In our third and final “Gap Year” 10 week travel phase we’ve planned ~7 weeks in Spain and a 2 week RV tour of the Alps before hopping home via Amsterdam and London. While travelling in Latin America – and again during this European tour – we’ve been hosting families in our Tahoe home, and earning HomeExchange.com credits which we’ve used to book 5-7 day stays in “exchange partner” homes near Malaga, Granada, in Barcelona, Costa Brava, Santiago de Compostela, Asturas, San Sebastian, Amsterdam and London… and we’re exchanging our RV for a German family’s RV that we’ll use to tour the Alps for 2 weeks. Staying in these exchanged homes will add a new dimension to our travels: more space and comfort, longer stays and lower travel stress, and great locals’ tips. These home exchanges should also slash our European travel costs by about 50%… good lodging is dear here.
Find below our rough itinerary – we love travelling with friends and family so please reach out if your travels overlap ours:
ANDALUSIA / COSTA DEL SOL – Tapas, flamenco, Moorish hill towns, sun & SCUBA
- Thu May 11 Train to Seville, 2 nights
- Fri May 12 Tour Seville
- Sat May 13 2 week car rental. Tour White Hill Towns, 2 nights in Algodonales.
- Sun May 14 Bicycle ViaVerde de la Sierra, or canyoneering
- Mon May 15 Tour Ronda, continue past Malaga to home in Rincon de la Victoria; 5 nights.
- May 16-20 Day trip Cordoba, Gibraltar, Scuba, Beach.
- Sat May 20 Day trip Nerja. Continue east to villa near Gualchos; 7 nights.
- May 21-27 Day trip Granada, Sierra Nevada & towns, Almunecar. Scuba/Snorkel.
CATALUNYA– High culture, seafood, Gaudi, Dali, hikes, beaches, sailing & SCUBA
- Sat May 27 Return car to Malaga; train to Barcelona home; 7 nights. Explore Barcelona.
- Sat Jun 3 Rent car, drive north thru Berga to ABnB Guardiola de Berguedà 2 nights.
Hike Hike Cadí-Moixeró; Bike La Via del Nicolau.
- Mon Jun 5 Day trip to Girona; continue to Costa Brava home in Palafrugell, 5 nights.
- Jun 6-9 Dali, beaches, Scuba, sail, hike.
- Sat Jun 10 2hr drive to Barcelona; tour coast en routem return car; lodge 1 night.
COSTA VERDE & BASQUE – Cuisine, caminos, canoes, mountains, bikes & beaches
- Sun Jun 11 Fly to Santiago de Compostela, rent car, check in to downtown home; 5-6 nights. Jun 11-16 Explore Santiago, Galicia, coast and Camino.
- Fri Jun 16 Day trip Oviedo, continue to Ribadesella home 4-5 nights.
- Jun 17-20 Explore Asturias; hike Picos de Europa.
- Jun 20 Day trip Bilbao. Continue to San Sebastian 5 nights.
- Jun 21-25 Explore Basque region & Western Pyrenees.
- Jun 25-27 Train to Bordeaux; train or car to St-Émilion. Wine fun.
- Jun 27 Return to Bordeaux; fly to Basel, pick up RV at Ehrenkirchen in the Black Forest.
THE ALPS – Mountians, hiking, chocolate, trains, Tour de France
- W Jun 28-30 Drive 2.5 hrs past Interlakken to Brienz, camp at Aaregg campground.
- Fri 30- Jul 1 Jungfrau: Staubbachfall, Trümmelbachfälle, Grindewald, camp at Gletscherdorf
- Sun Jul 2 Drive 2.5hrs past Sidlehorn over Grimsel pass to Aletsch Glacier. Dry camp.
- Mon Jul 3-4 Drive to 1hr to Zermatt area; pedestrian town. Matterhorn – Hike. Dry camp.
- Wed Jul 5 Flex Day
- Thu Jul 6-7 2.5hr drive to Chamonix. Mt Blanc – Hike.
- Sat Jul 8 Drive 2hrs thru Geneva to Nantua,
- Sun Jul 9 AM – Tour de France Stage 9; PM – via Geneva & lakes to Canton of Jura
- Mon Jul 10 Return RV to Ehrenkirchen in Black Forest
- Jul 11-15 – Train to Amsterdam. Check in to home in de Pijp, 4 nights. Amsterdam!
- July 15-20 – Train to London. Check in to home in Primrose Hill, 5 nights. London!
- July 20 Fly home via OAK.