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Harrington, Delaware

Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Greece, Turkey

Planing our route: Must-see spots while backpacking Europe for 3 months

We're not big city people, we love the beach and laid back atmospheres. We'll be in Europe (Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Greece, Turkey) from April-July and are looking to stay in hostels, have a lot of adventures, and a really good time. 

8 Answers

top answer by
Melissa from Switzerland

Concerning Switzerland, you should skip Geneva if you don't like big cities and visit for a few days Lausanne which is smaller and nicer. In summer you can walk by the lake and the vineyard which is really nice. You can also go to Valais which is in the mountains. It is really a traditional region with a lot of nature. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lausanne (city)
  2. Valais (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Christene from Kansas City (Missouri)

You absolutely need to hit Cinque Terre and the 5 little towns it encompasses. 8 miles of hiking trails between them (and trains if you want).  Beaches, hiking, Ligurian wine and food, great can't be beat! In Switzerland, go to the Interlakenarea, take a short train to Lauterbrunnen, a Cable Car to Grütschalpand then either hike/train to Murren...followed by a short, paved walk into a little mountain top Oasis called Gimmelwald, Switzerland. The Mountain Hostel is great, and there is nothing but peace, waterfalls, hiking, and cows with bells that look like they came out of a Heidi set. With Germany, I adored Rothenburg. It is a perfectly preserved small town from the 13th Century. Tons to see and do (including a Medieval Crime and punishment museum!) Also in Germany, take a boat up the Rhine to castle gaze starting in Mainz (lovely town) and ending in Koblenz, making sure to stop in little towns like Bacharachand Sankt Goar to hike through castle ruins, drink wine, and eat some wursts! Rick Steve's has a lovely guide to all the castles you will see along the way(tons!!!). Let me know what you think of Croatia. That is where we are thinking about doing our Honeymoon. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cinque Terre (region)
  2. Interlaken (city)
  3. Lauterbrunnen (attraction)
  4. Grütschalp (attraction)
  5. Rothenburg (attraction)
  6. Mainz (attraction)
  7. Koblenz (attraction)
  8. Bacharach (city)
  9. Sankt Goar (attraction)
4 thanks

answered by
Ernst from Long Island (New York)

Croatia is awesome.  I could have easily spent a lot more time there. My time was limited to only 9 days.  Highlights for me were Plitvice Lakes National Park, Rovinj, and Dubrovnik. If you are going as far as Dubrovnik, I would highly recommend at least day trips from there to Mostar, Perast and Kotor.

Plitvice Lakes National Park:



Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Perast in Montenegro:

Kotor in Montenegro:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Plitvice Lakes National Park (park)
  2. Rovinj (attraction)
  3. Dubrovnik (city)
  4. Mostar (city)
  5. Perast (attraction)
  6. Kotor (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Staci from Cleveland

 If you like beaches I suggest you visit Lipari. It's a small island and is not as crowded as Capri, even though I recommend going there too. When I visited Italy, the path I took was:

1. Palermo

2. Lipari

3. Naples

4. Capri

5. Amalfi

6. Positano

7. Ravello (the entire Amalfi Coast is my favorite!)

8. Rome

9. Radda in Chianti

10. Florence

11. Venice

12. Milan

You really can't go wrong. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Lipari (city)
  2. Capri (city)
  3. Palermo (city)
  4. Naples (attraction)
  5. Amalfi (city)
  6. Positano (attraction)
  7. Ravello (city)
  8. Rome (city)
  9. Radda in Chianti (city)
  10. Florence (city)
  11. Venice (city)
  12. Milan (city)
1 thanks

answered by
Ashley from Calgary

Croatia is fantastic for a laid back feeling, so lovely there the whole country only has 4.5 million people. Dubrovnik can get busy with cruise ship tourists but they leave, and the city only has a population of under 50,000 people so it's quite small. Zagreb also only has around 700,000 people so it's not overly large by American standards. Croatia is great... 

For a more laid back and beachy atmosphere in Italy you could check out Sardinia and Sicily, much smaller, less hectic and definitely more of the "island life".  Haven't been to Greece but I'd assume the smaller islands would also be similar in feel and beauty. Croatia also has some great islands you can take boat tours of, just like the Greek tours you often see advertised. 

German small towns are awesome too, although we never stayed in any overnight we stopped by a few and they were all lovely. Although Nuremberg is a "city" the old town is quite small and also quaint, I'd suggest it is a must see -- we really enjoyed staying there. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Dubrovnik (city)
  2. Zagreb (city)
  3. Sardinia (attraction)
  4. Sicily (island)
  5. Nuremberg (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Antica from Zagreb

Croatia is small but beautiful. You must visit Zagreb the capital. You love seaside and there is great coastline in Croatia; from Northern part Istrawhich can be reached from Trieste (Italy) till Dubrovnik which is very south.

In between there are interesting and nice towns Split, Trogir etc.

Islands are more quiet.

It is easy to travel by local buses and ferries. There are various accomodations from hotels to tooms in private homes.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Zagreb (city)
  2. Istra (region)
  3. Dubrovnik (city)
  4. Split (city)
  5. Trogir (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Skeeter from The Oregon Coast

I have to agree about Cinque Terre. It was by far my favorite place in Italy. It's beyond gorgeous, it's laid back and so lovely. We found lots of great low cost places to stay on airbnb. The hike is great and the train there is easy to use between towns.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cinque Terre (region)
1 thanks

answered first by
Kate from London

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Agriturismo Il Chiostrino (restaurant)
  2. Gardone Riviera (city)
  3. Hotel Meandro Gargnano (restaurant)
  4. Gargnano (city)
1 thanks

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