Over 12 Fabulous Trip Itineraries for Exploring Europe in 3 Months
Do you have a little free time on your hands? Do you like to slow travel or cram in as many stops as possible? If so Europe makes a fabulous area to visit especially if you have the option of taking a little more time to explore. There are so many wonderful choices for 3 months in Europe Itineraries.
Why Europe for Extended travel?
Europe has everything a traveler could want: beautiful landscapes, varied cultural experiences, history around every corner, fabulous architecture, generally easy public transportation, and wonderful social opportunities. There is something in Europe for everyone including large cosmopolitan cities, post-card perfect mountains and amazing coast line. Europe is a good choice for a quick 1-2 week focused trip but is better suited for longer stays. The more popular areas are generally more expensive but lesser known (but just as pretty) countries can be budget friendly and more authentic.
So Why 3 Months?
Most of Europe is part of the Schengen zone. What this mean is as Americans you can travel up to 3 months in the Schengen zone as a tourist. Technically it’s 90 days of the last 180 days. Until recently you just brought your passport but 2020 and 2021 have changes with additional steps and you may need to get a Schengen visa. If you want to slow travel in Europe longer then you will need to get a longer visa which can be difficult to get or you will need to go to a non-Schengen country until you can get back in. Countries in Europe that are not part of the Schengen group include: UK (Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, Gibraltar), Ireland, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and a few others in the area. Several have plans to joint the Schengen zone so always check the countries status and policies prior to travel.
Even with a full 3 months – regardless of the itinerary and area you choose, generally travelers will still feel that they were just able to get a taste of what Europe has to offer. Consider slowing down and taking more of a slow travel lifestyle. Instead of trying to see it all, consider picking an area to focus. Please enjoy our group of 3 month trip itineraries in Europe to get you started planning the ultimate European 90 day trip.
Like this article? but want to save it for later … it’s a long one. If so then pin this …
Central Europe is the area most people think of when starting to plan an European Vacation. It’s one of the easiest areas to navigate and generally has fabulous transportation. The area tends to have a larger tourist population which can be good if you’re new to travel and like the extra support but can also make things a little more crowded and a little less authentic. Traveling through this part of Europe will be more expensive then other areas but you’ll be rewarded with fabulous experiences.
3 Months in Europe by Train
If you are someone who likes to travel at a relaxed pace and prefer to use public transport, this Grand Train Tour of Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Germany could be the ideal itinerary.
Using Europe’s excellent rail network, this three month itinerary highlights the best of Switzerland and northern Italy, and visits some interesting cities in Austria and Germany, as well as taking a side trip into France. The itinerary starts in Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich where you should spend a couple of nights before setting off on your adventure. It is recommended that you spend at least five nights in most destinations. This gives you the opportunity to really explore your destination and take a couple of side trips to neighboring towns and attractions that interest you.
The beauty of this itinerary is that it offers you a mix of Switzerland’s breathtaking alpine landscapes, picturesque lakes, stunning architecture, bustling cities and charming villages. You’ll also experience a mix of languages, cultures and cuisines as you travel on this central European itinerary.
The Route for 3 months in Central Europe by train:
Start in Zurich (2 nights) -> Lucerne (5 nights) -> Interlaken (7 nights) -> Montreux (5 nights) -> Geneva (2 nights) -> Annecy (5 nights) -> Annecy (via Geneva) to Zermatt (5 nights) -> Lugano (5 nights) -> Como (7 nights) -> Milan (3 nights) -> Verona (3 nights) -> Bolzano (5 nights) -> Innsbruck (5 nights) -> Garmisch Partenkirchen (5 nights) -> Munich (5 nights) -> Nuremberg (3 nights) -> Wurzburg (3 nights) -> Stuttgart (3 nights) -> Lindau (5 nights) -> Lindau to Zurich to Schaffhausen (2 nights) -> Zurich (2nights)
Contribution by Carolyn of Holidays to Switzerland
Best of Europe – Europe Road Trip by Car
With 3 months in Europe, there’s nothing better than going on a European Road Trip from Northwest Europe to Southeast and back. Driving by car and with a tent in the back of the car, stopping wherever it pleases you. This route has it all: castles, museums, old cities, stunning nature, culture and food.
