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Favourite spots of Europe

(44 Posts)
Asheth Wed 16-Oct-13 11:58:29

For the past few years out holidays have been to fly somewhere for a week, enjoy the sun and then fly back. But next year (maybe the next few years!) we want to try something different and tour around Europe for a few weeks in the summer holidays.

At the moment we're flexible about where we cross into Europe, but we'll be looking mainly at Western/Southern Europe - so France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland etc. Not necessarily all next year!

The DCs will be aged 12, 9 and 5. And we're looking for a variety of places - e.g. places which are historically/geographically interesting, fun places and some relaxing chill-out spots! grin

so, what places do you think we should put on our list?

PoppyAmex Wed 16-Oct-13 12:02:21

I'm biased as I was born there, but Lisbon is wonderful and completely different from the touristy Algarve.

I never fail to have fun in Barcelona or anywhere in Southern Italy either.

YDdraigGoch Wed 16-Oct-13 12:05:43

Pompeii (It), Oradour (Fr), Grenada (Sp), Dachau (Ge), for culture/history.

Asheth Wed 16-Oct-13 22:06:55

Thank you for those suggestions! I'd like to go to Lisbon. My DS has already put Barcelona on the list - not for the beach, not for the beautiful Gaudi architecture but for Barcelona FC grin

I'd never heard of Oradour. I think the eldest DC would find it interesting.

BanjoPlayingTiger Wed 16-Oct-13 22:11:28

If they are in any way musical, then I would recommend Leipzig. It has so much musical heritage for such a small city. It is also the place that started the peaceful revolutions that brought down the Berlin Wall. Fascinating! It is also relatively cheap as it is the old East Germany but that is less true each year we have returned.

Asheth Wed 16-Oct-13 22:27:15

Thank you - we definitly want to go to Germany so DS1 can practice his German. I've never been to Leipzig but just googled it and it looks like a nice city.

CreamyCooler Thu 17-Oct-13 14:00:10

Fave European places we've been to with DC are Kolocep island (Croatia) for relaxation and Dubrovnik, Rome, Sicily and Tuscany for sightseeing and chilling. DC enjoyed visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Pompeii. We also really enjoyed Amsterdam. Would you consider going on a cruise as you get an opportunity to see so many sights and have lots of r&r time as well?

Shanghaidiva Thu 17-Oct-13 14:13:35

Germany - Munich and Regensburg (lived there for 4 years) - beautiful cities with great museums and fascinating history.
Spain - Barcelona. When I was there they had a jump on /jump off bus tour which was great.
Loads of great cities in the Nethelands - Hague, Amsterdam (Ann Frank and Van Gogh musuem), Leiden (fab museums), Delft and Rotterdam.
Salzburg is a little twee imo but great musical festivals and amazing architecture. I prefer Vienna and it has a great zoo.

PeterParkerSays Thu 17-Oct-13 14:16:40

Montpellier in southern France is gorgeous and historic and close to a beach if your children are pining for one by then. It's fab to be there on Bastille Day.

Asheth Thu 17-Oct-13 22:04:04

Dubrovnik looks fantastic, but I think it's probably a bit far for this trip. I'd love to do a cruise one day.... suspect it would be very expensive for five of us though! But places in Italy will definitly go on the list!

Regensburg looks lovely and I expect Munich would go down well with the DC thanks to Bayern Munich! I can see this trip turning into a tour of the football stadiums of Europe!

Montpellier looks fantastic - a lovely beach and in easy reach of both Provence and the Languedoc.

Thank you everyone!

suebfg Thu 17-Oct-13 22:10:22

You can't beat Paris for sightseeing IMO in central Europe - one of the world's best cities. Rome is very good too of course and has the added attraction of Roman soldiers, ice cream and pizza
Barcelona has a great mix of sights, beach, cafe culture, nice weather - it would be a very good option with kids as not too much walking around
Switzerland is very pretty and scenic but might be a bit boring

VerySmallSqueak Thu 17-Oct-13 22:14:04

Really interesting but also got sea and warmth.

suebfg Thu 17-Oct-13 22:14:38

If you are visiting Germany, it would be hard not to put Berlin on the list, for the history lesson if nothing else. It's a truly fascinating city

VerySmallSqueak Thu 17-Oct-13 22:15:50

The Alps.

poorbuthappy Thu 17-Oct-13 22:16:58

Loire Valley France. Beautiful.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 17-Oct-13 22:18:13

YY to the Loire Valley.

