42 days in Asia, Europe & Mexico Itinerary

42 days in Asia, Europe & Mexico Itinerary

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Route & dates

42 days in Asia, Europe & Mexico Itinerary

Start: Sydney, Australia
Fly:  23​h
1
Veligandu, Maldives
— 1 day
Travel:  5​h
2
Vaavu Atoll, Maldives
— 2 nights
Fly:  18​h
3
Rome, Italy
— 5 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
4
Florence, Italy
— 5 nights
train:  2​h 15​min
5
Venice, Italy
— 5 nights
+2
Fly + foot + train:  4​h 15​min
6
Nice, France
— 5 nights
+2
train + foot + Fly:  4​h
7
Barcelona, Spain
— 5 nights
train:  2​h 30​min
8
Madrid, Spain
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h
9
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
— 4 nights
+4
train + bus + Fly + foot + bus:  15​h 15​min
10
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
— 4 nights
+2
bus + foot + Fly:  24​h
End: Sydney, Australia

1
day
Veligandu, Maldives

Veligandu ©
Crisp white sands merge into transparent, exotic waters at Veligandu, one of the many atolls that make up the Maldives.
To find traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Veligandu route tool .

Sydney, Australia to Veligandu is an approximately 23-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (New South Wales) to Maldives Time is minus 5 hours. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Sydney in December: high temperatures in Veligandu hover around 36°C and lows are around 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Sat) to allow time for travel to Vaavu Atoll.

Things to do in Veligandu

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Veligandu Island Beach ©
Veligandu Island Beach

2
nights
Vaavu Atoll, Maldives

Vaavu Atoll ©
Also known as Felidhoo Atoll, Vaavu Atoll regularly ranks among tourists' favorites in the Maldives, thanks to its untouched nature and fantastic diving sites.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): head off the coast to Alimatha Island and then enjoy the sand and surf at Bodu Mora.

To find photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Vaavu Atoll journey site .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Veligandu to Vaavu Atoll. In December, daily temperatures in Vaavu Atoll can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) so you can travel to Rome.

Things to do in Vaavu Atoll

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Alimatha Island ©
Alimatha Island

5
nights
Rome, Italy

Rome ©
Aptly nicknamed the Eternal City, Rome is the birthplace of the Roman Empire, one of the world's greatest civilizations ever.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Vatican Museums and Colosseum. Step off the beaten path and head to Roman Forum and Sistine Chapel. There's lots more to do: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Basilica di San Pietro, ponder the design of Trevi Fountain, admire the masterpieces at Capitoline Museums, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Church of St. Louis of the French.

To find maps, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Rome trip itinerary planning app .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Vaavu Atoll to Rome. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 4 hours traveling from Vaavu Atoll to Rome. Traveling from Vaavu Atoll in December, things will get colder in Rome: highs are around 16°C and lows about 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sat) early enough to take a train to Florence.

Things to do in Rome

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trip

Vatican City
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
St. Peter's Basilica ©
St. Peter's Basilica
Colosseum ©
Colosseum
Vatican Museums
Vatican Museums

5
nights
Florence, Italy

Florence ©
Considered a cultural, artistic, and architectural jewel of Italy, Florence is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.
Step off the beaten path and head to Siena Cathedral and Piazza del Campo. Museum-lovers will appreciate Uffizi Gallery and Pitti Palace. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Florence: Palazzo Pubblico and Museo Civico (in Siena) and Castello del Trebbio (in Santa Brigida). The adventure continues: take in the spiritual surroundings of Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, appreciate the history behind Campanile di Giotto, don't miss a visit to Piazzale Michelangelo, and take in the views from Ponte Vecchio.

To find where to stay, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Florence trip planning site .

Getting from Rome to Florence by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or fly. Expect a daytime high around 15°C in December, and nighttime lows around 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) to allow enough time to take a train to Venice.

Things to do in Florence

Museums Historic Sites Wineries

Side Trips

Siena, Castello del Trebbio
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Uffizi Galleries ©
Uffizi Galleries
Siena Cathedral ©
Siena Cathedral
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore ©

5
nights
Venice, Italy

Venice ©
Virtually unchanged for the last six centuries, Venice is actually a group of islands made famous by a series of canals, bridges, monuments, piazzas, and narrow pedestrian lanes.
Museum-lovers will appreciate Porta della Carta and Ca' Rezzonico. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to St Mark's Campanile and Isola di Burano. Venture out of the city with trips to Padua (Basilica di Sant’Antonio - Basilica del Santo & Scrovegni Chapel). There's much more to do: admire the striking features of Basilica di San Marco, get lost in a book at Museo Correr, explore the galleries of Ca' d'Oro, and explore the world behind art at Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

For where to stay, maps, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Venice holiday planning app .

Traveling by train from Florence to Venice takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Florence in January, things will get a bit cooler in Venice: highs are around 9°C and lows about 0°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Nice.

