Late May Three Country Honeymoon

Jan 27th, 2011, 11:12 AM
  #1  
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Late May Three Country Honeymoon

Hello All!

Me and my bride to be are planning about a 15 day Honeymoon starting mid may and ending at the end of the month or first few days in June.

I have never been to Europe before and she has only been to Italy, hitting most of the major tourist stop cities.

We've decided that we would like to visit 3 places for about 5 days each. Presumably different countries although thats not a hard rule.

We're most interesting in taking in the different cultures that the locales have to offer. We want to see at least 1 major city but don't want to spend the whole trip in them. We are fairly active people so hikes and day trips are something we will enjoy, mixed with of course some honeymoon down time I think we'd like to be in places where there is plenty of exploring to do but not super over the top hectic / tourist trappy either. We plan to take the rail between our destinations as opposed to flying.

We've started to do some investigation on our own, but are definitely open to any completely different suggestions!

We are from Boston and so flights to most of Europe are pretty easy out of Logan Airport. We originally began thinking of flying into Munich, moving onto Switzerland, then to the Cinque Terre and flying out of Rome. After speaking to some friends my fiance really wants to go to Spain, so the new leading candidate would be fly into Zurich, then to the French Riviera and finally Spain (Barcellona?).

What I was most interested in was if folks have alternate good ideas for 3 place we could connect easily by train that would be a good fit. Or help in trying to figure out where would be good to stay in Switzerland, France and Spain. There seems to be a dizzying array of choices!

Thank you very much for any and all help!
Niroth is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 11:41 AM
  #2  
 
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May is not the best time in CH--it is thaw time in the mountains. For a honeymoon, I would start in Paris, train to the French Riviera, and end in Barcelona. That is 3 diverse locales. However, Barcelona is not really Spain, it is Catalonia and is not typical of the rest of Spain.
Good luck !
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 11:49 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for the help!

Sorry - where are you referring to when you say CH?

We were planning to skip Paris as we didn't want to spend all our time in the city, but perhaps we will need to reconsider if we can't find a good alternative.
Niroth is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 11:58 AM
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What I was most interested in was if folks have alternate good ideas for 3 place we could connect easily by train that would be a good fit. Or help in trying to figure out where would be good to stay in Switzerland,>

To me the essence of the Alpine wonderland of Switzerland etched in our minds' eyes is most fulfilled in the Interlaken/Jungfrau Region - say going to stay in one of the impossibly gorgeously situated mountain villages like Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen or Wengen - no place better IMO for Honeymooners that a nice hotel with scintillating views of snow-capped alpine peaks and lots of things to do - hiking for all degrees of difficulty - thrilling aerial cableways, mountain trains, glaciers, lake boat rides on the two lakes that bookend Inter-laken, etc.

Now for help with the train travel and possible passes like the Eurail Select 3-Country Saverpass which could be a good option depending on travel plans I always spotlight these fine IMO sites - www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com - check out the latter's superb IMO European Planning & Rail Guide you can download free for many possible rail itineraries as you say you are looking for.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 11:58 AM
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What I was most interested in was if folks have alternate good ideas for 3 place we could connect easily by train that would be a good fit. Or help in trying to figure out where would be good to stay in Switzerland,>

To me the essence of the Alpine wonderland of Switzerland etched in our minds' eyes is most fulfilled in the Interlaken/Jungfrau Region - say going to stay in one of the impossibly gorgeously situated mountain villages like Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen or Wengen - no place better IMO for Honeymooners that a nice hotel with scintillating views of snow-capped alpine peaks and lots of things to do - hiking for all degrees of difficulty - thrilling aerial cableways, mountain trains, glaciers, lake boat rides on the two lakes that bookend Inter-laken, etc.

Now for help with the train travel and possible passes like the Eurail Select 3-Country Saverpass which could be a good option depending on travel plans I always spotlight these fine IMO sites - www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com - check out the latter's superb IMO European Planning & Rail Guide you can download free for many possible rail itineraries as you say you are looking for.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 12:27 PM
  #6  
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Apologies, I now realize that CH is the country code for Switzerland. I had heard late may could be a good compromise between bad weather and the overly busy july-august time period.

Is that not the case? It doesn't seem like its that cold at the end of May, but maybe too wet?
Niroth is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 02:13 PM
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I concur that the Berner Oberland is fantastic and can easily demand 5 days--just not sure about the wet ground. Perhaps some of our CH experts can comment.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 04:00 PM
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When we went to CH in late May the walking in the Oberland was wonderful - best wild flower meadows ever!
Aveyronnaise is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 04:07 PM
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If you are heading for the south of France you might also consider either taking a ferry from Nice across to Corsica - awesome mountain walking and the coast will still be peaceful at that time - or building on Bob's idea of the French Riviera/Barcelona, head up into the Pyrenees. I also happen to think Sicily could be one of the best possible honeymoon destinations, though not so easy to combine with a series of countries (unless you fly from Girona with Ryanair after visiting Barcelona).
Aveyronnaise is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 04:29 PM
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Bottom line here is there is no wrong answer. If sig other has heart set on Spain, then BobtheNav's suggestion is the choice. If She will yield on the Spain issue, then I would concur that Bavairan Alps (Fussen, Bad Tolz, Lindau, Bodensee) followed by Jungfrau area of CH, followed by Paris would be a nice itinerary. Seems to me a Europe honeymoon without Paris doesn't make sence, however.
docdan is offline  
Jan 27th, 2011, 05:46 PM
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Or help in trying to figure out where would be good to stay in Switzerland, France and Spain. There seems to be a dizzying array of choices!>

