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Itinerary Help - 2 1/2 weeks European extravaganza

Itinerary Help - 2 1/2 weeks European extravaganza

Mar 28th, 2011, 08:12 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Itinerary Help - 2 1/2 weeks European extravaganza

My husband and I are planning a 2 and 1/2 week adventure thru Europe this September for our 10 yr anniversary. We might not get to travel again for a while so we intend to cram in as much as possible. Both of us are in our late 30s and enjoy scenic road trips - so driving is half the fun for us. Here is my latest draft of our plan - I welcome any and all advice and suggestions!! Thanks in advance!!

Day 1 - travel from Seattle, USA to Reykjavik, Iceland for a stopover
Day 2 - arrive in Reykjavik early morning to we have full day to take a Golden Circle tour.
Day 3 - tour downtwon Reykjavik and then take late flight down to London
Day 4 - 6 - London - have friends in the area we want to visit and see London for the 1st time
Day 7 - fly from London to Prague
Day 8 -9 - Prague
Day 10 - Train from Prague to Munich
Day 11 - Munich all day
Day 12 - rent car in Munich and drive to Mittenwald via Starnberger Lake - night in Mittenwald (approx. 2 hour drive?)
Day 13 - Drive from Mittenwald thru Innsbruck and Brenner Pass into Italy - night in Bolzano (approx. 2 hour drive?)
Day 14 - Drive from Bolzano to Venice (actually stay in Marghera and train into Venice) (approx. 3 hour drive?)
Day 15 - Venice
Day 16 - drive from Venice to Vipiteno via the Dolomites and Cortina d'Ampezzo (night in Vipiteno) (approx. 4 - 5 hour drive?)
Day 17 - drive from Vipiteno to Munich (airport area) via Innsbruck and Autobahn - stay the night near airport for easy car dropoff and flight next day. (approx. 3 hour drive?)
Day 18 - fly out of Munich back to London for return trip to Seattle

(willing to put in an extra day somewhere if things are a bit too rushed or unrealistic)

I know this is a lot - but we think we can do this - when we travel we don't tend to hang around in places for too long - we like to keep moving and as I said the driving is half the fun for us so the Munich to Venice and back is a lot of driving but we hope it will be spectacular scenery! But please let us know if anything seems to ridiculous or crazy! We are interested to know if the estimated drive times I got off viamichellin are realistic.

We look forward to hearing what people have to say!! Thank you!
Vanmurphys is offline  
Mar 28th, 2011, 09:45 PM
  #2  
 
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You've scheduled more time in Prague than in Venice; Prague is a very cute little city, but Venice is amazing. Consider adding time to Venice.

You will get a ton of responses saying you are visiting too many places and spending too much time driving. I think so, but it sounds like you've given your itinerary careful thought, and are ok with all that driving. Did you also consider the possibility that you'll like someplace so much that you'll wish you'd spent more than one night, or several hours, in that location?

I think that viaMichelin times are generally accurate, leaving out having to drive in any rush hour traffic near big cities or getting stuck behind too many slow farm trucks on smaller roads. Getting into and out of any town or city (and finding parking) always takes time that's not included in the viaMichelin timing.

About 15 years ago, we were in Cortina d'Ampezzo and nearby in September, and it was a bit dead at that time of year - after the summer season, and before the ski season. Some places were closed, but there were still hotels and restaurants open.

Please, please consider staying IN Venice rather than Marghera. Venice is even more magical in the evenings, and in the early mornings, if you're an early riser. You can park your rental car in the Piazzale Roma parking garage (just don't leave anything in the car) while you stay in Venice.
Lexma90 is online now  
Mar 29th, 2011, 04:40 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,114
Hi,

Based on the fact you say you like spectacular scenery and that driving is half the fun... I just wanted to make a few suggestions for the drive from Mittenwald to Venice and from Venice to Vipiteno.

