Provence to Lake Como via the Alps

Old Dec 27th, 2019, 05:59 PM
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Provence to Lake Como via the Alps

My husband and I will be traveling to Provence in August to celebrate our milestone birthdays and from there we will move onto Lake Como. To get between the two locations I was considering driving through the Alps and dropping the car at a rail station somewhere in France near the border of Italy and taking a train to either Aosta, Turin or some other location where we can pickup a car at a rail station in Italy and then continue onto Lake Como. We will have a car in both France and Italy but don't intend to keep the car we're renting in France since we'll eventually return home from Florence. I haven't figured out the logistics of where to drop-off and pickup a new car but that's not my question anyway. I'd like to know if the drive from Provence (starting in Gordes) through the Alps in France is scenic or not-so-much. I'm sure once we get close to Chamonix it would be scenic but I was wondering about the rest of the drive. From Provence, I've only driven as far north as Digne and Sisteron so we haven't been that far north which is why this appeals to me. Normally when traveling between Provence and Italy we take the coastal route (Nice, San Remo, Genoa, etc.). Since we've done this many times I wanted to check out another area and maybe stay a few nights in Chamonix or somewhere scenic before moving onto Lake Como. If it's not all that scenic we'll just keep it simple and take the train to Nice and then the little train into Italy where we'll pickup car. Also, if there's a route you'd recommend, let me know. We didn't intend to drive all the way to Nice to hook up with the Route des Grandes Alpes. Maybe at some point along the way we'd connect to this route but it would be way out of the way to do this since we're starting in Gordes. I'm guessing the A51 won't be all that exciting but maybe I'm wrong.
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Old Dec 29th, 2019, 09:35 AM
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I suggest:
Gordes - Gap - Briancon - Col du Lautaret - Col du Galibier - Col du Telegraphe - Modane - Col d'Iseran - Col du Petit Saint Bernard - Courmayeur - Mont Blanc Tunnel - Chamonix - Annemasse or Geneva airport French side (for car drop off). Then direct train from Geneva to Stresa on Lake Maggiore (3 jrs journey). You may then rent a Italian car at Stresa, Milan Malpensa airport, Varese or Como.
You might also travel by car from Chamonix through Switzerland to Basel airport, drop off your car at Basel-Mulhouse airport, French side and go on by direct train from Basel to Como/Chiasso (4 hrs journey).

The itinerary from Gap via Briancon and the alpine Passes to Chamonix or further on to the Swiss midlands is incredibly scenic.
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Old Dec 29th, 2019, 10:59 AM
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You probably can drop the car off in Menton and find a rental agency on the other side of the border. Autoeurope or Kemwel would provide that information by just going through the motion of renting a car through them.

Or Chamonix or Brianšon could be a drop-off point and Turin a pick-uo point for the Italian rental.
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Old Jan 1st, 2020, 11:37 AM
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This is tremendous info!!! Much appreciated!
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Old Jan 1st, 2020, 11:44 PM
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Have a look at Megeve for a scenic place to stay in the French Alps.
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