Please sign in to post.

Europe with Children

Transatlantic cruise from Miami to Barcelona.....
Would like to spend about a week after our 13 day cruise....Lots of questions, 10 year old twin boys.
Where can we go for a week, and where should we end up at to fly home to Los Angeles ? Open to everything !!!! Car, rail ?

Any tips would be much appreciated. Will visit Portugal and south and east Spain , then where to ??????

Thank You !!!

Posted by
521 posts

What are your boys interested in? and does the week start in Barcelona?
I would say head to Madrid after some time in Barcelona. beautiful city- should give you lots of options. I love the train - easiest way to go.

Posted by
158 posts

When will you be there? Why do you want to go to Portugal and east Spain if you're already in Barcelona?

BCN is a good airport to fly home from.

Watch the skateboarders near the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA).

Go to the beach, even if it's not warm enough to swim.

Posted by
4 posts

The boys love everything they are very good travelers,,,,
The cruise ends in Barcelona a 13 day cruise from Florida...we could take the rail from Barcelona s,,,hush wants to rent a car but I think that might be a bit too much.,,,I like rail better.
Trying to figure out how to pack light but enough for 13 days on the cruise and then a week after

Posted by
4 posts

And no on visit to Portugal or east Spain,,,Cruise ports are already doing that, was thinking of going north towards France or Italy.......
I would love to see everything but I know a week very much limits you...

Posted by
11389 posts

Most cruiseships I have been on have laundry or laundry service.. so you don't need three + weeks worth of clothes.. pack one weeks worth and wash them.. pretty simple to pack light when you think of it that way. You do not need a new outfit for each day.. you are never going to see these people again..lol

I don't know,, my kids always loved the coast, beaches.. etc.. inland destinations with lots of shopping and churches were not always their idea of fun ( they did appreciate some sights like St Peters and Vatican and Louvre etc.. they weren't heathens.. lol ) but on longer trips we built in some down time destinations too, ruins of castles, beach stops etc.

You can make it to the French Riveria very easily , a short flight and there you are in another country.. with daytrips easily taken to several spots.. ( Monaco!!?) .. or a dip into Provence..

Posted by
50 posts

I have 3 sons (10,13,15) and these are some of the things they'd be interested in doing.

From Barcelona, head to Carcassonne to get a taste of a medieval castle and fort, then head to the Lascaux caves and vicinity. Take train directly to Paris. Something like days 6 to 8 in Rick's South of France tour reversed(as listed below).

Since you're from the LA area, Disneyland Paris may not be of interest but it does appeal to many kids as a one day diversion from typical Paris sightseeing. Also, check out Vaux le Vicomte for a quick trip outside Paris.

From Barcelona, you could also fly/take train directly to Paris, spend a few days there and then take train to London. Paris and London have a lot to offer for kids and many flight options.

I also really like Rome, Venice and Switzerland as kid-friendly destinations but it's harder to find non-stop or inexpensive flights from those locations.

If you haven't already, check with your cruise line for airfares. They often have much better one way airfares than available elsewhere for people taking transatlantic cruises.

ITINERARY SOUTH OF FRANCE-

Medieval Carcassonne
This morning we'll drive south, crossing the scenic valleys of the Lot and Tarn Rivers as we make our way to Europe's largest fortified city: delightfully medieval Carcassonne. After a walking tour of Carcassonne's fortified old town — La Cité — you'll be free to savor views from the stony ramparts, wander through the cobbled lanes, and maybe sample a steamy bowl of cassoulet with a glass of vin rouge.

Market Day in Sarlat
Take a vacation from your vacation! You'll have the entire day to savor the colorful weekly market in one of France's most pedestrian-friendly towns. Rub shoulders with local shoppers, sample foie gras and salivate over the famous black truffle as you shop for your fantasy picnic lunch. Today you can make it a tasty reality! Then stretch your legs with a countryside walk. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Cave Art and Canoeing
Today begins with a chance to appreciate some of Europe's oldest art: the 13,000-year-old drawings of Rouffignac Cave. We'll hop aboard a subterranean train to marvel at engravings and drawings depicting bison, horses, woolly rhinoceros, and…mammoths. There are so many mammoths depicted locals have nicknamed it "the cave of 100 mammoths." This afternoon (weather permitting), we'll canoe down the Dordogne River from Cénac to Beynac, gliding past medieval castles and villages. If the weather is hot, we may even stop for a swim along the way. Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank You !

Definitely gives me ideas ..love the ideas of forts, medieval areas for the boys.
Think we would like to go north east from Barcelona, end up in Rome ?
Fly home from there

Posted by
50 posts

If you want to end up in Rome, I have some alternate suggestions.

Fly directly from Barcelona to Venice as it will take a long time to get to Venice or Rome by train/car. Spend two days in Venice, there are some good private tours for kids available (venicekidstours or contextravel). Also, it might be fun to take a gondola rowing lesson (rowlesson.org) or to do mask making (camacana.com) in addition to the usual stops.

Take fast train to Florence - spend one day in Florence doing highlights tour. Then take day trip to Bologna area to see Ferrari museum and/or do food tour (http://www.italiandays.it/). On viator, you can find a tour from Florence that combines the Ferrari & food tour.

Take fast train to Rome - spend rest of time in Rome. For a more tangible experience, try Gladiator School or a cooking class. If you want to take a day trip - consider Ostia Antica (Ruins!) or Orvieto (you could stop here on way to Rome instead.) Orvieto gives you the feel of small hill town and has a neat underground tour (https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/articles/orvieto-what-an-italian-hill-town-should-be)