Start the road trip in Germany. Hamburg, Frankfurt, Sinsheim and the Romantische Strasse are perfect stops in this country, Take 13 days for this part, and end with Neuschwanstein castle.
Cross the border at Füssen with Austria. Austria is a beautiful country, explore the mountains here. Breitenwang, Volders, Zell am See and Obervellach are stops here, covering 11 days.
A usually forgotten country, Slovenia, just a transfer to Croatia. But this time take 10 days and stop at Dovje, Lake Bled, Ljubljana and Ptuj.
Start the tour in Croatia at Zagreb, then cover Plitvice Lakes, Knin and Dubrovnik. Taking no less than 11 days for this.
In Montenegro take 3 days for the beautiful old town of Kotor. From Montenegro go to Bosnia & Herzegovina for a visit to Mostar and Kravice Falls, take 4 days for this.
Continuing further down the Croatian coast with stops at Split, Zadar, Krk island and Pula. 8 Days should be enough.
Through Piran in Slovenia (3 days) cross the border with Italy for Trieste and the Dolomites, spending 5 days in Italy.
Then drive in 6 days through Switzerland, with stops at Sankt Moritz, Disentis and Wassen.
Then stop for 2 days in France, Luxembourg and Belgium. Visiting Colmar, Luxembourg-City and Dinant.
The last country is the Netherlands, stopping at Maastricht (3 days), Utrecht (2 days) and Amsterdam (3 days).
Trip Summary for the Best of Europe 90 day road trip
Germany: Hamburg: 3 days (Speicherstadt, Miniatur Wunderland) -> Frankfurt am Main: 3 days (Sightseeing cruise, Goethe House and Museum) -> Sinsheim: 2 days (Auto- und Technik Museum) -> Romantische Strasse: 5 days (Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Neuschwanstein castle)
Austria: Breitenwang: 2 days (Plansee, Highline179) -> Volders: 3 days (Innsbruck, Hiking in the mountains) -> Zell am See: 3 days (Krimmler waterfalls, water sports -> Obervellach: 3 days (National Park Hohe Tauern, Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse)
Slovenia: Dovje: 3 days (Vintgar gorge, Hiking in the Julian Alps) -> Lake Bled: 2 days (Boat tour, Bohinj Lake) -> Ljubljana: 3 days (Tromostovje, Ljubljanski grad) -> Ptuj: 2 days (Ptuj castle, Terme Ptuj)
Croatia: Zagreb: 2 days (St. Marcuschurch, Museum of Broken Relationships) -> Plitvice Lakes National Park: 3 days (7 Hiking Routes, Veliki Slap -> Knin: 2 days (Krka National Park, Knin Fortress) -> Mlini: 4 days (Dubrovnik, beach)
Montenegro: Kotor: 3 days (Old Town, City Walls)
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Mostar: 2 days (Stari Most, Museum of War and Genocide) -> Meðugorje: 2 days (Kravice Falls, Apparition Hill)
Croatia: Split: 2 days (Diocletian’s Palace, Kasjuni Beach) -> Zadar: 2 days (The Greeting to the Sun at Sunset, Museum of Ancient Glass) -> Krk Island: 2 days (Krk town, Stara Baška) -> Pula: 2 days (Arena, Brioni National Park)
Slovenia: Piran: 3 days (Old Town, Koper)
Italy: Trieste: 2 days (Castello Di Miramare, eating Italian Ice Cream) -> Dolomites: 3 days (Hiking, Stelvio Pass)
Switzerland: Sankt Moritz: 2 days (Watersports, biking) -> Disentis: 2 days (Chur, Rheinequelle) -> Wassen: 2 days (3 Passes tour, Rhone glacier)
France: Colmar: 2 days (Old Town, Chateau Haut-Kœnigsbourg)
Luxembourg: Luxembourg city: 2 days (Old Quarter, Grand Ducal Palace)
Belgium: La Roche-en-Ardenne: 2 days (Kayaking, Dinant)
The Netherlands: Maastricht: 3 days (Eating Kruisbessen schuim, Maastricht Underground) -> Utrecht: 2 days (Speelklok museum, Rietveld huis) -> Amsterdam: 3 days (Anne Frank huis, Canal boat ride)
Contributed by Cosette from KarsTravels
3 months in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is just a small country, but you can easily spend 3 months here without running out of things to do. It’s a country with a rich history, old cities, and 21 National Parks and during your time here you can get to know the Dutch culture as well as explore the diverse nature.
