Europe with kids for 2 months in Nov/Dec

Old Nov 21st, 2022, 04:10 PM
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Europe with kids for 2 months in Nov/Dec

Hi,

My wife and I along with our kids (4 and 1 when we travel) want to spend 2 months in Southern Europe Nov/Dec 2023.

We have been considering Italy and I am tending towards Naples. However, we are just starting the planning so happy to consider other place.

We would like to have a base and travel from there but given the ages of our kids we would like our base to be where we spend most of our time. We do not really want to have a car.

We want to eat well but will need to cook for ourselves often. We do like the outdoors. I would love to be in the water at some point but understand that it is winter - however, if Malta or cypress are good destinations I would consider those though I think my wife is more interested in culture that beaches.

Any thoughts or considerations? Thanks!
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Old Nov 21st, 2022, 08:39 PM
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Did you mean “in the water”, as in actually swimming? If so, check water temperatures and regular air temperatures for places that interest you at that time. Certainly will not be “in the water” in the Naples area at that time. In a few places like Cyprus, there will be people brave enough for a few minutes in the water, but not many.
Also, considering the ages of the little ones, look at the kinds of beaches available. There are sandy beaches, but some are really just rocks for sitting, not sand for children.
I love Naples, but would not likely want two months there in winter with two small children. You might split your time in two or three places. Some cities, like Vienna, have wonderful playgrounds and things for children, plus cultural activities. That is just one, of course. Other places, like Bavaria, might already have some snow which could be fun.
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Old Nov 21st, 2022, 10:07 PM
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December is winter throughout Europe. Even in southern Europe. You might get some decent days during your two months, but also lots of cold/wet/wintry/bleak days.

Certainly not what most would consider 'beach weather' - for that you'd need to head to southern hemisphere. If you are unlucky you could end up with more days socked in with rain/fog/maybe snow than nice 'outdoorsy' days.

Just a thought -- that perhaps consider staying in a major city (London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, wherever) that has lots of museums and indoor activities and is handy for public transport for fun day trips out into the countryside when the weather cooperates.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 01:39 AM
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Cyprus is a great destination at that time of the year, right up to Christmas. Currently the weather is pretty good, warm & sunny, sometimes it rains but not for long. Tourists, particularly Brits do swim in the sea in November, however it would be too cold for me. It can be chilly at night, there can be snow in the mountains. I was there this last Jan, the weather was sunny and some brave souls were surfing, albeit in wetsuits.The citrus fruit trees were laden with oranges etc all over the place.
If you rent a villa, make sure it has heating. Alot of Cypriot homes, and I would expect this to be true of alot of the countries around the Med, do not have heating in their homes. If you want any photos or more info, let me know. I have some stunning photos taken late November, autumn colours in the mountain forests, really beautiful.

Last edited by balthy; Nov 22nd, 2022 at 02:11 AM.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 02:34 AM
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Cyprus, tick. possibly dull
Majorca, tick. Possibly dull
Canaries, tick. Dull
Marrakech, tick but not Europe. Fascinating (not on coast)
Seville/Cordoba, tick. Interesting and with side order of Granada (not on coast, but Malaga is a train ride away)
Palermo, tick. Interesting
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
Cyprus, tick. possibly dull
Majorca, tick. Possibly dull
Canaries, tick. Dull
In what way are Cyprus & Majorca "possibly dull" or just plain "dull" in your personal experience of those places in winter, did you find the weather to be dull or was it people, scenery, food, towns, villages, culture & archeological sites/museums? Or are you thinking that Magaluf & Ayia Napa are a good representation of what those islands have to offer? Even Ayia Napa has a monastery worth walking around.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 03:35 AM
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Everything I write is based on my opinion given multiple visits to many destinations. I've not been to Magaluf but I have visited a number of monesteries on Cyprus as well as walked on ancient paths and along river beds.

That this may not agree with your point of view is interesting but does not add to the OP's benefit.

You tell your story, I'll tell mine, please don't spend time telling my views are wrong, they are my views. Did I like visiting these places yes, it doesn't stop them being possibly dull especially in comparison with the other places I mention.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 04:08 AM
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Places like Cyprus and indeed many places in Southern Europe generally are not well catered for should they get a cold snap (and they can and do). Houses are not well insulated, and heating them can be a nightmare.

For sea swimming the Canaries are warm enough. We have been in November and in February and been in the sea no problem, but a week is probably long enough on most islands, though some offer a wide variety of landscape and activity. They are cheap too, though a car is almost certainly essential. They are cheap to hire from local companies for a few days.

