Buy all your VW California Accessories at the Club Shop Visit Shop

Help with planning route from Amsterdam to Northern Italy

D

Dave bee

VIP Member
Messages
205
Can anyone offer any Europe route help?

We've got a ferry booked to take us to Amsterdam in August. From there we were hoping to travel to northern Italy (hoping not TOO unbearably hot for 12, 9 and 5 year old :eek:) but can't decide which route there would be best in terms of easy travel, avoiding any border issues, nice areas to stay etc. We travelled to south of France last year on our first epic trip (Calais-Troyes-Castellane-Monte Carlo-Nice-Cannes-Ardeche-Burgundy-Disneyland-Calais) and it was fantastic, a real experience - a lot of driving, but we managed it in a 2 week trip.

We've looked at a map and it looks like the best options would be:
Amsterdam - Germany - Austria - Italy
Amsterdam - Germany - Switzerland - Italy
Amsterdam - Germany - France - Italy

Any thoughts on either of these routes and any places of interest to stay en route? We have 2 weeks, so was thinking of 3/4 nights stop on the way there, 4/5 nights in Italy and 3/4 nights on the route back. This will only be our second venture overseas so we're still pretty amateur travellers, so all help and advice would be much appreciated! :thumb
 
This trip will also be a lot of driving. Do not use the frejus tunnel france/italy as very expensive we used it 2 years ago and cost us €50 to €60. Also if you travel through switzerland you will need a "vignet" to travel on their motorways. Good luck, an awful long way?
What vehicle do you have?

John
 
Stop off at the Hirzberg campsite (http://www.freiburg-camping.de/) in Freiburg in Germany. Good busy site in walking distance of great town centre. Trust the owner as he will find you the best place. Book ahead. Then through Switzerland to Italy - we went via the St Gotthard tunnel. There can be delays but it takes you into the Italian Lake region. Avoid the area around Milan - the traffic is awful! Have a great trip- you'll love it!
 
Thanks Howard - will check out that place

John, we'll be in a T5. It is a long hike, that's true. I'm going to put some routes into a route planner and see what sort of mileage it could end up as. Think we covered around 2500 miles on the France trip
 
Beautiful sites to stay north and south of the alpine lakes. Having lived in munich with my bulli for two years I drove Calais - Munich a lot and toured Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia.

IMO I would do Koln, Karlsruhe, some of the castles around the lakes, Innsbruck, Verona, then keep going south to Firenze if you can. If you've got time take a ferry from Ancona to split and drive back up through Croatia.

German/Austrian autobahns are excellent as are the highways in Croatia and Slovenia. Italian highways are pretty poor. Take care in the italian service stations, don't leave your van unattended.
 
Last edited:
Hi we did harwich - hook last year then 2 nights in Moselle valley, across to Dachau, eagles nest, then cortina in Italy via spectacular mountain passes. From there we went down to the bottom of lake Garda and stayed 5 nights, back up the other side, up through Austria over lake into Switzerland (Zeppelin museum) through Belgium Luxembourg and France, then back from Dunkirk. Just over 2 weeks some 2500miles fantastic scenery and using the Cali as she was designed for. Some one nighters some two and then a 5 night stay brilliant!
 
The vignet for the motorways in Switzerland is only CHF 40 (GBP 30) and valid for a year.
The vignet for the Austrian motorways is much more expensive, but there are 10 day and 1 year variants.
The Gotthard tunnel should be avoided in either direction on weekends. Waiting times can be up to 4 hours! Best to avoid Fridays also if heading south. The rest of the time it is normally OK.
 
Don't mind my comment but crossing Italian border is the last one on my list off things i wanted to do with my Cali , been in Milan sevral times ....even worse then the French driving ....not me ....also hate the language ....drive me nuts listening to Italian....sorry for all the Italian members...my honest experience.
If ever going there again would be by airtravel!
 
Do not use the frejus tunnel france/italy as very expensive we used it 2 years ago and cost us €50 to €60.
+1 one to that.
Found a great passage over the tunnel on the way back there. Took just 1 hour longer but one of the best rides.
 
Another alternative worth considering is to use the San Bernadino tunnel which is much less busy and would only add about 40 minutes to your journey and could even save you time if there are delays at the Gothard tunnel


Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
 
following as we are going via ferry to the hook of holland, germany, switzerland and then to Lake Maggiore and returning through france and via eurotunnel. We will be taking 3 children aged 8, 5 and 3!

I seem to have lost track of what we have booked now!
 