From Mittenwald, I'd skip staying in Bolzano and instead exit the A22 highway earlier than Bolzano into the Val Gardena and stay the night there. Any of the 3 towns/villages of the Val Gardena is a good place to stay, as they are just a few minutes drive from one to the other.

www.val-gardena.com

We can recommend staying at: www.garniariston.com

The next day, from Val Gardena, you'd start off on the Gardena Pass (Grödnerjoch) and then take the Sella Pass (Sellajoch), which branches off the Gardena Pass to Canazei and then on to Pian de Lobbia to Alleghe/Lago di Alleghe and on to Belluno. From Belluno take the A27 to Venice.

www.alpineroads.com/dolomites.php#sella

While in the Val Gardena, we liked this easy, yet stunning, cable car trip from Ortisei:

www.alpedisiusi-seiseralm.com/index.html

From Venice back to Munich, head towards Lienz, Austria and then on to Heiligenblut, at the start of the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse. Spend the night in Heiligenblut.

www.grossglockner.at/en/

We can recommend staying at: www.ederhof-heiligenblut.at

The next day drive the Grossglockner to Munich via Bruck an der Grossglockner, Zell am See, Kitzbuehl to theMunich airport area. We like staying in Erding, Germany as a "last night" in Germany before an easrly flight. We stayed at the Park Hotel (Best Western) in Erding.

Paul
pja1 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2011, 07:16 PM
  #4  
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Thank you both so much for your input!

Lexma90 - I think we will stay IN Venice now that I know we can park the rental car somewhere - we will have to decide on the extra day still.

And thanks Pja1 for all of the links and hotel suggestions! I will map out your suggested route and see how that works out.
Vanmurphys is offline  
Apr 4th, 2011, 08:06 PM
  #5  
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So I think I might have reworked this route a bit - adding a day and making some adjustments to the Italian portion....Maybe go from Mittenwald to Ortisei in the Val Gardena region and spend the night.

Then take our time driving through the Dolomites thru the Pordoi and Sella passes and down thru Alleghe to spend the night in Belluno. And then a quick drive down to Venice to get there early enough to add some more time there - stay 2 nights.

And then take our time driving from Venice up to Bolzano - stopping off at Lake Garda and wine country along the way. Stay the night in Bolzano. And then the last day is the drive back to Munich - via Michellin says that should only take about 3 hours but even it takes 4 or 5 we can get that done in a day easily.

Does this sound better? Any suggestions? Thanks!
Vanmurphys is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 09:30 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 13
Mmhhmm,

Some key Euro destinations have been left out!
Where are Paris, Barcelona or Rome in this list?
I would skip Iceland and Prague. Even Munich! Prague is nice, true, but it has lost most of its charm in the past years. Packed with tourists, thats it. And Karluv Most is right now being restored.
Im afraid you will not be getting the full flavor of Europe with this trip. But its your choice, of course..
This might help: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pacocan...7625116139933/

Cheers!
ured1975 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 11:10 AM
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Hi Vanmurphys,

While we've never been to Lake Garda, you're plan sounds good, meaning the trip from Mittenwald to the Dolomites, Venice and back to Munich.

Even though it says 3 hours, I'd plan on the drive from Bolzano to Munich taking from 4 to 5 hours.

I'd suggest 2 nights in Val Gardena instead of splitting them for the Dolomites stay. That's just me, as we really care for 1 nighters.

I'd also suggest leaving an hour either to/from Venice to stop in Sterzing/Vipitino. It's an easy off/on the A22 highway and the charming old town is small enough for a quick look around or to sit outside for coffee and pastries.

Paul
pja1 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 11:58 AM
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Your plan looks a bit rushed but fine over all. Definitely stay IN Venice and add a day there if possible.

(ured1975: your post is like someone posting about going to California and answering "no, go to Florida instead". Looks like you really posted just to link your flickr page.)
janisj is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 12:46 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
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The drive from Munich to Bolzano is more like 2 hours if you stay around the speed limit with limited traffic. I would recommend the drive on lake Garda if you want agood drive. I live in desenzano on the southern tiP of the lake and the drives are great. Depending on where you want to spend your time I would recommend keeping the Venice trip to one night. I have found the idea of venice better than the City itself. For the best drive I would recommend going from Munich to Italy via the garmish area. It will add time but it is beautiful.
Corey_Terceira is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 01:02 PM
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No disrespect to "Corey" intended, but I can't imagine doing the drive from Bolzano to Munich being 2 hours. We've done this drive a few times and could never do it in that time, even without traffic.
pja1 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2011, 04:20 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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@janisj

Sorry if you didnt like my tips.
But in my very own personal opinion, for someone coming from the US for the first time, I dont think that trip will be honestly the best they can get. Thats all.
They can do whatever they want, of course. And so can you. And I can express what I feel as well. But at least I have traveled a bit, I think, to know what Im talking about.
Good night!
ured1975 is offline  

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