I’m on the countdown to the day of departure for my annual trip to Europe and whilst I have all the travel and accommodation booked (I do like to be organized!), I have left plenty of room in my itinerary for some spontaneity when it comes to what to see and do - and I'd love your input.
These days I tend to stay in fewer places for longer durations at each which gives my husband and I the opportunity to really explore our surroundings and hunt out some of the lesser known things to see and do. It also allows us to have a rest day if we feel like just chilling out by the pool or grabbing a coffee at a local café and people watching if that’s about as much energy as we can muster.
On this year’s itinerary there are places and sights that I have noted as ‘must visits’ but I would also love to hear suggestions from you. If you’ve visited a ‘hidden’ village or eaten in an amazing restaurant, or perhaps seen the most incredible view, please share it with me so that I can include it in my sightseeing itinerary. We'll be picking up a car that I've pre-booked via the tax-free vehicle leasing program once we arrive in Languedoc and will drop it off in Munich prior to flying to Greece, so we'll have the flexibility to visit smaller villages without having to rely on public transport.
Below is our European itinerary for 2015 which includes stays in some favourite destinations that we’ve visited before as well as a few new places. I think it will be a fairly good balance of old and new and I’d love to receive your input on what we should be sure to see and do in each destination.
Paris, France – 2 nights
What I plan to see and do in Paris
- We have tickets for the Masters Tournament which is being run in conjunction with the French Tennis Open at Roland Garros
- A lovely dinner at a Parisian Brasserie is also a priority
Olonzac, Languedoc, France – 10 nights
What I plan to see and do in Olonzac
- A half day Chocolate and Wine Tasting Tour of Carcassonne, and we'll visit the fortified Cite of Carcassonne
- Explore a bit more of the Mediterranean coast between Gruissan and Collioure
Cabrieres-d’Avignon, Provence, France – 7 nights
What I plan to see and do in Provence
- Visit Avignon
- Visit some of the Luberon villages such as Gordes, Lourmarin, Menerbes and Lacoste
- Hopefully I'll get to see lots of fields bursting with the colours of lavender and sunflowers
Villefranche sur Mer (near Nice), Cote d’Azur, France – 2 nights
What I plan to see and do in Villefranche sur Mer
- Wander around the old town of Nice
- Visit Villa Ephrussi (the Rothschild garden) at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
- Visit St. Paul de Vence
Levanto (near Cinque Terre), Italy – 4 nights
What I plan to see and do in Levanto
- Explore the five villages of the Cinque Terre
- Walk part of the famous trail between the villages
- Take a boat from Levanto to one of the villages as I’ve been told the best views are from the water
Ceva, Piedmont, Italy – 2 nights
What I plan to see and do in Ceva
We are staying with friends for two nights so our sightseeing will be organised by them. Last time we visited them, they gave us a fantastic ‘tour’ of Piedmont.
Varenna (Lake Como), Italy – 6 nights
What I plan to see and do at Lake Como
- Catch the ferry to Bellagio for lunch at Café Bilacus
- Visit one of the beautiful gardens on the lake
- Take the train to Milan to see The Last Supper and do a walking tour of the city
Salo (Lake Garda), Italy – 3 nights
What I plan to see and do at Lake Garda
- Relax by the lake
- Wander around Sirmione
- Possibly catch the train to Venice or Verona for the day
Selva Gardena (The Dolomites), Italy – 5 nights
What I plan to see and do in the Dolomites
- Explore the mountain village of Selva
- Enjoy the alpine scenery and fresh mountain air with some (easy) hiking
- Visit the Trauttmansdorff Gardens at Merano
- Spend some time with family
Munich, Germany – 1 night
Our stay in Munich is only an overnighter as we are catching an early flight to Greece the next day.
Kos Island, Greece – 7 nights
What I plan to see and do on Kos Island
- Spend lots of time by the pool at our resort
- Maybe take a boat trip (30 minutes) to Bodrum in Turkey
Have I missed anything? Do you know of an off-the-beaten-path village I should visit or have you enjoyed the best pizza ever at a tiny pizzeria? If you’re willing to share your holiday highlights with me I’d be very grateful. Please let me know in the comments below or email me.
During my trip I’ll be posting photos on the Holidays to Europe Facebook page so you can travel with me vicariously. And who knows – I might visit a particular place thanks to your recommendation.
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