Before heading to Europe, we are doing a roadtrip to the Canadian Maritimes to see Trevor’s family with stops in Montreal, the Bay of Fundy, Halifax, Old Quebec, and Ottawa. We’ll then return to Christine’s parents for Canada Day before heading off.
Our first stop is Iceland as part of Icelandair’s “free layover” offer. For the price of a flight to Europe, we get to stay in Iceland for 7 days before connecting on. We will drive the ring road, and spend some time in Reykjavik before moving on.
We were somewhat limited by Icelandair’s available connections, but decided to fly to Helsinki because “why not?”. Plus our goal was to get to the Baltics, which is only a short ferry ride away from Helsinki. We’re limiting our time in Helsinki just due to the high cost, but are definitely looking forward to it.
We will be exploring Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania over the course of approximately two weeks. We will fit in the capital cities, but also some smaller towns like Tartu and Klaipeda to get a better feeling for the countries outside of the obvious tourist spots.
For two weeks, we will be seeing a lot of Poland. Again, we’re planning a mixture of bigger cities and smaller towns, with the highlight obviously being Krakow but also Zakopane for some hiking. We both find WWII history very interesting, and there is plenty of that, as well as vodka and pierogies.
England and Scotland
In August, we will be traveling to Northern England to attend a friend’s wedding. We will take the opportunity to visit some of Trevor’s relatives, but also fit in some hiking in the Lakes District of England and Scottish Highlands.
Slovenia is an easy flight from the UK and a great place to explore in the early autumn, so we plan to spend about a week there before heading south to chase the warm weather.
The Balkans, especially Croatia, have been on our bucket list for years. Over the course of about a month, we will get to explore Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Serbia. We will have time to visit the main highlights, but also some of the national parks and more off the beaten track places.
By now it will be October, and we were trying to find places that were easy to get to from Serbia and would still be warm (and hotels/restaurants would still be open) that late in the season. Cyprus seemed like a great fit, has an amazing history, and a chance to relax on a beach after months on the road.
Israel is the real wild-card for us. Neither of us are particularly religious, but the amount of history and sites that can be seen in Israel is unreal. Plus, it’s still warm in November and Air Canada flies direct back to Toronto. Done deal!