Before I start my rambling, or shall I say, poetic descriptions of all the locations I traveled, I figured I would present a visual of the trajectory that my team followed, along with some important facts that may help all of you, potential future backpackers, to plan an amazing trip (though I must admit, only 47.8% of the trip was actually strategically planned).
Below is the map that I now know like the back of my hand:
1. Athens, Greece
2. Mykonos, Greece
3. Roma, Italy
4. Cinque Terre, Italy **
5. Nice, France & Marseille, France
6. Malaga, Spain **
7. Barcelona, Spain
As you can see, we followed the Mediterranean coast the whole way.
Methods of Transportation:
1. Round Trip flight: Air Berlin– One of the most wonderful airlines I have had the pleasure of traveling with.
Flight Cost: $975
2. From Athens–> Mykonos: SeaJets Ferries
3. Athens–>Roma: 2.5 hr flight
4. Roma–> Cinque Terre: Overnight train with sleeper beds (sorta, we had to get off at 4:30am, so I’d hardly consider that over night!)
5. Cinque Terre—> Nice & Marseille: Eurail Trains
6.Marseille—> Malaga: Ryan Air flight
7. Malaga—>Barcelona: 5hr train
Though, it can be encouraged to use the Eurail Passes for most trips, we decided against it, mainly due to some of the long distances we had to travel to cover many areas (i.e. France to Malaga). In the end, transportation costs did not surpass Eurail Passes’ costs by much, and maximized our time in all locations.
Ladies, it can be done! I managed to fit all of my necessities in one backback. Yes, it was a hunky thing that may have been able to fit a middle school child in it, but it was manageable to carry. According to the Air Berlin, I carried 21 pounds of belongings, and probably came back with a couple more. However, I think the perks of only having one bag outweighed the dangerously high number of outfit repeats throughout the trip. Why? Well, mainly because unlike America, people rely on using their feet for transportation, and escalators are a commodity mainly found in underground metros, not the steep coasts of the Mediterranean.
Things NOT to forget
(this is the section where I do my part, and save others from committing my mistakes)
– A light, but hooded sweatshirt
– A small purse to carry all your daytime belongings (I only brought a backback and a wristlet…..fail)
– A blazer to pair with any outfits you go out in
– A multifunctional pocket knife (great for random wine purchases)
– Wrinkle spray ( boys love this stuff)
Things to FORGET:
-Straighteners and blowdryers (no one cares about your hair anyway)
– 20 outfits (just, no)
– Chunky shoes ( girls, one pair of heels if you must, and boys, one pair of boat shoes. And the crucial running/hiking shoes)
Began: May 20th
Ended: June 13th
Travelers: 5 ( 3 biddies, 2 males)