My husband and I are in our 40's and have taken driving tours all over Europe. I know public transportation would be easy, but we like the flexibility of driving ourselves. We realize this itinerary doesn't do the larger cities justice, and it's a very tight schedule, but we don't mind "speed visiting" places. We find that the scenic driving from one destination to the next is half the fun! Stopping for lunch in little towns along the way, etc...
So we already purchased round trip flights to Budapest for the first week in September. This is our very tentative itinerary and questions. Thank you in advance for your input!!
Day 1: Arrive Budapest 12:30pm. Rent a car and go directly to Vienna and check into hotel. We will be there 2 nights. Any hotel suggestions?
Day 2: We are not very into museums or opera, so for our full day in Vienna, we would like to take a Wachau Valley river cruise. Is there one right out of Vienna to Melk and back where we can stop off in the towns along the way? Any suggestions?
Day 3: Leave Vienna and head to Cesky Krumlov. Stay one night. Is this worth a visit, or should we spend the day elsewhere? We want to see some scenic towns, and although CK looks gorgeous, maybe it's a little out of the way? Any suggestions?
Day 4: Leave CK on the way to Hallstatt for an overnight. Stop in Salzburg for lunch. Or, should we stay in Salzburg and just visit Hallstatt on the way to Bratislava the next day?
Day 5: Head to Bratislava for an overnight.
Day 6: Head back to Budapest. Stay 2 nights and fly out.
I purposely left 1 day unaccounted for to add onto an existing stop. Where should we spend it?
Thanks for your help!