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Driving to Lake Garda, is it doable? Is it sane?

(12 Posts)
MsIngaFewmarbles Thu 23-Oct-14 18:02:10

We usually do Eurocamp in Brittany or thereabouts but I really want to go to Lake Garda next year. Has anyone done this? Where do you stop on the way? Roughly how much are the tolls? Am I completely insane for even thinking about this?

I did look at flights but it was £650 plus £700 for car hire which is about a third of the cost of the holiday which includes the ferry crossing.

MsIngaFewmarbles Thu 23-Oct-14 21:51:56


Nerf Thu 23-Oct-14 21:58:45

We were going to do this bit couldn't face it. Used to drive to North Scotland but this is just too much! Sorry!

TeaandHobnobs Thu 23-Oct-14 22:00:28

We have driven to Lake Orta before, so it would be another 2-3 hours on to Garda, I imagine.
We've done it once in about 15 hours (so one go), and a second time we stopped overnight in a French town called Besançon, not that far from the Swiss border (because we had chosen the Simplon pass route).
Can't remember how much the tolls were - we got one of those electric tags so we could whizz right through, and it deducts the toll straight from your account.
If you are going to Garda, you could probably do a more easterly route through BeneLux/Germany then Switzerland, and avoid as many tolls.
I don't think you are mad - the first time it was very doable (3 adults in the car). The second time, it was me, DH and 14mo DS who was not sleeping through the night. Now that was insane! We survived though grin

ReallyTired Thu 23-Oct-14 22:07:28

It is really cheaper to go such a long way by car when you end up paying for over night accomodiation and possibly meals out. Would an alternative driving be to go by train. I realise you would still have to hire a car. Prehaps you could manage with a smaller and cheaper car if you took a taxi for transfers. Often its cheaper to hire a car from a town location than an airport or a train station.

Lake Garda is lovely, but Italy is shockingly expensive.

namelessposter Thu 23-Oct-14 22:12:02

Lake Garda is unbelievably beautiful. Really breathtaking. For 20 mins. Then you're done. And the local food is dull, and the wine is acidic. Plus the whole are is HUGELY expensive, Nd it's a stupidly Long drive between resort towns, on narrow single carriageway roads. With furious elderly Italian ladies trying to overtake you on blind bends the whole way. Do yourself a favour - look at it on YouTube for those 20 mins, then book into the Cote D Azur grin

ReallyTired Thu 23-Oct-14 22:15:32

Auto train looks an interesting way of getting a car across europe without the effort of driving it

TeaandHobnobs Thu 23-Oct-14 23:21:41

There is also AutoSlaapTrein - - which does the Netherlands / Germany to Northern Italy / Tuscany.

exexpat Thu 23-Oct-14 23:32:37

We drove down to Lake Garda years ago - took evening ferry to Calais, stayed in cheap hotel just outside Calais overnight, set off early and drove all the way down to Lake Garda in one day. But that was just me and DH, pre-DCs, and we took minimal breaks. With children in the car you'd really need to drive down over two days, I think, and the same back, which would eat into holiday time.

SummerSazz Thu 23-Oct-14 23:37:52

We have done lake Maggiore so about closer and drive through Germany/Switzerland and surprisingly few tolls compared to France. I would probably stop off near the Jungfrau - there is apparently a lovely campsite half way up. We stopped with friends in northern Germany but it was still a long way from Italy.

EthelredOnAGoodDay Thu 23-Oct-14 23:39:25

No advice on the driving but, but Lake Garda is amazing. We went there a few years ago and are going back next summer with the kids and two other families. We are, however doing a <whispers>package holiday... smilegrin

lentilpot Thu 30-Oct-14 17:48:38

We did lots of long drives like this when I was a kid - just me, my brother and my mum in her old banger. Many of the holiday memories have faded but I have such clear (and good!) memories of those drives. Of course, we used to be able to climb around the boot and make nests in the camping equipment but things have changed!

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