VacationFilter: Europe; Two Weeks; Pregnant
August 22, 2018 12:35 AM   Subscribe

We want to go on a two-week Europe vacation in the second half of September. We're a couple, ~30 years old, one of whom will be 30 weeks pregnant. Wanted Northern Italy but there are basically zero flights left. Suggestions for similarly laid-back, quaint itineraries on a medium budget?

We're based in Tel Aviv, so anything up to about 4 hrs flight is fine by us, which makes pretty much all of Europe accessible. We both drive, so we're cool with itineraries that include a bit of a road trip, although we wouldn't want to be driving for more than 1-2 hours in any given day (re:pregnant lady). Neither of us has seen too much of Europe; she's been to Paris, we've both been to Berlin and Barcelona.
Southern France? Austria + Hungary? Portugal + Spain? Other options?

Your advice as well as personal anecdotes are appreciated!
posted by alon to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Would you be open to longer train times than driving times? It looks like there are direct air tickets from Tel Aviv into Rome still available and once there it would be pretty easy to get around Italy and up to Northern Italy if that is till of interest. Its about 4.5 hours to Venice 4 hrs Rome to Milan to give you an idea of journey time, but there are plenty of places between Rome and the North to stop off (eg Florence, Siena, Bologna). Rome itself is worth seeing but may be more touristy than you are looking for, the same goes for Florence. Bologna is much less touristy and worth visiting for a few days, especially if you are into food. Venice is also touristy but worthwhile and once there you can be in the mountains in about 45 minutes drive.
posted by biffa at 2:11 AM on August 22, 2018

Fly to Rome, train to Napoli, hire a car and see the Amalfi coast sounds like it might fit the parameters?
posted by quacks like a duck at 2:49 AM on August 22, 2018

Have you looked into flying into Munich or Innsbruck and the either taking a train or driving to Nothern Italy? If you want to go to Meran or Bozen(Bolzano) Innsbruck and also Munich are not far, either by car or train.
posted by 15L06 at 3:09 AM on August 22, 2018

Not sure if this is what you're looking for but Kayak (the app, and probably the website?) lets you input target dates for the Explore feature, as well as price and flight-length filters, so you can basically look on a map and see what appeals to you given the options it finds.
posted by trig at 4:11 AM on August 22, 2018

Rome is my favorite city, and the surroundings are great, too. Lot's to explore, and it's already been there for 2000+ years, so it's going to be fine if you don't see everything. It'll be there next time.

Another suggestion is to go to Lisbon, but include a trip to Porto by train. I haven't been for ages, but many friends and family have been there recently and they all highly recommend it. Actually, you don't strictly need to include the trip north, there are lots of really great excursions from Lisbon itself.
posted by mumimor at 7:14 AM on August 22, 2018

Porto is suuper hilly (you'll be pretty much hiking up stairs) and Lisbon is also hilly. Also the cobble stone streets are a bit harder on the feet and makes it even harder when pregnant. Portugal is gorgeous but maybe best for when your kids are older. Also it would be a shame to miss out on the port wine and jamon (though I'm not sure if you eat that since you're in Israel?) while there because of the pregnancy.

What about Croatia? It's gorgeous and cheap. Center of Dubrovnik can be very busy and not as relaxing, but it still has its tranquil moments, and other cities are very chill, gorgeous, cheap, with lots of good food and things to see. Zagreb, Pula, Split, all worth a visit. On that same note, Slovenia: Ljubljana is beautiful, good mix of modern and historical, relaxing, with great restaurants and cafes.
posted by at 7:37 AM on August 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

What sort of things do you like to do? Are you more interested in great local food, scenery, shopping, big cities, small towns, etc?

I’m 23 weeks pregnant and traveling in the Greek islands right now. I am finding Zakynthos a bit too touristy but Kefalonia next door is nice, and I loved Folegandros when we were there - but of course being from Tel Aviv maybe beach is not what you want! Crete and the Peloponnese are also lovely.

For a bigger change of pace you might enjoy a Vienna/Prague trip, with some train travel between? Vienna has amazing art museums, killer cake, and some interesting concerts, enough for 3-4 days of stuff to do, and Prague has incredible history, beautiful to walk around in, lovely countryside surrounding as well. (Would be a shame about the beer but when you’re pregnant there’s always something.) Both relatively flat as I recall, or at least easy to avoid hills.

You might know this already, but be sure to check the policies on pregnancy for any airline you book, as many have cut-off dates as early as 26 weeks pregnant. At the very least you will probably need a doctor’s note.
posted by Concordia at 11:12 AM on August 22, 2018

Coastal Croatia is beautiful, similar (in terms of geology and sometimes culinarily) to some parts of Italy, particularly northeastern Italy. You can either fly into Venice and take an overnight ferry, which might not be fun for your pregnant companion, or you can fly into Split. It doesn't seem like there are nonstop flights from Tel Aviv, but there are cheap (under $300 USD) flights on Aegean with only one stop.

I'd recommend going out to the islands if you want to just relax, although again that would involve a ferry ride and would also put you further from major hospitals if that's a concern. But there are lots of very beautiful places on the mainland.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:28 PM on August 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

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