Are you a city person? Definitely include these three cities in your Netherlands itinerary:
- Utrecht: one of the oldest cities in the country and famous for the Dom Tower, historic buildings, and the Miffy Museum. Recommended time: 4 days.
- Rotterdam: one of the most important harbors in the world and the Dutch capital of modern architecture (as most historic buildings were lost during the WWII bombings). Recommended time: 3 days.
- Zwolle: a highly underrated city in Overijssel, where you can hop on a boat tour, climb the Peperbus and visit the Foundation Museum. Recommended time: 2 days.
Prefer Nature? Don’t skip these three beautiful spots:
- The Hunebedden, Drenthe: these ancient dolmens are prehistoric tombs constructed out of huge boulders. It remains a mystery how our ancestors constructed these imposing historic landmarks. Recommended time: 1 day at the Hunebedden but definitely spend at least a week exploring Drenthe.
- De Waddeneilanden: pick one of the five Waddeneilanden (or better yet, visit all five) and spend at least a week here. Go for long walks at the beach, rent a bicycle, and learn about the wildlife on the islands. Recommended time: at least 7 days, if you want to visit all islands give yourself 2 weeks minimum).
- De Veluwe: this is one of the Dutch National Parks and rightly so. It’s one of the best and most beautiful places to go hiking or cycling. During the summer months, it’s also one of the most popular areas of the Netherlands to go camping. Recommended time: 3 days, though if you love the outdoors you can easily spend a week or more enjoying the many trails.
It’s easy to get around by public transport in the Netherlands, there is an extensive network of trains, buses, trams, and boats (to the islands). Renting a car is also a good option, driving is easy and roads are in perfect condition.
By Lotte from Beste voor Kids
3 months in the UK and Ireland
United Kingdom Train Trip Itinerary (+ Ireland)
It is possible to enjoy many of the most popular sights and attractions of the UK by train. This 3 month itinerary includes all the major cities plus some of the most scenic train routes across Britain.
Basing yourself in cities such as London, York, Liverpool and Edinburgh will enable you to take day trips by train to explore areas in close vicinity. It is also possible to book tours or take public transport such as buses for day trips.
Week 1 – London
I recommend spending at least a week in London to fully explore the city. This will give you time to see all the major landmarks, sights and attractions.
Week 2 – Bath
Travel to the beautiful city of Bath which you will use as your base for week 2. Explore the Cotswolds, Stonehenge and Salisbury by tour or train.
Week 3- Cornwall
Take the train to Bristol and change for a train to St Ives. This is a scenic train journey through the Devon and Cornish countryside and along the coast. Cornwall is best explored by car so I would recommend picking up a hire car so you have freedom to visit Cornwall’s beaches, seaside villages and beautiful countryside.
Week 4 – York
Take a train to York which will be your base for week 4. Explore the city – don’t miss the Minster, train museum and Medieval shopping street The Shambles.
Visit the home of the Beatles and take a tour of the childhood homes of Paul and John.
Week 6 – The Lake District
Head to Windermere and spend a week exploring the Lake District. A UNESCO World Heritage site the area has many lakes, tarns and hiking tracks to explore.
Week 7 – Edinburgh
The Scottish capital is one of the most popular cities for visitors to the UK and is the perfect base. Visit in August and enjoy the festival or visit at New Year for Hogmanay celebrations.
Week 8 – Inverness
Explore Loch Ness. Catch a train to the Kyle of Lochalsh and bus over the bridge to Skye. Or hire a car and take the Scotland 500 road trip.
Week 9 – London – Cardiff
Take the Caledonian Sleeper train from Inverness to London before hopping onto a train to the Welsh capital Cardiff. From Cardiff explore southern Wales including the Pembrokeshire Coast and Brecon Beacons.
Week 10 – Dublin & Northern Ireland
A train to Fishguard and a ferry to Dublin opens up Southern Ireland for week 10. Spend a few days in the city before heading nouth to explore Northern Ireland.
Week 11- Ireland
After a week exploring Northern Ireland head down to Cork before catching a ferry from Rosslare back to Pembroke in Wales.
