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itinerary: Andalusia, Barcelona, Provence, French/Italian Riviera, Amalfi

itinerary: Andalusia, Barcelona, Provence, French/Italian Riviera, Amalfi

Old Feb 4th, 2011, 10:42 AM
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itinerary: Andalusia, Barcelona, Provence, French/Italian Riviera, Amalfi

Hi, my husband and I are in our mid 30's. We enjoy beautiful sceneries, great food, and the local culture. We generally prefer small towns than big cities. We're planning to spend 3 weeks in late June and early July this summer in southern Europe along the west mediterranean. Here are the places we'd like to visit:
Spain -- Andalusia, Barcelona
France -- Provence, French Riviera
Italy -- Italian Riviera (Cinque Terre) and Amalfi coast

I've done some preliminary research on the travels between these places, and the most difficult leg seems to be from Barcelona to southern France. Even though they looks pretty close on the map, in reality, either traveling by rail or bus takes 8,9 hours. I also couldn't find flights between Barcelona and Marseille/Nice on Vueling at this point. So I'm thinking of this itinerary:

Fly into Andalusia (4 nights) --> train or flight to Barcelona (3 nights) --> by plane to Naples, Italy (3 nights) --> by train to Cinque Terre (3 nights) --> by train to French Riviera (3 nights) --> rental car to Provence (4 nights) --> train to Paris, fly back to Austin

Does this make sense? We're totally open to all suggestions. Haven't booked flight tickets yet.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 10:56 AM
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It seems feasible, but carefully consider how you will feel about picking up and moving every 3 days.
You have the profound luxury of 3 weeks to spend in these places. My immediate reaction is to suggest leaving Andalucia out because BCN-French riviera-Italian riviera seems like a better fit geographically. Also, you will probably get better flights to BCN over the smaller cities in Andalucia. I would also exclude the Amalfi area in order to spend more time in the northern part of coast.
Sounds like an amazing trip--I hope to slowly circle the Mediterranean the rest of my life.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 10:59 AM
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Wind -

While all of the places you've mentioned are great to visit, I think you've just got a bit too much jumping around. You have 6 travel days which ends up being a big chunk of your 3 week vacation.

Personally, as much as I love it, I'd recommend saving Andalusia for another time. First off, 4 nights is way to short to see much in the first place. Second, late June/July will be bakingly hot there. Third, I imagine you'll have an easier time flying from the states to Barcelona.

If you took those 4 nights and spread them out amongst your other destinations, you'd still have a busy trip but a few shades less hectic...

-Kevin
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 11:00 AM
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Shoot, yorkshire beat me to it !

-Kevin
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 11:09 AM
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nah kevin, that is good reinforcement. Good point about 4 days not being enough time for more than one place in Andalucia anyway--and I think it is so much better when you go throughout Andalucia.

Another thing I meant to mention is that if this is your first long trip, it can be nice to have a respite in the middle--a small relaxing place (not that they aren't all relaxing, but you get my drift)--somewhere to recharge your batteries, etc.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 11:28 AM
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As much as I love Andalucia I also agree that it should be saved for another trip. You could easily spend 3 weeks in Andalucia alone. 4 nights is just enought time to visit Seville and do a daytrip to Cordoba. Not enough time to squeeze in Granada, which is a same. Spending 7 days in Barcelona/Catalunya fits in better with the remainder of your itinerary.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 11:28 AM
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Kevin and yorkshire, I thought with the exception of Barcelona, the places I mentioned are all pretty relaxing -- I mean, they're small villages with no big museums or palaces right?

And geographically they're pretty close together, so traveling shouldn't take too long between these places, I imagine?

Andalusia will definitely be hot. We live in Austin, TX, I think we can brave the heat for 4 days though...

What do ya'll think of the route I proposed?
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 11:39 AM
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Yes, definitely all relaxing places. Just wanted to mention sometimes you need a vacation from your vacation to rest/do laundry, etc.
The route looks fine, other than moving a lot. Note everything takes longer than you think it will and a lot of these places will be crowded.
You might want to look at some train sites to see how long the travel will take.
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Old Feb 4th, 2011, 01:25 PM
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> with the exception of Barcelona, the places I mentioned are all pretty relaxing -- I mean, they're small villages with no big museums or palaces right?

??? I'm not sure where you want to spend your time in Andalucia, but Sevilla is among the largest cities in Spain, complete with museums and a lovely palace. Naples has about a million residents with lots of museums and palaces.

> And geographically they're pretty close together, so traveling shouldn't take too long between these places, I imagine?

Not necessarily! It depends on the roads, frequency of public transportation, traffic, etc. It can take a chunk of time to get from place to place even within the areas you are hoping to see.
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 12:02 AM
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I would avoid Naples at all costs, or maybe just fly into it if necessary and then leave as soon as possible. In my opinion it´s a filthy hell hole of a city, the only place in Italy which I really hated. My husband and I visit Italy at least every other year for about 25 years. So we know most of the country. Naples has one of the highest crime rates in Italy BTW.
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