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Old 01-30-2011, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Lincolnshire
11 posts, read 53,272 times
Reputation: 11

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We are first time travellers planning to do a 4 week (ish) road trip around Europe this summer and need a lot of advice on how to go about it!
We plan to drive from home, camp wherever we go and use the channel tunnel to save on ferry fare. I will post our first draft itinerary:
Lincolnshire
Dover
Paris
Lyon
Marseille
Nice
Florence
Rome
Venice
Milan
Lichtenstein
Zurich
Stuttgart
Luxembourg
Liege
Brugge
Dover
Lincolnshire
We plan to camp whenever possible, and will happily stay anywhere around our target destinations - so long as they're in driving distance so we can have a good explore.
We have travelled within the UK but never abroad and never so far. We think we could well be being too ambitious with the scope of our trip!
Be very interested to hear views on our trip and are open to suggestions for alterations to destinations
The selling points for the whole trip are ITALY, with a scenic drive home through the alps.
We appreciate any info/advice/help with our plans!
Nathan and Sarah
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
5,599 posts, read 8,277,974 times
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Stuttgart and Liege are industrial cities without much to see as far as I am aware. The countries you want to go to are all worth seeing, but that itinerary sounds like more driving and less seeing the places you're visiting than I would choose. Paris-Lyon and Rome-Venice are long drives by our British standards. You could easily spend 3-5+ days in Paris, Florence, Rome etc and not see everything you want. I spent nearly a week in Nice and didn't see all the French Riviera. It might be awkward finding campsites close to all those cities, so if I were you I'd plan to stay in a hotel in at least a few of those places. Also, if you like camping and the Alps, why not spend a couple of days camping actually in the mountains?
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:21 AM
 
Location: Sunshine Coast, BC
10,791 posts, read 7,687,222 times
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Florence is a pain to drive around in - the historical, interesting parts. They have restricted streets that if you don't know what to look for as far as signage, you get mailed a hefty fine. Very much a walking city, same for Rome, and of course, Venice. You'll pay lots to park your car in these cities but you're much better off walking them or taking whatever public transport they offer.

Good luck, sounds rushed but fab.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Flanders, Belgium
267 posts, read 764,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nath.sarah View Post
We appreciate any info/advice/help with our plans!
Nathan and Sarah
Stuttgart is nice, but Liege not. The route from Karlsruhe to Luxemburg is quite boring. So this is my suggestion on that part:

Drive From Stuttgart to Karlsruhe. That is a nice city too. After that, up north to Koblenz and discover the Mosel wine region and the Roman city of Trier. After that, not to Liege but go to Antwerp or Brussels, and finally, Bruges.

Some other remarks: There is nothing to see in Liechtenstein. It is small and full of banks. For a scenery drive: the route Verona (Italy) to Innsbruck (Austria) over the Brenner pass.

Or try the "Romantische Strasse" in southern Germany, at the borders of the Alps.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Heidelberg, Germany
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My suggestion for Germany would be to take the Autobahn A5 to Freiburg, then stop in Strasbourg (France, just across the river Rhine), visit Heidelberg and the Mosel valley (to Trier) befor you go to Luxembourg and Belgium.

Or stay east and travel via Munich. Bavaria is very pretty, too

Stuttgart is nothing to write home about. It's ok, but not fantastic.
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Germany
857 posts, read 1,423,028 times
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As you never went abroad I do not see any compelling reason to see so much of continental Europe in one trip. Especially since you live in the UK as opposed to the US.

Better experience whole countries instead, for example do France first. If this will really be your first holiday abroad you will be overwhelmed anyway.

As to tunnel or ferry, the tunnel is usually double the ferry fare, at least when you start the journey from France. However the ferry is more exciting, particularly in summer. First-time channel crossers should always take the more traditional ferry.
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:46 AM
 
Location: Heidelberg, Germany
253 posts, read 497,402 times
Reputation: 360
I would agree that trying to achieve too much could result in frustrations. But seeing that you have four weeks to complete the trip I think you can do something close to what you have planned. Maybe center your trip around France, but venture into neighbouring countries along the way.

I suggest you start in Calais, follow the cost to the west and south (atlantic coast) to San Sebastian /France), then maybe into Spain (Bilbao), down to Barcelona, across to France, along the mediteranen coast (cote d'azur) to Genoa (Italy) and up through Switzerland to Germany (Freiburg, Heidelberg, Koblenz, Trier before heading to Bruge (Belgium) and back to Calais.

Google maps shows this to be around 4700km or just under 3000 miles. So that's around 100 miles driving a day or 200 if you want to drive only every other day for example.

Here is a link to my suggested route. You obviously may want to stop elsehwere along the way (especially the French coasts) but this should give you an idea. Let us know what you ended up doing and how it went

Calais, Frankreich nach Calais, Frankreich - Google Maps
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:01 AM
 
Location: New York
1,339 posts, read 2,253,349 times
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When we lived in the UK we used to get the ferry to France all the time and do grocery / wine shopping. The newspapers used to have vouchers you could collect and get a one pound day return. Just get 2 and don't use the other portions.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Lincolnshire
11 posts, read 53,272 times
Reputation: 11
Hi alll,

thanks for the replies. we're up for alterations on our trip so all your suggestions help and thanks for your recommended route stefan

we're not sure whether we could go so far on our budget? we have savings of around 5000 but our ideal budget would be around 3,500. feel free to tell us if we're being unrealistic!

We would LOVE to extend our trip a little but budget and our inexperience propably mean we shouldn't. We'd go for a year if we could!

We'd probably be just as happy visiting less places and spending longer in each as it would be a wrench to leave somewhere with so much beauty and things to do, knowing we wouldn't be back for so long. Number one and two on our wish list is Roma and the Alps though, so to do both these properly we'd have to go through so many nice places.

Our reason for trying to see so many places at once is due to the fact that we probably won't have chance or the time for a few years after this summer.

Very open to any suggestions or advice as we're still in the very early planning stages.

Nath&Sarah
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Yorkshire, England
5,599 posts, read 8,277,974 times
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$5,500 is a decent amount for a four-week trip if you're camping and have your own car. Realistically it depends on if you're the kind of person who would prefer to get to know the places better rather than rush through. And if it's Italy you really want to see I'd cut off some of the places on the way there/back. I personally spent 3.5 months travelling around Italy and the surrounding countries and still didn't see all I wanted to. The Italian lakes and Alps (and Dolomites too) are beautiful:
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