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Summer European Vacation Coming, Looking for Input

Summer European Vacation Coming, Looking for Input

Sep 6th, 2010, 09:31 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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Summer European Vacation Coming, Looking for Input

Hello everyone. We are planning a family vacation to Europe for the summer of 2012.

About Us - the current plan is six in the party. My wife and I, who will be 47 in 2012, my daughters, who will be 14 and 19, and my sister and brother-in-law, who will be 60 and 65. My wife is the only one in the party who has been to Europe; it was 15 years ago and they didn't see much as it was primarily a business trip. We all dig natural beauty, love new experiences and are moderate thrill seekers.

The Plan - the modus operandi we typically employ is to stay in one place for at least a week so we can get a better sense of what makes it special. For this trip, we're planning on setting aside a month and we'd like to stay in four different countries. The top contenders right now are Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. Clearly, we have some narrowing down to do. I'd appreciate any input/recommendations you have in this regard.

We also haven't settled on cities...it'd be great to locate cities that would allow us to explore a bit outside that city assuming there were interesting things to see and do. Again, any recommendations you have would be greatly appreciated.
rlhplus2 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 09:37 AM
  #2  
 
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All of those are great countries. For ease of travel between cities/countries, I recommend going to the UK, Belgium, France and Germany.

If you start in London (I highly recommend visiting there), you can easily take the train to Brussels (details here http://www.visitingeu.com/western-eu...-brussels.html).

After that you can go to Bruges, Ghent, or Antwerp, then down to Paris. In France there are many good cities to visit, so it's hard to narrow it down to just a few. If you plan to go to Germany after France, a good option would be to head east from Paris and visit Chartres, Reims, and Strasbourg.

From there you can visit the great German cities like Aachen, Cologne and Munich. There are lots of outdoor activities you can do in Bavaria near Munich.

I hope that helps!
LoveGermany is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 09:45 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Take a relaxing week on a self-drive "barge" between your city visits. I would recommend the canal de Bourgogne for its old stones. The pictures between the two maps of Burgundy cover our trip.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...7622755059630/

Click "options" to find the slide show option.
Michael is online now  
Sep 6th, 2010, 10:11 AM
  #4  
sap
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,049
If you're thinking in terms of one-week bases (an excellent idea), London, Paris and possibly Rome are great places to spend a week with one or two day trips by train, especially in light of the fact that this is a first trip to Europe for most of you. I believe the same holds true for Munich. There's your month in four countries right there!

Madrid may also be a contender for that type of plan, though you may actually want to take three or four day trips with 7 nights there. Strasbourg is a good base to explore two countries at once, but you're more likely to need a car.
Be sure to allow for travel time between cities.

As to accommodations, I think your best bet would be to rent a three-bedroom apartment in each city for the respective weeks.
sap is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 10:22 AM
  #5  
sap
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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One more thing: I note that you said that "it'd be great to locate cities that would allow us to explore a bit outside that city assuming there were interesting things to see and do. "

The problem with that is getting in and out of the city, something that is perfectly feasible by train, but not by car. In London, Paris, Rome, etc., a car can be a real pain. On the other hand, you may really want a car in the countryside to explore towns, villages and scenery.

If you're operating in one-week blocks for each base, you thus have to decide for each week if you want a city base with day trips by train; or a small town/village base to explore with a car. You may choose to mix it up by doing a little of both. For example, an option might be Paris and London as the city bases and then more rural regions in say Italy (Tuscany or Amalfi) and Germany (Rhine or Bavaria) with perhaps 1-2 nights tacked onto Rome/Munich before a flight for sightseeing and ease of airport access.
sap is offline  
Sep 6th, 2010, 03:01 PM
  #6  
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Thanks to everyone for taking the time to reply. Your input is valued, thanks so much.
rlhplus2 is offline  

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