Solid Recommendations Needed for France-Italy-Greece
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Sep 9, 2012 8:43 PM Last Post By: carling_reid
Aug 30, 2012 8:20 PM
Firstly, some background: I’m based in Australia and I have always had the travel bug. With our house now selling and ducks lining up, it’s becoming more of a reality to go on a solid trip overseas so thought I’d join LP and get some advice! My husband and I are restless at work and considering taking the plunge and doing a good 6 month trip from April/May – September/October.
We don’t want it to be a whirlwind in the sense of constantly moving every couple of nights and everything crammed in to a few days... we’d rather find a location to position ourselves in and then day trip from there. The minimum amount of time we’d like to stay in any one place is 1 week (e.g. we’d like to spend a month in Italy, so are open to finding 3-4 lots of accommodation for a week or so each).
My question is, does anyone have good recommendations as to affordable accommodation for specific locations or suggestions for reliable websites for house-sitting? I’m after specific names of hotels/B&B’s/etc (3 star or above) that come highly recommended and also tried-and-tested house-sitting websites. We’re not keen to do the backpacking thing, just not the kind of holiday we’re after. Budget-wise is hard to say, and I realise it changes depending on which country, but I’m guessing we could manage around $100AU = 82euro/night or $700AUD = 575 euro/week maximum. Of course if a place is incredible we would be willing to pay a little more and then balance it out elsewhere to keep within budget.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Greece – April
(Zakinthos, Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, Rhodes, Kythira, Ios)
Italy – April/May
(Dolomites, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terra, Florence, Tuscany, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Portifino, Positano, Sorrento, Capri, Wine Regions)
France – May/June
(Paris, Marseille, St Tropez, Cannes, French Riviera, Wine Regions)
England – June/July
(London & surrounds, also have family in Leeds)
Ireland – July
(Dublin & surrounds – open to suggestions)
Scotland – August
(Edinburgh, Glasgow, Highlands – looking at doing a rail journey from Edinburgh to Inverness)
Canada – August
(Location TBC, joining friends in a motorhome trip)
Texas – September
(Negotiable destination – depends if friends move there)
Indonesia – September
(Bali stint on the way home)
Aug 30, 2012 9:39 PM
1Have you read this: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2153476 ??
I'll restrict my comments to Western Europe.
You plan two weeks for Greece and plan to see 7 islands, which means two days per island, including travelling between the islands. How do you visualize this?
There is a similar situation for Italy, 14 towns and regions in 1 month. I feel that you should make a list for each town/city/region in your tentative schedule, why you want to go there and what you plan to see. If you just mention a place because someone else told you to go there, then skip it. A region like Tuscany has enough things to see and do for a month.
For France and Italy you mention wineregions. Do you realise that in these countries basically every region is a wine-region, some what better known outside of the country itself, but almost everywhere you can drink a nice local wine.
In this forum it is generally assumed that you need approximately 50 euros/person/day for lodging, food, maybe one beer and one entrance to a museum or similar. It does NOT include transportation between the different towns/cities. If the amount of appr. 80 euro/day you mention is for two persons, than you do not have enough money for western europe. Maybe you can save some money in other parts of the world, but forget about western europe. If the amount is meant to be per person, then still you have to be very carefull. Realize that traveling is expensive. To economise you should travel less and spend more time in fewer locations. A city like Rome for example has enough to keep you occupied for a week.
Aug 31, 2012 12:02 AM
2To repeat Liberat -- read the thread he linked to first. Then, in choosing places think about why you want to go there and what you plan to see.
Looking at your suggestion for a month in France -- other than Paris, the rest is close together and I really wonder why on earth you would choose to stay in St Tropez/Cannes with your kind of budget. Marseille is a big city and not one of the nicest in France.
And indeed, "wine regions" doesn't mean anything, unless you plan to rent a car and drive around looking at vineyards, but given the time of year you plan to be in Italy and France, I don't see the point. Any restaurant or supermarket you go to will provide decent local wines, wherever you are (well, not northern France but it isn't on your list anyway).
Aug 31, 2012 12:23 AM
That you are looking for house-sitting options does imply that the financing is an issue. Again, in spite of the plan the itinerary doesn't look like one where you're staying anywhere very long. People more often look for house-sitters for weeks or a month, not for a few days to a couple passing through.
Aug 31, 2012 12:33 AM
4Interesting to read your background - what do you think if you read some guide books first or search information via Internet - Wikipedia for example?
About France: Paris, Marseille, St Tropez, Cannes, French Riviera, Wine Regions:
Forget Marseille. This city and region is nearly each day in the news as the crime - 19 people killed on the streets this year - get higher and higher. We are not talking about accidents in the traffic.
St. Tropez, Cannes = both are on the French Rivera and if you come in May your little budget for this region gives you maybe just a place on a camping in the backland. If you look today in booking.com the prices about 3* hotels ?
And "wine regions" as said before means nothing. 80% of the country is full with from the north-east to the west and south.
Aug 31, 2012 1:54 AM
Aug 31, 2012 9:41 AM
6Consider renting rooms or apartments with a site like Airbnb. They are often affordable, quieter than hostels, plus you can save money by cooking your own meals.
Also, skip Texas. It's so far out of your way and it's really not that nice a place.
Aug 31, 2012 4:55 PM
Sep 9, 2012 8:43 PM
8Thank you all for your comments...
Apologies for the confusion as I mustn't have made it clear... the places listed next to each country are just shortlisted options - we certainly don't intend to go to all of them! They are a mixture of places we've either wanted to go or good recommendations from friends who have been.
For the countries where we'd like to stay a month, we'll look at picking maybe 2-3 locations out of the shortlist options and then staying there for a week or so each. We can then look at doing day trips around that location (perhaps a zone of up to a 3hr drive radius).
When I say wine regions, it's intended to be broad because we are open to suggestions. We'd like to stay for a week at a vineyard for instance... but would appreciate solid recommendations as to which ones are nice or close to other places for a drive etc.
Our budget of 80 euro/night is solely for accommodation - this doesn't include anything else. If we can sort our accommodation out then we'll be fine from there in respect to budgeting for food, drink, entry fees, transport, hire etc. We just know that you can easily blow out your overall budget simply by booking accommodation that is too expensive.
With this further information in mind, if anyone has any other suggestions or recommendations I'd love to hear them!
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$171.47 per night