Third time to Europe. Where to go???

Old Jan 22nd, 2022, 10:58 AM
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Third time to Europe. Where to go???

My husband and I are beginning to talk about our third trip to Europe - probably for the Spring of 2023. On our first trip we visited London, Paris, Venice, Cinque Terre, and Rome. Second trip was Prague, Vienna, Munich, Lucerne and Varenna on Lake Como. Each trip was about 15-16 days and we want to do about the same next time but are struggling with where to go - there are so many choices!

We are in our mid-60s and in good shape. We love walking through the city streets admiring the architecture, visiting museums and historical sites, and relaxing overlooking beautiful scenery. We also really loved the small villages in Cinque Terre and Lake Como and enjoyed hiking in Italy and Switzerland. We won't have a car.

We have thought about possibly Portugal and Spain, or Croatia, or some of the Scandanavian countries, and literally every other place we haven't been as this may be our last European trip. If it was yours, where would you go? Any advice will be very much appreciated!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2022, 11:49 AM
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You're spoilt for choices. Anyone one of the choices you're considering could give you what you are looking for. Croatia would definitely offer the mix of cities, small villages, places for walking, and beautiful scenery. I visited Croatia and Montenegro in the summer of last year. I started in Split and enjoyed what the city had to offer - an old town within the remains of Diocletian's Palace, hills for walking, easy access to nearby towns such as Trogir - and island-hopped my way to Dubrovnik, stopping on Hvar and Korcula. Each of these islands offered charming towns, good food, wine tasting, beach access, etc. From Dubrovnik, I went over to Montenegro for a couple of nights - the Bay of Kotor is stunning. I hired a car with driver to get us to Montenegro and back; other than that, I mostly relied on the ferry system.

In terms of Spain and Portugal, Madrid will feel familiar as some of the other major European cities you've visited but beautiful. Barcelona will be unlike the other cities and great if you likely architecture. Both Madrid and Barcelona are easy to get around by foot and public transit. Parts of Lisbon will look like other European cities, but it's just the start. The ornamentation is unlike the other cities, and the fabulous tiles all over makes it unique. And of course there's plenty to occupy your time in either country other than just the big cities, linked by trains and buses.

I have not been to Scandinavia outside of Copenhagen and the surrounding area but it's another city made for walking. I had a full week there and very much enjoyed my time - and would recommend it in a heartbeat. Not sure when in spring you are thinking though as Scandinavia will likely be cold if that's a factor.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2022, 12:42 PM
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Thank you so much for your reply. We hadn't considered spending the whole time in Croatia but after reading your information, I think that would be a great option. And you're right, we are spoilt for choices. That's the problem! lol
Thanks again.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2022, 01:41 PM
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Here is my trip report from last year in case it is helpful to you as you think about your options.

And two other excellent reports from regular posters here Progol and Russ_in_LA, who also visited last year.

If you want more variety, an option to consider is to visit Venice and possibly Emilia-Romagna and sail from there to Split and continue your journey south. Or you could do what Progol did and visit Croatia and then sail to Bari to tour southern Italy.

Two weeks is a good amount of time for most of us, but not enough to try to squeeze in too many countries.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 12:35 AM
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Thereís a lot to see in Greece. Great culture, fab food, lots of excellent museums. Something to consider.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 02:22 AM
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Look this may be a crazy idea but why not go on a cycling holiday.

Holland, Denmark and Germany have thousands of miles of cycle tracks/paths. All well mapped all incredibly safe, so much so that most people ride them without a helmet.

There are companies who will organise the whole thing for you or you can do it yourself. You will get out into the country rather than visit just cities. You get to meet the locals and guess what? A vast majority speak some or lots of English (especially Holland and Denmark). If you travel with a company they often offer a recovery plan so you get a lift if you get tired. Plus the food tastes nicer when you are tired of the open air.

