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The Best Way to Basel Switzerland

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Hello. I will be traveling with four other adults, ages 40-50, in late March 2017. We are scheduled to take a cruise which departs from Basel, Switzerland. In order to see more of Europe, we were considering flying into a different city a few days before our departure, then traveling by car or train to Basel. Since Basel is just a 4-5 hour drive from Milan, I was considering flying into Milan and touring Northern Italy/Switzerland by car. Three days is the maximum time we have. Milan seems to be a good one-day visit. Is this a good plan? Would you recommend us starting from a different city? What cities or towns would you recommend to stop and see on our way to Basel? The many lake towns look spectacular. We are an active bunch who enjoy the outdoors. We are not much into shopping, but would like to pick up unique gifts for friends back home. Two of us are foodies and appreciate a great glass of wine. One of us is crazy about craft beers and whiskey, two drink anything that's free or Miller Lite. All of us are easy going and incredibly excited to see this part of Europe. It will be the first time visiting Europe for three of us. Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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