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Spring 2011 - Italy, Provence and Greece - order of visit?

Spring 2011 - Italy, Provence and Greece - order of visit?

Apr 29th, 2010, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 785
I'm envious!

I don't know if you've traveled for 4 week stretches before, but, in my experience, it's better to pick about 4 bases during that time and daytrip from there. A month on the road can be exhausting. Even moving every 3-4 days wears me out. Just my two cents, and something to think about. Your mileage may vary!

I'd bag Provence, too, simply because the rest of your trip is happening further south.
NanBug is offline  
Apr 30th, 2010, 06:13 AM
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If one is rationing one's time, I would say, 3 nights In Athens (2.5 days) would suffice to see the major sights if you could forego the Nat. Arch. Museum (takes 3-4 hrs min.) Here's a TERRIFIC simplified map that SO helps in planning sightseeing AND choosing convenient hotel: oddly enough it's not from an Athens source but from a crete URL, go figure! It prints out wonderfully in color on legal paper; I've supplied it to my 5 "newbie" travel companions:
travelerjan is online now  
Apr 30th, 2010, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I'd drop Rhodes because it's too far, Crete because there's too much to see for your time frame. So maybe Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos, though it depends on the transportation schedule during your dates. Then maybe fly to Rome and down to the Amalfi Coast for a slight rest.

Then move north: Rome, Florence/Tuscany, Venice. You really need a car for the Tuscan hilltowns.

Have you considered trading the Amalfi Coast for the Cinque Terre? The CT would be en route to France and Provence, whereas the AC is a detour.

And is budget a consideration? Making the leap from Italy to Provence seems a bit pricy or time-consuming.

Finally you also need a car to best see Provence.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 30th, 2010, 04:26 PM
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Still mulling all of this over, lots to digest. Again, many thanks to all.

Am I correct in assuming that May is high season? If that is the case, then perhaps we will aim to do this mid May to Mid June to avail ourselves of better weather. I was thinking that early May might still be low season, but it's not looking that way.
DebitNM is offline  
Apr 30th, 2010, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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>>>Am I correct in assuming that May is high season?<<<

Where? The Greek islands will still be off season a bit and so will hill towns in Italy. Major cities such as Rome, Athens, etc. are like NYC of SF and never really have much of an off season (perhaps part of Jan/Feb or August when it's too hot to be in the cities).

In season and off season vary for areas. You might run into a car race or movie festival in the south of France which could make it be high season. It really depends on your final schedule and when you will actually be in each area.
kybourbon is online now  
Apr 30th, 2010, 05:11 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,672
We were in Rome & Tuscany in late June a few years ago - and it was not too crowded, IMO. Just remember that you don't want to visit San Gimignano or Pienza in the middle of the day when all the day-trippers are there. We've been in Provence for many, many weeks in late May, throughout June, and into early/mid July. We'll be there from June 18 through July 4 this year. We've never felt it was uncomfortably crowded then. If you decide to visit Provence, I would try REAL hard to arrive during the last week of June to see the lavender blooming. Rent a Gite in Provence if you want to stay there for at least 1 week, have a private pool, go to markets to purchase stuff for dinners, have multiple bedrooms, laundry, kitchen, nice garden, walk to town for dinner or go to the weekly market.

May has a lot of bank holidays in France.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
May 1st, 2010, 06:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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DebitNM, not good ever to assume -- that's what guidebooks (the good ones) and internet are for, BEFORE you commit to bookings. In my experience, So. of FRance and Italy, don't really have as much of an "off season" .... their "shoulder seasons" both in terms of crowds and prices are from March onward, and in the Fall go from Sept- Nov. Greece is much more limited, in terms of both crowds & prices. Right thru June you get a price break, and the real crowds arrive July 1. As I said, the ideal weather in this whole region is May 15 - June 15 ... Do Italy the 1st 2 weeks, GReece the 2nd 2 weeks. Save Provence ... unless you want to get tangled in a rush-rush and connection fuss ... i.e., how to get from say, Marseille to Tuscany. Me, I'd get an "open-jaw" ticket outbound to Italy, back from Greece then I'd fly straight to ?Rome, head North, then june 1 from ?Venice? to Athens on one of the many low-cost European carriers. Uncomplicated, efficient.
travelerjan is online now  
Jul 20th, 2010, 01:48 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 4,384
Stu Dudley--Do you have a particular place in mind that you've rented in Provence, as you describe a perfect week there?Thank you!!
DebiT, i am wonderfng about similar itin for next yr
CaliNurse is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 01:55 PM
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Just returned from 4 1/2 weeks in France

We've rented 5 different Gites in Provence - most of them multiple times. However, I don't divulge specifics - it is getting harder & harder to rent them each year - too much competition !!!

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Jul 20th, 2010, 02:06 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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StuDudley, I totally understand!! It's always that question of--do i share my good fortune, or keep it to myself in case I am later a victim of my own enthusiasm, having a place I love unavailable because someolne read a review and got "my" week (-;
I just stayed at a London flat like that!!
CaliNurse is offline  

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