Any interests, I can expand the ideas

Or you could go to Spain.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 10:02 AM
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Here is a partial copy of our trip in June and July: Berlin is short because we have been there many times, Dresden is longer because we love it. Use it as a base for two-day trips. Day 1: Wednesday June 15, 2022: Frankfurt Airport/Berlin Taking a Train from Frankfurt to Berlin Germany. 4 hours and 27 minutes. Staying at the Motel One KuDam for two nights.
Day 2: Thursday June 16, 2022: Berlin
Day 3: Friday June 17, 2022: Gdansk Taking a Train from Berlin to Gdansk Poland. 5 hour and 33 minutes to Gdansk. Staying at the Hotel Wolne Miasto Old Town Gdansk for 3 nights.
Day 4: Saturday June 18, 2022: Gdansk
Day 5: Sunday June 19, 2022: Gdansk
Day 6: Monday June 20, 2022: Warsaw Taking a Train from Gdansk to Warsaw Poland. 3 hour and 42 minutes to Gdansk. Staying at the Hotel Motel One Warsaw – Chopin for 2 nights.
Day 7: Tuesday June 21, 2022: Warsaw
Day 8: Wednesday June 22, 2022: Krakow Taking a Train from Warsaw to Krakow Poland. 3 hour and 10 minutes to Krakow. Staying at the Globetrotter Quest House for 4 nights.
Day 9: Thursday June 23, 2022: Krakow
Day 10: Friday June 24, 2022: Krakow
Day 11: Saturday June 25, 2022: Krakow
Day 12: Sunday June 26, 2022: Dresden Taking a Train from Krakow Poland to Dresden Germany. 6 hours. Staying at The Bilderberg Bellevue Hotel Dresden for 4 nights.
Day 13: Monday June 27, 2022: Dresden
Day 14: Tuesday June 28, 2022: Dresden
Day 15: Wednesday June 29, 2022: Dresden
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 04:35 PM
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I haven't been to Scandinavia yet, but I will highly recommend Spain and/or Portugal, or Croatia. I personally don't think 2 weeks is enough time to visit several countries. I think you will feel frustrated and will want to return to visit the things you didn't have time to see. Why do you think this might be your last European trip? If it is, then perhaps Spain and Portugal (Lisbon, specifically) would work. If you think you will return to Europe, I would spend the entire 2 weeks in Spain.

We have visited Spain twice: one trip was for 10 days to Barcelona and Costa Brava. Our last trip to Spain was for 2 weeks and that included Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, Malaga and Sevilla. When we visited Portugal, we only had time for Lisbon (5 nights) and that included a day to Sintra. You could easily spend 2 weeks just in Portugal.

Our Croatia/Slovenia/Montenegro trip was for 2 weeks and included Dubrovnik, with a day trip to Montenegro, Split, with a day trip to Hvar, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Zagreb, and Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

All of these places will give you lovely walkable cities, museums, arts, culture, history, and beautiful coastal scenery and in Slovenia, mountains. And delicious food!

You can click on my name to read my trip reports for Croatia (September 2019), Lisbon (April 2018), and Madrid/Andalucia (September 2017).
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 06:58 PM
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Thank you all for the great information and the links to your trip reports. I really appreciate it. This gives us a great starting point to begin our research. I will check back in with additional questions after we decide on our itinerary.
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Old Jan 24th, 2022, 12:46 PM
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Welcome, sancraig. Dear hub and I enjoyed southern France. Nice and/or Menton provide scads of possibilities for visiting France and Italy coastal towns.
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Old Jan 24th, 2022, 06:47 PM
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I thought of Spain or Portugal and also Scandinavia. If you prefer to go to a variety of countries ( we donít) you could visit Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Perfect English is spoken everywhere. Wonderful, charming, well organized countries.
Or I would choose either Spain or Portugal. They are different enough from each other and each has much to offer. Spain has many regions so pick which ones are best for the season of your trip.For a first trip I recommend Andalusia but not in the heat of summer.
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Old Jan 24th, 2022, 09:10 PM
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We spent a month in the south of France and loved it! You could easily spend two weeks starting in Nice and going through Provence, Aix-en-Provence, the Luberon, Avignon, Uzes.

That said, we have selected Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Lisbon and Porto for our next trip ☺️
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Old Jan 26th, 2022, 10:04 AM
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You could do one week in Lisbon/Sintra and one week in Belgium in Ghent with day trips to Brugge/Antwerp/Brussels. Best of both worlds.
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Old Feb 1st, 2022, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by lrice View Post
That said, we have selected Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Lisbon and Porto for our next trip ☺️
We have almost decided on Spain and Portugal, which is where we were initially thinking, but there were so many other places to consider. I appreciate your five-city itinerary. We visited five cities on each of our previous European trips and those worked out great, so I believe five is certainly doable.

Thanks again to all for your suggestions.
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