Week 12 – London
The final week is once again spent in London. We recommend taking some day trips from the capital to explore Brighton, Cambridge, Windsor and other popular destinations easily explore on a day trip from London by train.
Contribution from UK Travel Planning
90 days in the UK and Ireland Itinerary Summary
London -> Bath -> Cornwall -> York -> Liverpool -> The Lake District -> Edinburgh -> Inverness -> Cardiff -> Dublin -> Northern Ireland -> Ireland -> London
Want to add more Ireland to the trip? Then check out our Ireland Family Travel Guide for more great stops.
3 months in Eastern Europe Itinerary
Eastern Europe is a great place to travel as it’s very cheap and easy to get around with train and bus options easily available through most of this part of Europe. When visiting Belarus if you want to cross the land borders you will need to get a visa before the trip, otherwise you will need to fly in and out of Minsk.
Start your trip by flying into Warsaw, Poland and spend around 2 weeks in Poland making sure you take time to visit Gdansk, Krakow and Zakapone before heading across the border to Ukraine.
Take approximately 2 weeks to explore Ukraine, making sure to stop in the very European city of Lviv which used to be part of Poland, the seaside town of Odesa before travelling to Kiev the capital and taking a 2 day tour of Chernboyl.
From Kiev you will visit Belarus. Spend 2 weeks in Belarus exploring the country, there are a few great days trips you can do from Minsk and also make sure you visit Grodno and Brest.
From Belarus cross the border to Lithuania or fly depending on your visa. For this next part of the trip spend around 6 weeks visiting these next 4 countries. Visit Vilnius the beautiful capital of Lithuania where you can do a day trip to Trakai castle and also visit Kaunas and Klaipeda.
From Lithuania travel north to Latvia where you will want to visit Riga, nearby Sigulda and if it’s summer make sure you take a trip to the beach in Jurmala.
From Latvia you want to head north to Estonia to visit the university town of Tartu and then onto the capital Tallinn a beautiful old city.
If you still have some days left on your trip then catch the ferry across to Finland to visit Helsinki and Turku before the end of your trip.
Contribution from Clare @ I Live for Travel
90 days in Eastern Europe Itinerary Summary
Warsaw (2 weeks) with stops in Gdansk, Drawkow, & Zakapone -> Ukraine (2 weeks) – stop in Lviv, Odesa, Kiev -> Bealarus (2 weeks) – stop in Ninsk, Grodno, Brest -> Lithaunia – Vilnius, Trakai, Kaunas, Klaipeda -> Latvia – Riga, Siguida, Jurmala -> Estonia – Tartu, Tallinn -> Finland – Helsinki and Turku
3 month road trip through the Balkans
Three months is the perfect amount of time to spend travelling the Balkans region. The nations that made up Yugoslavia – with the addition of Albania – are among the most interesting (and underrated) countries in Europe, making this a great choice for travelers who like to venture a bit left of center in search of culture, history and splendid landscapes.
This part of the continent is compact and made for exploring by car. Once you get a grip on the driving style (some countries are worse than others), you’ll find that roads are in good condition, fuel is affordable, and navigating is very straightforward. An ideal Balkans road trip itinerary is slow paced but shows you a good cross-section of the region, from the alps to the Adriatic Coast.
Focusing on the Western Balkans, start in Belgrade, Serbia where you can brush up on your history at one of many museums and memorials. A week in Northern Serbia would be well spent visiting the wineries and smaller cities of Novi Sad and Subotica. Next, drive into Croatia, stopping in Zagreb before heading to the Istrian coast to visit Rovinj and the Roman amphitheatre at Pula. Make your way south along the Dalmatian coast, soaking up the history in each Venetian port city.
A full month could easily be spent in Bosnia and Herzegovina , dividing your time between the capital, Sarajevo, Mostar, with its iconic Stari Most old bridge, and the small towns in the interior. Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor is a must for more charming old towns, while a boat trip on Skadar Lake – the biggest lake in the Balkans – shouldn’t be missed. Hike in Durmitor National Park then cross into Kosovo to spend a week in Prizren, the cultural capital, and Prishtina, the largest city.
In Albania, choose between the beaches on the Riviera or the beautiful old cities and fortresses of Berat and Gjirokaster before ending in North Macedonia, where more Roman ruins in Bitola and the beautiful Lake Ohrid await.
