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Could I fit all this into a 3 week road trip?


Sep 8th, 2014, 09:56 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Could I fit all this into a 3 week road trip?

Hi there,

I am new to the forum and would really appreciate some advice please.
I am trying to plan a possible 3 week driving trip with my partner in our campervan around Europe. We'd be looking at leaving in the next 2 weeks or so.
I have narrowed down my options quite a bit already but I am still not sure if what I have planned to cover would be too much ground in just 3 weeks.

So, this is what I have so far.......I plan on catching a Friday, late night ferry to Hook of Holland which gets in at 7.45am on the Saturday. Drive up to Amsterdam and spend a night or two there. Then make our way onto Frankfurt, perhaps stopping halfway in Cologne for a few quick hours of sightseeing. Arriving in Frankfurt early evening all being well and perhaps only staying the one night (we're not looking at spending too much time in big cities) and we can explore a bit the following day.
From there we would go onto explore the Black Forest and probably stay there 2 nights.

We know we definitely would like to spend some time in Slovenia so we would then head in that direction perhaps leaving the Black Forest out along past Lake Bodensee and via Munich, Salzburg (or any other suggested stops along the way?) and then down into Slovenia. I'm not sure how long to allow from the Black Forest to Slovenia. We would probably stick to the west of Slovenia mainly and include Bled and Ljubljana and leave from Piran. We would like to able to spend more time then anywhere else in Slovenia really. Maybe 5 days if at all possible?

From Piran, onto Venice. Spend a night or two here. Maybe only the one as we have been many times before but we love it so maybe longer depending on how long we spent in Slovenia. Has anyone had any experience of parking securely on the outskirts of Venice before? Is it ridiculously expensive?

From Venice, onto Turin via Verona & Milan (or other smaller spots along the way if anyone can recommend anywhere?) If it is going to be too busy/stressful to stop off for some sightseeing in Verona & Milan then we're not too worried about skipping them. Perhaps some lakes instead, Lake Garda, Como etc.

From Turin, up to Lyon then heading back in the general direction of Le Harve. I'm not sure how long to allow for this section really. We would perhaps like to go to Paris for a day by using public transport from a hotel we could stay at that has parking. I know that Paris deserves a lot more than a day as do other spots we will visit but we will obviously be tight on time and we can always go back to them on city breaks.

We would get a ferry back probably early Saturday evening. Probably stay overnight in Honfleur beforehand so that we can relax a bit without a long drive before getting the ferry home.

I apologise if I have provided too much/too little info! I would really love to hear from anyone who might have some advice for us.
We have done quite a few driving holidays before but nothing that covers this much ground. We both quite like driving and plan on sharing the duty! We ideally don't want to do any more than about 4 hours driving in any one go and not too often really. Is that totally unrealistic? I have google mapped the route and the entire trip says 3191km and 33hours of driving. I know that google maps can be a bit optimistic with their timings so I don't really know what to go on. For example, from Salzburg to Bled it says 2hrs 37mins via the A10 road. As this must be going through the Alps surely this is totally unrealistic?

We plan on doing a mixture of camping and hotels/guest houses along the way depending on where we are. Is there anywhere in particular that if we were to hotel it, I'd need to book up in advance. I have read that it might be a good idea to Slovenia but I think we'd be mainly camping in Slovenia anyway apart from in Piran.

One last thing is we don't have air con and my partner is worried about it getting too hot as go further south but as it will be late September, early October we should be ok I guess?

Look forward to hearing your views, many thanks
Gardenbirds is offline  
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Sep 8th, 2014, 12:21 PM
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Well it seems like you are planning on staying in 19 different places in 21 days - so this is a road trip in the truest sense - mostly looking at scenery as you drive through it - and perhaps stopping for a couple of hours in various places before you find a hotel or campground.

I'm not sure exactly what a "campervan" is - how large and where you can leave it. Not sure if it has to stay in a campground or if it can easily parked in a parking space that a BnB outside of a city might have. Or if it would fit in a garage in larger cities. So it's difficult for me to understand what you are proposing.

Frankly - there is no way you could pay me enough to take a trip like this. And I love road trips - we have done many in europe - but in that amount of time we would have 2 anchor cities and 3 or perhaps 4 places in between - depending on their size and number of sights, doing day trips in the neighborhood of the places we are staying (one of the main benefits of having a car).

