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Best Route Over The Alps To Lake Garda


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#1 Pilgokid

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:29 PM

Can anyone advise me of the best route over the Alps whilst towing a caravan?
I am starting from Calais and going to Lake Garda.
I have done this trip before and went through the St. Gotthard Tunnel but didn't reckon it too much (20 minutes through a one lane tunnel). I wondered if there was a "pass" route that wasn't too "hairy".
Also is it feasible to avoid Switzerland and therefore the cost of the autoroute permit?

#2 metz

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:34 PM

Hi, Chris and I went to Garda about three years ago, we traveled down through France, through the tunnel at Mont Blanc and basically turned left to Garda.

#3 crispy

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:39 PM

Without a doubt through Germany,Austria(you'll need a vignette)and over the Brenner,no steep hills and motorway all the way.

#4 John19

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 05:10 PM

Without a doubt through Germany,Austria(you'll need a vignette)and over the Brenner,no steep hills and motorway all the way.


We will be taking this route to Garda next year, starting in Rotterdam and travelling to Austria via Wurzburg and Munich. We easily give Switzerland a wide berth and is the obvious route from Rotterdam, but I am not sure about travel from Calais to Munich. Regular users of the Calais crossing should be able to help you with that information.

John.

#5 Des97

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 06:33 PM

We did this route in July this year but being retired we took our time. From Fornella at Lake Garda we took the route to Salbertrand, Frejus Tunnel, Les Abrets, Sennecy le grand, Langres, Arcis sur Aube, Berny Riviere, Calais. We did not exceed 200 miles in any one day and generally we did somewhere between 100 -150 per day. Total milage was 890 with over night stops at each site except Les abrets where we stayed 6 nights. I cannot recall what we paid in tolls. It was a great time other than the suicidal Italian drivers!
Des

#6 chapmag

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 07:11 PM

We went via the Mont Blanc tunnel in 2009.... €40 one way and (for some reason) €35 back the other way.

That and the rest of the tolls decided us on the Germany, Austria, Brenner Pass route next time we go!

HTH

G.

#7 klyne

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 07:23 PM

We hope to go to Italy in 2012 and we would normally go over the Fern and Brenner Passes to get to Lake Garda. However for this trip I am trying to pluck up courage to use the Reschen Pass! We used the Tunnel de Frejus a few years ago, very expensive, but I don't think I would use that to get to Lake Garda. The Austrian motorway vignette is much cheaper than the Swiss version and you only need it for the car. However there are additional tolls on the Brenner.

David

#8 KontikiKid

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 07:58 PM

Hi

I am a Garda regular and even lived there for a while. Towing, (and I used to tow a car) I would always say via Switzerland and the St Gotthard road tunnel. The tunnel is 11 miles long.

If you want to go via Switzerland, then this toll free route to Basle will save you a small fortune compared to going via Reims.

I appreciate that for caravanners, two vignettes are required - see here

If anyone requires any other advice/info about Garda, please feel free to ask. It is one of my favourite destinations - we were there two weeks ago - no other tourists though!

Calais to Lake Garda south (Peschiera, Lazise, Moniga, Desenzano, Manerba) is about 750 miles from Calais via Switzerland/Luxembourg.

Russell

Edited by Kontiki, 13 December 2011 - 07:59 PM.


#9 Glen and Les

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 08:21 PM

We're also off to Lake Garda next year and our route will definitely be out through Belgium, Germany (maybe Luxembourg) then Austria/Brenner pass, before getting to our destination. Several CT members have stated that the Fern pass is OK, but if courage fails then it'll be via Munich/Innsbruck.

#10 KontikiKid

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 08:57 PM

Back in January 2006, we came back from Garda via the Brenner Pass and Innsbruck. Journey to Calais was a fair bit longer in miles than via Basle. I did not document stuff at that time, but it seemed to take ages. That said, we were staying at Moniga del Garda, so took the motorhome up the west side of the Lake to Riva, then towards the A22 from there.

Tolls for a motorhome in Austria make it a no no no these days due to the Go Box being needed for over 3500 kg.

Russell

#11 snooks

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 09:23 PM

We have always gone the Calais, Belgiium, Germany, Austria,n Brenner Motorway to Garda except if we have been touring other countires first. We have been through France and along the south coast and to Black Forest and then along to Innsbruck.
We have never ventured down the Fern as we have a large outfit. If going now to Garda we would make for stop near to Bitburg, perhaps the Rhine or Heidleberg for the 2nd stop then to by pass Munich and down to Innsbruck. You can see the various ways we have been to Innsbruck on my website as below. We have been to Switzerland with the caravan but never again. Do not like paying nearly £50 to cross a country or more in France..

#12 Wayneskie

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 10:18 PM

Drove back from Rome last year in a 17 tonne truck. The route up to and through Mont Blanc is stunning both sides and is pretty much motorway. Shouldn't be a problem. have also done the Frejus tunnel from Basel into Italy which was a big mistake due to carnais problems. Another story!

Don't agree about Italian driving though. Having lived and worked in Rome for four months last year, I cannot say the driving is any different to London or any big city. I tend to notice Sunday driving in the UK is different to a far greater degree!

#13 Big Tim

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:47 PM

Can anyone advise me of the best route over the Alps whilst towing a caravan?
I am starting from Calais and going to Lake Garda.
I have done this trip before and went through the St. Gotthard Tunnel but didn't reckon it too much (20 minutes through a one lane tunnel). I wondered if there was a "pass" route that wasn't too "hairy".
Also is it feasible to avoid Switzerland and therefore the cost of the autoroute permit?