Things to do in Venice

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trip

Padua
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Doge's Palace ©
Doge's Palace
St. Mark's Square
St. Mark's Square
Basilica di San Marco
Basilica di San Marco

5
nights
Nice, France

Nice ©
Well-known for the beautiful views of its famous Promenade des Anglais waterfront, Nice is an ethnically-diverse coastal port city on the French Riviera and the fifth most populated city in France.
Visiting Saint Dalmas Le Selvage and Lérins Islands will get you outdoors. Your inner history buff will appreciate Vieille Ville and Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild. Explore Nice's surroundings by going to Chapelle Des Pénitents Blancs (in St-Paul-de-Vence), Chapelle des Penitents Blancs (in Peillon) and Rue d'Antibes (in Cannes). The adventure continues: admire the masterpieces at Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, take in the spiritual surroundings of St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral, kick back and relax at Castel Plage, and step into the grandiose world of Palais Lascaris.

To find reviews, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read our Nice trip builder .

You can fly from Venice to Nice in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Traveling from Venice in January, expect Nice to be a bit warmer, temps between 15°C and 6°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Barcelona.

Things to do in Nice

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Cannes, Eglise, Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild, Saint Dalmas Le Selvage, Chapelle Des Pénitents Blancs
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Vieille Ville ©
Vieille Ville
Lérins Islands ©
Lérins Islands

5
nights
Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona ©
Barcelona, the country’s second-largest city, is a cosmopolitan urban center known for its throbbing youthful energy and stellar architecture.
La Sagrada Familia and El Barri Gòtic are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Explore hidden gems such as Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey and Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar. There's lots more to do: explore the galleries of Casa Batlló, enjoy the sand and surf at La Barceloneta, examine the collection at El Cafè de la Pedrera, and don't miss a visit to Park Güell.

For where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Barcelona road trip app .

Traveling by flight from Nice to Barcelona takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. January in Barcelona sees daily highs of 17°C and lows of 7°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) so you can take a train to Madrid.

Things to do in Barcelona

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Basilica of the Sagrada Familia ©
Basilica of the Sagrada Familia
Casa Batllo ©
Casa Batllo
El Barri Gòtic ©
El Barri Gòtic

3
nights
Madrid, Spain

Madrid ©
Madrid is known for its cultural and artistic heritage, lively nightlife, and a dynamic culinary scene.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Museo Nacional del Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Royal Palace of Madrid and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Take a break from Madrid with a short trip to Catedral Primada in Toledo, about 1h 30 min away. The adventure continues: explore the activities along Retiro Park (Parque del Retiro), tour the pleasant surroundings at Casa de Campo, admire the masterpieces at Sorolla Museum, and admire the landmark architecture of Plaza Mayor.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, use the Madrid trip itinerary builder app .

You can take a train from Barcelona to Madrid in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Barcelona in January, with highs in Madrid at 13°C and lows at 2°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 21st (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Edinburgh.

Things to do in Madrid

Museums Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Catedral Primada
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Prado National Museum ©
Prado National Museum
Royal Palace of Madrid ©
Royal Palace of Madrid
Catedral Primada ©
Catedral Primada

4
nights
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Edinburgh ©
World Heritage-listed Edinburgh combines ancient and modern in a uniquely Scottish atmosphere.
Step off the beaten path and head to National Museum of Scotland and Royal Yacht Britannia. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Edinburgh Old Town and Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. There's lots more to do: step into the grandiose world of Edinburgh Castle, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St Giles' Cathedral, make a trip to Real Mary King's Close, and take in the dramatic natural features at Arthur's Seat.

To find reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Edinburgh trip planning app .

Traveling by flight from Madrid to Edinburgh takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and train; or take a train. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Madrid to Edinburgh. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Madrid in January: highs in Edinburgh hover around 7°C, while lows dip to 1°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Fri) so you can travel to Playa del Carmen.

Things to do in Edinburgh

Historic Sites Museums Childrens Museums
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Edinburgh Old Town ©
Edinburgh Old Town
Edinburgh Castle ©
Edinburgh Castle
Royal Yacht Britannia ©
Royal Yacht Britannia

4
nights
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen ©
The tourist hub of the popular Mayan Riviera, upscale Playa del Carmen remains the jewel of Mexico's Caribbean coastline.
Step out of the city life by going to Scuba & Snorkeling and Xel-Ha. Discover out-of-the-way places like Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá and Akumal Beach. Change things up with a short trip to Ruins of Tulum in Tulum (about 1h 05 min away).

To see where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Playa del Carmen online trip builder .

Traveling by combination of train, flight, and bus from Edinburgh to Playa del Carmen takes 15.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train, flight, and bus; or do a combination of flight and ferry. You'll gain 5 hours traveling from Edinburgh to Playa del Carmen due to the time zone difference. Prepare for warmer weather when traveling from Edinburgh in January: high temperatures in Playa del Carmen hover around 28°C and lows are around 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Playa del Carmen

Outdoors Wildlife Adventure

Side Trips

Xel-Ha, Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá, Ruins of Tulum, Akumal Beach
Find places to stay Jan 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Xel-Ha ©
Xel-Ha
Akumal Beach ©
Akumal Beach
Scuba & Snorkeling

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