Maybe since you have 2 months choose two different areas to visit? Maybe southern Spain or Portugal for one month and Italy for another.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 05:20 AM
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Back in the late Victorian andEdwardian eras wealthy Brits overwintered in Pau or Nice. I've been to both, and there is a lot more to do in Nice. I've been in Nice in March and it was warm, being sheltered by mountains, but I don't remember anyone swimming.

If I were planning a trip for Nov/Dec I'd probably go to SE Asia.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 05:46 AM
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Thanks all. Just a bit more background - we are from alberta so winters here are -10c. I would probably push for something in the southern hemisphere but my wife has been very clear that her preference is Europe and I am supportive. I would just feel a bit disappointed if it was cold and dreary for the whole trip so trying to find a compromise of European culture with some pleasant weather!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by matthewcooper4325 View Post
Thanks all. Just a bit more background - we are from alberta so winters here are -10c. I would probably push for something in the southern hemisphere but my wife has been very clear that her preference is Europe and I am supportive. I would just feel a bit disappointed if it was cold and dreary for the whole trip so trying to find a compromise of European culture with some pleasant weather!
There's no way to guarantee pleasant weather anywhere in Europe in the winter. In Italy, your safest bet would be Sicily, but even there, it could be rainy or windy. I live in central Italy, near the Adriatic Sea. It doesn't often go below freezing here, but it is sometimes very damp, rainy, foggy or windy. Sometimes several of these conditions at the same time. Today it's rainy and windy.

Here is a good article (in Italian) about visiting Sicily in the winter.
https://www.traghettiper-sicilia.it/...o-dove-andare/
Don't bother clicking on the English language icon; it just shows the ferry schedules. Instead, copy the link into the translate.google.com web page.

Several people have suggested staying in cities, which have the advantage of plenty of indoor activities in bad weather. If I had to pick one, it would be Rome, which is also near the sea, and warm enough for a walk on the beach. Rome even has a bit of its own seacoast (Ostia Lido) and there are other seaside locations in the vicinity.

Naples is very hilly, which might be a problem with such young children. Rome is less hilly.

Last edited by bvlenci; Nov 22nd, 2022 at 06:39 AM.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 06:41 AM
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Any way you can leave the kids at home with grandma?
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by wildiowa View Post
Any way you can leave the kids at home with grandma?
Not grandpa?
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 09:22 AM
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Ha! but no. And also, we want them around. The 4 year old might even start making memories!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 09:30 AM
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Ha! but no. And also, we want them around. The 4 year old might even start making memories!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by bvlenci View Post
There's no way to guarantee pleasant weather anywhere in Europe in the winter. In Italy, your safest bet would be Sicily, but even there, it could be rainy or windy. I live in central Italy, near the Adriatic Sea. It doesn't often go below freezing here, but it is sometimes very damp, rainy, foggy or windy. Sometimes several of these conditions at the same time. Today it's rainy and windy.

Here is a good article (in Italian) about visiting Sicily in the winter.

Don't bother clicking on the English language icon; it just shows the ferry schedules. Instead, copy the link into the translate.google.com web page.

Several people have suggested staying in cities, which have the advantage of plenty of indoor activities in bad weather. If I had to pick one, it would be Rome, which is also near the sea, and warm enough for a walk on the beach. Rome even has a bit of its own seacoast (Ostia Lido) and there are other seaside locations in the vicinity.

Naples is very hilly, which might be a problem with such young children. Rome is less hilly.
So Rome has taken top spot. I am okay with some rainy days. I just don't want to deal with that every day.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 10:21 AM
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First, go with your instincts.

Second, I have spent many vacations with our kids and generally try to rent a gite or do a farm stay as part of our time in Europe. With two months at your disposal, that could be part of a very special and even exciting experience.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 11:29 AM
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Sicily seems a bit too far away from most of the rest of Europe. Even if you do not plan to move around much, you might be better off in northern Italy or southern France, which would give you access to quite a few side trips.

I would also recommend choosing a big city (or the suburbs of one) because in the winter, just about all of the smaller places can be completely dead. To be by the seaside (which I fully understand for someone from Alberta), Genoa, Nice or Marseille could be taken into consideration. Or else Dubrovnik, which is spectacular but totally overrun during the warm tourist season.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 11:58 AM
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Have you considered Australia or New Zealand? It will be their Summertime, which would be so much easier with two little ones.
A slightly warmer winter than average is predicted for Italy, for this year, but who knows for next year? If you really want to do cultural activities like museums, etc. since you will be there for so long, you might want a good quality, double stroller. You will certainly want winter clothing, boots, etc. for everybody.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 03:44 PM
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For this winter (and probably the next as well), I would definitely be keeping in mind potential energy shortages.
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