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Critique my 3 week itinerary FRA/ITA/SWI

Great forum here, really appreciate all the help i'I've received so far, now that I've kind of solidified my route and booked a few of the longer term destinations, I'd love some input on my open ended portion of the trip [mostly Italy] This trip will be departing from Vancouver, Canada on may 9th arriving in Paris at CDG at 8am on the 10th and returning to Vancouver at 1:30PM on the 31st of may, a total of 21.5 usable days.

Our Loop looks like this:

Paris - South of France

South of France - Italy [Cinque Terra and surroundings]

Italy - Switzerland [interlaken]

Switzerland - Paris

As of right now, we have a place booked in Nice from the 10th to the 13th, this portion will be visiting Cannes, Nice, and Monaco

the 14th we then depart to Italy, most likely directly to the cinque terra. For touring the Cinque terra we will either be staying in Levanto [i know outside of the Cinque terra] as i've heard there is more of a selection of bars/restaurants/nightlife in Levanto as opposed to the Cinque Terra towns? However if we do not stay in Levanto we will be most likely staying in Manarola at a place recommended to us by friends.

From there we are now open.. I've heard many mixed opinions on how long to stay in the Cinque Terra, most likely we will be looking at 2-2.5 days, so that essentially brings us to saturday the 17th

The only other thing we have booked is an apartment in Paris from the 26th to the 31st

So 9 days to go from the Cinque Terra, Interlaken, then back to Paris on the 10th day

what would you guys recommend for those 9 days? we were thinking from Cinque Terra go to Florence for 2 days, then train either directly through, or stop in Milan for a day. From Milan take the train up into Interlaken then 3-4 days in Interlaken/jungfrau region then from there, travel to Berne and TGV back to Paris by the night of the 26th

Sorry if this sounds all spread out but i've done quite a bit of research regarding train routes, times, etc. and i think this itinerary is completely doable, i know the thinking is spend more time in less places but for the time we have and the travelers we are i think we could definitely do this effectively

Any and all suggestions and recommendations on where to go/what to see would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by
12040 posts

" From Milan take the train up into Interlaken then 3-4 days in Interlaken/jungfrau region" You're visiting the Berner Oberland at a risky time of year, but at least you've given yourself enough of a time window to maximize your chances of good weather. If you decide to prune anything from the trip, I would at least keep your full time allotment in Switzerland.

Just so you know, because May is still part of the shoulder season, a significant amount of the mountain infrastructure won't be open. Some restaurants and hotels should remain open, but possibly not your preferred choices. And some of the high altitude hiking trails won't be accessible yet.

Posted by
360 posts

We were in the Cinque Terre for 2 1/2 days and thought that was enough time, but loved it so much that we'll go back. We didn't get to Levanto so can't speak for the difference, but guess it depends on what you're looking for. We just went to an enoteca every night and that was good for us b/c we wanted relaxing. There are bars there, but some of them were closed since we were there Sun/Mon. Monterosso would have the most night life --Manarola is pretty but it was pretty sleepy even during the day.

If you're pretty quick with your sight seeing or aren't trying to see everything, then you can get a good taste of Florence in two days.

Posted by
50 posts

I would recommend the Lake District outside Milan (Lake Como--Vernazza). It's a lovely bit!