Itinerary planning help for December

May 6th, 2014, 02:38 PM
  #1  
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Itinerary planning help for December

Hello,

We (2 adults and 2 small children) are planning to visit Europe during Christmas holidays for 2 weeks. We were thinking of visiting Italy (Rome, Florence and Venice) or Spain (Madrid, Seville and Barcelona). We need help deciding which country might be a better option.
We will be heavily dependent on public transportation and hoping to use the train network to get to places. One child will need stroller. I heard Italy has better Christmas markets but it will be very cold and wet. If we decide to go to Spain, which place in southern France would be ideal to visit from Barcelona for 2 days stay?

Thanks for your help.
ssr12 is offline  
May 6th, 2014, 03:15 PM
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Have you every been to either Italy, Spain or France at anytime of the year?
Robert2533 is offline  
May 6th, 2014, 03:53 PM
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No
ssr12 is offline  
May 6th, 2014, 06:18 PM
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The Christmas season is very busy in Spain and Italy. With the days growing shorter up until 22 December, you need to plan your day accordingly.

I'm more knowledgable in regards to Spain, so any information I can offer would lean in that direction. Note that it will be very quiet on Christmas day and New Year's day. Most restaurants will be closed as will stores and most businesses. Some hotel restaurants will be serving lunch, but few will offer dinner. Christmas and New Year's Eve, on the other hand, will be busy and most restaurants, those that are open, will be offering special dinners.

Spain is very family friendly, so there shouldn't be any issues when traveling with children. Public transportation is excellent in Spain, but I can't tell you which country has the better Christmas markets. It all depends on what you are looking for.

Having some knowledge of the language would be extremely handy if you plan on being outside of the main tourist areas of either country, including the south of France.
Robert2533 is offline  
May 6th, 2014, 08:03 PM
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Thank you Robert. Do you have suggestion as to where we can go in the south of France. Perhaps within 3 hours train ride and doesnt require car.
ssr12 is offline  
May 7th, 2014, 08:03 AM
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Between Christmas and New Years? Toulouse is three hours from Barcelona by rail if you don't mind the weather, with an average high of 7°C, low of 3°C, and some rain. And I suppose you could visit Montpellier, which is also about 3 hours by rail.

There will only be about 8 hours of day light during that time of the year, more than an hour less sunshine then Barcelona.
Robert2533 is offline  
May 7th, 2014, 11:42 AM
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One thing you might want to consider is that Rome, Florence, and Venice are much closer together than Madrid, Seville, and Barcelona. The travel between those three Italian cities is super easy and super fast.

You're talking about 12 hours on trains versus 3 1/2 hours on trains.
bvlenci is offline  

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