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Traveling from USA to Munich, Austria/Italy and Croatia Sep/Oct 2012

Traveling from USA to Munich, Austria/Italy and Croatia Sep/Oct 2012

Nov 7th, 2011, 05:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 12
Traveling from USA to Munich, Austria/Italy and Croatia Sep/Oct 2012

Two (over 60 )couples want to visit Oktoberfest, Austria/Italy and Croatia for around two weeks..
We will fly from US and then rent a car, we were quite open to going to Oktoberfest first, so fly into Munich then go through Austria/Italy to visit Croatia.
We now understand we cannot rent a car and drive into Italy and/or Croatia if we rent in Germany.
We would really appreciate your help/input/ideas on an itinerary that covers the above places in whichever order is the best.
Maybe fly to Italy (Milan) then rent a car and use for Croatia (if possible) then to Austria and Munich for a couple of days at Oktoberfest and return to Milan.
Will we get a good flavor of Croatia by going to Rovinj?
Many thanks
john21w is offline  
Nov 8th, 2011, 12:52 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
I'll take these in reverse order.
-- Will we get a good flavor of Croatia by going to Rovinj?
Not really. I would divide Croatia into four parts: Istria, which is like Italy; Dalmatia, which is like the coast of California, scenic and dry; the islands, like Dalmatia but surrounded by water (!); and the central area, roughly From Split or Rovinj on the coast to Zagreb inland. Rovinj is on the border of Istria, but it is basically a city.

-- Maybe fly to Italy (Milan) then rent a car and use for Croatia (if possible)
Italy is a very expensive place to rent a car because of the required insurance coverages. Your credit card coverage is not accepted. You may or may not be able to take the car into Croatia, Austria, and Germany but in general you are better off taking a bus, train or plane from country to country and renting the car locally.

Munich is a very pleasant airport to fly into and out of. It is modern and well-planned. Germany is much less subject to wildcat strikes than Italy and some other countries.

It will be warm in Croatia and Italy until late in October, hot in September and possibly crowded. I would start in Munich and work my way east and south, ending up there.

These are opinions, not knowledge. Take them for what they are worth.
Ackislander is offline  
Nov 8th, 2011, 05:15 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 12
Many thanks Ackislander for your input, do I assume from your last sentence that you haven't visited these places?
If Rovinj is not the best place to get the flavor of Croatia, what would be your suggestions and how long should we spend there.
I like the idea of traveling from Munich and then finishing in Italy, sounds good.
I now need to research the travel from country to country if we don't use a car.
Thanks again. Any further thoughts would be appreciated
john21w is offline  
Nov 8th, 2011, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,511
Skip Croatia this trip and see Munich, Bavaria, Austria, and parts of north Italy. You will want to start and finish in Germany for your best car prices.


How would you like to save perhaps $500 on your next car rental in Italy? Well, you probably can if you decide to start and end your trip in Germany or Switzerland. Here is an actual scenario that proves the point.

A recent client nearly had a heart attack after getting a quote for a mid-sized car with automatic transmission for Malpensa [MXP] airport in Milan. He was quoted over $1300 for a ten day rental, with the drop off also at MXP. Wow, over $130/day was about twice what he had budgeted. So, we changed his itinerary and saved him over $500. How? We decided to fly into Zurich and get the car in Lugano---not a bad diversion for any itinerary that includes the fabulous lakes region of northern Italy. After landing in Zurich he trained to Luzerne for two nights before continuing on to Lugano[LUG] by train to get the car. It proved to be an enjoyable addition to his trip that included two lakes destinations in Italy and several days in the wine regions of Piemonte.

Car rental prices in Italy are just much higher than adjacent countries, primarily due to the mandatory insurance rates. Lower rental rates are also valid in Germany with Munich [MUN] being a good choice as a launching pad for trips into most venues in northern Italy. Here are some examples:




AUTOEUROPE 729 584 496 1303 993 853

GEMUT 663 388* 378 1235 621 583

AVERAGES 696 486 437 1269 807 718

SAVINGS N/A 210 259 N/A 462 551

• *Price is for sub-compact with automatic upgrade to compact model.
• DISCLAIMER: Rental prices can vary by season and locations. These prices are a snapshot in October, 2007 for these two vendors only. Prices may vary when you actually get a quote, but the point is still valid. The prices will always be higher in Italy, especially for automatic models.

There are additional benefits to considering this itinerary strategy. You get to add more options in your quest to find the best airfares, or free seats using award miles. Besides the obvious destinations of Munich and Zurich, you can also consider Stuttgart as a viable choice to save on airfares. That gives you three other options rather than just considering Milan & Venice.

But the primary benefits to me are the wonderful destinations that you can add to your northern Italy itinerary. I have always loved an itinerary that includes the Salzburg area, the castle country of Bavaria, the Dolomites, or even Lake Garda with other destinations in Italy. That is especially true for any family trip or for those who are seeking the ultimate in natural beauty. And, the drive from Munich airport to Val Gardena in the Dolomites is only four hours and includes some great scenery past Innsbruck and through the Brenner Pass. The drive to Salzburg or Garmisch is only about two hours.

Any Zurich itinerary should include at least two nights in lovely Luzerne either going or coming, and one night in Zurich to enjoy this unique city. The additional rail costs will be offset by the fewer car rental days. Of course, you could get the car in Zurich, but I have always preferred using the very efficient rail system in Switzerland. And, Lugano itself is a terrific destination to enjoy for a few hours before driving an hour to Lake Como or wherever.