Contribution from Emily from Wander-Lush
Summary of 90 day Itinerary through the Balkans
Belgrade and Northern Serbia (1 week) – Novi Sad, Subotica -> Croatia – Zagreb, Istrian Coast Rovinj, Pula, Dalmation Coast -> Bosnia & Herzegovia (1 month) – Sarajevo, Mostar -> Montenegro – Bay of Kotor, Skadar Lake, Durmitor National Park -> Kosovo – Prizren, Prishtina -> Albania – Beaches, Berat, Gjirokaster -> North Macedonia – Bitola, Lake Ohrid
How to spend 3 Months in Southern Europe
3 month Road Trip through Southern Europe Itinerary (Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy)
A trip through the south of Europe should be on everyone’s bucket list. The regions of countries like Portugal, Spain, France, and Italy that line the Mediterranean experience mild temperatures even throughout the winter and are a great way to spend 3 months in Europe. Visit during April-October for the best conditions.
Start the trip in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Take a couple of days to explore the cobblestone streets and delicious cuisine. Spending 4 days here is ideal, and if more time is an option, visit the fairytale hilltop town of Sintra. Rent a car here and drive to Lagos. The large white-sand beaches are the feature here.
Drive across the border to Seville, one of the cultural highlights of Spain and drop the car here. Seeing a flamenco show is an absolute must. Then spend the next 4 days exploring the deep history and architectural marvels of the city.
Now take a 3-hour train to Granada, the home of the Alhambra palace complex. Granada is a very walkable city, so there is no need for transportation here. Make the hill climb to see the expansive Alhambra. One night here is enough, but two or more won’t be a disappointment.
Optional stops: Cordoba and Madrid
Take a train to Barcelona, home to the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s architectural beauty. Spend 4 days exploring the ancient parts of town and enjoying some of the best tapas in Spain.
Optional stops: Costa Brava, San Sebastian, Nimes, and Avignon
Now it’s time to head to the charming Provence region of France. Arrive by train to Aix-en-Provence. This small enchanting town comes alive daily with farmer’s markets and showcases beautiful marble fountains and facades. Spend 2-3 days here.
Optional stops: Marseille, St Tropez, Menton
Rent a car to make the picturesque journey to Nice along the southern coast of France. Enjoy a walk on the promenade and relax here for 2-3 days.
Board the train to Genoa, Italy, with an optional stop to see the opulence of Monaco. Spend only one night here. The remainder of the trip by train to Florence will take 4 hours. Feel right at home in the streets of Florence, by sitting out al fresco with a glass of Tuscan wine. People watch or visit the famous duomo. A visit to Florence wouldn’t be complete without seeing the Uffizi Gallery or Statue of David. Spend 4-5 days.
Optional stops: Cinque Terre, Piza and Venice
On the last leg of this ultimate 3-month European itinerary, stop for a couple of nights in the Tuscan village of Siena before making your final stop in the ancient city of Rome for five days.
Contributed by Haley of Haley Blackall Travel
3 Months in Southern Europe Itinerary Summary
Lisbon -> Sintra -> Lagos -> Seville -> Granada (optional: Cordoba, Madrid) -> Barcelona (optional stops Costa Brava, San Sebastian, Nimes, Avignon) -> Aix-en-Provence, France (optional stops Marseille, St. Tropez, Menton) -> Nice -> Genoa, Italy -> Monaco -> Florence (optional stops Cinque Terre, Piza, Venice) -> Siena -> Rome
3 Months in Spain and Portugal by Train
While it’s impossible to see every single highlight of Spain and
Portugal in 3 months, visiting some of their biggest cities while also exploring their natural spaces and hidden gems (while mostly traveling by train) is very much possible. A week or two in each city is enough time to see what they have to offer and take day trips to explore their surroundings.
Starting with two weeks in Barcelona, there’s plenty of time to enjoy this city, its hidden gems, and surroundings. Visit Gaudi’s architectural creations, take the funicular to Montjuic, explore the Gothic Quarter, visit the MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona), and take day trips to Montserrat, Girona, and Figueres.
A train ride to the next stop, Valencia, takes two hours and 40 minutes or three and a half hours, where one could spend a week. From its old town to the modern complex of the City of Arts and Sciences to day trips like Xativa and Sagunto, there’s a lot to see here.
