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Old 03-05-2010, 09:59 PM
1 posts, read 5,718 times
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Hello everyone. Im new to this forum and was hoping any experienced travelers out there may have some input. My girlfriend and I are looking at going to Europe for 3-4 weeks and I was wondering if anyone has input on what we should focus on seeing. Just as a quick rundown, I am big on history and architecture, so I was thinking Italy would be a great place to start for that, but any other suggestions would be great. She is not as much into the historically significant things, but loves overall beautiful scenery, such as whine country and that type of thing. What I am basically wondering is where would you recommend flying in to, and where to visit and for how long each? I know 3-4 weeks wont allow an overly large amount of time or desinations, so how would you think we would be best served to spend our time? Thanks!
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:53 AM
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,938,959 times
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Originally Posted by rempher08 View Post
such as whine country
Well I hope she won't be miserable the entire time.
Just kidding!

I agree with you that Italy is a really good choice for history and architecture.

A (very) broad general rule is one week per country.
You might like a Italy/Greece combination. We did that once and it was wonderful.

Or maybe France/Italy. Fly into Paris, visit the chateaux and wine country, then take a cheap inter-European flight to Venice, visit Tuscany, and fly out of Rome.

Or France/Spain: Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia is incredible. Fly into Paris, take the train down through wine country and chateaux, then head down to Barcelona, and fly home from there.

Italy/Croatia would take you to the ancient walled city of Dubrovnik.

OTOH, you could just spend the entire trip in Italy. With that amount of time you could do a loop around the country. Venice, Siena, Rome, etc.
There is plenty of scenic beauty--and vino, too.

Maybe you could go to the library or bookstore and look at some travel books and see what appeals to you two, and decide from there.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:14 AM
Location: Maryland
1,534 posts, read 3,784,766 times
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Some additional information would be helpful - when, budget level (low/medium/high), driving or public transport (or both), blitz plan (e.g., you want to see as much as possible, moving every day) or chill out more, age/physical condition (relates to your tour planning - some excursions/areas require greater physical demands (e.g., climbing the cliffs at Sagros) and have age environment factors (Amsterdam is a young city, lots of clubs , etc.)). You can literally spend multi-weeks in one location and still not see everything there is available. Regarding history and architecture - any particular preferences (i.e. Roman, Middle ages, etc.).

You could also take a look at the spots tour companies hit for highlights in each country. We've done that on self directed tour planning. They are usually fairly good at hitting the main attractions in each area, especially useful for first timers. Their itineraries will also give you a good sense of travel time between locations. Google European tours and go from there. Cosmos and Grand Circle Travel are two companies that have a lot of tours we use for that purpose. You can also consider taking a group tour and do "breakaways" - thats where you break off from an organized tour to do your own exploring and then rejoin the group later. Where you fly into is a moderate consideration, Europe is fairly easy to bop around and country to country trains/flights can be inexpensive and quick, it depends on your itinerary.
Hope that helps.

Last edited by Pilgrim21784; 03-06-2010 at 07:24 AM..
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:00 AM
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,427,576 times
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Honestly, with 3-4 weeks, you have an opportunity to see much of the continent. When else will you get such an opportunity? When we went for our honeymoon, we spent 14 days in Europe. We flew into Paris and stayed a couple of nights. Then, we rented a car and drove to Bruges, Amsterdam, Munich, Venice and Rome. We did not feel rushed at all and it was by far our favorite trip. You just need to figure out what type of traveler you are. Some people are happy staying in the same place for weeks at a time. We are not those people! Have fun planning!
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:47 AM
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I would suggest that you buy a first class Euro-rail pass and visit using trains. They are quick and clean and tend to go to the centre of the major towns so you don't need to be paying for taxis from the airport. But the big advantage is that using the train allows you to go to the smaller towns which are often just as interesting in terms of history and architecture as the big cities. They are also cheaper to stay in! Also, using the train will allow your GF to see the scenery as you travel.

Personally, I love France and would recommend (in no particular order) .......

The Loire Valley - chateaux and wine country
The Atlantic coast and especially the area around La Rochelle
Avignon, Orange and Chateauneuf du Pape
Carcassone, Nimes and the mediterranean coast going down towards Spain.

I can also strongly recommend the Andalucian region in Spain (south) and especially .... Granada, Ronda, Cordoba and Seville.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:48 AM
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
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Great city, not on the euro, great food. Its a pretty small place so 2-3 days is plenty of time there. Best city in Europe IMO.
Also dont miss Madrid.
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