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10 days in Austria, northern Italy and Switzerland - trying to do too much?

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May 10th, 2008, 07:21 PM
  #1
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10 days in Austria, northern Italy and Switzerland - trying to do too much?

We've never been to these places, and are intending to travel in October and travelling by car. Our preliminary plan is to do a roundtrip from Munich, and visit

Salzburg
take Grossglockner alpine road towards the Dolomites
St Moritz area
Lake Como
Zermatt
Interlaken area
Lucern
Zurich
then return to Munich.

We recognize that we can't see everything, but are trying to do a general tour - so that when we return we know where we'd like to focus time. Is it too much? Do you have any suggestions for changes?

Thanks very much
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May 10th, 2008, 09:42 PM
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Looks like a fine trip you have planned.

Most suggestions I have for changes are based on personal preferences (or bias):

I'd skip Zermatt as I don't like that long "one way" detour from the main route. Zermatt is car-free, so you have to leave your car in a large car park and take the train to Zermatt. For others, Zermatt is probably the highlight of their trip, though.

Interlaken/Lucerne are more or less the same area, so you could take a base in the Berner Oberland and see Lucerne in a day trip if you don't want to move for another night.

Zurich may be the second item on "my" list to skip, unless you have a special reason to visit (museums, etc.).

Travelwise, it will make a difference if your 10 days are at the beginning or at the end of October. Mountain pass roads usually won't close officially until November 1, but you can hardly foresee what kind of weather you will encounter at the very end of October at 10,000ft elevation (esp. on Grossglocker Alpine Rd).

Unless you already have found hotels you definetely want to stay at, I'd say that you don't need to reserve ahead, esp. not for the weekdays of your itinerary. But you should reserve for those 1-2 nights in Salzburg at the beginning of your trip.

When you look for places to stay in the Dolomites, you may like Pragser Wildsee/ Lago di Braies. It's a short drive from Toblach/ Dobbiaco, and has one of the nicest locations IMO:
Website only in German and Italian, but you may get an impression just clicking through the website:
http://www.pragserwildsee.com/main.php?lang=de
In the left hand navigation, Lage means location, Zimmer means rooms, and Ambiente is probably self-explaining ;-)

Cowboy1968 is offline  
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May 10th, 2008, 11:56 PM
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Simple answer for your question: Yes.

You're definitely trying to do/see too much. You'll pass through all the beautiful landscapes, see a bit from the car, but won't have the time to really let the experience sink in.

Also, keep in mind the days are short in October. The weather probably won't be stable enough to provide sunshine every day, so you'll definitely miss some of the mountain views that you try to get (and drive so far distances). Better skip Western Switzerland or the Eastern part (Salzburg, Dolomites) and concentrate on the rest.

I.
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May 11th, 2008, 03:48 AM
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Sounds like too much to me, unless you like seeing things from the car window.

As Cowboy suggests, I would drop Zermatt (nice, but out of the way) and Zurich (just a big city). Salzburg and Lucern are nice. I haven't been to the other areas.

I wouldn't want to see more than 3 places in that time, but that is a personal choice.
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May 11th, 2008, 05:10 AM
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I'd suggest that you construct your itinerary around two locations (5 days apiece) from which you could then see (some of) the sites you want to see as day-trips from there.

That way you'll have a home base to return to each night. And you'll get to know that area a bit and perhaps slow yourselves down to do some hiking, picnicking and/or some leisurely drives.

The Salzburg area - Berchtesgaden and the Salzkammergut - would be one. The other could be one of the towns in the midst of the Dolomites.
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May 11th, 2008, 05:13 AM
  #6
ira
 
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Hi M,

>We recognize that we can't see everything,

That's the first step toward recovering your sanity.

>but are trying to do a general tour - so that when we return we know where we'd like to focus time.

That is why there are guide books.

At least you have limited your sites/sights to fairly short drives.

Your plan is doable, if the mountain roads are open.

Munich is worth 2-3 nights.

You ought to give Salzburg at least 3 nights (one day for driving through the Salzkammergut).

1-2 nights for Luzern

I suggest no less than 2 nights for each stop.

How important is Zurich?

Hope this helps.

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May 11th, 2008, 09:39 AM
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You're not allowing much time in each place. Even counting Interlaken/Lucern as one, you still have 7 destinations in only 10 days, less a lot of driving time... which I'm no expert but that seems too much.
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May 11th, 2008, 09:44 AM
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I don't know what you've seen before but if it were me, I'd do all ten days (flying into and) touring Italy. It has history, towns small and large, countryside, everything you'll want to see.
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May 12th, 2008, 04:07 PM
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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. We were starting to think it was long after reading others' itineraries. I think we'll see how we can pare it down - we've started by eliminating Zermatt and Zurich as suggested, to allow for a couple of 2-night stops.

We are planning on the beginning of October, because of the weather.
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