But if both of you are sure this is the type of trip you want - go for it. I would just make sure you have a listing of campgrounds and B and Bs in the areas you will want to stay with you - so you're not driving around at 7 pm trying to find a place to sleep.
nytraveler is offline  
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Sep 8th, 2014, 12:33 PM
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It looks like the farthest south you're going is Venice so you'll be fine with the weather.

For people in a campervan you're going to an awful lot of cities where you won't be able to take the camper. Why not take trains or only visit more rural areas/towns.

I would not want to do this many places in 3 weeks. You have no option to spend 2 nights anywhere.

Check viamichelin for travel times, petrol/gas, tolls and see if this makes any sense. I always add 25% to the time given.
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Sep 8th, 2014, 01:20 PM
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There are plenty of campersites in or near cities, often free, or for a few euros, more if you need a hook-up.
If you search online you can find out about them.
Cities in Germany have environmental zones. You need to avoid those, unless you have a green sticker for your camper, or can get one.
Be flexible in your plans and don't try to do too many miles in a day.
I doubt the lack of airco will be a problem.

Don't overnight in car parks, or motorway services. Do be aware of the security of your camper. If you don't have one consider a gas alarm, and also a device to lock the two front doors. You can get a bar to do it from Amazon or a camper shop.
hetismij2 is online now  
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Sep 8th, 2014, 02:27 PM
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There is a camper van site or sites in Venice, one is on a vaperetto stop, the other is on the lagoon side in Mestre. I wouldn't leave it anywhere else but there or the carpark at Venice (only you will know if it fits).

The Austria to Slovenia timing is a bit short, I'd add a bit more to take into account the hills, there are some great back roads with fine views so plan for double the time that Google suggests.

I struggle to understand your plan, if you lay it out day by day for us you may get better advice. If sure looks like a tough holiday
bilboburgler is online now  
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Sep 8th, 2014, 03:18 PM
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Thank you so much for all the advice so far.
I don't think I explained myself very well though by the looks of it. I would definitely not be looking to stay over at 19 different places in just 22 days.
I have listed that many places to explain the route we'd be looking at taking and pointing out different possibilities along the way. I would then make a more definite plan that is narrowed down. I wanted suggestions of places to stopover.

Basically we know we would like to make it to Slovenia and hope to spend 4 - 5 days there. I have worked out a route where we can have stop overs on the way and a different route back up. We would ideally like to not have to drive for more than 4 hours in one go but would be happy to drive say 2 hrs most days with some longer drives in between.
So maybe something like this;

2 nights Amsterdam
1 night Frankfurt
2 nights Black Forest
2 nights between Black Forest & Slovenia
4 nights Slovenia
1-2 nights Venice
2 nights Lake Garda/Como
2 nights Turin
2 nights Lyon
2 night near Paris
1 night Honfleur

It is not a large camper van at all, it's a VW transporter so should be ok with the size.
Thank you for the info on the environmental zones, I had thought about that so will be sure to double check wherever we go first. Thank you for tips on security also.

We would be looking at staying in Venice island so we would not be able to camp. I have just read up about parking at the airport, only 4euros 50 cents a day so could be the idea perhaps.

Sorry I wasn't very clear on our main destinations beforehand
Gardenbirds is offline  
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Sep 8th, 2014, 04:37 PM
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I wouldn't cover this much territory in this much time. It would be too much.

I always quote Rick Steves: "Assume you'll be back."
Pegontheroad is offline  
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Sep 8th, 2014, 06:08 PM
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2 nights Amsterdam = 1 day
1 night Frankfurt = a couple of hours in Frankfurt - it is about a 5 hour drive.
2 nights Black Forest = 1.75 days
2 nights between Black Forest & Slovenia
4 nights Slovenia = 3 days
1-2 nights Venice = .5 to 1.5 days
2 nights Lake Garda/Como = 1 day
2 nights Turin =1.5 days
2 nights Lyon = 1+ day
2 night near Paris = 1 day
1 night Honfleur = .5 day <<

An awful LOT of driving for almost no time any place . . .
janisj is offline  
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Sep 9th, 2014, 12:33 AM
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Thank you everyone for their advice! I think I definitely need to reconsider my route! It's exactly what I was worried about and you guys have confirmed it for me.
Gardenbirds is offline  
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Sep 10th, 2014, 12:42 PM
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As everyone's pointing out, and I agree, you need to trim down the list. Either cross off places that are the most out-of-the-way geographically, or ones you are less interested in.

I would aim to get that list of 11 places, down to something more like 7-8 max.
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