Anniversary: Europe Ideas?

April 29th, 2011

Terah and I have our 10th wedding anniversary coming up this fall. We’ve discussed a bit what we’d like to do. Terah said that she’d enjoy a relaxing resort on a beach somewhere with a reasonable hotel room so there isn’t really anything we have to do — just relax.

I said that I’d love to go back to Europe — enjoy some more history, have a fun adventure together, see more of the countryside perhaps. This didn’t sound all that relaxing to Terah. So I commented that Europe also has plenty of water, beaches, and resorts and perhaps we could find a place in Europe with history and adventure, plus also a relaxing beach — so we can have some adventure but not too much

We’ll probably be looking to travel in September or October and would hope for reasonably warm weather — though if we need to go at a different time of year, that option is still open.

I’m at a loss for where to start looking here, so I’m hoping readers of this blog can give a suggestion.

I very much appreciated the great tips last time I asked. Our first trip to Europe last year was great — it was nice to stay with some old friends and make some new ones, to see some amazing cities and buildings, and live for a few days someplace with a culture different from home.

Our boys would not be coming with us on this trip. We did get passports for them recently and are looking at some options for a trip with them, but that wouldn’t be this one.

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  1. Laurent

    Southern Europe is where you want to go. Decent weather in September, although perhaps not enough to swim in the sea.
    If you’re willing to travel a little during your trip, it’s easy to go to relaxing places for a few days, then to places full of history. Examples: Greek islands like Crete or Santorini, followed by a few days in Athens. Or Lake Como in Italy, followed by Rome, or Venice (both easily reachable by train BTW).
    If you want to stay in the same area, you will have to compromise a little — there won’t be large museums and grand majestic churches in “unspoiled” places. But most places in Europe will have an old downtown, a small local museum, etc.


  2. Gustav

    Well, it’s tricky to find good weather in September/October even in Southern Europe, but my tip would be to go to Southern Portugal. There’s a beach near the Spanish border that is particularly good – Altura.

    Here it is

    The (tiny) town itself has nothing much to do, but you can always visit the nearby Vila Real de Santo António or the not so far Faro and so on.


  3. aa

    I can recommend Rhodos island (Greece). I’ve been there last September. Weather was nice and water was good for swimming. It has ancient historical sites and beaches. You can fly there or take a boat from Athens–another nice place to visit, but not as good for relaxing.


  4. Jon

    A second vote for Rhodes. We stayed at the “Lindos Mare” hotel in Lindos, Rhodes last year and it was incredible. There is a sister hotel “Lindos Blu” adjacent which is a bit plusher (and no doubt more expensive). Rhodes has terrific weather and lovely beaches and scenery.

    Lindos is a small white-sugar-cube village with a few nice beaches and a harbour. It has quite a vibrant nightlife (possibly too vibrant at times!). The Lindos Mare is about 3km north on Vliha Bay, which is a much more sedate, golden sands beach. It is relaxed at all times. The sea was great to swim in (I went late August and it was unseasonably cool – which to my temperament, was ideal. I’d imagine September was conventionally similar: low-to-mid thirties centigrade, but I’d do some research to confirm!) and the hotel had two pools for additional variety.

    There are perhaps half a dozen day excursions you can make around the island if you decide you want to see some culture (and it is well worth going to Rhodes Town at the very least – beautiful!)

    Actually we are looking for a two week Europe beach holiday at the moment and are having a tough time finding anything that we think will compare to Lindos/Rhodes :(


    John Goerzen Reply:

    Thanks for the ideas. I’ve checked out — looks beautiful. I assume we’d be looking at renting a car to get around the island? What sort of things do you recommend we check out besodes Rhodes Town?


  5. Neal

    Baden-Württemberg is a master of the “Kur” (according to Wikipedia, spa town in English). That’s relaxing and you’re in the middle of a lot of history.


  6. malte

    I’d go to Rome or Florence or a city at the coastline within driving range for that matter.


  7. Josip Rodin

    I don’t see it mentioned in either blog entry, so – Croatian Adriatic Sea coastline and islands are most pleasant in September. Probably not as warm as July, but cheaper and with fewer pesky tourists ;)


  8. Matthew

    San Sebastian in Spain is a really beautiful (and relaxing) seaside city. Valencia is also beautiful and on the coast, though the beach isn’t as nice as San Sebastian. Olu Deniz in Turkey is one of the most beautiful beaches we have been to, and is close to a beautiful and interesting town, Fethiye. Budapest is full of lovely open air swimming pools and will probably still be warm in September. I also agree with the Croatia suggestion: Rovinj is like a mini Venice but far better value.


  9. John Goerzen

    Thanks for all the ideas! Looks like it’s time for me to read up on several places here.


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  11. Greg

    Hi John,

    My favourite city in Europe is probably Budapest. Cheaper than average, and the Roman/Turkish geothermal baths all over town are really fantastic. My wife and I honeymooned there and are going back for our 2nd anniversary.

    Other places we like are Strasbourg (and Alsace in general), Tuscany/Florence, southern France.


  12. Marco Túlio Gontijo e Silva

    Hi John. It’s not Europe, but when I read your desire of a place with beaches and history, I remembered a city in Brazil called Paraty ( ). I’ve never gone there, but I heard good recomendations about beaches nearby and waterfalls. Also, something that attracts me are the flooding streets which reminds me of Venice.

    You would be near Rio de Janeiro too, which worths a visit.



  13. Gabriel

    I agree with Josip, Croatia is definitely a very good idea, with a few beautiful cities (Dubrovnik in particular) and pleasant beaches.

    Grece is nice too, but it would be a pity to go there if you do not intend to visit archaeological sites IMHO.


    John Goerzen Reply:

    Absolutely we’d be wanting to visit archaeological sites if we go to Greece. I completely agree with you on that.

    I’ve done a little but of looking into Dubrovnik. Do you have any particular highlights of that city?


  14. Gour

    Croatia, of course. ;)


  15. Jeremy Gibbons

    Andalucia in southern Spain: warm, coastal, and fabulous Moorish architecture (eg the Alhambra).


  16. bouyoul

    Iceland. The climate is a lot milder than you may think. Beautiful landscapes + thermal pools in the evening (not a beach but it is water…). Public transport options are a bit limited outside summer but not a problem if you can drive and rent a car. Plus, not as many tourists so prices are cheaper.


  17. Kai Hendry

    The Europe trip I’ve been plotting is basically spending a week or two in Sicily. Rent a scooter. Go around the island, stay in cute B&Bs and sample the AMAZING food.

    And if you are interested in history and actually seeing artefacts, art and stuff, NOTHING beats Italy.


  18. rpr

    Well, this proposal doesn’t fit your criteria, but from your posts I think that you may enjoy some Spanish tour (Seville, Cordoba, Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona). In Spain, train connections are fast, weather is typically warm (in October, in those cities, daily means range from 20ºC in Seville to 15ºC in Madrid) – it will already be cold in San Sebastian, and you can combine cultural activities (historical places everywhere, good museums in Madrid) with some lost places, such as relax places in the mountains or small beaches in the Girona area.


  19. Greece part 1: Wow | The Changelog

    […] about all of this yet, of course, but for now I want to thank Jon Dowland for leaving a comment on my blog post suggesting Rhodes and even the particular hotel we stayed in. Jon was right, it was […]

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