Thoughts on 3 Month Itinerary Or Horse-Related Tips?
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jun 10, 2012 6:33 AM Last Post By: neckervd
Jun 9, 2012 3:58 PM
Thoughts on 3 Month Itinerary Or Horse-Related Tips?Flying into Heathrow, out of Rome September 1-->December 1, 2013.
UK: 3 Weeks
Trying to convince my friend to skip the UK to give us more time...
England (1 week plus ~3 days for traveling distances)
Edinburgh (4 days)
Ireland (~1 week)
Fly Dublin-->Munich? ~Sept 21
Europe: 9 weeks
Southern/Central Germany (~2 weeks including traveling time to Prague)
• We really want to see the horsey countryside here--no city requirements per se
C.R.: ONLY Prague (3-4 days in the city)
Austria (1 week including traveling time)
Switzerland (4-5 days?)
• We just want to see the scenery and don't want to linger. How would you manage this? Overnight trains?
France (2 weeks inc. traveling)
• Paris + Loire Valley
Northern Italy (3 weeks inc. traveling)
Have a good chunk of frequent flyer miles + Eurail pass as college graduation present, but we will need to budget carefully day-to-day.
We plan on lingering in rural areas and just hitting the touristy sites in the cities. We are outdoorsy folk and not really into partying. Any places we should see in rural Germany, Italy or France? Plus, if anyone can recommend places to horseback ride, meet horses or see horsey things (besides the Spanish Riding School), I would love you forever!
Given the weather, would you recommend a different route?
Will this open jaws (SFO>Heathrow, Rome>SFO) be significantly more expensive than roundtrip through SFO+land/Chunnel travel?
I swear I've read about them, but I'm still confused--any Eurail tips for this itinerary?
Is this fast-paced plan doable or just plain brutal?
Any other thoughts? Feel free to be critical, especially about the Continental leg.
Jun 9, 2012 4:27 PM
1I know you say you are the out door type, but Paris is a city that has much to offer and hostels are not that expensive and if there are two of you, you could get a lower priced hotel room for the same price or less. Every move costs money. The Metro in Paris is really very inexpensive so your transportaion costs while there are at a minimum. With some self catering you can also keep your food costs down.
Any special reason for Monaco? I have been there and I guess it is nice to see how the very wealthy live, but what can be see there can be done in a half day. I would recommend you skip it.
What do you want to see in the Loire Valley? There are a number of chateau. A number of years ago I spent three days in Angers, you don't have to spend three days there, but it is good for at least one day. You could either take the TGV from Montparnasse in Paris early in the morning and be in the center of Angers in less than two hours. There is a lot to do and see that is within easy walking distance of the train station. The chateau, old part of the city, shopping and some beautiful gardens. Here are some pictures from my trip: http://travel.webshots.com/album/97574274rPCmjg http://travel.webshots.com/album/97574274rPCmjghttp://travel.webshots.com/album/97574274rPCmjg You could then take the last train back to Paris. Or you could leave Paris, stop there and then continue on to another destination. If there is an interest I think I can find a very inexpensive hotel in Angers and only a couple blocks from the train station. Send me a Private Message if there is an interest.
Also in the Loire Valley is Saumur that also has a chateau and is know for horses. http://loire-chateaux.co.uk/19-Chateaux/Cadre-Noir-Of-Saumur.html
You might also have an interest in seeing Château de Chantilly out side Paris. It is also know for horses. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teau_de_Chantilly
Venice can be very expensive.
Jun 9, 2012 4:58 PM
2For Switzerland, the train ride can be part of seeing the scenery - see Glacier Express, Bernina Express, etc. So night trains are probably not the way to go.
Jun 9, 2012 6:15 PM
3I don't understand your aversion to the UK really. September is still OK weather-wise, and there's few finer places to be than the British countryside when the sun is out if that's your thing.
Since you like horses, why not spend a couple of days horse riding around Snowdonia or the Brecon Beacons? For something a bit shorter lived (and more bizarre) you can go llama riding just out of London (http://www.surrey-hills-llamas.co.uk/). There's loads to do that doesn't involve traipsing around museums.
For the rest of your trip, I could offer similar suggestions. Why time in Innsbruck? Go somewhere like Hallstatt or Bad Ischl instead. Much nicer.
If you want to go to Switzerland for the scenery, why not just head to, say, Lauterbrunnen and trip around from there? I don't actually think there are any internal overnight trains in Switzerland (it's not exactly a big place), but having a base and venturing out will be more enjoyable than shifting constantly.
Cesky Krumlov is far better for outdoors type pursuits than Prague.
Your itinerary I think doesn't appear to match up with your stated interests. I'd be inclined to plan your trip based on things you want to do, not places that line up on the map. Even if you go to fewer places (and that's not exactly a bad thing) you'll have a much better time.
My one major tip with things like a Eurail pass is to not give in. By this I mean, since you've got this train ticket already paid for burning a hole in your pocket saying "use me, use me!!" all the time, the temptation is to just keep jumping on and off trains. Trouble is, the more places you go, the less you see. Don't give in, and you'll have a better time.
Jun 10, 2012 12:30 AM
Jun 10, 2012 3:54 AM
5Germany's oldest state stables is at Marbach (Gomadingen)- https://www.landwirtschaft-bw.info/servlet/PB/menu/1196171/index.html . You can visit the magnificent stallions in their stalls, and the mares and foals will be out in the fields. It is on my favorite part of Germany the Swabian Alb ( http://www.schwaebischealb.de ), with lots of castles, caves and excellent cliffside scenery, SE of Stuttgart ( http://www.stuttgart-tourist.de ), which is a good place to visit for horsepower being where the automobile was invented and with the excellent Mercedes Benz and Porsche Museums. Some excellent places to visit along my favorite drive in Germany which includes the stables- in #1 and #3 of http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187293-i117-k5123009-Freiburg_to_Munich_suggestions-Bavaria.html .
Jun 10, 2012 6:33 AM
6What do you mean with Swiss scenery?
Anyway, check the following itinerary:
Train: Innsbruck - Landeck
Bus: Landeck - Nauders - Scuol
Train: Scuol - Pontresina - Tirano
Bus: Tirano - Lugano
Boat: Lugano - Ponte Tresa
Bus: Ponte Tresa - Luino
Boat: Luino - Locarno
Train: Locarno - Domodossola - Brig - Zermatt - Gornergrat - Zermatt - Visp - Bern - Zweisimmen - Montreux
Boat: Montreux - Geneva
Train: Geneva - Paris
(2 star Hotel)
From US$27.52 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$15.36 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$85.85 per night