November Honeymoon Trip
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Oct 22, 2013 3:23 AM Last Post By: regards
Jul 3, 2012 7:50 PM
November Honeymoon TripHello everyone, been allocated the honeymoon planning and failing miserably- save my marriage (before it starts)!
We are from Australia, have 6 weeks of honeymoon vacation. Already used up 29th Oct-6th Nov in the Maldives, then got a flight from Male to Rome landing the night of the 6th. Our flight out of Europe to Australia is from CPH on the 6th of December. Our initial plan was Greek Islands/Amalfi Coast, but on checking the weather we changed to the Maldives instead, thus I feel the 'beach' part of the honeymoon is accomplished, now for the cold, wintery European part.
We have travelled to Europe a few times before- 2 weeks Italy (Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Venice), 2 weeks Spain (Bacelona, Madrid, Grenada) and a mixed 2 weeks (London, Paris, Berlin, Prague). Don't really want to go over 'old turf' except Paris (it is a Honeymoon afterall). Rome was a convenience entry point with Qatar, not adverse to changing it if the times workout.
The problem is a lot of forum posts/Google results on Europe for this time just say go earlier, or go to southern Spain/Portugal for some warmth, so based on pictures we're left with a mountain of options but not sure what is advisable or not. Having done mainly capital cities before we want to focus more on countryside, and we absolutely adore Christmas markets and the general European winter Christmas feel (from our Berlin in December experience)- and being from Perth/Adelaide snow is quite novel for us (I would die if I tried skiing though), so this is what I've got so far.
Flight into Rome, up to Tuscany and a car to drive around.
Back to Rome or up to Milan, fly to Marseille, stay in a smaller town and drive around the Provence region
TGV up to Paris for a few nights, Eurostar 1 day trip up to London to see Les Miserables (a little tradition for us, don't judge me)
Eurostar across to Brussels/Bruges, across to Cologne
Down to Munich, across to somewhere in Switzerland (Basel?)- across to Salzburg and possibly Vienna, then fly out to Copenhagen 2 days before flight
The regions I have are Tuscany and Provence, then checking out Belgium/Switzerland/Austria and some German cities. What I've read though is that the German/French border region like Strasbourg is 'not to be missed', Dijon and Burgundy is amazing, Loire Valley always pops up here and there.
So basically I need help on how these places actually are around November time, not necessarily weather (anything under 20C is cold for me anyway), but feel and atmosphere around the time. Also what is not 'worth' visiting- ie don't know much about Switzerland and Austria, and whether I should just pick one to spend time. Sorry for the ambiguous and seemingly non-researched help request- I'm unfamiliar with the not immediately obvious tourist places.
Jul 3, 2012 10:27 PM
1Unless you want to "do" Rome or Milan, I'd take that hire car at the beginning and dehire in Genoa, then take a train to Marseille and hire a new one (justification being that hire cars are great until you try to dehire them in a different country, then it costs an arm and a leg).
That day trip to Les Mis will be damn expensive; it's 100 euros if you book as early as humanly possible (Tickets for 1st Nov went on sale today) for the 2 of you for Eurostar, assuming you don't get cheap tickets from the official reseller http://www.tkts.co.uk it's £65 a throw for the show. I've ignored dinner and hotel, cos you'd have to do dinner and hotel no matter where you were. I'm not judging you at all, just pointing out that that's a pricy tradition.
Moving on, Brussels is good for a day, as is Bruges, consider Ghent also if you have sufficient time. Cologne is also good for a day - it's particularly well known for its Christmas Markets which start 26th - 30th Nov (depending on which market it is). Consider Bonn if you like Beethoven, if not skip. Trier, Koblenz and Mainz have particularly large Christmas Markets.
The Alps (Switzerland and Austria) can provide snow, but you'd have to gain altitude, and Basel's not that high. Park yourself instead in one of the villages near Interlaken (don't do Interlaken itself, it's a convenient transport hub but not that pretty). Options include Grindewald, Lauterbrunnen, Gimmelwald, Murren. Nearby activities include the Trummelbach falls, Schilthorn, Jungfraujoch. Trust me, in that area you'll have as much snow as you could possibly want, especially the later in November you arrive. It will however be bastard cold, but gloves and hats can easily be procured anywhere. Refer to http://www.myswitzerland.com for more info.