Hi

In 2006 when we were delayed by puncture and arrived at the northern entrance to the St Gotthard Tunnel on the evening of the last Friday in July - the world and its uncle, (aunt, cousins and grandparents too probably were queueing to go through the tunnel. I noticed the sign for the St Gotthard Pass and decided to try it. The ascent was by a long series of hairpins which weren't too steep. This was foilowed by a relatively flat plateau section and then the descent was again by relatively gentle hairpins. At that time we had a Vauxhall Monterey towing an Avondale Landranger and the car coped with the pass without any problems.

We have, also, travelled back from near Lake Garda via the Brenner Motorway into Austria. As has already been said the Austrian motorway vignette works out much cheaper than the Swiss one as it can be bought for short periods and is only needed for the car and not the caravan too. There are extra tolls for the Brenner motorway but it is an easy route on a good road with no serious gradients.

Tim

#14 BFM

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:58 PM

I found Lake Garda a terrible let-down. Yes, the campsite was fantastic. But getting to and around Garda towing was just horrible with tiny congested roads.

#15 millerhouse12

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 12:24 AM

We hope to go to Italy in 2012 and we would normally go over the Fern and Brenner Passes to get to Lake Garda. However for this trip I am trying to pluck up courage to use the Reschen Pass!
David


It's a few years since we came over the Reschen Pass but as I recall it was a very easy drive which gave us no trouble even with a misfiring turbo. Don't know what the road surface is like nowadays, but the gradient would give you no trouble. We came off that and over the Fern Pass without touching any Austrian motorways. I wouldn't hesitate to use it again. We went to Garda again in 2009 and used the Gotthard tunnel both ways as we wanted to spend some time in Switzerland. It's long and boring, but again an easy drive with some great views.

John M

#16 hairdresser

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 09:43 AM

We travel to Lake Garda regally (like every year) we have tried most routes, but this is the cheapest towing a caravan, we go Dover to Dunkirk,via Belgium then on to Luxembourg,Saarbrücken,Pirmasens, towards Stuttgart,eather down to Lake Konstanze or to Ulm to Bregenz, we get the Austrian vignette cant rember how much it costs but only a few euro's as said much cheaper than the Swiss one,we then head towards Innsbruck but turn off at Landeck as it is such a pretty drive,we pick up the motorway at Bozen down to Lake Garda 10 euro's. it probably half a tank more of fuel than the Swiss way. But not using the French motorways and the Swiss vignette there and back you can save a lot of money, saying that we have 7 weeks so we are not in any hurry if you only have 2 or 3 weeks you want to get there as quickly as you can the Franch motorway and the Swiss route is quicker. We stay at Lazies for a couple of weeks or so then on to Lake Iseo such a pretty Lake and not so touristy.what ever route you take I hope you have a lovely time.

#17 not so big john

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 06:11 PM

We travel to Lake Garda regally (like every year) we have tried most routes, but this is the cheapest towing a caravan, we go Dover to Dunkirk,via Belgium then on to Luxembourg,Saarbrücken,Pirmasens, towards Stuttgart,eather down to Lake Konstanze or to Ulm to Bregenz, we get the Austrian vignette cant rember how much it costs but only a few euro's as said much cheaper than the Swiss one,we then head towards Innsbruck but turn off at Landeck as it is such a pretty drive,we pick up the motorway at Bozen down to Lake Garda 10 euro's. it probably half a tank more of fuel than the Swiss way. But not using the French motorways and the Swiss vignette there and back you can save a lot of money, saying that we have 7 weeks so we are not in any hurry if you only have 2 or 3 weeks you want to get there as quickly as you can the Franch motorway and the Swiss route is quicker. We stay at Lazies for a couple of weeks or so then on to Lake Iseo such a pretty Lake and not so touristy.what ever route you take I hope you have a lovely time.

We used a very similar route to Garda this summer, avoiding the Swiss Vignette problem. Overnight and fill up with cheap fuel in Luxembourg, overnight in the Black Forest, overnight in Pettneu in Arlberg. You can buy the Austrian Vignette at the border at Bregenz. When we got to Trento, instead of turning right to Riva we turned left to Lake Caldonazzo for a change. A bit quieter than Garda, but not quite as scenic.

On the way back we came past Turin and up towards the Frejus tunnel, but avoided the tunnel cost by taking the Col de Mont Cenis, a spectacular run and easier than we expected.

Edited by not so big john, 14 December 2011 - 06:11 PM.


#18 crispy

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 08:34 PM

Hmmm,not so big,been over 'cenis a few times with a 38 ton artic,some years ago......but with my own car and caravan,not so sure,as you say though,a beautiful part of the world.and going up it at 3-4 mph.......there's loads of time to appreciate it.!!

#19 freddie

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 10:40 PM

cenis simplon in the summer what views brenner i found a lot of no over taking road works its swiss every time for me gotthard crossing in to italyponte fiasco
but thats the way i have always gone it steems back from running to milan every week in the 80s

#20 KontikiKid

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 08:05 AM

Don't forget that the Swiss vignette is potentially valid for 14 months, so you could find it covers "this years trip and next" depending upon when you buy it.

Our permit cost 32,50 Francs for 10 days worth of travel within 12 months so it covered the trip in November, it will also cover May/June and September.

Russell




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