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2 wk road trip loop from Frankfurt, where to go?

2 wk road trip loop from Frankfurt, where to go?

Nov 1st, 2015, 09:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2015
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2 wk road trip loop from Frankfurt, where to go?

Hello fellow travelers,

I'm planning on doing a road trip in early June 2016 and I need some (ok maybe a lot) of guidance. The only things that are set in stone is the closed-loop road trip beginning in Frankfurt, Germany from June 6 - June 21 (when we fly back to the states). There are 6 of us traveling with 2 toddlers and 2 SUVs. The specific dynamic of the group would require us to take it slower, driving short stretches and stopping often (for photos and such). I was thinking about making it an Alpine Road trip from Austria and Switzerland and possible Northern Italy. Is there anyone who is familiar with that area who can provide some insight?

Much appreciated!
GooberLili is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 01:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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I've done a fair bit of driving in this area my thoughts would be June is a good month to do this sort of thing, most, if not all, passes will be open. One of the best routes south is roud the east tip of Lake Constance (I wouldn't bother visiting Lichtenstein) but the Rhine up into the alps is a good road and very interesting. Lake Constance is a good resting area before hand, with a Zepplin Museum and othr fun things to do on the lake.

The Dolamites are pretty wonderful area to visit.

Wurzberg and Ulm are nice little cities to visit on the way down. Don't avoid the Mosel/Pfalz/Rhine close to Frankfurt just because it is close, the little villages are very pretty.

Other than that Switzerland is an expensive place, don't be surprised.
bilboburgler is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 01:17 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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First, unless you have a really good reason for a SUV, I would look at vans or wagons instead.

What kind of things are your group interested in? Anything you want to avoid?

An obvious suggestion would be the Romantic Road, but we really need more information about what you are looking for if you want good suggestions.
sparkchaser is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 01:58 AM
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If you prefer to do short stints of driving then your idea of going through Austria and Switzerland to Italy doesn't really fit. Instead I suggest doing a loop south-west down through Bavaria, skirting the german/austrian border [lots of lovely mountains there] to Lake Constance, then heading north through the Black first, and back to Frankfurt via the Mosel.

That would be plenty long enough in the 2 weeks you have and you wouldn't run out of things to do and see in that time.
annhig is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 03:11 AM
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Net driving time from Frankfurt to Venice is about 9 hours, so your trip is perfectly doable. Here is a suggestion for an itinerary:

Take your cars (indeed no need for SUVs) at Frankfurt Airport and drive to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It takes roughly two hours until you reach your hotel in that small town (try to get an early check-in when making the reservation). Stay there at least two night in order to deal with the jet lag. Picturesque Rothenburg is fine to visit and you find a lot of attractions in the surroundings, including Würzburg with a splendid palace, Dinkelsbühl, Nördlingen, Neresheim Abbey. You will get your first taste of historic Europe there.

From there, you can driver further southwards. On the way, you find München - a large city with many things to do and so see - and the Allgäu - the scenic foothills of the Alps with the Ludwig Castles (Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, Hohenschwangau). In Garmisch-Partenkirchen, you may get your first Alpine experience by taking the cable car up the peak of the Zugspitze. Stay at least for two nights either in Hohenschwangau or in Garmisch.

Then you cross Austria and drive into northern Italy. The Dolomites are very scenic and Lake Garda is breathtaking. Stay overnight at the lake, e.g. in Limone. From Lake Garda, you can visit Verona with the Roman amphitheatre and Julia's balcony.

From there, it is a short drive to Venice, an incredible historic city.

Then you have to make a decision:

Either driving back northwards via Austria - through the lake region of Kärnten, the impressive Großglockner mountain(3798m) and Salzburg or driving westwards through northern Italy with more sights along the way (Lake Como, Milano, Lago Maggiore) and then northwards through Switzerland. I am not quite sure whether the last option is advisable because it means much more driving and more stops and I think you do not have enough time for that.

Or you skip Venice - but Venice is so spectacular and since you are in the region it would be a sin to skip it.
traveller1959 is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 03:21 AM
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traveller - that's a great route, but they only have a week out and a week back, so barely any time to see the lovely things that you have mentioned. The sights you have listed for Rothenburg would take at least 3 days to see properly, ditto the castles and scenery on the way to Garmish. That's a week almost gone before they get to the Dolomites, Garda, Verona and Venice.

one way to do this would of course be to fly to Venice and drive back but drop-off fees probably make the cost prohibitive.

julies - there is always a compromise to be made, but personally, I would leave Italy for another trip.
annhig is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 04:55 AM
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what is a SUV?
bilboburgler is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 05:29 AM
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Sport Utility vehicle. Think Jeeps, Land Rovers, Land Cruisers, and their less iconic siblings.
sparkchaser is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 05:50 AM
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do they think it's Iceland?

Goober, we have blacktop in Europe, if you want to go off road you'll either need to go to Iceland or book into an off raod driving centre.
bilboburgler is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 05:54 AM
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Don't forget if you go to Austria or Switzerland you need a vignette for the car, which adds to the expense. SUVs tend to be thirsty and European fuel is considerably more expensive than US fuel.

If you want to stop and explore along the way then stick with annhig's
suggestion. Otherwise your road trip will be just that. Lots of roads and driving with little time to appreciate what is along those roads.
hetismij2 is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2015, 05:56 AM
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do they think it's Iceland?

sparkchaser is offline  
Nov 4th, 2015, 12:48 PM
Original Poster
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Thanks for the suggestions regarding the SUV rental; we might just have to pass on that option

To answer some questions:

sparkchaser - There isn't anything we'd like to avoid, we are just looking for scenic drives and potential for some small town exploring.

traveller - venice is not our goal. I've already been there and I don't think it's worht a second trip (personal opinion)

So far what it looks like is that the best way to do this would be to visit Bavaria (Romantic Road) and either Austria(Grossgluckner mountain) or Northern Italy (Dolomites). Any thoughts on which?
GooberLili is offline  
Nov 6th, 2015, 03:34 PM
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If you are interested in the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse AND the Dolomites, do this easy loop:

From Frankfurt, I agree with heading to Rothenburg for 2 nights.

From there, head to the Garmisch area, but we prefer staying in nearby Mittenwald, about 20 minutes away. Stay for at least 3 nights if you want to visit Fuessen, Neuschwanstein, Zugspitze, Ettal, Oberammergau, Linderhof palace, etc.

From here, head to the Dolomites (Val Gardena) via Innsbruck. This is about a 3 hour drive. Stay another 3 nights. Plenty of cable car trips, scenic drives, a number of Dolomite passes, etc.

Head west through the Alta Badia to Cortina and on to Lienz and stay a night in Heiligenblut, at the southern start of the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse.

Drive the Grossglockner and spend 2 nights in Zell am See.

Head back towards the Frankfurt area with 2 or so nights to do so.

pja1 is offline  
Nov 6th, 2015, 10:35 PM
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Have you been to Germany? What things are you interested in?
Car Museums?

It seems that with small children it may be best to find spots to stay and day trip from there.

How often do you plan on moving to a new lodging?
LSky is offline  
Nov 7th, 2015, 03:43 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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this was your brief, Lilli.


doesn't really fit the brief. too much driving for my tastes, especially with those kids in tow. I agree with LSky - pick 3-4 bases within a reasonably small area and use them for day trips. The kids, and therefore you, will be glad you did.
annhig is offline  

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