Three-Month Europe Itinerary

Old Mar 19th, 2013, 02:55 PM
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Three-Month Europe Itinerary

Hi Everyone,

My husband and I are in our late twenties and we are finally planning the big Europe trip we never got to do when we were younger (work and life got in the way!).

I'm looking to you seasoned experts for advice!

We we will be backpacking (or "flash packing" as they say) and traveling primarily by train. We are looking to stay in hostels and travel on a budget so we can splurge occasionally on food, wine and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Early August until late October (close to 3 months)

What we're looking for:
We really want a balance of beach, culture, art/history and food & fine, as well as natural beauty of course. Also, we still like to party every now and then But not as much as recent grads, I'm sure!

We are open to almost anything as long as it is safe and reasonably priced... But generally we are not fans of huge crowds and tourist traps.

Must-see list:

NOTHING is set in stone yet so we are very flexible... But things that are high on our to-do list include:

- hiking in the Alps
- Bavarian towns
- Austria
- Eastern Europe
- Medieval towns / castles / chateaus
- Barcelona
- French Riviera
- Lyon or anywhere with good French food
- Tuscany (wine and olives)
- Rome
- Southern Italy or any place with awesome beaches
- Norway / Fjords sound amazing but might be out of the way

Note: we have already been to Paris, Athens (and Crete and Corfu, Greece), Ireland and Scotland, so those spots are covered for now. Also we figure since we have seen UK then we'd be ok to skip England this time, and maybe do it another year...that is, if it is out of the way.

I am trying to put together an itinerary, with some flexibility of course, but also enough structure to ensure we don't miss out or key experiences.

Any advice as to what cities to visit, how to get from one place to another, how long to stay in each place, etc would be so greatly appreciated!

Of all the places on my list the area I'm having most trouble finding information on is Switzerland & the Alps. We are not rich ...we are hoping we can enjoy some hiking and natural beauty without paying a fortune or having to rely on tours.

Many thanks in advance, my fellow travelers and day-dreamers!

writemich is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2013, 03:08 PM
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With that much time and that much rail travel take a look at railpasses and there are zillions of different types to chose from - single country passes like the Swiss Pass which can be a great deal if only in the country a few days and also because it covers many more things than say a Eurailpass valid in Swoitzerland would, etc.

And two-country passes, 3, 4 and 5-country passes and of course the Global Eurailpass that covers virtually all countries save the U K, which does however offer BritRail Passes - sometimes a combo on passes works best mixed in with budget air flights and regular tickets at times.

anyway for a great rundown on the European rail system and passes I always spotlight these IMO superb sources - (be sure to download their free online European Planning & Rail Guide that gives loads of sample rail itineraries to consider) and; and - for schedules of any European train I always use - the German Railways excellent online pan-European train schedule site.
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Old Mar 19th, 2013, 04:39 PM
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With 3 months you could manage the Norwegian Fjords and some of Scandinavia.

Given your Aug-Oct schedule it makes sense to start in the north and work you way south.

Your southern Europe leg would probably be best served by starting in Barcelona and working eat along the Riviera to Italy.

Roughing something out;

Norway - fly into Oslo (probably expensive) or capital and then take an intra-European carrier to Oslo.
Copenhagen - you are already in Norway, right?
Czech Republic - Prague from Copenhagen, and Cesky Krumlov an Eastern Europe nibble
Germany - Regensburg Nuremberg, Bamberg/ Munich / Salzburg/ Alps/ Neckar or Mosel Valley (castles)
Lyon - from wherever you end up last in Germany having moves from east to west.
Barcelona - from Lyon, seeing Provence or the Dordogne on the way
Riviera - Nice, etc. snaking east from Barcelona
Tuscany - from the Riviera
Rome - from Tuscany

You might want to end in Rome, having obtained your beach fill in Barcelona and the Riviera since your best return flight option will probably be from Rome and going farther south means coming back. Still an option, though.
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Old Mar 20th, 2013, 12:02 PM
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There is actually a direct train from Arhus, Denmark to Prague - I was shocked a few years back to see that train roll into Arhus - just a few hours from Copenhagen on what now is a main rail line to Germany.

But I would advise that you head to Berlin and spend some days in that amazing place and then go onto Prague. There is also an overnight train I believe between Copenhagen and Berlin.
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Old Mar 21st, 2013, 03:58 AM
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Yes Potsdam, a shot S-Bahn from the center of Berlin is fantastic - the Prussian Versailles as they call Frederick I's Sans Soucci Palace - lovingly set in a huge park dotted with collies and whimsical structures, some representing afscination of that period with Chinese architecture.
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Old Mar 21st, 2013, 11:49 PM
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Tuscan region for food and wine - great choice! I have been there last summer and Tuscany was beautiful especially the vineyards and old olive mills etc. These guided wine tours can be checked out on The site contains other options like shopping, balloon rides etc if you are interested. Glad to help
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Old Mar 22nd, 2013, 08:40 AM
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Neckar or Mosel Valley (castles)>

Why not also consider doing the Rhine with with few-hour-long boats - best part of Rhine Gorge is between Rudesheim and Koblenz. The Mosel and Neckar valleys are hard to do by public transportation - the Castle Bus does link Rothenburg to Heidelberg/Mannheim but it only goes once or twice a day I think (and railpasses if you have one are not valid or get a minor discount - they are fully valid on K-D boats.
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