Travelling Europe

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photekq
Cherry Picker

23 Jul 2015, 07:06

Hi there! This being the most European forum I've ever visited, I thought it would make sense to ask here.. :mrgreen:

I'm fed up of being lazy, sat at the computer all day. So are two of my friends. We figured we should try to see a little more of the world than just rainy Wales (especially me, since I've never left the UK). So, we've decided to plan a trip around September. Being teenagers our budgets are limited, but that shouldn't be a problem since economy plane tickets are around £20 to many European countries. Ideally we'd like to spend a large amount of time outside of cities - walking, cycling, hiking, etc. So we'd like to visit a country that has great natural beauty. Of course, beautiful and interesting cities is a bonus too.

Picking a country is proving to be quite hard. Austria, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, more. They all look so lovely (and I'm sure they are - we would without a doubt have a great time regardless of which one we picked). In the past week we've been unable to narrow our choices down even slightly! Hence this post.. ;)

Do any of you have any opinions on these countries, or perhaps another European country not listed that could be suitable?

If you were going on holiday with the outdoors in mind which country would you go to?

Do any of you have any 'must visit' places in any of these countries? Perhaps you live there, or perhaps you visit regularly and there's one place you must go to every time..

Any help, advice, thoughts would be much appreciated! Help us narrow things down! :mrgreen:

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Muirium
µ

23 Jul 2015, 11:31

Italy. It's magnificent, outdoors and in. Reasonably cheap too, especially compared to the delightfully oddball idea of Iceland! Everywhere in Europe has its charms, you're right about that. Italy just happens to have the full set. Immense natural beauty. Perfect weather. Great people. And unparalleled history. Just follow your nose and you're deep in the Renaissance or the Roman empire, not least if you go to the capital itself! Italy was my first escape from these isles, and I'm glad it was.

Some pretty good DT members there, too.

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Madhias
BS TORPE

23 Jul 2015, 11:34

I can recommend going to the Alps, and not only to one country or country related. Südtirol is nice, and the area around the Gardasee, for example. You can't easily camp where you want though, it is not like being in Scotland or an US national park. You could also go up to Austria, or to the Dolomiten, or a bit west to France. Or you go to the south, to the Toscana and the sea there. matt3o must know more about this region, I really like it and in September we are going there again.

Image

Iceland is kind of another league, I never was there but want to go sometimes. Must be summer though. But for outdoors it is great, a friend of mine made nice pictures there, have a look: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ungutknut ... 1835099858

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Madhias
BS TORPE

23 Jul 2015, 11:35

Ha, Muirium and me at almost the same time recommending Italy!

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002
Topre Enthusiast

23 Jul 2015, 11:36

My boss is over in Iceland right now. Seems to be a popular place for photographers to visit. He's posting a steady stream of pics and videos to Facebook and it looks awesome. Some places seem like they could be the surface of another planet :)
Some local (well, German but lived there a long time) told him they are having one of their coldest summers right now too.

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Muirium
µ

23 Jul 2015, 11:54

Iceland: most expensive beer in Europe. Scots don't often go! We head south whenever given the chance.

As a Cherry picker, I'm sure the draw of the Fatherland is strong. Beware! Although wonderfully taciturn and understanding people, most Germans do not speak Cherry article numbers. They do laugh pretty quickly whenever I try to speak their language though! It's because I make wild mistakes with such confidence, and oblivion.

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seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

23 Jul 2015, 12:04

Muirium wrote: As a Cherry picker, I'm sure the draw of the Fatherland is strong. Beware! Although wonderfully taciturn and understanding people, most Germans do not speak Cherry article numbers. They do laugh pretty quickly whenever I try to speak their language though! It's because I make wild mistakes with such confidence, and oblivion.
Yes Mu's German is good fun, BUT photekq in your case I would keep away from Germany altogether because it will totally ruin your entire trip when you fall into that Dyesub detective mode and cannot stop searching and scavenging all of Germany instead of enjoying the traveling. ;)

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Khers

23 Jul 2015, 12:18

I'm going to Iceland in September on a work trip. Never been there, but it does look like a beautiful place. Of the countries I have visited, I'd recommend Italy or Norway. The fjords in Norway are really spectacular, and the fishing is really good in the northern parts, but Norway is ridiculously expensive. Italy is cheaper and warmer and very pretty.

