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saurabh_soni11 Nov 3rd, 2014 09:54 PM

Spain/France/Austria/Greece/Turkey for Honeymoon in Feb'15
Hi travelers,
We are planning a honeymoon trip to Europe in Feb 2015 from India. Both of us have never been to Europe before and that along with the month of 'February' is what brings us here for help.
We have some 10Nights roughly and are convinced to visit just 1 country for a relaxing yet exploring trip, not a fast paced one. We don't fear the winter in Europe, but don't want to be locked in rooms due to same.
Both of us are looking for:
* A stop for scenic beauty and nature(mountains, falls, gardens, snow....cycling & walking for city/town exploration)
* A stop at a metropolitan city for shopping and night life.

We can be along the beaches, Historical sights though are of the least priority.
A place with self drive/car rent ease would be helpful.


nytraveler Nov 4th, 2014 04:13 AM

OK - there is no place in europe in Feb with beach weather. the warmest you are going to find is southern Spain and there you will get hghs typically in the 50s - so you can walk on the beach but not even sunbathing weather.

As for gardens - again you are there at the wrong time of year. You may see some greenery in southern Spain (but it's a fairly dry climate, not full desert but I think the gardens start to perk up probably in late March/erly April.

And seeing this along with snow (unless you head to a ski resort in the mountains in southern Spain) don;t really fit together.

If you want winter scenery there are lots of places in Switz (but super expensive) France and austria -but then no beaches or gardens.

This comes up every year - for some reason many weddings in India are in the winter and the couple want to come to europe for a honeymoon - but they are thinking of summer europe - not winter one - and don;t get that europe is a temperate climate with four distinct seasons.

You would have a much easier job of seeing/doing what you want in May.

And if you really just want natural beauty rather than historic sights - I would strongly reco that you head someplace other than europe in Feb.

DebitNM Nov 4th, 2014 04:25 AM

The OP didn't want to "go" to the beach as in swim, she said "be along the beach".

Robert2533 Nov 4th, 2014 08:26 AM

In February you may want to stick with visiting Cataluyna. If you want to drive, you will have the time to head north to Manresa and the cave of Saint Ignatius of Lyola, then onto Vic with a visit the 11th century monastery of Sant Pere de Casserres ( a short drive northeast of Vic. You could stop in Ripoll, Olot and Besalú, visit the Volcanic Area of La Garrotxa and end up in Girona before heading back to Barcelona. The area is beautiful and full of history.

saurabh_soni11 Nov 4th, 2014 08:58 AM

Thanks for the valuable comments so far.
If we narrow on to Austria, would it be a decent season for honeymooners considering the month of Feb?
It doesn't snow in majority of India, so its going be a good experience given we can get out of hotel rooms and the city (Innsbruck, Salzburg) is not locked.
Switzerland was our dream destination. But the travel operators in India have mentioned the risks that come along - 'If it snows during that time, then mountain excursions would be stopped. You would just happen to touch Switzerland and not do anything'.


nytraveler Nov 4th, 2014 10:49 AM

In Austria - esp in the mountains - you are very likely to get snow. there is no need to stay in your room - and things are not typically locked or closed. But it will be cold and you will need a winter wardrobe (warm coat, hat, gloves, scarf and warm lined winter boots with non-skid soles. Also a warm sweater and pants - cords better than wool IMHO. They are used to snow there and streets will be cleared and you can still see all of the indoor sights your want.

There is also a lot to do outdoors - if your don't mind the cold (fine for me - austria is no colder than NYC). but you will not see pretty gardens and some things (Sound of music tour for instance) may still run - but you will be looking at snowy mountains - not green meadows covered with edelweiss.

If you decide to do Austria I would divide the time between Vienna (aa tone to see and do from all the royal palaces, museums, cathedrals, etc, day trip to the vienna woods and Melk Abbey - and then head to strasbourg for the sights there and probably a bus tour into the higher mountains)

nytraveler Nov 4th, 2014 10:51 AM

Also - note the winter is the center of the cultural season and there will be lots of opportunities for opera, musical performances, etc - but you will need to arrange n advance to get tickets - esp if you want the less expensive seats.

nytraveler Nov 4th, 2014 10:58 AM

Sorry - above should be SALZBURG.

And in Vienna in FEb the average high temp is 6 and the average low is minus 2 degrees C. And there are only 5 days of precip - rain or sleet or snow. In Salzburg the average high is 4 and the average low minus 4 - but with many more days of precip - since it is on the edge of the mountains, while Vienna is on the central european plain.

jtpj777 Nov 4th, 2014 12:23 PM

Ever thought about the Cote D'Azur?

