l'Arche in the coastal town of Bidart, about 5 kms south of the much larger Biarritz. Beaches that are made for walking, almost lunarscaped in character...the Villa has steps leading down to aforementioned beach. You can even rent a car in Dordogne and drive to the southwest, drop the car and train back to Paris....or Bordeaux if you can get a return flight to USA from there. (You can even take a day trip to San Sebastian or one of the other towns on the coast). And headquartering in the Dordogne gives you ample opportunitites for several scenic day trips.

stu t.

You could headquarter in one of the Dordogne towns, the head south by train or auto.
tower is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 01:57 PM
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I know what I would do - the whole two weeks in Sicily, a week on each side.
Sassafrass is online now  
Nov 19th, 2009, 04:37 PM
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I don't know what FF program you're working with, but I've had no trouble booking open-jaw FF tickets on American, Swiss, United and Lufthansa. Obviously, you are limited to the cities served by your FF airline and their program partners, and I'd be surprised if any of them serve Cagliari. So, getting to/from Sardinia would mean a not-free flight or a time-consuming ferry ride and a return flight or ferry. If you have questions about your FF program, what you can book, where you can go, etc., talk to a human at the airline. You're not charged a fee for this unless you book your FF flights with the human.
Jean is online now  
Nov 19th, 2009, 06:21 PM
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Ferry trips to and from Sardegna can be long in hours, but the trips are most often made overnight, and passengers sleep in cabins. Instead of spending your days traveling on land from one destination to another, you can be sleeping while you cover miles.
stepsbeyond is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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I should add that there is also overnight ferry service from Naples to Palermo, and Naples and the Aeolian islands.
stepsbeyond is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 07:52 PM
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WOW. This gives me a lot to think about.

stepbeyond. The choice at the present is between a vacation in parts of France or a vacation in parts of Italy. Sorry if I was unclear. I was thinking of Sardinia as I think that Sicily has more to see than we can do justice to in one week without running around like chickens. I have a Lonely Planet guide and am overwhelmed with narrowing down choices.

annhig and sassafras. You both seem to think Sicily warrants a lot of time. Do you like the beaches in Sicily or Sardinia better.

Jean. I made a tentative call to my FF program. I will have to use Star Alliance. That means most likely from here booking through Continental or US Airways. The person on the other end of the line kept me waiting for 15 minutes and even then wasn't very helpful about open jaw tickets. I guess I should be thankful that she spoke English as a first language. I always book FF tickets through an agent even if it costs more. But to get the right agent. I can always try again. I asked about flying into Naples and out of Rome.

tower. Ah, another suggestion.

Now I have to get more guide books. And I want to thank all of you very much.

Sher is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 10:24 PM
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I've booked open jaw tickets on Continental, so you can do that. There are very inexpensive flights from Rome to Sicily. Look at the local airlines. They are about $50
galaxygrrl200 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2009, 07:14 AM
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Sher...web pages for Villa L'arche which I mentioned above...


tower is offline  
Nov 20th, 2009, 07:33 AM
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If you go to Languedoc, you could drop down to the Med and stay at Collioure. I haven't been there but it's on my list: smallish and cute and interesting.
Mimar is offline  
Nov 20th, 2009, 09:05 AM
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Stu/ Thanks for posting the website. I tried to Google it but did not have any luck.
We would love to stay in one of the apartments, but at almost $400 a night, that would not be possible for us. The room rate seems really reasonable, though.
Sher is offline  
Nov 20th, 2009, 09:13 AM
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I don't know Italy at all, so can't comment on that, but know France fairly well and am not sure what to say -- sure, you can do that, but what kind of advice do you want on that? I guess you just have to make up your mind.

However, given your timing which is still sort of lower rates in Provence and the Cote d'Azur, and not so hot, I am wondering why you didn't consider Nice and areas to the west of it or Provence, for example? It should be very pleasant at that time and you'll avoid huge crowds and high prices. You can do part train and car or whatever. Nice has a beautiful position on the sea with great views, just walking along the promenade and the hill there is gorgeous, and lots else to do. Since you don't really care about the beach and swimming per se, that is perfect (as they don't have such a hot beach).

I've been to Languedoc and also Provence and Nice, every place has its merits, but I would rather go to Provence/Nice first if I hadn't done either.
Christina is offline  
Nov 20th, 2009, 12:37 PM
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Christina. Your suggestion of the Provence/Nice area does have merit. But I have been around there three times and would really like to see a little more of France. Although this is the kind of vacation I like. Relaxing with beautiful sea views and a sprinkle of wonderful towns and villages to see.
Sher is offline  
Nov 20th, 2009, 02:06 PM
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well I can see that but you didn't mention you had been in that area, so it was what I thought of
Christina is offline  
Nov 24th, 2009, 07:10 AM
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For the last several days I have been looking at trip reports.
I have decided to rule out France for this trip. I was there last year and have not been to Italy since 2002.
After contacting Continental and not US Airways this time, I feel like an itinerary into Italy using miles wouldn't be difficult. The rep at US Airways was clueless. And I could fly into Catania but would have to get from Palermo to Naples for the return. There are many options for this leg.

I think Sorrento 3 days, Rome 3 days and Sardinia for 7 days would be doable. But I do not think I would be easily able to do Sicily in a week and not feel rushed. After reading about Sicily, cutting down to seven days is too hard for me do.

So I have thirteen nights and now to decide how to divide them going into Catania and out of Palermo.

Wish me luck. Am awaiting the arrival of two more guide books and logging in lots of computer time here.

Again. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and your tolerance.
Sher is offline  
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