Itinerary: help me with my very first draft
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jan 27, 2012 11:22 AM Last Post By: Fwoggie
Jan 21, 2012 6:25 PM
Itinerary: help me with my very first draftI am beginning to plan a trip to Europe possibly September this year coming from Melbourne Australia with me, my husband and children - 6y.o. and 3y.o. for about 6 weeks.
Please tell me if this rough draft of an itinerary is looking okay:
*Fly into London. Spend about 10 days here with a side trip up to see Chatsworth and a couple of castles.
*Eurostar to Paris. 10 days here with side trips to Versailles and Fontainbleu.
*With a hire car go down to the French Riviera via Dordogne and then across into Italy and 10 days somewhere in Italy.
*Fly out of Rome.
My problem is I really want to go up into the Alps, up to Zermatt and see the Matterhorn. I'm not sure where to put this in the itinerary. I was hoping for a nice unbroken line on the map with no backtracking etc.
Should I go from Genova after the french riviera up and around to Zermatt and then come back down through Milan?
Jan 21, 2012 11:43 PM
Jan 22, 2012 2:10 AM
21) Chatsworth would be an overnight trip to do it any justice. Consider instead flying into Manchester instead of London (as it's much closer). You can hire a car from Manchester airport, go to Chatsworth + other places of interest down into London over say a 5 day trip - for example the UK space centre in Leicester for the kids or Ironbridge for the birthplace of the industrial revolution, or Stratford Upon Avon for Shakespeare, Oxford for, er, Oxford, Blenheim palace (near Oxford) for another amazing house (plus the birthplace of Winston Churchill), Windsor castle (although this is a day trip (easy one) from central London anyway. Just don't drive into central London - very stressful + it has a congestion zone. Dehire the car on the edge of London (Maybe at Heathrow airport and then get public transport or a tax in. Make sure you get one with satnav, it'll be a major help.
Eurostar to Paris - tickets for September are not on sale yet - and won't be for several months - they usually release their tickets about 180 days in advance. Book as far ahead as possible for the cheapest price. 10 days is a bit OTT, you could potentially trim it by a few days, say down to 6 or 7.
Down to Dordogne - take the train via Bordeaux (damn sight faster, same deal re ticket prices as with eurostar), and then hire a car once you've got into the Dordogne area (you'll need one once you're there). You can then cross country over to Italy but you'll get nailed for dehiring in a different country. You could avoid this by dehiring in Nice and then taking a train down into Italy. You could then spend a day in Pisa (leaning tower), few days in Florence, few days in Rome, fly outta there. Do not attempt to drive into any city in Italy, the stress and car parking hassles are simply not worth it.
Re hire cars - be aware the rules vary from country to country (for example in France you need high vis vests for all passengers and they should NOT be in the boot). See http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/countrybycountry.html?mySelect=%2Fmotoring_advice%2Ftouring_tips%2Fgreat-britain.pdf&go.x=44&go.y=19&go=Go%21 and start doing a bunch of reading to find out what the requirements are, particularly for your children (may need booster seats).
Moving back to the dilemma of the Alps; that's a toughy. Only suggestion I'd have is to go from the Dordogne along the E70 to Lyon and then into the Alps and skip the French riveria entirely, but this is a long journey for the kids. You could fly from Toulouse to Geneva maybe with Easyjet (depending on the time), but that doesn't help much. The train is even worse; you'd have route via Paris (incredibly enough).
Alternatively, reshake the entirely itinerary. Do the UK, then fly to the Alps. Work your way down to Rome, then fly easyjet Rome to Toulouse or AirFrance Rome to Bordeaux, using either as a gateway into the Dordogne region. Do that, then dump the car in Bordeaux, catching the TGV (ultra high speed train) to Paris and finish off there. Hell, you may even find it cheaper to fly back to Australia out of Paris than it is out of Rome.
Jan 22, 2012 3:15 AM
3Best itinerary Dordogne - Matterhorn - Rome:
Perigueux - Brive - Clermont Ferrand - Ste-Etienne - Chambery - Aosta - Chatillon - Breuil/Cervinia (Matterhorn) - Torino - Cuneo - Menton (France). Give your car back there, take a commuter train to Ventimiglia/Italy (a few minutes trip) and rent there another car if you can't live without a car.
The cableway from Breuil to Testa Grigia (in front of the Matterhorn) works usually until Easter and then again in July and August.
If you want to see the Matterhorn from the Swiss side, you will have do make a 300 km detour via Martigny - Brig - Stresa.
Jan 24, 2012 1:08 PM
Jan 26, 2012 1:34 PM
5Wow, thanks for all your helpful itinerary ideas! You guys know your stuff. Are you from Europe?!? My research has now gotten a bit more fine tuned, thanks
Edited by: hamburgerhead
Jan 27, 2012 11:22 AM
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