European Road trip

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Hi all,

I'm looking for some help on the planning for a road trip I'm going on in June. I've made a rough route in google maps.

I just wondered if there were any places of interest or changes of route anyone could recommend to me. I've never done anything like this before, so if anyone has done something similar, advice would be greatly appreciated!

Route in google maps

Here's a small screen shot of the route.
route2.jpg


Edit: Probably should have added a bit more info.

It's just me and my girlfriend going and the plan is to find camp sites as we go. We'll take some extra cash for hotels/hostels should we need it. We're going from 25th June - 22nd July so just under one month. It's a lot of travelling but I think worth it!
 
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Soldato
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Castle Neuswanstein is well worth a visit, I bet your gf would love it. However it's not particularly close to your current route.

The Zolder and Hockenheim circuits aren't too far from your route - might want to see if there is anything decent happening :D
 
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I'll be watching this thread with interest as I'll be doing the same for three weeks as a honeymoon in October.

Is it going to be mainly a driving holiday or is a car just a way to get from place to place as it would make a big difference in the routes you would be taking or visiting?

From being there a few times, I would defiantly include Bled,Slovenia for a day or two, you can stay in the excellent Camping Bled site.

If your interested in cars I would defiantly make my way over to Modena, Italy for the likes of the Ferrari and Lambo museums. Same can be said for Stuttgart for the Porsche and Mercedes Benz museums.
 
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Doing pretty much the same route but for just under 3 weeks in September. Should be good.

Seems like it will be no cheaper than a similar trip in the USA though which is a bit annoying.
 
Soldato
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I don't know the driving experience too well in some of the Eastern countries, but am familiar with Western Europe.

My one comment would be, "what is the focus of the trip?". If it is to cram in a diverse range of cities and cultures then great. You take in Venice, Prague, Zagreb etc. etc. You'll have a ball.

If the idea is to make some of the driving the centre of attention then I would travel a few less miles and cover some great roads. You could spend way longer messing about on Alpine passes for example. Also you go near but don't drive Route Napoleon, some of the cols of the Monaco rally or the Black Forest. All unmissable if the driving experience is of paramount importance.

Whatever you do though, and wherever you go, you will have an immense time. Enjoy it! :)
 
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[TW]Fox;21538228 said:
Seems like it will be no cheaper than a similar trip in the USA though which is a bit annoying.

That is a little annoying, I haven't looked at the sums for the USA at all, is that down to the fuel costs? I have my heart set in Europe but maybe another year :)


My one comment would be, "what is the focus of the trip?". If it is to cram in a diverse range of cities and cultures then great. You take in Venice, Prague, Zagreb etc. etc. You'll have a ball.

Definitely to get a nice range of cultures and different cities (and hopefully some excellent photos :D) I do still want to drive on some fun roads as well but it looks like I'll get that through the alps.
 
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That is a little annoying, I haven't looked at the sums for the USA at all, is that down to the fuel costs? I have my heart set in Europe but maybe another year :)

The cost of flying and hiring a car is almost entirely offset by the greater cost of fuel, accomodation and food in Europe. This is why it's taken me so long to actually decide to do it - going to the USA for the same money has always just seemed like a no brainer.
 
Soldato
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I'd considered a European road trip, and had actually planned it all out with dates and hotel prices for each night in every city. But then realised the cost when everything was added up!!! Think I need to save for a while yet.

I'm not surprised that the USA can be done on a similar budget. We worked out that a 3 week trip covering Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Salzberg, Zagreb, Venice, South of France; would cost ~£3k for the 2 of us.

It will be done one year, just not this year. You will all know when I create the "Spec me a wafty diesel for £2k" thread
 
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I'd considered a European road trip, and had actually planned it all out with dates and hotel prices for each night in every city. But then realised the cost when everything was added up!!! Think I need to save for a while yet.

I'm not surprised that the USA can be done on a similar budget. We worked out that a 3 week trip covering Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Salzberg, Zagreb, Venice, South of France; would cost ~£3k for the 2 of us.

It will be done one year, just not this year. You will all know when I create the "Spec me a wafty diesel for £2k" thread

Pacific Coast Highway in a Mustang or Europe in a £2k diesel.

Tough choice :p
 
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I have been toying with the same idea, just a matter of convincing the mrs. I was wondering if those who have done the trip before if they could suggest a realistic route for return date 2 weeks later please?

