My husband and I will turn 50 next year, and I want to celebrate by going on a trip to a beautiful place in May. We only have a week or so. We're considering Greece or perhaps Croatia. Who better to ask than "Rick Steves fans" for the most beautiful place? Thanks!
In Croatia, probably Plitvice Lakes National Park. To get a preview, watch Rick's TV episode on Croatia. I'll let someone else give their vote for most beautiful spot in Greece.
For Greece, I'd say Santorini is pretty spectacular. I have not been to Croatia, so I cannot compare.
Everyone will have their favorite. The Greek Islands, Santorini or one of the others. Rick doesn't have a book on Greece.
Having been to Croatia and Greece, I enjoyed both of them very much. However, if you are looking for "most beautiful", I would have to say that you would be hard pressed to beat the beauty of the Greek Islands. Croatia has it's beautiful places-Dubrovnik, Cavtat, and the coastal islands are favorites of mine. However, the people and country side are still recovering from the war and there are reminders of this that you will see on your journey there. Santorini is amazing, the sunsets there will take your breath away. The Dodecanese Islands are also quite nice-island hopping down these is easy and great fun. I like Samos, Patmos, Kos, Rhodes, etc. with day trips over to Turkey. From Samos you can take the boat to Kusadasi and take a tour of Ephesus, which is an amazing place. From Kos, venture across the water to Bodrum and from Rhodes I recommend a trip to Fethiye. Each island has it's own special character and beauty, and the option to see coastal Turkey is a good one!
P.S.: You are talking about a "trip of a lifetime", so consider more than a week for your journey. Flying all the way over there and all the way back and hurrying through a few days will be too much. We Americans do vacations like this and come back as stressed as when we left, wishing we had stayed longer. Europeans have got it right, time away is a priority and they really relax into it. Find the time!
Not everyone has the luxury of taking a couple week off of work. I get five weeks vacation a year, but my employer only lets me take one week off at a time. I'm not complaining, there are legitimate business reasons for this, and I'm grateful to get the five weeks. I have had over twenty wonderful 1-week vacations in various places throughout Europe. Sometimes we just have to work with the cards we are dealt with.
You mentioned you only have about a week, if that is the total time including your travel time, then allow as much as 1.5 days flying over and 1 day flying back (the time change flying over).
Thanks! I think Greece is sounding like it will fit the definition. And yes, we'll really be gone about 10 days with travel over and back. Wish we could stay longer, but we'll manage our expectations within the time we have.
Absolutely go to Greece! Enjoy! :)
I loved Santorini. It's beautiful, relaxed, perfect size, etc. I'm having a hard time planning other trips frankly, I would be happy spending the rest of my vacations there :)
When I think of GREECE I do not think of the word "Beautiful", but I liked the Mediteranean environment at Greek islands : the olive trees, goats, donkeys, old wind mills, the Mediteranean Sea, relaxed complacent people, and the special light in the sky that is at Greek islands. Because you posted your question at the web pages for "to the East", Greece or Croatia is a good choice for you. In Greece I recommend the island Naxos. Fly to Naxos from Athens. Hotel Apollo at Naxos town ("Hora"). That hotel is not expensive in May, and the weather will be wonderful there in May. Read about Naxos in the Lonely Planet book on GREECE.
I loved the blue Adriatic off the coast of Croatia. The mainland has diverse geographical areas and the many islands off the coast can be explored easily since they are close together (you don't have to spend a lot of travel time going from one island to another). English is widely spoken if that's a concern. Food ranges from Mediterranean to slavic with some Italian influence (loved the gelato). Tough decision to make . . . .
I don't agree with Ron - sorry. Go to Santorini. This is a "must see" place. Splurge for a magical place on the cliffs. Ideally, take the ferry in from Athens. Really - go! Spectacular! And, since you're spending a week, I would suggest 4 days in Santorini and then a short ferry ride to Naxos for 3 days. :) Enjoy
Gayle: May I suggest tht you do some research on Greece and Croatia, then decide where you would like to spend your special time. George Bernard Shaw once wrote "If you wish to find paradise on earth, then go to Dubrovnik." This town has been called the pearl of the Adriatic. However, you must choose where to spend your time, it is your week. If you are going to fly into Croatia or Greece, 1 week is not enought time. The flights are not as frequent as you may wish, it is very difficult to find daily service so you must have more time. Hvala (Thank you) If you wish any further info on Dubrovnik, contact me quicly as I am moving there in January. Carol Cameron Park CA
Since I have spent a week in Greece and traveled by auto through Croatia, I can comment. Only Switzerland can qualify as a beautiful place. Those other places can't compare.
If you haven't been to Switzerland (especially in May), spend your week there and count your blessings.
Mykonos ( check out web site for Hotel Tagoo, seriously ) or Santorini. You will get there before the crowds so it will be lovely.
Swizerland is another of my favorites, I mean, it really has these "Heidi" landscapes, chalets with window boxes filled with flowers etc. .
I have not been to Prague, but , if you are looking for more of a city stop then this sounds beautiful, lately been compared to Paris 50 yrs ago, but smaller.
I would try for more time. Many employers will give long time employees a bit longer for a Europeon holiday. Seven days is hard, the travel time and jet lag eat into two of the days at minimum.
Thanks for the advice! I certainly agree that Switzerland is a beautiful place, but we've been there and wanted (this time) to go somewhere we've never experienced.