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Need help on our itinerary?

We are in our early 30’s and this is our first trip to Europe. We are taking 4 ½ weeks and here is our itinerary:

We fly in to London 2 nights (park international hotel)
Eurostar to Paris 2 nights (grand hotel leveque)
Night Train to Nice 4 nights (hotel de la dares)
Fly or Train to Geneva-Bern 3 nights (staying at a friends place)
Fly or Train to Venice 2 nights (B&B al palazzetto)
Train to Florence 3 nights (B&B maison de charme)
Train to Pisa (3 hours in the morning)
Train to Cinque Terre for 2 nights (manuel’s guest house)
Train to Rome 3 nights (58 le real de luxe)
Fly to Athens 2 nights (???)
Fly to Santorini boat to Ios 2-3 nights (???)
Boat back to Santorini 5 nights (???)
Fly to Amsterdam for 2 nights (???)
Back Home (boo hoo)

We bought a 5 Day, 3 Country Eurail Pass. We were thinking taking the train from Nice to Bern but it will take 9 hours so we may fly and save the day train pass for Florence to Pisa/Cinque Terre. Does anyone know if there is a night train from Nice to Bern and/or Bern to Venice? I have been unlucky so far. Regarding Greece we thought it would be best to fly from Rome to Athens for two nights, then fly to Santorini take a boat to Ios for 2 or 3 nights and boat back to Santorini for 5 nights before flying to Amsterdam. A few people mentioned we should take the boat from Athens to the two islands. That would be okay if it only took about one hour as my wife gets a little sea sick if it’s rough.
Any helpful advice would be greatly appreciated. Look forward to hearing from you.

Posted by
1494 posts

Wow that is a very ambitious itinerary. I don't have much advice about transportation, except that when I'm looking at night trains it helps to get creative and look at nearby cities. I also wanted to comment that it seems odd that you want to spend 4 nights in Nice. If it were me I would much rather add a night or two to London or Paris.

Posted by
473 posts

That's very ambitious, even for 4 1/2 weeks. Keep in mind that packing/unpacking, finding your hotel, and the actual commute to another city all take time. Also, for at least for your first day or two, you'll be jet-lagged, so 2 nights for London will be just a blur. I would suggest dropping Nice and adding those days to London and Paris. I would drop Cinque Terre (apologies ahead of time to all CT-lovers) and add those nights to Venice and Rome. Going from Greece to Amsterdam will probably be an all-day event, so unless you are already locked in to airline tickets to fly home from Amsterdam, I would drop Amsterdam as well. Also, check your guidebooks for day-trips out of some of the cities you'll be staying in. Just because you're staying in a city doesn't mean that you are limited only to sights within that city. Many European cities have great sights within an hour's train ride.

Posted by
4132 posts

Wow. As others have noted, the ratio of train & plane seats to sights is really high. Personally I'd cut out Nice and Berne (unless you continue into the mountains) and probably some other places (assume you will return), but that's not what you asked. Okay.

How about connecting your dots this way: London-Paris-Amsterdam-Berne (via night train)-Venice (via night train), then your itinerary through Greece, flying to Nice (or Marsailles) and then home. Or, London-Paris-Nice-Venice-etc.-Greece, flying to Berne and then home. Either would save the long train ride from Nice to Berne.

I think a better trip would be London-Paris-Provence-Venice (via night train)-Tuscany-CT-Rome-Swiss Alps-Amsterdam, with time in each place, but that's just me. Have fun!

Posted by
683 posts

Wherever you go, you should relax while there. Your itinerary sounds hectic and is guaranteed to be stressful.Dounds as tho you have already booked your accomodations for most of the trip. We agree that you should add to Paris or London by eliminating Nice.
Do you plan on never returning to Europe?