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Lake Garda - have you been?

(45 Posts)
turnipvontrapp Sat 29-Dec-12 23:28:57

We want to drive down from Innsbruck for a week so fancy something on the east of the Lake, have been looking at Garda, Lazise, Peschiera.

Would love to hear your recommendations for places to stay? Either apartment or caravan, don't mind but just not too pricey. Would like a pool.

Thanks smile

Badvoc Wed 02-Jan-13 12:53:14

I loved Hallstatt. Amazing place.
Don't rate Salzburg tbh...
Like Innsbruck.
The rot horn trip was great too and the jungfrau.

turnipvontrapp Wed 02-Jan-13 16:56:42

All these tips are great, thanks! Now fancy a week in Zell and a week in Garda (change my mind like the wind, I know) but think it may be too much driving. How long did it take you over the dolomites, Chops?

Would it be better to fly to Venice or Munich do you think?

Binfullofgibletsonthe26th Wed 02-Jan-13 17:26:22

Do you mean fly for a separate holiday? Sorry I don't understand the question?

Chopstheduck Wed 02-Jan-13 17:35:47

We drove from the UK to zell, spent a week there, then it was about 6 hours over to Garda, and then drove back from Garda, I think stopping off at Zurich and the rhinefalls, and a few hours in Luxembourg city. There must have been a hotel somewhere along the way home, but I can't for the life of me remember where!

Chopstheduck Wed 02-Jan-13 17:36:50

for garda either milan or venice is good to fly in, garda is pretty much bang in the middle. I'd prob go for milan and try to have a quick look before flying home. Venice you need a whole day to explore.

turnipvontrapp Wed 02-Jan-13 18:20:41

Sorry I mean if we wanted to do Zell and Garda in the same holiday, a week at each.

Could fly to one and back from the other but then we have the problem of the hire car.

Thanks Chops. I would drive but DH won't. Did it 2 years ago and he wants to fly.

Anyone stayed at Residence Camping Gardaturist in Peschiera?

Binfullofgibletsonthe26th Wed 02-Jan-13 18:33:08

Would you plan on driving the car back from Guarda to Munich for your flight then?

I know we have returned back to Switzerland at the end of a weekend on many occasions from Guarda, and found the motorways hellish. So the least driving at the end of your holiday, the better I'd have thought? Or plan it well, with an overnight stop.

You have more than one choice of Airport in Italy - Milan, Bergamo, Verona. I would try and avoid the pricey tolls in Italy as much as possible by keeping motorway distances short.

My last work trip in November cost me 60 euros in tolls for three days driving!

Just check with the car hire that you can take the car across 2 or 3 countries? Shouldn't be a problem, but I'm not an expert. Don't forget you need a vignette for driving in Austria too.

So perhaps try and balance flight costs with car hire costs from each airports and toll costs if you are working to a budget?? <<wibbles>>

turnipvontrapp Thu 03-Jan-13 11:53:27

Yes, would probably do the garda part first and then make our way to Zell and then back to Munich. Are we mad? Is it too much driving? Just want to do both places now I've read up about them.

What's a vignette? Never had one before I don't think.

Google tells me that its about 5 hours from Garda to Zell but my head says its probably a lot more. If we do the drive on a monday and maybe go the scenic dolomites route? What do you think?

Am very envy, Binfull, living in Switzerland, working in Italy. Is it as idyllic as it sounds?

Chopstheduck Thu 03-Jan-13 12:09:46

Garda to Munich is going to be a looong drive. I'd go to Innsbruck I think, then do a week there, do the scenic drive over the dolomites. I'd allow the best part of a day for that, take a picnic, there is a lovely stop at the top where you have to wait in any case cos part the way down is single direction. Then from garda, drive back to Innsbruck, spend a night at a hotel before flying home.

Vignette is a compulsory tax disc type thing to drive in Austria. eight days is €8,30, 2 months is €24,20.

If you did go to Switzerland at any time, it's worth knowing you also need a Swiss vignette which is CHF 40 - for a year. They don't do any smaller time periods, annoyingly.

Chopstheduck Thu 03-Jan-13 12:11:24

go to Innsbruck and spend the week in Zell.

I would want to save the hottest weather for the second week, and zell can be pretty tiring if you want to make the most of the salzburg card.

salburg card

Binfullofgibletsonthe26th Thu 03-Jan-13 12:30:48

You only need a Swiss vignette if you are travelling on the motorway. However, not travelling on the motorway does add to the journey somewhat! They are keeping the price at 40chf for 2013 (about £28). And if you're caught, you're fined.

It's similar in Austria for A and S roads you need a vignette, otherwise face a €240 fine i think. You can buy them in chunks of time in Austria i.e a week, from petrol stations. Your hire car from Italy won't include one, obviously.

The Swiss one is a window sticker, the Austrian one, if I recall from my last work visit there was a paper ticket that flew around the dashboard.

