London to Lake Como

Old Nov 20th, 2016, 11:34 AM
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London to Lake Como

Hello All,

This is my first message in the forum here. I would greatly appreciate suggestions on the following :

I'm planning to do a road trip from London to Como ( Italy ) with my wife in the coming weeks. We've never done such a road trip before and are slightly at a loss with regards the route we should take , that avoids or minimises paying tolls and enables us to explore the scenic route with stopovers.
We can afford 3 days to get to Como from London and onwards we plan to spend about 10 days in Italy driving to Rome, Venice and Florence.
I read somewhere taking a route via Germany avoids tolls, but then one requires some kind of sticker to drive on Swiss motorway. Not sure yet how one gets the sticker.

We've a Toyota avensis ( left hand drive ) to do this trip.
I will greatly appreciate suggestions from somebody who might have experience of a similar trip.

Thank you.
Matt
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Old Nov 20th, 2016, 01:11 PM
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Hi Matt, book the Eurotunnel ticket asap as it gets more expensive closer to your date of travel.

Have a look at the route on Google Maps; it gives you an option to avoid toll roads. Avoiding them completely will add quite a bit to your driving time. Check out the different routes on Google Maps, Mappy, Via Michelin.

It's a beautiful drive through Switzerland. You need a vignette (toll badge) to drive on the motorway in Switzerland. You can buy this at the border, it's very easy. It costs 40 swiss francs.
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Old Nov 20th, 2016, 01:28 PM
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Use viamichelin.com for route planning, never google maps, which is highly inaccurate in Europe. Read this about driving in Italy and restrictions you are likely to run into:

http://driventoit.blogspot.com.au/
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Old Nov 21st, 2016, 02:14 AM
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Few points to consider -

1. I also recommend viamichelin. The option section allows you to program a route avoiding tolls.
2. In the summer you can avoid many tolls by crossing the Alps by going over the passes. This will not be an option at this time of the year but the Simplon pass is kept open. Certain routes are still available if you use one of the car carrying trains.
3. You will need to have winter tyres (and possibly chains if you avoid the Swiss motorways).
4. If your trip starts after November 30 you will be able to buy the 2017 Swiss vignette which will be valid until January 31, 2018. Before the end of this month you can only buy the 2016 vignette which is valid until January 31, 2017.
nochblad is offline  
Old Nov 21st, 2016, 08:29 AM
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Como is situated on the Swiss/Italian border. Therefore the itinerary through Switzerland (Lucerne) is the shortest and the cheapest one:

London - Calais - Lille - Tournay - Namur - Luxemburg - Col de Ste-Marie - Selestat - Colmar - Basle - Lucerne - Seelisberg Tunnel - Gotthard Tunnel - Ceneri Tunnel - Como.

It you don't want to cross the Vosges because of possible snow and black ice, the alternative goes through Germany (without being cheaper):
London - Calais - Brugge - Brussels - Maasmechelen - Aachen - Koblenz - Bad Kreuznach - Ludwigshafen - Gaggenau - Freiburg - Basle - Lucerne - Seelisberg Tunnel - Gotthard Tunnel - Ceneri Tunnel - Como.

If you want to avoid the Swiss sticker at any cost, you can drive around Switzerland, either via Frejus Tunnel or via Brenner Pass, but the itinerary would get much longer and more expensive (the road resp tunnel tolls couldn't hardly be avoided unless you would drive through every village between Bardonnecchia - Turin - Milan - Como resp Brennero - Verona - Milan - Como).

Weather is unpredictable in December. Some snow or black ice cannot be excluded along the whole itinerary.
The sense of scenic roads depends on the weather and road conditions. If the weather is fine, you could drive along the Rhine river, from Cologne up to Speyer, through the vineyards of Colmar/Riquewihr, along Lake Lucerne or along Lake Lugano to Menaggio and then along Lake Como to Como.
The use of Swiss car trains would be more expensive than the sticker.
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