Next, after a quick train ride, stay in Madrid for two weeks. There are so many places to visit around it like Segovia, Toledo, Aranjuez, and Avila that one week for day trips and one laid-back week in the city are perfect.
Continue by train to one week in Granada and two weeks in Seville, which are fantastic bases to explore the region of Andalucia. Don’t miss their amazing landmarks like the Alhambra and the Alcazar of Seville, but hire a car to admire some Andalucian white-washed villages or visit national parks and take easy day trips to Jaen, Cadiz, and Jerez de la Frontera.
Crossing to Portugal, a 3-hour bus ride gets from Seville to Faro, a great one-week stop with fantastic beaches and a beautiful old town. It’s also possible to take day trips to the coastal Albufeira and Lagos.
Next, in one week in Lisbon, you can see many of the city’s highlights like Sao Gorge Castle, Tower of Belem, and National Tile Museum, while also taking a couple of day trips to Sintra and Obidos.
A 2-hour train ride will take you to Coimbra, a beautiful city known for its visit-worthy university, which is one of the oldest in Europe. After a couple of days in Coimbra, take easy day trips to Aveiro, Leiria, and the coastal Figueira da Foz.
Last but not least, one week in Porto is the ideal finish point to this itinerary. Spend a couple of days in Porto, have a quick hop to Gaia to sample some port wine, and take day trips to the Douro Valley and the cities of Guimarães, Viana do Castelo, and Braga.
By Or from My Path in the World
Itinerary for 3 months in Spain and Portugal Summary
Barcelona -> Valencia -> Madrid -> Granada -> Seville -> Faro -> Lisbon -> Coimbra -> Porto
3 months Road trip along the Mediterranean Sea
Depart from Nice, France exploring the small towns of Antibes and Toulon. In Toulon, you can stop by to explore The Mourillon Beaches. However, there is not much to explore here. You can stay for one day and continue your trip towards Montpellier. Explore the history here and enjoy a stay for two days. On your way to Barcelona, you will find towns like Narbonne and Girona. You can stop by to grab something to eat. Reach Barcelona, Spain to explore its diversity. Explore the best beaches in Southern Spain like Marbella, Nova Icaria, and more. To explore the capital, you should stay here for a month. You can stay at Safestay Barcelona until the next departure. Start your drive to the next major stop, Seville. Stay here for about 25 days to explore beaches like Canos de Meca and others. There is a lot to explore here. You can enjoy a stay at IBIS Sevilla.
Continue your way to Portugal. You will meet some port cities in Spain like Huelva where you can stay for one day or two. Then take the route to Algarve, Portugal that has a lot to offer. It is known for Atlantic beaches and a lot of hotels, villas, and restaurants. You can explore Albufeira, Lagos, Portimao, Alvor and popular monuments. Stay here for about a month to explore all the little corners. You can book a stay here at Hotel Algarve Casino. Then make your way back to Nice which would take you about 21 hours by car.
Contribution thanks to Paulina from Visit Southern Spain
90 days in Southern Europe Itinerary Summary
Nice -> Antibes and Toulon -> Montpellier -> Barcelona -> Marbella -> Seville -> Algarve Coast Portugal
3 Months off the Beaten Path in Italy and Greece
A continent as diverse as Europe is ideal for slow travelling and long vacation. If you have three months to spend roaming around Europe, why not plan a trip to enjoy the most off-the-beaten-path parts of Italy and Greece, with a pinch of the Asian continent? A road trip across Italy, Greece and Turkey is one of the best ways to experience the multicultural layers of Europe.
Start this road trip by exploring the rugged charm of Naples, the largest city in Southern Italy. Spend no less than four days there to visit the historical treasures of Pompeii and the Herculaneum and eat your body weight in pizza before heading to the colourful Amalfi Coast for a week.
The next stop is Matera, Italy’s ancient cave town. Although many travellers choose to see Matera on a day trip, it’s wise to spend two or three days there. From Matera, continue your road trip to Puglia, one of Italy’s most authentic regions, to enjoy the most scenic part of your entire trip for the next two weeks: Italy’s heel.