Well if any of you are coming through Switzerland and need a break near to Zurich, you are more than welcome to get in touch.
 
The vignet for the motorways in Switzerland is only CHF 40 (GBP 30) and valid for a year.
The vignet for the Austrian motorways is much more expensive, but there are 10 day and 1 year variants.
The Gotthard tunnel should be avoided in either direction on weekends. Waiting times can be up to 4 hours! Best to avoid Fridays also if heading south. The rest of the time it is normally OK.
We were in Switzerland in July one year travelling by train and I was astonished at the queues for the tunnels. I wouldn't go anywhere near them in a vehicle if there was a way of avoiding it.
 
Our favourite ferry is Hull to Zeebrugge ir Rotterdam. After a good nights meal, film and entertainment you arrive at 8.45 readyto get as far south as poss and agro free. Hard to beat.
 
We were in Switzerland in July one year travelling by train and I was astonished at the queues for the tunnels. I wouldn't go anywhere near them in a vehicle if there was a way of avoiding it.
It's a very popular route and not just because it's the direct route, I think it's also because the tunnels are free, and the vignet is very cheap.
There is talk of starting to charge to go through the Gotthard, especially when the new rail tunnel opens in June this year. Personally I am in favour of the charge, but only if a car shuttle train exists. Get the cars on the train at the base of the mountain, driver and passengers have an hour or mores' rest and some coffee, and then continue their journey on the other side.
 
I heard some horror stories re pay tunnels so avoided all. Outbound (not useful for Amsterdam route) went due south from Dieppe via Millau and Port Grimaud/St Tropez, then the the coast road via Monaco and Genoa (through 144 smaller tunnels!)

However our return leg may work for you (in reverse) as we left Venice, via Lake Garda and headed into Austria (stopped at Reutte to visit Neuschwanstein castle) then Freiburg and then up to Paris (but any Northern European route would work from there really). Found it very easy driving. No hassles with any of it.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
Has anyone tried the Dusseldorf to Verona motor-rail service? Or is that considered cheating.

I quite fancy a trip to Italy but I could see the journey taking 2 - 3 days each way which could be a big chunk of the holiday.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Go with the flow , we are on our way to Italy at the moment . Left Scotland on Friday night after a weeks work been through Belgium and stayed in Luxembourg. Now in lauterbraunen Switzerland. Off down to Italy in the morning .left home with no plan ! :thumb
 
This would be our suggestion, if you like driving alpine passes:

Davos (CH), take route 28 seat over the Flüelapass and the Ofenpass to Sta Maria-Val-Müstair. There is a very nice little camping there at the foot of the road over the Umbrailpass into Italy.

Umbrailpass into Italy. You could go left to the Stelvio pass (only a few km), but we think it is highly overrated. Instead go right to Bormio, and then into the Park dello Stelvio and the the Passo di Gavia. Much nicer and much quieter than Stelvio. These are all closed Nov-May, roughly.

Then down to Lago di Garda. When there, don't forget roads 115 up to Pieve and beyond and 38 down again, on the northwestern shore of Lake Garda. Scene of one of the famous James Bond car chases, nice to do in a Cali!
 
Might be best if you give us some clues as to what would make a great holiday for you and the family.

Are you big foodies? Love cycling? Alpine hiking? City exploring?

Also, does anyone get car sick on the twisties? Maximum time you like to drive in a day?

We generally run no more than 1,200 miles per week of holiday, with max stints of 9hrs (including 2hrs for fuel/loo/dog walk), which has an impact on destinations and stopovers.

All this has got me thinking I should probably start booking my own 2017 trips!
 
FYI, some mountain passes are already closed for the winter (unless there is a late hot period), just seen that the Furka, and Nufenen are closed already. The Splugen, Albula and Umbrail passes are snow covered!

Winter is coming!
 
Beautiful sites to stay north and south of the alpine lakes. Having lived in munich with my bulli for two years I drove Calais - Munich a lot and toured Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Croatia.

IMO I would do Koln, Karlsruhe, some of the castles around the lakes, Innsbruck, Verona, then keep going south to Firenze if you can. If you've got time take a ferry from Ancona to split and drive back up through Croatia.

German/Austrian autobahns are excellent as are the highways in Croatia and Slovenia. Italian highways are pretty poor. Take care in the italian service stations, don't leave your van unattended.

Hi Fred, Just wanted to say thanks for your input here, We are looking to explore the Italian Lakes area and already this thread is prpving very useful, so many thanks for taking the time to help others! Cheers
Ian
 
Back
Top