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Help with Europe travel plans
England, Spain or somewhere else

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#1 kim27

Posted 05 December 2012 - 06:44 PM

In May 2014 I'm planning to take 6 weeks off work and travel to Europe solo for around 4 weeks. I've been a couple of times before in my 20's with Contiki trips so have visited a number of the popular cities / countries already.

This time my plan is to visit London and Paris (have been to both before but have barely scratched the surface) and spend the rest of the time seeing places I haven't been before. I'm currently thinking England / Scotland, Spain and maybe Scandanavia. Obviously won't be able to cover everything in these places in the time I have and might only do two of the three.

If it helps my interests are history, architechture, beautiful countryside and horseriding. Of and food of course.

#2 maiteland

Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:42 AM

If you like a bit of history, beautiful countryside and horseriding i would suggest visiting Andalucia in Spain.  Its the southern Region of Spain and this area encompasses exactly what you are looking for.  Plus the food and atmosphere are amazing. I really love Spanish food and I love tapas!!  In regards to history and architecture You can visit Granada and see the Alhambra.  Or on the other side you could visit beautiful seaside cities like Nerja or even the countrysides in Ronda.  I would suggest to rent a car as you could start in Granada and then make your way down the coast. If you are planning to travel in May it is still a relatively inexpensive month in Spain and the cost of car hire, hotel or holiday rentals arent very high.  Do you plan on staying in hotels?

#3 kim27

Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:23 PM

Thanks Maiteland. Andalucia does sound good and hopefully in May it won't be too hot there yet. I'll probably stay in hotels as I like my comfort these days! The one thing I want to avoid in Spain is the coastal area that are taken over by Brits that you see in some TV shows. I'm sure most of Spain isn't like that though. What's it like to drive there? I've never driven overseas before apart from New Zealand.

#4 Fright bat

Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:31 PM

Four weeks is not long enough for four countries and a region (Scandinavia not being a country but a REALLY big collection of countries), in my opinion. We spent 4 weeks in Paris and barely scratched the surface. Pick two countries. Spend two weeks in each.

#5 BenevolentDictator

Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:34 PM

This is what you need


and Ms N is correct - better fewer countries and tour more slowly and savour the experience.

#6 kim27

Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:36 PM

Yeah, I realise Scandanavia isn't a country. What can I say, I have so many places I want to visit and not enough money to do it!

#7 Harmonica

Posted 07 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

I would think if you want something different after London and Paris - fly to Stockholm - such a beautiful city - plenty to see and do!

#8 Ice Queen

Posted 07 December 2012 - 09:00 PM

Here are a few thoughts based upon my travels in Europe:

Scotland especially Edinburgh is lovely.  Edinburgh is an amazing city seen quite easily in 3 or 4 days, lots of history, beautiful buildings, good bars and restaurants.  From there I picked up a 3 day trip up to Isle of Skye which was just beautiful.  In the UK it is one of the few areas of just total natural beauty and isolation that you will see (the sheer closeness of villages and towns is something I never quite got used to in the UK).

I spent a long weekend in Bergen, Norway and then caught the Flam train to the fjord areas where we then took boats through the fjords and back to Bergen.  It is breathtakingly beautiful and quite surreal in June when the nights are non existent.  I also went to Stockholm but it was only a night and I was sick.  Probably my only negative comment about Scandinavia is the cost.  We travelled on UK pounds when it was very strong and even we were shocked by how expensive it was.  It is eye watering and you will spend more money in this area than the rest of your whole trip.  

I love France and Italy and could move to either tomorrow.  I cant even begin to say where I loved.....how long is a piece of string.  The country areas and smaller cities of these countries are just brilliant as you get such a better taste of the country.  I still love all the touristy stuff in Rome, Paris, Florence, Venice etc but I have had amazing experiences in cities like Lyon, Tours, Verona, Turin, Bologna (oh Bologna.....what an awesome place), Lucca.  You can do so much more as the prices are cheaper, the food is better and the people a bit friendlier.  I do find a car is the best option once you have trained between the cities and then want to explore even more.  I really loved the Lakes area of Italy. As for driving....pffft completely terrifying but you get used to it!

Another favourite is Berlin.  This city to me has everything.  Great museums, fascinating modern history, architecture, awesome shopping, some trendy food areas....great city.

But as everyone says dont try and do everything.  It is hard to pick and choose but do your research, look at the train maps of Europe so you dont spend too much time travelling and you will find the places that appeal to you.

Edited by Ehill, 07 December 2012 - 09:03 PM.

#9 kandj

Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:06 PM

I'll second EHill on Turin and Bologna....They are both amazing, very different from each other too...I wish I could have spent more time in both. If you're into food Turin and the surrounding small towns of Bra, Asti and Alba are the 'homes' to the slow food movement. I think Bra is officially? but they all kinda claim it.... And Turin has the very first 'Eataly' supermarket which we had the most amazing lunch at....and bought some amazing foods as well.
Bologna was simply gorgeous....
I wish I could do it all over again!!

#10 kandj

Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:13 PM

oh and the Carmague in South France, would be a brilliant place for horse riding. I didn't get there this trip, but its on my list for next time. We loved Provence, so much to do and see....and eat original.gif


I suppose I should add that Scotland has the most stunning countryside as well...Isle of Skye is like a picture book....And one of the friendliest places too....

Edited by kandj, 10 December 2012 - 08:17 PM.

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