Paris to Athens was my second trip to Europe and my boyfriend’s first. Our first trip together across the Atlantic. Seven countries in a span of three weeks. This was going to be epic.
Our original plan was to spend a few days in Paris, then fly to Greece and spend ten days island-hopping. But every once in a while, I would come across blog posts and travel video about unresistingly beautiful places like Varenna, French Rivera, and Swiss Alps… So! I kept adding them into my itinerary. Then there was Keukenhof season, so Amsterdam was in. London was added last minute because we could fly there direct with our UA miles. After much planning, replanning, and re-replanning, this is what our final itinerary looks like:
- London (2 days)
- Paris (4 days)
- Nice (3 days)
- Milan (2 days)
- Mykonos (1 day)
- Santorini (2 days)
- Athens (2 days)
- Switzerland (Interlaken and Lucern) (3 days)
First up was London. I had previously spent a weekend in this city during my study aboard program with University of Manchester in 2010. We had fun hitting all the major sites (Big Ben, Buckingham Palaces, British Museum, Tower of London, plus Greenwich.
Here are my posts:
- First Morning in London: British Guards and St. James’ Park
- London: Museum and Sights along the Thames
- Half-Day trip from London: Greenwich
- Tower of London, and Churches
Then it’s time for some tulip gardens! I also really loved the canals and narrow houses in Amsterdam. Holland’s quintessential countryside was also worth a visit.
Next up is Paris! Romance. Elegance. History. Everything that a girl has ever wanted in a place, Paris delivers. It was raining three out of the four days we were there, but it didn’t matter. The rain made the place all the more mysterious and special:
- Paris: Introduction
- Glamour and History: Versailles
- Louvre to the Untrained Eyes
- Romantic skyline: Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Sacred Coeur
- Last Day in Paris: Museum Hopping
- Vintage Paris: Radisson Blu Le Dokhan’s Hotel
After hitting three big cities, it was time for some relaxation along French Rivera. We chose Nice as a base and daytripped to Monaco and Villefranche. I simply couldn’t resist those candy-color houses perched along the shore:
A long scenic train ride later, we were in the center of Milan, staying at the luxurious Park Hyatt Milano, right next to the ridiculously extravagant Galleria Vittorio Emaniele II, and 10 minutes walking distance to Duomo and Sforza Castle. We also daytripped to the beautiful Lake Como.
A short plane ride later, we were worlds away on the peaceful island of Mykonos. The whitewashed houses simply took my breath away. The Mykonos town center was a bit touristy but definitely worth the while. Plus, we saw the most beautiful sunset of our trip at Little Venice.
Another boat ride and we are on Santorini, and island of cave houses built on cliffs. While we were there, we got the most beautiful breakfast view of our lives and joined a day tour.
Our next stop was Athens. We only had a day there but we visited quite a few ruins, including the all-mighty Acropolis! The Acropolis was so much more spectacular in person than in pictures.
After that, we flew back to Geneva for a looong golden pass train ride to Interlaken, then Wengen, where we spent a couple days staring out of train window to the impossibly beautiful Alps, then trained to Lucerne for a scenic cruise before heading to Zurich for our final night.
- Part I : Goldenpass to Wengen
- Part II : Town Hopping in Berner Oberland
- Part III : Ballenberg and Lucerne
It has been a grand whildwind tour of Europe, all in three weeks!