I love both of these destinations. I have not been in over a 15 years. I have to choose. I will be traveling with my two kids (11 and 15) both eager travelers and intellectuals. We will see London/Bath/Stonehenge/Cotswalds; Brussels/Bruge; Amsterdam; Stockholm, Oslo, Bergen, and Copenhagen; Paris/Normandy/Mont St. Michel; Romantic Road, Rhine Valley and Munich; Vienna/Salzburg; Florence, Venice, and Rome with a quick stop in Pisa. I have just enough time for a little Italian Riviera or French Alps, but not both! Which one would you choose and why?
Given the apparent magnitude of your trip , not knowing either the duration , itinerary , and other basic logistics ,it is nearly impossible to pick one over the other . Much depends on where your stopover falls relative to the other locations .
No answer to your question, but when you do Brussels use Rick's Grand Place walking tour. It degenerates a little into jr high school potty humor as you look at different statuary in the Grand Place and the kids might enjoy it. They will certainly remember it!
The time of year you are going will make a huge difference in recommendations...when will you be traveling?
Wow! Are you going for 6 months? Looks like you will be closer to the CT than Chamonix. What about Burgundy, Provence, Tuscany, and Istanbul? (That was a joke.) I am envious, have fun.
We are traveling for a total of 45 days. Trip of a lifetime. My kids are marching in the opening parade in Munich's Oktoberfest. We leave in mid-August and return in late september. If I had more time, I would do Rick's Whirlwind Tour. But hey 45 days is not too shabby. Leaning toward Chamonix based on location and kid friendly nature of hiking and gondolas. Would love to hear about Cinque Terre with kids.
Sounds lovely , albeit a bit hectic even for the amount of time . However , the main issue is the itinerary ( order of stops ) which is key to where you stop . Having said that , I have not been to the Cinque Terre , although I'm sure it must be lovely . I have been to Chamonix several times and absolutely love the area , so I'm somewhat partial to it . As best as I can tell , if you are winding up in Italy and stopping off in Pisa , then the Cinque Terre might be the more logical choice . Whatever you decide , do have a great time !
Perfect time of year for Chamonix! I don't like heat and humidity and the CT tends to be very hot and humid in late summer. There is also quite a bit more to do in Chamonix with kids. That would certainly be my choice!
BTW: Cinque Terre is not the only beautiful place in Liguria. Since it was discovered by international mass tourism it actually gets worse every year, and maybe you should remember it how it was 15 years ago. There are so many other beatiful places close by, it's a shame that most people ignore them. Colorful Camogli for instance, Portofino, where Italys Rich and Famous spend their summers, or Sestri Levante for instance.
Thanks to everyone! I think Chamonix wins! We may have time for a quick trip to another costal town in Italy, but based on the sound advice we will try a new destination in the area rather than Cinque Terre. Thanks Again and Happy Travels.
Cinque Terre certainly has its scenic beauty but IMHO, but there is nothing there for children except the very crowded trains and the coastal trails which are not open at this time. Pisa is fairly nearby but Pisa is just over an hour from Florence or 3hrs from Rome. It will take you about 5.0hrs to get to Pisa from Venice if that is your plan.
Chamonix-Mt. Blanc has the great gondola ride up to Aiguille du Midi. If the day is nice and clear, go up early with the paragliders. It's a great experience and the views are some of the best on the planet. Some shops to explore but most are for the adults. For food, I would suggest Le Caleche. A bit noisy but the food is good and there are lots and lots of trinkets and things hanging from the rafters and attached to walls everywhere . Family friendly. We saw lots of young people there with their parents.
Chamonix would be my choice too. In addition to Mt. Blanc/Aiguille du Midi, which is spectacular, we rented bikes in town and rode east (?) along the river/creek (?) where they have a bike path. It was beautiful and a lot of fun.
Given the proximity to your trip next month, you would have trouble finding a room in the CT during the summer this close. Most are booked up.
Glad to see your plan is coming together.