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Summer 2017 1 month in europe with 6 year old

Summer 2017 1 month in europe with 6 year old

Jun 3rd, 2016, 07:04 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2016
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Summer 2017 1 month in europe with 6 year old

Hoping for some advice/input as we begin to plan our trip to Europe next summer.
It will be myself, my husband and our almost 6 year old son on the trip.
We are traveling from Austin, TX.

A little background:
My husband & I traveled to the following European cities before our son was born:
Sorrento (favorite), Capri, Positano, Amalfi, Rome, Florence, Sienna, Paris, Brussels, London(favorite), Dublin (loved the country side best), Barcelona, Costa Bravo (favorite), Mainz(favorite), Cologne.

On this first European trip with our kiddo, we want to experience some new places. Our little one is a pretty good traveler.

I am thinking about the following:
- 7 days in London with day trips. Definitely want to visit Brighton. Not sure what else to put on the list. We will fly into London.
- 8 days in Northern Italy. I LOVED our trip to Italy and visiting Venice for at least a day is a must. Wondering if Verona is the right base for us. Also thought about Lake Garda as a base.
- 8 days in Naxos, Greece. Would like to see more of Greece also. But love the idea of staying on a family beach and feeling like we were actually on vacation (and not just a trip).

There are a million places we'd love to visit. I had originally thought of Vienna. It seems so beautiful and like it has a lot of good stuff for children. I also know my husband has always wanted to visit Amsterdam. We would love to see more of Spain, but we will save that for another trip dedicated only to Spain.

I personally prefer the country a bit more than the city. We are not into art or art museums. History yes (Roman Ruins, Colosseum, La Sagrada Familia, etc). Really we like to wander around, eat, listen to music, meet locals, go on beautiful walks (like the one we did in Sorrento through olive trees, neighborhoods & leading the a small town with Roman Ruins, completely self guided). Taking our son to play grounds (or beach or pool) & letting him play with local kids and burn energy will be something we'll want to do daily.
We will probably rent apartments for anywhere we are staying more than 5 days, but only for the size really. Eating at cute little restaurants and cafes is our favorite thing.

Most likely we'll go for the month of July.

Would love your opinion on day trips for the above places & also anything else we should add to the mix since we'll have 5 - 7 extra days to play with. We would be okay renting a car in the country, but not driving from one location to the next. We plan to take trains or planes to each destination and then mostly takes buses at each base.

Thank you!
micheledb49 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2016, 09:39 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,034
London is an ideal city to visit with a child. The many parks, the Tower of London, and the double decker buses are all a treat for a child. A boat trip on the Thames to Greenwich would be a treat. I think you can once again visit the Cutty Sark after a recent fire. Or a trip to Hampton Court might be fun, although I think more for an older child. The Victoria & Albert Museum has lots of things that are interesting for kids. The costume exhibit has costumes that kids can try on; my granddaughter loved that.

In Italy, Lake Garda sounds like a great base. Verona is nearby, and you could visit it on a day trip, at least if you're staying on the lower end of the lake. Gardaland is a big amusement park, but probably more suited for older kids. There are several other water parks or amusement parks, some ideal for younger children, in the Rimini/Riccione area on the Adriatic coast. Our grandchildren loved Fiabilandia when they were about six years old. We arrived very early in the morning, and had to drag them away in tears when the park was closing.
bvlenci is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2016, 10:41 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 23
We are traveling with our three year old to Italy this year and took her to Paris for a week when she was 18 months old. Know it is not listed on the itinerary but Paris really was a wonderful city with children. Pocket parks on so many corners and fun things to do as a family.
phaddix is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2016, 11:39 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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The First sentence in your Thread should e "We plan to go in July" -- and then we could concentrate on persuading you otherwise. Worst Times to go to Greece, both from standpoint of heat & crowds, would be July-August. All of Europe descends on islands and they're jampacked. Temps can top 100° daily. Naxos doesn't accommodate Jumbo jets, but the Word is OUt about this superb isle, and in July will be more crowded than you'd like ... not that ideal relaxed feeling of being on a vacation and enjoying small cafes & tavernas. If you can POSSIBLy manage, can you do the Greek portion in June?? London or Northern Italy would be the better places if part of your time must be in July

Naxos in May & June is perfect for families with a pre-schooler. DO plan to stay on St. George Beach -- there are lots of small (12-30) unit places right on the sand, some with 1-BR patio units where youngster can run in/out (Less Work for Parent!). Studios Thomas, Studios Kalergis, Sun Beach, Studios Diogenes. Villa NaxiaNot fancy but clean, breezy, balconies/patios w. sea view. Some have 2 BR, but you must reserve EARLY, because such accoms, walkable to water & w. sea view, are very much in demand! Many scandinavian preschoolers scampering at waters edge, while parents loll under sunbrellas reading escape novels. At night, there are nearby tavernas (restaurants) for dinner on the sand, or you can stroll 10-15 minutes to all the highlights of port town.
No fuss of renting cars (bus system is excellent) unless u want to rent 1 for a Day, to swoop around the islands inland hills & mountains, villages & vineyards, ruins & marble-yards (pick up chips to use as coasters!).

You also have the cake-and-eat-it-too option: GOOD day-excursions to Santorini and also Delos Mykonos. I recommend former. No herding about in Groups,it's simply transportation: they get you there, provide a bus to the "postcard" village of Oia, pick u up in a couple of hours, take you to Fira Town, and at 4:30 or so, bus you down to pier again. Home before sunset, you've seen & photo'd the Famous View of the Caldera, at minimal cost-crowds-exhaustion for child. Other day-trips on large 3-masters go to AntiParos or small islands for swims & BBQs.

Remember, to get all the delightful features you describe, you must strategize and alter plans to deal with the realities of weather & holiday mobs. Otherwise your dream trip is more of a fantasy .. and we do want you to have the best experience possible.
travelerjan is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2016, 12:08 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Having lived several years in Texas, I don't think a family from Austin should be too concerned by July temperatures on Naxos—that's the favourite month for Norwegian families, for goodness sake! If they can take it, so can you. ;-) The Meltemi winds keep Cyclades temperatures cooler than mainland Greece, and it's only when the winds drop that temperatures soar.
Heimdall is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2016, 05:57 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Ok Heimdall, but remember, they live totally INDOORS in the AC most of July in Houston ... and I was thinking more of the crowdy aspect.
travelerjan is offline  
Jun 8th, 2016, 11:01 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 28
Another vote for Paris. I took my daughter there last year, very child friendly and fun. It's an easy city to walk in. There is a small carnival in the summer.

Thanks to travelerjan I will probably be taking my daughter to Naxos in 2017 for a couple of weeks. I look forward to your trip report.
littlebella777 is offline  
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