We’re excited to announce our travel plans for the rest of 2016!
Our Big Interrail Adventure
Travelling by train is our favourite way to experience Europe. We first travelled with an Interrail pass when we were 19 and it got us hooked on travel. Our second trip a few years ago when we travelled from London to Sicily by train was just as incredible. This September we’ll be travelling with an Interrail Global Pass again (kindly provided by Interrail.eu), which allows us to hop on almost any train in 30 countries for a month.
While it’s tempting to zoom all over Europe like we did on our first trip (10 countries in 30 days!), we travel more slowly these days so are limiting ourselves to France, Switzerland, Italy (our major focus) and Spain. Here’s our rough itinerary. Please let us know your suggestions for places to visit along this route.
We are currently visiting family and friends in England, and on Sunday we’ll start our rail adventure with the short Eurostar train trip from London to Paris (the only way to travel this route in our opinion).
We’ll take the Eurostar right to Disneyland Paris, which is about 40 minutes outside the city. Simon is a huge Disney fan and although we’ve visited the parks in Florida, California, and Japan, this will be our first trip to the Paris version. We’ll be attempting to visit both parks (Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios) in a 13-hour (!) day and will be creating an itinerary for adults.
After a couple of nights near Disney, we’ll move into the city for a week staying in an Airbnb apartment in the 11th arrondissement. We plan to eat lots of croissants, baguettes, and cheese, and work it off with long walks and runs around the city. Hopefully we’ll fit in a few art museums too.
Photo by Fonzi D on Flickr.
Colmar is a ridiculously pretty looking town in the Alsace region on the French/German border. I saw a photo last year and added it to my ever-increasing list of places to visit.
We’ve never visited Switzerland before so we decided to stop at Lake Lucerne. Only for one night though, as it’s crazy expensive.
Lake Como, Italy
Photo by Davharuk on Flickr.
Despite visiting Italy ten times, we’ve never made it to the lakes. We’ll be based in the pretty town of Varenna on Lake Como and are looking forward to ferry hopping, hiking, and of course, eating.
Piemonte is another region of Italy that we’ve never visited. A reader recommended the Langhe wine region around Alba to us many years ago and we’re finally making it there. It sounds a bit like Tuscany without the crowds.
We’ll start with a few nights in Turin and may rent a car to make it easier to explore the countryside. Ideally we’ll stay in an agriturismo (farm accommodation) as there’s nothing like a home-cooked, straight-from-the-farm meal in Italy.
Photo by Luca Boldrini on Flickr.
We’ll base ourselves on the Ligurian coast for a week—Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure, and Rapallo are all options. It’s easy to explore the coast by train, so we’ll continue to make use of our train passes. We’ve been to Cinque Terre before, so we’ll be looking for less busy hikes. Eating pesto in its homeland Genoa is high on our list.
I’d also like to visit Finale Ligure on the less-visited Riviera di Ponente as we make our way up to France.
Aix en Provence, France
We have a long trip from Italy to Spain through the south of France, and Aix en Provence seems like a good place to break up the journey. Unless you have any other suggestions?
We visited Barcelona earlier in the year, so we’ll push on into Spain and stop in Madrid instead, which we’ve never visited. We’re hoping it’s as vegetarian-friendly as Barcelona was—any restaurant recommendations?
Our final stop will be the little village of Lubrin in Andalucia, where we spent a couple of months housesitting earlier in the year. We have another housesit there, so it’ll be a good place to stop for a few months and focus on work, health (after all that pasta), and saving money for our next exciting adventure.
Winter in Europe!
We usually follow the sun around the world, so we’re a little concerned about our decision to stay in Europe until the New Year. We get cold in England in the summer after all!
Still, we are looking forward to a week snowboarding in Tignes in the French Alps in mid-December and then spending Christmas with family in England. It will be our first Christmas back in seven years and we want an ultra-Christmassy Christmas to make up for the many years of totally unfestive days in the tropics.
South Africa in 2017
We won’t hang around in the cold for too long though. In early January we are planning to go to South Africa! We are so so excited for our first visit to Africa.
Our rough plan is to spend a month road tripping from Johannesburg to Cape Town via Kruger National Park, the Wild Coast, and the Garden Route, and then settle in Cape Town for two months. After that Namibia, Tanzania and Rwanda (gorillas!!) are top of our list.
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