OK For 15 days here's one possible:

fly into Zurich or Geneva and head straight away to Interlaken and the fabluous Jungfrau Rgion - say 4 days all told

spend a few days at Montreux on Lake Geneva then hop the overnight train from Geneva to Barcelona - say 4 days here

then either go by day train or another overnight train to Paris - fly out of Paris.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 28th, 2011, 07:30 AM
  #12  
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Thanks everyone for the great info! Have a few more ideas to consider now on itineraries for sure!

It seems like a lot of the advice I have got for CH are similar so I have a pretty good idea where I would look to stay there if we include it.

When it comes to other places I'm a little less sure, so heres a few more targeted questions

* How busy is the French Riviera / Nice? Many people recommend it but when I read sometimes it sounds like going to Disney World! Is there a more fitting location in the south of France?

* Does Barcelona make sense for Spain? I've heard Madrid is a little more... global?... and hence maybe not as different from cities in North America.

Understood that it seems strange to Journey in this region and skip Paris, but for some reason it doesn't hold that much allure to us. I guess we're non traditional! Haven't completely ruled it out, though.
Niroth is offline  
Jan 28th, 2011, 07:52 AM
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Nice is wonderful! If you stay in the Old town it is like it's own village and you can easily take day trips to Monaco or villages like Eze and St Paul de Vence from the bus station and the charge is only one euro per person. There is a great apartment rental company called Nice Pebbles.

I would fly in and out of different cities:..your itinerary could look like this:

Paris/Nice/Rome 5 days each and they are all very different and unique.

Take easyjet for your connections to the other cities. In fact go on their site and see what your options are from Paris, Rome, Nice, etc and this can help make your decision.
kelbo is offline  
Jan 28th, 2011, 09:01 AM
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* How busy is the French Riviera / Nice? Many people recommend it but when I read sometimes it sounds like going to Disney World! Is there a more fitting location in the south of France?>

The Riviera is a mob scene only in July and August and in May it will be perfect - not too crowded not too hot - the perfect time to go. And IMO there is no better place to spend a few days than on the French Riviera. Check out dreamy hilltowns like St-Paul-de-Vence, Vence, Grasse (perfume factories) and Antibes - or the famous sands at Cannes.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 28th, 2011, 11:39 AM
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s Barcelona make sense for Spain? I've heard Madrid is a little more... global?... and hence maybe not as different from cities in North America.>

this is my take as well - Barcelona's historic centre is IMO one of the nicest old-world places in Europe but Madrid to me is near totally lacking any romance when taken as a whole - the city center has a few old squares but is rather a busy place with broad streets, etc.

Barcelona is also much easier to include when coming from France, being not far south of the French frontier.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 29th, 2011, 09:37 AM
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Note that the French Riviera will be much better early June than the second half of May. In May there is the Cannes Film Festival followed by the Monaco Grand Prix. The whole coast gets to be a bit of a zoo during these events.

Plus if you want to do any swimming, water should be quite nice by June (better than mid-May anyway)...

-Kevin
kevin_widrow is offline  
Jan 30th, 2011, 07:42 AM
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It's not what most people think of for Switzerland, but the Lac Leman area outside Geneva (Lausanne, Vevey, Montreux) is very beautiful. It has easy train connections (say from Paris or even Italy) and because it's low altitude more mild weather that time of year.
suze is offline  
Jan 31st, 2011, 05:06 AM
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One negative thing about the Jungfrau Region is that it can be rainy at any time of the year - clouds and dreary weather can set it - in this case keep your itinerary flexible IMO and plan on weather-proof day trips like to Bern and Lucerne, both a short train ride from Interlaken.
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 1st, 2011, 08:47 AM
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Bern makes a great poor weather day trip (or even better nice wealther!) as many of its streets are covered by alcoves - a very unique aspct of a very unique city that is often overlooked by tourists - IMO one of Europe's nicest cities and check out the new Paul Klee Museum - the building being as raved about as the art inside (Swiss Pass would get free entry!)
PalenQ is offline  
Feb 1st, 2011, 12:13 PM
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However, Barcelona is not really Spain, it is Catalonia and is not typical of the rest of Spain>

wonder if that is good or bad?
PalenQ is offline  

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