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First Trip To Europe

I am looking for suggestions for a 2wk (give or take a few days) itinerary for our first trip to Europe in December/January.
23 months ago, January 17th 2018 No: 1 Msg: #203755  

My husband (36) Son (12) and I (31) are planning our first trip to Europe for December 2018/January 2019. I know that is a long way off but I love planning trips and I want to do as much research and get as many suggestions as possible so I am starting early! I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go, but the more I look in to it the less confident I feel, so here I am!

A little about us...We know it will be cold in Europe that time of year and that is fine because we live in Texas and we all crave and love the cold. We all love nature and the outdoors in general (my husband and son more than me), I am a chef and we are all adventurous eaters and very excited about the food aspect of traveling in Europe, I am a WWII buff and a history buff in general, we love big cities but also small villages and the countryside and I am very interested in seeing significant historical and artistic sites (which I know Europe is full of...which is why I can't decide where to go!).

A little about our ideal trip...We will have about 18 days including travel time and in that time I want to see as much as possible without being overly rushed so I know we probably need to keep it to one or two countries (at least that is what I have heard). We have a middle of the road budget. We would like to split our time between cities and smaller towns. We are open to just about anything.

Any and all suggestions are very much appreciated! Reply to this

23 months ago, January 18th 2018 No: 2 Msg: #203764  
Thanks for giving so much background of what you are interested in. That makes it easier to make recommendations. I lived in Europe (Germany and Belgium) from 1977 to 1995 so you might look at my blogs covering this time period...just click on my name and you will see my blogs with the most recent first.

December/January is cold and the daylight hours are very short, so I will make recommendations accordingly. Much of your non-driving time will be in restaurants, museums, and other indoor activities, unless you ski. Try to get to Munich just before Christmas when there is the Christmas Market.

In that you want a mix of cities and small villages, I recommend renting a car...with three people this is cheaper than the train, and gives you great flexibility.

My favorite circuit that covers most of what you've stated is of interest to you and allows you to see a variety of countries is around the Alps, starting and ending in anyone of the following in order: Munich Germany; Salzburg, Austria; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Venice, Italy; Lucerne, Switzerland; Lichtenstein; Innsbruck, Austria; and then back to Munich. The total mileage is about 1000 miles and 18 hours driving. You can stop anywhere in between these major towns if a village strikes your fancy. I recommended small villages such as Hallstatt, Austria, Lake Bled, Slovenia, Sirmione, Italy, and Garmisch or Oberammergau, Germany. This is the route I recommended for my daughter and son-in-law for their honeymoon

You can also do a circuit of Great Britain, France, and just Italy. Please let me know if I can help further. Reply to this

18 months ago, May 31st 2018 No: 3 Msg: #204903  
Hi, I think you should dedicate one week to Italy, this will give you enough time to visit the 3 classical destinations: Venice, Florence and Rome. It's not going to be so cold in Florence and in Rome, and in that period you will be able to enjoy the very Italian Nativity Scenes tradition (you will find one in every single church, some really elaborated!).

Have a look here for a one week itinerary: <snip>
I would suggest you use fast trains, this will cut your transfer times. renting a car for one day in Florence will give you the possibility of visiting some lovely Tuscany hamlet, in the Chianti / Siena areas. NOte the t you will need an international driving licence to rent a car and to drive.

From Venice and Rome you will find many low costs flight to connect to Paris and to London, but do reserve now since it's hyper high season! To satisfy your hunger of tiny hamlets and country side in France I would head to Bourgogne or to Provence (the first is closer to Paris, you can drive or take a high speed train).

Feel free to drop me a note if you would like me to help you planning your trip in Italy or in France.

Enjoy your trip

<snip> Reply to this

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