PortoFiendo Fri 18-Oct-13 09:48:08

Ooh hard one. In no particular order:

Montpellier - lovely architecture, pretty squares
The Cinque Terre - a serious of precariously perched villages on the Italian Riviera
Krakow - beautiful city plus visits to Auschwitz and the Salt Mines. Wroclaw in Poland is lovely too - little gnomes everywhere - you can do a tour to spot them.
Prague - stunning place with lots to visit
Ziller valley in Austria - Mayrhofen, Achesee, Krimml Waterfalls, Innsbruck
Dordogne - Sarlat, Les Eyzies, Domme etc
Interlaken area of Switzerland - Reichenbach Falls, Arschlucht gorge, Grindelwald etc
Lake Como
Neuschwanstein in Bavaria
Il de Re
Someone mentioned Leiden above - highly recommended - like Amsterdam without the sleaze.
Pompeii and Vesuvius. the island of Ischia
Portofino (obviously)

I could probably go on all day.....I did a suggested itinerary for someone once - I will see if i can find it.....

eurochick Fri 18-Oct-13 09:59:31

Canal du midi in langedoc for cycling around lovely countryside


Venice is stunning

PortoFiendo Fri 18-Oct-13 10:03:30

Coming from Calais, I would suggest:

Reims, Colmar/Riquewihr, Lake Lucerne or Interlaken/Wengen, San Gottardo pass, Lake Como, Lake Garda, Dolomites (Bolzano), Innsbruck, Garmisch Partenkirchen, Heidelberg and the Rhein Valley, Monschau/Aachen, Breda/Delft, Antwerp, Bruges, back to Calais.

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Portofino Wed 27-Mar-13 10:33:57

Or as an alternative: Deauville, Honfleur, Saint Malo/Dinard/Mont st michel
La Rochelle, St Emilion, Sarlat/Lez Eyzies (Dordogne) Lyon, Chambery/Lake Annecy, Lake Lucerne, Colmar, Trier/Berkastel (Moselle valley) Belgian Ardennes (Durbuy/La Roche), Brussels/Bruges, Belgian Coast (De Haan)

And yes Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi are lovely. We have done 2 canal boat trips - one through the Camargue to Beziers and one coming from the other direction back to Beziers.

JustBecauseICan Fri 18-Oct-13 10:08:44

Salamanca. Can be done along with Madrid and north-western Portugal.

T'is where I shall have my ashes scattered. (In a very long time I hasten to add) grin

BurberryQ Fri 18-Oct-13 10:12:07


stinkingbishop Fri 18-Oct-13 10:20:36

If you're doing Spain/Portugal stay in paradors/pousadas which are state owned converted castles/monasteries. DCs would love them.

The Dordogne as above - amazing castles, caves (Padirac being one of the best) and cave paintings, markets...the river is great for canoeing.

The Loire for the castles too. Can sneak in a bit of history too with both places - hundred years way, Richard the Lionheart and the Crusades etc.

Italy would be fab for sightseeing - Rome, Venice, Pompeii. But NB scorchio in the summer.

Asheth Fri 18-Oct-13 14:00:30

Thank you - so many places to google! I love the fact that I'm getting suggestions of places I've never heard off and then when I see the pictures I just think wow and wonder why I've never heard of them!

Iaintdunnuffink Sun 27-Oct-13 19:30:30

We've done variations of Porto's first outlined trip a few times and would recommend it.

Some have mentioned Barcelona but don't ignore the northern coast and mountains, it's stunning.

Lizzylou Sun 27-Oct-13 19:48:43

This year we took a ferry to Bilbao/back from Santander and did Sw France and N spain. The Gascony region of France is lovely, Biarritz is amazing. N Spain is wonderful and we loved San Sebastian (a must see place I think) and also some fab basque villages, so different to the rest of spain.
Sounds like you have some fabulous planning ahead, how exciting smile

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