Nothing you've listed so far is worth skipping apart from possibly Milan or Marseille. Neither would be on my OMG-Once-in-a-lifetime-awesome-honeymoon-epic trip :)
See http://www.bahn.co.uk for a Europe wide train timetable, and http://www.seat61.com for info re trains. Avoid any websites called rail europe (or who link to rail europe) - it's just a middle man taking a profit cut.
Jul 3, 2012 11:35 PM
Thanks for your reply Fwoggie, really appreciate it.
We agree about Les Mis, not only expensive but time consuming- we have decided to put that aside and if an extra day in Paris arises we can consider it again. Milan and Marseilles weren't really for visiting, just to get on (Milan) and off (Marseilles) a plane or train, then move on to Provence.
I was allocating a couple of nights each for Brussels and Bruges, it sounds like I can cut that down to say saying two nights in Brussels and do a day trip out to Bruges? (don't really want to be living out of a suitcase too much, I have a tendency to over-mobilise during our holidays).
From your reply I'm guessing that Tuscany in November isn't a bad idea. Between the other options- Provence, Burgundy/Dijon, Loire Valley, border area like Strasbourg- is there an obvious choice or is it coming down to our personal preference? Would probably drop Loire Valley simply from a location point of view.
Thanks for the suggestion of places near Interlaken- we Google Imaged Lucerne and it looks amazing, so we'll check out the towns you named as well.
I also forgot to mention Innsbruck which, again, I've read is really nice. I guess we could track across from Switzerland to Innsbruck then Salzburg and possibly Vienna, but that feels too much.
Feel like things are already coming together a little bit, thanks for your time.
Jul 4, 2012 12:13 AM
3I have to be honest, I've never done Tuscany (at any time of the year) - I picked Genoa cos it's close to the French border and I know there's trains to Marseilles - was purely for car dehiring purposes. Someone else will have to field Tuscany in more depth, it's not my speciality.
You could easily use Brussels as a base for visiting Bruges, that's quite common for tourists.
As for Provence, Burgundy/Dijon, Loire Valley, border area like Strasbourg - all are quite nice. The Loire valley would be the most time consuming to get to - it doesn't naturally "fit" into the rest of your itinerary. Provence and Burgundy/Dijon on the other hand, do, because they're en route between Tuscany and Paris. Strasbourg is a minor detour (as the trains run, not as the crow flies) between Cologne and Switzerland.
Munich would require a couple of days - the technical museum is an all dayer, ditto a day trip to Dachau concentration camp or Neuschwanstein castle + the city itself is nice (if a bit more expensive than other parts of Germany).
Copenhagen's a rather random exit point back home given the rest of your itinerary. :)
Jul 4, 2012 12:47 AM
Copenhagen's a rather random exit point back home given the rest of your itinerary. :)
Ha, yes should have explained that. It is a lower-points tier for Singapore Airlines to Australia- which includes Copenhagen, Rome, Amsterdam and Athens (till October). I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel with points to have the outward (to Maldives) and return (from Europe) flights covered completely.
Rome and Amsterdam were already on waitlist months ago, I did have an Athens flight ticketed but we got a couple of extra weeks leave and Athens isn't direct to Singapore now anyway so I cancelled that and figured it safer to just get the CPH flights ticketed.
I agree with Loire Valley being a bit out, another option that seems reasonable on the map is dropping Belgium and Cologne altogether, going from Provence to Dijon, cut across to Paris, back across to Reims and towards Strasbourg, then down to Switzerland- across to Austria jumping up to spend a few days in Munich and fly out to Copenhagen. But that does miss out all the German Christmas markets that we were looking forward to.
Jul 4, 2012 3:54 AM
5The Christmas markets in Munich starts the 24-11-2012 just for your information.
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