I've started planning for a trip to Europe this fall, and as always at the beginning of the planning process, I'm overwhelmed by the possibilities. I'm tempted to return to Spain and Portugal because I loved our last trip so much, but I'm also drawn to the idea of going somewhere brand new. Here are a few of the options I'm considering:
Paris is the only definite on my list right now. Although I've been before, it was only for a day or two and at the tail end of a long trip, so T. and I were both worn out. I want to give the city the time and attention it deserves, and stay for at least four or five days. I've even found an Airbnb in Montmarte with a view of the Eiffel Tower for under $100! Who says Paris is expensive?
Brussels is just a two-hour train ride from Paris, which makes it perfect for a beer- and chocolate-fueled day trip. But the more I read about Belgium—including places like Brugge, Ghent, and the Foret des Soignes—the more I think the country might deserve a trip in itself.
After a few days of city living, I think we'd be ready for the slower pace of Provence. Avignon is a three-hour ride to Paris via high-speed rail, and from there we could rent a car and village-hop. There's so much to see in Provence, I don't know where to begin planning. First off, we'll need a place to stay—recommendations are welcome.
Now comes the hard part: Deciding what comes after France. I've always wanted to go to Venice, but the more I read about it, the more it sounds like it's been overrun by cruise ship tourists and souvenir shops. Is it worth it?
A more low-key option may be the Italian Riviera, including Portofino. I'd also love to return to Cinque Terre.
On the other hand, Croatia seems magical (and cheap)...
...and Prague has been on my list for years.
Then again I just can't shake the idea of returning to Portugal.
I'm thinking we might need more than two weeks for this trip.