From Bari, Puglia’s capital, the ferry will take you to Corfu Island in Greece. Spend a week there before taking the ferry to Igoumenitsa on the western coast of the country. You’ve come to Epirus, probably the most jaw-dropping region in mainland Greece. Plan to spend at least two weeks exploring the area’s natural wonders, the gorgeous city of Ioannina and the picturesque villages of Zagori and Tzoumerka.
Then, head east to spend three or four days in Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece, which is renowned for its laid-back ambience and quality nightlife. Resuming your road trip eastwards, a true gem awaits. Lesser-known Xanthi is unique in terms of architecture and culture. Stay there for three days before embarking on the long drive that will take you to the most enchanting city in the world: Istanbul.
Spend a week indulging in the aromas and sights of this gorgeous city before yet another long drive to historic Izmir, the perfect base to explore Turkey’s coastline for a week or so. Afterwards, take the ferry to one of the most special Greek Islands, Chios and spend a week discovering all of its secrets before heading to Mykonos for a well-deserved week of relaxation, sunshine and cool dives in the Aegean Sea.
By Maria of It’s All Trip To Me
90 Days of Italy, Greece and Turkey Itinerary Summary
Naples -> Almalfi Coast -> Matera -> Puglia -> Corfu Island -> Igoumenitsa -> Epirus -> Thessaloniki -> Xanthi -> Istanbul -> Izmir -> Chios -> Mykonos
3 Months in Greece
Greece is blessed with numerous islands, and one of the most unique ways to experience this country and Europe is to spend a few months here, island-hopping.
The best way to go about it is to fly to Athens and spend a few days here and get a glimpse into the food and culture. While you’re here the Acropolis is not to be missed. Once you’re ready, from the port of Piraeus, pick any destination to head to first. Some destinations that have a ferry leaving from Piraeus are Aegina, Chania, Adamantas, Heraklion to name a few.
Another way to go about it is to fly to an island of your choice and then take a ferry/cruise/flight out of there to the next one. For many Santorini and Mykonos sit at the top of the list when it comes to visiting islands.
If you take a flight here, islands like Ios, Naxos, Paros and Mykonos are easily connected by ferry and you could continue hopping to these destinations and choose to spend a few days at each.
Ideally at least 4-5 days are recommended at each destination to explore it better.
If you choose to head to Chania from Athens (Piraeus) it is ideal to spend at least 3 weeks here.
Keep in mind that it is best to plan your itinerary beforehand and ensure you have the timings of the ferry noted. Since most islands are small, the ferry terminals are within easy distance.
Backpacking around Italy in 3 months by public transport
Italy is a big country with many famous landmarks, cities, coastlines, and picturesque nature. One way to seek that beautiful country is by backpacking and with public transport. The whole country is well covered by trains and busses. Another alternative way to travel around Italy cheaply is using ridesharing apps like BlaBlaCar.
There are many places to visit, but when planning a backpacking trip to Italy, the preferred starting point would be in northern Italy – Venice. The local airport is connected with several direct flights and that would be the perfect place for drop-off. It takes a full day to discover Venice islands and cross hundreds of bridges.
After that, it’s time to set sights on Romeo and Juliet’s town in Verona and spend a day there. After Verona, a quick stop next to Lake Garda is also a must when being in that area. Recommended is to visit Sirmione, which is at the top of the narrow peninsula on the shore of Lake Garda. After a short train ride, it’s time to visit Milan. A fashion capital is discovered within two days.
It’s time to go further south to Genoa. There are many things to seek within two days. After Genoa starts the Italian Riviera road trip. Along the coastal line are several small charming towns to visit like Bogliasco, Camogli, Portofino, and Sestri Levante. It’s also recommended to do a small hike from Portofino to San Fruttuoso. The Italian Riviera road trip ends with a magical Cinque Terre. There are plenty of things to do and see and might take about three days to discover.
After days in Cinque Terre, take a quick picture with Pisa tower before heading to the city full of art – Florence. It’s a big city with several historical sights and buildings that it takes at least two days to wander around.
After long train rides it’s time to move on with the busses. Exploring a Tuscany region starts with the town of towers – San Gimignano. When going more south it’s recommended to visit several small towns and villages like Colle di Val d’Elsa, Monteriggioni, Siena, San Quirico d’Orcia. Also on the way in Bagni san Filippo is a great place to soak in thermal springs.