Although mainly viewed as a beach destination, it would seem to have everything you might want:

City (Nice)
Exploring - Antibes, Villefranche, Canne. Monaco, Italy etc
Mountains - the Mercantour National Park is only 1.30 hours away and there are several small ski resorts to visit.

Worth a consideration.

LuisJp Nov 8th, 2014 03:21 AM

> * A stop at a metropolitan city for shopping and night life.

Let me start a list of urban areas:

> * A stop for scenic beauty and nature(mountains, falls, gardens, snow....cycling & walking for city/town exploration)

Paris and London are away from mountains.
Koeln(Ruhr) seems the same.

Madrid has a mountain range (Sierra de Gredos) in its north-west side.
Milano is located at the south of the Alpes.
Barcelona is similar, with the Pyrenees in its north.

I think these three cities can satisfy your criteria.
Or, you can go down the list as you would like to.

For Austria, Vienna is on the list, but not Innsbruck nor Salzburg.

geetika Nov 8th, 2014 07:25 AM

I would also suggest the south of France, we spent the Christmas break at Cagnes sur Mer near Cannes several years back and loved it, you can drive along the coast to Nice, Monaco and Villefranche, also go into the hinterland to St Paul & Vence, Isola 2000 if you want to see the snow. Very different from summer on the Cote d'Azur but wonderful all the same, you can chose from a variety of activities.

Heimdall Nov 8th, 2014 09:13 AM

For sure there will be snow during February in both Austria and Switzerland. You shouldn't have a problem getting around, though, because February is the height of ski season, and roads to all the Alpine resorts are kept open.

Switzerland has a wonderful train system, and you could stay somewhere like low altitude Interlaken and take the train up to resorts, e.g Wengen, and even up to Jungfraujoch, the highest railway station in Europe. Nightlife is great in the ski resorts, but apart from that there is not a lot for non-skiers to do, maybe ice skating or sleigh rides.

If you are set on Austria or Switzerland, I think a better idea would be Vienna and Salzburg. I've only been to Salzburg on a day trip from Kitzbuhel (a ski resort) but it is a charming city. From Salzburg you may even be able to take a side trip to Berchtesgaden in Germany if you wish — it's just across the border. Vienna has many sightseeing opportunities, including the Lipizzaner horses in the Spanish Riding School.

otherchelebi Nov 8th, 2014 12:48 PM

- Austria (possibly except Vienna) and Switzerland are out for night life. In smaller places and ski resorts even restaurants close up at 9PM. One year, we had to walk half an hour in the snow to cross the border into Italy for a measly pizza at 10 PM, three families with 8 kids, because everything was closed at Sonnen Alp area.

- For night life in February the best locations will be Istanbul, Paris and London, with the friendliest and easiest to mix being Istanbul.

- For shopping, Istanbul will be the cheapest followed by Madrid. But Istanbul has over 10 easily accessible malls and some outlet centers within the city.

- Again, istanbul may have the closest ski center among the above three. But Nice in Southern France. will also provide somewhat warmer temperaturs as well as some excellent mountain rides and

- The cheapest will be Istanbul or, these days, Athens in terms of lodging and food. Both country cuisines have high similarity and have large variation of vegetarian dishes as long as you like olive oil.

- I prefer the Istanbul night scene which is extremely varied from classical Turkish to turkish Folk, turkish Pop, Western Pop, jazz, hip hop, latin,

- Paris and London offer river cruises which may not be fun in Winter. Istanbul offers excellent and very cheap cruises or just regular commuter boats between Europe and Asia, along the 20 mile Bosphorus and in the Golden Horn of mythology fame.

- You can also take a three day trip to Cappadocia from Istanbul, if the weather is suitable, to stay in a cave hotel and withness the "Fairy Chimney" landscape under snow.

nytraveler Nov 8th, 2014 03:43 PM

Well while Istanbul has a lot of advantages it also has a real winter. Not sure cruising the Bosphorus will be much more pleasant than the Seine.

Heimdall Nov 9th, 2014 04:43 AM

I'm not sure what ski resorts otherchelebi has visited, but nightlife is vibrant in the ones I have been. Indeed, many people go to the ski resorts more for the partying than the skiing. For example, this quote from the website:

"The night has a lot to offer in Kitzbuehel, depending on your mood, a cocktail at a bar or make a whistle stop at a few and then spend the night away in one of the nightclubs. The many bars, dancing stop-offs and chance meetings will test your condition and temperament until the early hours of the morning."

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