To me it is a win/win scenario. The only catch may be adding enough days to your trip to make it all feasible. You will probably need at least twelve days to include two or three Italy destinations with the transitional venues. I have included Tuscany in my own itinerary that began and ended in Munich, but it may be a bit of a stretch if your time is limited. But, saving between $200 to $500 on just the car expense for your next trip to Italy can sure buy you your fill of gelato and cappuccinos---always a good idea.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 8th, 2011, 08:26 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
I have been to Croatia, John, and to Italy many times, most recently last month. I have flown into and out of Munich several times. When I tell you something is just my opinion, I mean there are no guarantees. Your mileage and opinions might vary.

I cannot imagine going to Croatia without seeing Dubrovnik. It is one of the world's most distinctive sites and won't be too crowded from mid October forward. I am crazy about Roman ruins, so I was thrilled with Split, where the old town is built on and around Hadrian's Palace and children play where Roman children play. Others hate it because it is ringed with ugly communist era apartment buildings. I also love Pula for the Roman amphitheatre. Figure out what you like and go for it!
Ackislander is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 11:31 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 2
you land in germany.then arrange with someona from croatia to pick you and your crw up on aeroport with miniwan,and then lett him to drive all acrose europe and last in croatia it is much cheper then rent a car in every country
pingvin123 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
Personally, I think 4 adults would do better to split the cost of $500 to see what parts of Europe they want to see in a rental car than save it to spend on ice cream and coffee.

You might consider flying into Milan, taking a swing through the Dolomiti, heading into Croatia, and then returning the car to Trieste airport. You can fly from there to Munich in about one hour. If you can't see what you want to see of Austria by train from Munich, rent a car -- either upon arrival, or after a few days in Munich. Fly home from Munich.
zeppole is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 08:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,278

You can rent a car in Germany and drive into Italy. We've picked up and returned from Munich airport many times and have included northern Italy (Dolomites) as part of our trips. There are some "high end" cars that the rental companies will not allow you to take into Italy, but normally it's not an issue. Check your itinerary out with Andy Bestor at www.gemut.com. We've rented cars through them for our last 3 trips.

Never having been to Croatia, I agree with Bob about there being plenty to see and do in Bavaria, Austria (Salzburg and Tirol) and the Dolomites and lakes in northern Italy. Plus, Sept. and Oct. are, in my opinion, the best time of the year to be in these area's. We personally love travelng in the Alps in early October.

Skipping Croatia, my idea would be:
Fuessen area
Innsbruck/Mittenwald area
Dolomites (also, the Dolomite Passes are amazing drives)
Over the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse to Zell am See

pja1 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 11:34 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 680
I think you want to see way too much in two weeks. I would skip Croatia and save that for another trip.

I would also be careful about spending too much time driving and not enough time seeing and enjoying. You could easily spend a whole week in Munich and another week in the Salzburg area. Seeing things through a car window is different than getting out and exploring.

I generally like Paul's itinerary, but depending on what you want to see and do, it also may be too much in two weeks.

Check out www.viamichelin.com for drive times

And, don't pick up the vehicle until you leave Munich. You will not need it when you are visiting the city/Oktoberfest.
wanderfrau is offline  
Nov 13th, 2011, 03:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,605
I am looking at car rentals for next summer in Italy and was surprised they were so low. On AutoEurope's site a one week rental picking up Trieste and dropping off at Milan Linate airport is around $300 - says "inclusive". I did it twice with slightly different dates and got similar prices. Also similar prices for picking up in Venice (Mestre) and dropping at Linate. I wonder if there is some small print I'm missing.

I would like to rent a car for two weeks and drive it into Slovenia and Croatia but know that is not allowed with many companies. So we're probably going to go with public transportation for that portion of the trip. Has anyone rented in Italy and driven into Eastern Europe? What exactly is the deal with that?
isabel is offline  
Nov 13th, 2011, 04:36 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422

I've rented a car in Venice and driven it into Slovenia, but I returned it in Italy (in Rapallo, near Genova). I either rented it through AutoEurope or Europcar. I can't recall now. It was a lot more recently than 2007, but you should of course ask specifically.

Also, are your prices for a manual transmission? Bobthenavigator's 5-year old prices are for a mid-sized automatic, 10 day rental, pick up at a major airport. Sometimes prices are lower for full weekly increments (2 weeks will be cheaper than 1.5 weeks) and sometimes the smaller airports don't charge the premium for the airport drop-off.

Just to others, in general:

Croatia is a much less expensive destination that what some people are proposing here as substitutes, and there is also plenty to do and see in Croatia (certainly as much as there is in Lugano and Luzerne). I don't know why the OP wants to go to Oktoberfest or Croatia or Italy, but I do think some people still travel for specific content instead of a generalized experience of being abroad. I'm not suggesting people not offer their suggestions of what kind of trip they would prefer, because the OP might love the ideas and change their itinerary and be all the happier for it. But 2 weeks is plenty of time for most people to have an unrushed, highly enjoyable trip going to the Oktoberfest and visiting Croatia, and traveling a scenic route through Austria/Italy in between. I think the only logistical problem to be solved in the car rental, if that's the trip the OP wants to take.
zeppole is offline  
Nov 13th, 2011, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,278

Just wanted to say that our cost for a rental car pickup/return at Munich airport for our 11/10 trip was $332 US dollars for 9 days. All taxes, etc. included. This was through www.gemut.com. We had a Ford Fiesta 4 door with manual trans. We went with our AmEx Premium Car Rental Protection for ins. and cdw. Cost for this was $29.99 for the entire rental period, not per day.
pja1 is offline  

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