Another bus ride takes backpackers on the shore of Lake Bolsena to the village of Bolsena. After that, it is recommended to visit “the dying city” – Civita di Bagnoregio. A hilltop village which is in danger of being damaged by erosion. Another bus ride takes travelers to historic Viterbo.
From Viterbo, it is possible to use a train again to move into the capital Rome. It’s recommended to stay there and discover the city for at least 4 days. Following Rome comes the Italian cuisine capital – Naples. There are so many things to do and see in and around Naples. Like the islands Capri, Ischia, and Procida. Archaeological parks in Pompeii and Ercolano. Volcanic Mount Vesuvius. Finally a magical Amalfi Coast. There are several public transportation options by bus and boats to do day trips from Naples.
After that, it’s time to discover Basilicata’s hidden gems. Firstly, backpackers need to take a train to Potenza and from there continue their journey by bus. The first stop would be the scenic mountain village Castelmezzano. There is also one of the highest-speed zip lines in Europe. After that, it’s time to take another bus ride to ancient Matera.
After a couple of days in Matera, it’s time to explore the Puglia region. Firstly, set sights on Taranto and explore its old town which is located on a small island in the middle of the city. After that take a bus ride to the top of the heel to Santa Maria di Leuca. Puglia is a beautiful coastal area with several towns like Santa Cesarea Terme and Otranto.
After small cities, it’s time to discover Lecce, which has a charming old town. After that visit “the White City” Ostuni, then take a bus and explore Locorotondo, Alberobello, and Monopoli. From there it’s possible to move on by train to Polignano a Mare and the final destination Bari.
A lot of Italy can be discovered by public transportation, using for while ridesharing or even trying hitchhiking.
By Erki from Genem Travels
3 Months Backpacking through Italy Itinerary Summary
Venice -> Verona -> Sirmione -> Milan -> Genoa -> Italian Riviera Road Trip (Bogliasco, Camogli, Portofino, Sestri Levante) -> Cinque Terre -> Florence -> San Gimignano -> Tuscany -> Bolsena -> Civita di Bagnoeregio -> Viterbo -> Rome -> Naples -> Castelmezzano -> Matera -> Taranto -> Santa Maria di Leuca -> Lecce -> Ostuni -> Locorotondo -> Polignano a Mare -> Bari
3 Months in Italy by Car
There is but one place to spend 3 months in Europe and that is without a doubt Italy. The country has such a rich history, a wide variety of geography (from mountains to beaches) and the food is always good, even in the biggest tourist trap you will hard pressed to find a bad meal, it is a matter of national pride after all!
Start your time in the Dolomites and hike your heart out: Tre Cime, Segesta, Sorapis are but a handful of the beautiful hikes around the area. You will also want to make time to explore the many vineyards in the region and take a swim in the pristine lakes. Some of the lakes in the Dolomites even offer the opportunity to go rent a boat and go rowing (Lago di Braies, Lago Dobbiaco).
Next make your way down to Venice and explore the romantic canals. Reward yourself with a delicious local ciccetti and a refreshing Aperol Spritz. Your trip will take you through magical Tuscany with the city of Florence being a must, but equally so the little villages dotted around the countryside! Umbria is the little sister of Florence, less expensive and wonderfully authentic. Go back in time as you visit all the little villages perched up on the hills, overlooking the valleys.
Visiting Italy without seeing Rome would be a real pity. The city has so much to offer that one could easily spend three months in Rome alone. From Rome head down to the Amalfi Coast and find out the true meaning of La Dolce Vita. Time permitting you might want to add in Sicily to your itinerary. This island has the most pristine beaches in all of Italy and has its fair share of UNESCO world heritage sites including the best ancient Greek ruins outside of Greece.
Contribution from Caroline at veggiewayfarer
3 months in Italy by Car Summary Itinerary
Dolomites -> Venice -> Tuscany -> Florence -> Umbria -> Rome -> Almalfi Coast -> Sicily
Europe has so many options for a fabulous vacation – long or small. It’s a perfect choice for a 3 month visit. Regardless if you like to travel fast and try to see all of the sites or if you like to travel slow and soak in the atmosphere – you will not be disappointed with any of the fabulous European travel itineraries.
Like this Article? Then pin me …
If you liked this article then you may like these European and Gap year Travel Articles too.