Last Quarter 2013 European Fly/Road Trip

Old Jan 20th, 2013, 09:41 PM
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Last Quarter 2013 European Fly/Road Trip

I will start by saying that my family and I have just completed a road trip here in Australia in 10 days that covered 2600 klms. So distance isn't the issue. So I am asking for advice on length of stay and if I should either include places I haven't thought of or exclude places. So this is what I am thinking of a schedule.

Fly into Paris and spend 4 or 5 days.

Fly into Lisbon spend 3 days

Fly into Madrid and spend 2 days and then get a car (probably the lease scheme).

Drive to Valencia spend 2 days

Drive to Barcelona spend 4 days

Drive to Marseilles spend 2 days

Drive to Nice/Cannes area and spend 3 days

Drive to Genoa (spend 2 days)

Drive to Milan (spend 2 days)

Drive to Venice (spend 3 days)

Drive to Florence (spend 3 days including day trip to Pisa)

Drive to Rome (spend 4 days)

total holiday time is around 30 days give or take.

Back home to Australia

As I say I am certain that there are many things I haven't thought of as we are 2 adults and 3 kids (ages 4, 11 and 13) but we are used to driving large distances coming from Queensland in Australia. So I am interested in thoughts and ideas and if some places are worth staying longer/shorter etc...
gedda is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2013, 12:30 AM
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I think I counted 35 days for your trip but you haven't included drive time to get from one place to another. For instance, you're driving from Madrid to Valencia which will take about 3.5 hours plus time to navigate the cities and find parking. That only leaves 1.5 days in Valencia, not 2 days. When you add drive time that adds 4 days to your trip.

Have you thought about parking in a car that will hold 5 people plus luggage?

Every place you mention is a city where a car will be a handicap. Cities are more conducive to walking and public transport.

I would include Sintra (at least 1 day) during your stay in Lisbon.

Provence has some fabulous towns you could visit. What is prompting the stay in Marseille as opposed to one of the other, smaller towns (which would have more appeal for me).
adrienne is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2013, 04:56 AM
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gedda, i have to agree with Adrienne. you haven't taken account of the time required to get from one place to another and by and large are allowing very little time to experience the places you have driven so far to see.

you say that distance isn't an issue, and i confess that I've never been to australia, but i can assure you that distance will be an issue in europe with 3 bored kids squeezed into the back of your car every other day.

I see that you are intending to travel in the "last quarter" of 2013 - which is presumably October onwards, when days will be getting shorter and temps lower; therefore i would start in the north and move south. i would also drastically reduce the number of places you intend to visit.

back later!
annhig is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2013, 05:04 AM
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Every single one of your Italian destinations is a place where you will drive long hours on difficult highspeed highways with trucks, and when you get to the cities, you will need to pay to park in a hotel far from any sights of touristic interest -- too far to walk -- and you will need to leave your car parked until you are ready to move on. Every single time you drive between your chosen Italian cities, all trains going there will be going faster than your car.

Once you have seen the port cities of Lisbon, Valencia, Barcelona, Marseilles and NIce, I don't think Genoa is going to seem all that much of a "wow" for you. I suggest you get rid of the car in Nice and fly to Rome, and do the Italian portion of your trip by train in reverse order, flying out of Milan.
goldenautumn is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2013, 05:21 AM
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PS: I confess I haven't driven in Australia, but I'm pretty certain it is nothing like driving in Italy, and I am not talking about driving customs. I don't think Australia has as many high-speed highways that are mountain passes or filled with tunnels.

Also, it is not clear to me which month you would in Italy, but for the past 2 years, various parts of Italy, including the coastal areas, have seen terrible floods in from the end of October through Christmas, and Venice experienced record high tides. Your very aggressive driving schedule assumes you can maintain high speeds safely every time you need to move on.

Consider flying from Barcelona to Rome, and skipping the Mediterranean coast. Consider using some of the time you save by doing that to take your kids to the Alhambra in Granada and the mosque in Cordoba. By only using a car in Spain, and not taking it into France to drive along the coast when it isn't beach weather, you will save a lot of money.
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