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derzemel

23 Jul 2015, 13:04

well... why don't you come to Romania and visit Transilvania? don't worry, were not going to suck your blood, only your wallets :P

Joking aside, if you take a flight to Bucharest. You can then take a train (7Eur) 2.5 hours to the city of Brasov and from there you have the whole Transilvania and the Carpathian Mountains to go wild.
Prices are fairly low. Depending on the pub, you can find beers starting from 1Eur. Or, if you are on a tight budget, get in a supermarket and find beer starting at 50-60 Eurocents. Food is also fairly cheaper than in western Europe. If you have smokers in your group, a pack of cigarettes is 3.40Eur.
In the cities, almost all of the young people speak English, so you won't have any major issues asking for directions.

If you want, I can give you more details and even put together a route for you.

If Romania, looks too "exotic", then Italy can be a great choice, as people have suggested above

But you can also try the most beautiful country I have been to in Europe, Montenegro :P
Last edited by derzemel on 23 Jul 2015, 15:50, edited 3 times in total.

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Muirium
µ

23 Jul 2015, 13:10

Yeah, Eastern Europe has a lot going for it too. The Balkans are so pretty in places that they might as well be straight out of a fantasy world, especially coastal Croatia, Dalmatia and Montenegro.

Um, not that I've actually been. I'm a geography nerd!
Khers wrote: but Norway is ridiculously expensive. Italy is cheaper and warmer and very pretty.
Ouch. When a fellow Scandinavian calls Norway expensive, you know it must be true!

Something that might be nice for a small group who want to be outdoors getting exercise: an island. And I don't mean Iceland! Crete is stunning. I've never been there, but I really must see it sometime as I'm intrigued by the ancient Minoans who had the first civilisation in Europe with writing. Lots of treasures there, in an intensely Mediterranean environment. And a little easier to bike around than the Alps!

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Halvar

23 Jul 2015, 13:18

Italy is something I would recommend, too. I also love Barcelona and its surroundings, and you can have a great outdoors time in the Pyrenees and from there along the French southern coast.

If you're going in July or August, it might be better to stay away from the very south of Italy or Spain, it's just too hot to be active outside the whole day for a relative northerner.

idollar
i$

23 Jul 2015, 13:30

I would not recommend a place, instead, and based on experience, I would send a single comment: do not try to tick places in a map. Instead, enjoy the time and mix with the people.

OK, I cannot resist: one cannot die without having seen the Alps. Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France ... any part will do. Put your trekking shoes on and forget about everything, while you see incredible landscapes that you can reach with little difficulty.

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Muirium
µ

23 Jul 2015, 13:35

Yup, slow is good. Chasing around whole countries (spending a lot of time on trains) is no fun. The ideal thing is to find a great base (a hotel or even a cabin or something that someone trustworthy recommends you) and explore from there. I spent a couple of weeks in Naples, which was great fun. And my goodness do southern Italian ladies know how to wind up a Scotsman!

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Halvar

23 Jul 2015, 14:23

Muirium wrote: Something that might be nice for a small group who want to be outdoors getting exercise: an island. And I don't mean Iceland! Crete is stunning. I've never been there, but I really must see it sometime as I'm intrigued by the ancient Minoans who had the first civilisation in Europe with writing. Lots of treasures there, in an intensely Mediterranean environment. And a little easier to bike around than the Alps!
Oh yes, Corsica is nice for that, too. You can camp behind the beach, rent a bike and ride around in the mountains.

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Khers

23 Jul 2015, 14:41

Muirium wrote:
Khers wrote: but Norway is ridiculously expensive. Italy is cheaper and warmer and very pretty.
Ouch. When a fellow Scandinavian calls Norway expensive, you know it must be true!
Unfortunately Norway is that expensive. After all, many Norwegians go to Sweden to do their cheap shopping and most of Europe would probably not call Sweden cheap.

Finding oil and all of that.

Could be well worth a visit though! But southern Europe is probably a safer bet :)

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Halvar

23 Jul 2015, 14:54

Oh, and keep out of Switzerland by all means if you're on a budget. It has become ridiculously expensive lately because of the Swiss Franc.

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Muirium
µ

23 Jul 2015, 14:57

Francs, Kroner, Pounds… avoid!

IvanIvanovich

23 Jul 2015, 15:41

From what you are saying are your activity goals... I would also second Romania. It really is a beautiful country and lots of things are quite a lot cheaper than many of the other options mentioned so far.
Some other nice options for you may be the Tatras region around the Polish/Slovakian border. The area around Kielce Poland is also nice. Poland still generally offers a pretty good cost advantage as well in comparison.

