getaway 2
July 19, 2007 12:24 PM   Subscribe

Getaway AskMeFi II: Budget European holiday help required.

You guys helped give me and my girl a wonderful holiday getaway last year. This year we'd like to getaway again. Budget of £1200 all in (spending, travel, accom), travelling from UK in August. Ideally somewhere European, warm, art, culture, food, self-catering, wine, relaxing. Train journeys good but can drive or fly. Further afield no problem if costs ok. Thanks in advance!
posted by brautigan to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
P.S. if Janecr is reading this, I still owe you some wine!
posted by brautigan at 12:26 PM on July 19, 2007

Here are 20 villas in the sun, from the Guardian in April.

Porto sounds relaxing, as do Portugal's pousadas.
posted by mdonley at 12:34 PM on July 19, 2007

I'm a big fan of the Pays Basque in the foothills of the Pyrenees, in particular in/around St Jean de Luz. That part of Southwest France is set between the Atlantic and the mountains so you can opt to do beach stuff or go walking in the mountains. There are loads of random picturesque little towns to potter about in and because of the Basque connection there's lots of fascinating culture/history. If you want hardcore art/culture, Bilbao and the guggenheim are a day trip away. There's bull fighting in Bayonne if that's your thing.

You can train it on the TGV from Paris or get cheapo flights (Easyjet I think) to Biarritz.

A quick google turned up this loft for rent in St Jean but poss a bit too expensive and not exactly rural charm.

(also Irouléguy wine is v good - I agree with the last comment here.)
posted by patricio at 1:55 PM on July 19, 2007

If you would like to see some more of Italy then London to Palermo in Sicily would cost you about £230 to fly (or as little as, say £150 if you were willing to entrust yourself to Ryan air). Sicily has the warmth, food, culture and wine in spades. August is bang in the middle of holidays for Italians so prices are relatively high and accommodation could be difficult to come by. But otherwise it is not a terribly expensive place. You can travel around by car, bus or train. If you chose the North coast then there is a train line that can take you to Palermo, some interesting towns such as Cefalu and within striking distance of the Aeolian islands.
posted by rongorongo at 3:26 PM on July 19, 2007

St Jean de Luz is lovely but pretty much exclusively occupied by people dripping in money who've been going there for generations through July and August. Biarritz is more likely to have cheap accommodation (slight backpacker surf scene). It's a great area, but perhaps look down in the Spanish Basque region?
posted by jacalata at 8:17 PM on July 19, 2007

Any of the Dalmatian islands in Croatia. Friendly people, easy to get to (check out flights on skyeurope), good infrastructure, crystal clear, blue water. Everyone seemed to speak English.

I spent a few days on Brac (near Split) a couple of weeks ago. A friend and I rented a 2-bedroom apartment with balcony, sea view, kitchen, bathroom and living room for €60/night, to give you an idea of accommodation prices. Other prices were also reasonable there (not dirt-cheap, but certainly reasonable).

We rented mopeds and whizzed around the island, visiting the little villages and finding pristine, unpopulated beaches (in addition to pristine, populated beaches - take your pick).

I have a few pictures up on flickr. View my metafilter profile (click on my user name) to have a look, if you'd like.
posted by syzygy at 5:59 AM on July 20, 2007

I'm actually going on a trip with some friends from the UK in August, and your list of wants in a vacation destination sounds just like ours. We finally settled on the Andalucia region of Spain. We're checking out Granada for a couple of days, Cordoba for a couple of days, and then we plan on relaxing on a beach for the rest of the week. Cabo de Gata is national park that has been recommended to me as a less touristy spot. There are some other places nearby that sound great (Sevilla, Malaga, Cadiz) if you have more time or want to squeeze in more sightseeing.

I'll second Portugal. I visited last Sept and had a great time. We flew into Porto, rented a car, and made our way to Lisbon. Definitely stop in Coimbra and Sintra if your trip will allow. We stayed in pousadas along the way, and though they were all nice, some were a bit pricey. Or maybe we just didn't spend enough time at the hotels to justify the expense.

I'm guessing you're not especially looking to head back to Tuscany this year, but I'm still going to recommend Castellino Bucine because I had the most amazing time here in May. The area is beautiful, and the couple we rented our apartment from was extremely knowledgable about the area, things to do, etc.

Happy travels!
posted by ames at 8:23 AM on July 20, 2007

seconding Croatia, it is cheaper than many of the European destinations mentioned above.
I'm taking my sweetie to South East Spain
posted by Wilder at 9:19 AM on July 20, 2007

Thanks all. Nothing worked out due to time, money and everything good being booked, so we're going to NYC in October instead. Good shout on Croatia though, maybe next year!
posted by brautigan at 2:43 PM on July 26, 2007

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