There is a very nice continuous thread on Living Overseas by the German and Austrian MN'ers, usually carries the wording Kafe mit Kuchen in the title (coffee with cake) so you could ask for more detail on car hire across borders there turnip. They are a lovely bunch, I dip in and out as I do most of my shopping in Germany, and they are most helpful and knowledgeable.

I have to say work and vacation are two different things, but I have stayed in some amazing places in Europe, and worked with some amazing people. It's a lot of travel, as we have stores in every country and head offices in Germany, and I do spend a lot of time away from my ds during these chunks of travel. But nothing's ever perfect, and I'd prefer store visits to Milan and Berlin than to Leicester and Gateshead if I'm honest! NOT that I am belittling either of those cities of course!

Chopstheduck Thu 03-Jan-13 12:34:49

Austria is a sticker now too. Sometimes you can get either on ebay cheap, where people have used it and peeled it off again very very carefully! It's not really possible to spend a lot of time in either country avoiding the motorways. Austria in particular, around the Zell area the roads are generally fairly slow and winding without avoiding motorways!

turnipvontrapp Thu 03-Jan-13 22:42:33

Ok the flight is booked, to Munich! Got too good a deal compared to Venice.
Only problem is we arrive on Sunday night at 9.10pm. So was thinking we should drive to Innsbruck that night as its a lost night anyway and then we are a bit closer to Garda for the drive the next day. What do you think?

Want to do Garda first as looking at caravans there and apartments in Zell so want to upgrade for the second week in terms of accomodation and also will be closer to Munich for the return flight then.

Am very excited now!! Love an adventure.

So is the route over the dolomites from garda to zell worth it? Where would be good places to stop en route?

Hee hee, feel very cheeky, like you are my personal travel advisors! If you ever need travel advice on a holiday to Lancashire, I'm your lady!

Binfullofgibletsonthe26th Thu 03-Jan-13 23:44:09

I will ask two of my colleagues tomorrow if you can hang on till the weekend. One is from Brescia, the other from Salzburg.

But at Garda, make sure you visit Limone, Salo and the surrounding towns and Sirmione - a gelato in the Piazza is a must do!

Chopstheduck Fri 04-Jan-13 06:30:41

There isn't much in the drive over in the way of villages or anything to stop, but jut fantastic scenery, so like I said, I'd pack a picnic and just see where the fancy takes you. At the peak though, where you cross the border, and there is the one way stretch is a nice part. There are walking trails marked, and a little cafe selling the best apple strudel!

If you look at google maps, the route we took was from mittersill, take the 108 towards Matrei in Osttirol, then it's Bruggen on the left, which heads straight through the Riesserferner-Ahn Nature Park, past Monte collato. Then eventually you can rejoin the motorway down to Garda.

So Innsbruck would be a bit in the wrong direction, Somewhere south of Salzburg would be better.

turnipvontrapp Fri 04-Jan-13 14:21:55

Would appreciate that Binfull, thanks.

Chops, does that take you past the grossglockner?

Chopstheduck Fri 04-Jan-13 15:04:54

the grossglockner is due south of Zell am see, and is a full day out in itself. There are lots of little stops along it, musuems, craft type places, scenic vistas, cafes, play areas for the kids, etc. One point we stopped and had a snowball fight! It was boiling hot and we were in shorts and tops, and throwing snowballs, it was so much fun!

Then at the top you can see the grossglockner mountain (highest in Austria), the Pasterze glacier (at 8.4 kms the widest in the eastern Alps) and there is a big visitor centre. You can walk down to the glacier, or hike through several long tunnels to a big alpine area. We were lucky enough to see loads of marmots up there. It is a toll road too, €32 for a day, but def well worth it if you love mountains.

In theory you could drive to the end of it, double back a bit then turn off to Italy but it would be too much to do if you planning to drive all the way down to Garda. gmaps says 6 hours, but the traffic through the grossglockner is leisurely, and it could be up to 10 hours without stopping anywhere.

There is a part in the middle, Hochtor, which is the highest point of the overall road. There is a huge car park - it's forbidden to larger vehicles, then a queue of traffic winding their way up it. It is very scary, and lots of clutches burning from cars trying to climb it at slow speed! Only try that bit if you are confident drivers! The view from the top is fantastic though, there is parking to stop for a bit up there.

The website is here

Chopstheduck Fri 04-Jan-13 15:05:29

the short answer would have been 'no', wouldn't it! grin

I really did love Austria though!

turnipvontrapp Fri 04-Jan-13 15:41:43

Ha ha, yes, but it sounds great from your description so think we need to go there. Think I may have been as a child, will ask my mum and dad. Will defo look at the website link thanks.

turnipvontrapp Fri 04-Jan-13 15:45:57

I love it too, Turkey just didn't do it for us like Austria. If I won the lottery would get myself a lovely holiday home there......must get a ticket tonight! grin

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