Findecanor

23 Jul 2015, 20:31

I am too going on a trip around central Europe this September. Right now, I'm planning to visit Berlin, Regensburg, Innsbruck, Florence, Rome, Venice, Vienna and Prague, but only about a day in each city.
Khers wrote: Unfortunately Norway is that expensive. After all, many Norwegians go to Sweden to do their cheap shopping and most of Europe would probably not call Sweden cheap.
I was just about to post that. Us Swedes do our cheap shopping in Denmark ...
Most cities in Norway are either around Oslo or along the coast. You get around by plane or boat. The inland is too rocky, and the few slow trains there are take a long time because of the winding tracks. When I visited Norway a few years ago it took me as long time to get from Stockholm to Oslo as from Oslo up into the mountains in the middle of Norway. Sweden is much flatter, with mountains mostly in the northwest --- near the Norwegian border.

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Halvar

23 Jul 2015, 21:25

Findecanor wrote: I was just about to post that. Us Swedes do our cheap shopping in Denmark ...
And the Danes from Jütland come over the border to Flensburg, and those from Langeland take the ferry to Kiel... :D

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photekq
Cherry Picker

24 Jul 2015, 06:15

Italy was on my list somewhere near the top. Unfortunately, one of the other two has been there multiple times and would prefer to not go again :( Germany is a country I would love to visit, and not just because of the Cherries, but it's off the list for the same reason also. I'll have to go on my own in the future.

Romania, Montenegro, Croatia, Dalmatia.. Those are some interesting suggestions I hadn't considered. I shall have to look into those a little bit!
Halvar wrote: Oh, and keep out of Switzerland by all means if you're on a budget. It has become ridiculously expensive lately because of the Swiss Franc.
We came to this realisation earlier today :lol: Norway also seems a tad expensive but not unmanageable.

Thank you all for your responses. They've been helpful!

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Madhias
BS TORPE

24 Jul 2015, 08:35

photekq wrote: Romania, Montenegro, Croatia, Dalmatia.. Those are some interesting suggestions I hadn't considered. I shall have to look into those a little bit!
Going east is quite interesting and sometimes truly adventurous! You can't compare it to Italy or the western Europe regarding traveling I think. I remember staying at a Hotel in the middle of nowhere in Bulgaria with being the only ones there waiting for a tire to be repaired.

Croatia and the islands of Dalmatia are very nice, we go there almost once a year, since it is only 5-7h drive straight to the blue Adria from where I live. Eating grilled food like Ćevapčići, drinking beer, great!

pcaro

24 Jul 2015, 11:20

Hey. Spain is wonderful for tourism! The third more visited country for good reasons.

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webwit
Wild Duck

24 Jul 2015, 12:15

Currently on an Atlantic coast trip, very nice.

If you're going in September I'd stick south of the Alps. If you do Scandinavia, there's a higher chance of ending up with rain and autumn creeping up. While in Italy for example, there's a higher chance of great weather without the heat of the height of summer. A great time for the Mediterranean, as all the kids and their families will be back to school and work.

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Muirium
µ

24 Jul 2015, 15:11

Atlantic coast is nice. If you're bored of sunny Wales, you could always give Scotland a try. Our birds are brawny and our juice is full of lead. You want a fight?

More appealing: Portugal is great. Lisbon is a marvellous town. But there's so many DTers there now you could wind up in a dyesub vortex! And I don't mean made in China.

Ngt

24 Jul 2015, 21:49

As many already stated the Alps are really nice especially for hiking and out doors sports. France is a really good country for that. I think it has the biggest part of the Alpes but I'm not sure about it.

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scottc

24 Jul 2015, 22:59

I like the Alps a lot, they're a lot smoother and more tactile than the more popular Cherries.

<ba dum tsch>

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Muirium
µ

24 Jul 2015, 23:02

Gotta be the Complicated Alps, mind. The Simplified ones are rubbish.

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Redmaus
Gotta start somewhere

24 Jul 2015, 23:04

Muirium wrote: Gotta be the Complicated Alps, mind. The Simplified ones are rubbish.
Really? I never tried simplified. Are they that bad?

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Muirium
µ

24 Jul 2015, 23:09

Depends just how off piste you're likely to go.

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