Ideally including Rome, although I accept i did ask for a realistic route!
The office cannot survive without me for any longer than 2 weeks! :(
 
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I've done some of these trips - Australia, New Zealand and next week, I'm heading to Europe (for a short amount of time).

After travelling on the Portsmouth ferry to Santander and down to my parents place near Torrevieja, my plans for the way home is this:

http://g.co/maps/karja

I've only got 7 days so there's a minimum amount of detours (The major one to the French Alps is to see a friend).
I'm not booking ahead anywhere - will just see where it takes us and if necessary will drive at night. I'm trying to get in most of the scenic routes - I miss Lake Como but Lake Konstanz is supposed to be nice too, unfortunately Route Napoleon is too direct/far west but I cover most of the Riveria and take in the German Black Forest.

On to your route:

After Nancy have you considered heading into Germany via Strasbourg to Offenburg etc and then down the famous D500 Black Forest road down into Switzerland rather than the French motorway?

Also if you fancy a small Swiss town with a nice backdrop head to Stein am Rhein then onto Konstanz, across the 20 min car ferry to Meersburg - all are very pretty towns by all accounts, I'm really looking forward to seeing these.

Try to head to Como via St Moritz and Lugano and back across to Brescia via Bergamo for add wow views :)

I visited Holland a few weeks back and did exactly the same (Amsterdam, Brugge and Brussels combo). After Amsterdam, don't head to Brugge on the motorways, head via Zeeland on the coast (Middelburg etc), you get to see (and drive across) Holland's amazing sea barriers - annoying 80kph speed limits on perfect straight roads but much better than the motorway if you're not in a hurry. The Hague sounds good for a stop point on this route but we couldn't find a centre of town when we headed in there so bypassed it. Brussels isn't great but worth a day (no more!) to see the main touristy square and surroundings. If you have too much time planned in Brussels, Gent is a great continental town with a few great classic European squares.

Hope my ramblings help in some way.
 
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Soldato
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I'll post more details this evening but I drove to Lake Garda, Italy in the summer and took a route through Belgium, Germany and Austria. Make sure you do your research on the different toll roads and motorway taxes in each country. Austria and Switzerland particularly. Because I'm stingy I ended up telling my satnav to avoid the Austrian motorways as you need a special tax disc (good excuse to soak up the scenery). Police on motorbikes are everywhere so you will get caught if you decide to chance it.

It's definitely worth making a detour to visit the castle in Germany as mentioned above, it was an immense spectacle, plenty of unrestricted autobahns nearby to this as well that I found very quiet and gave me plenty of opportunities to max my car out.

Glad to see Stelvio pass is on your route, a few pieces of advice though:

Avoid it on the weekends, I went over it mid week and it was busy enough and chatting to bikers at the top apparently it's much worse at weekends.

I found it an absolutely rubbish "drivers road", far too tight turns with very large drops at the edge with suicidal oncoming locals who just seemed to fling their cars into the corners with no regard for potential oncoming traffic. There were also several police cars parked at very good sighting points with views of the entire valley so any antics would be immediately spotted. However having said that it was a great experience and the views on the way up were jaw dropping. The best part I found was the drive to/from Stelvio pass, the other roads in the alps were incredible, every type of turn imaginable with perfectly smooth tarmac and visibility for miles making overtaking a doddle. So, yes, I conquered Stelvio, but I had far more fun on the way home from it!

Whatever time estimate your satnav predicts for getting to the top of Stelvio, double it. Traffic and buses will slow you down to a crawl.

Lake Garda is brilliant and we spent a week there camping before heading back - however we chose to visit Verona and Venice on the train so I don't have any advice for driving there. Other than the Italians are crazy drivers and some of the overtakes I saw them pull off had me holding my breath. If you're in a tunnel close to the car infront at the posted speed limit with no overtaking signs everywhere and the oncoming lorry starts flashing its lights... then most likely the white van that was 2inches behind you is now crawling alongside trying to either overtake or commit suicide (I couldn't tell the difference). My jaw had to be picked up off the floor when this happened to me! He only managed to tuck in because I practically emergency stopped to make him a gap.

Diesel was cheap, petrol expensive.

I'll post some photos later.
 
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