Road Trip: Switzerland +
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Sep 15, 2012 4:13 AM Last Post By: lisegriffiths86
Sep 9, 2012 3:18 PM
Road Trip: Switzerland +Hello!
I am hoping you all can lend an ear and give a few pieces of information. First of all, my fiance and I plan on heading to Europe in early fall of 2013 (most likely September). I have been to Europe (London, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, and a few places in between) but did not get to explore much of the countryside or small villages so we would primarly like to stick to smaller locations but understand that flying in and out of Europe is most convenient to larger cities. A few specific things I would like to know:
*I rented a car in Spain and it was relatively easy, but we did not leave the country. Is it possible to leave the country with rental cars?
*What route is suggested to avoid tourist traps (I understand we will be there during tourist season, but would like to avoid the general tourist locations).
A few things about us:
*We both have a penchant for architecture and would love to see a few castles, cathedrals, or other interesting structures.
*We both love natural beauty and could take in a piece of scenery for hours.
*We are in our late twenties and are relatively active, we'd love to get out for a hike, bike ride, etc. for a day or two.
*We are lovers of good food and even better wine :)
*We plan on being in Europe for ten to fourteen days, depending on what kind if itinerary we can put together and our flexability with work next year.
*We understand that some places will be more expensive than others; we are good day-to-day budgeters in regards to buying food at markets and not spending money on souveniers or other unnecessary items, so we don't mind spending a bit more on a hotel in a more expensive location.
*We are really just looking for a scenic, enjoyable tour of the countryside and small villages that might include a stop at a castle, cathedral, or point of interest.
*We are more of the traveler type than tourist type (if you didn't catch onto that), so we are fine without the cushy comforts and use of guides.
Any ideas would be great, I appreciate your help!
Sep 9, 2012 3:19 PM
Sep 10, 2012 1:00 AM
2If I understand this, you're starting in CH and have 10 days.
1) We call it autumn, not the fall.
2) You can hire a car in country and dehire in country B, but penalty fares will apply from the hire car company.
3) Random itineraries (assuming that Switzerland is definitely in and can't be taken out of the itinerary)
Zurich to Bernese Oberland (don't stay in Interlaken, it's ugly, stay in the nearby mountains such as Grindelwald, Murren, Wenge, Lauterbrunnen). From there, head to Venice, then Sienna or Florence, then Rome. This itinerary only works if you want to show your other half Venice and Rome (which you say you've seen already).
Zurich to Bernese Oberland to Montreux to Geneva in a week. From there, head on into France. Go see the Pont Du Gard, (plenty of peaceful quiet villages in this area - and some nice wineries too) before heading down to the Med at Marseille. Check that out for a day or two, then head over to Cannes, Nice or Monaco.
Zurich head down to Brienz and take a boat ride on the BrienzerSee. The mountain rack railway that goes up gives you fabulous views from the top too. Double back from there after a few days in that area and head off East to the Tyrolean Alps (N Austria). Check out the world famous Neuschwanstein castle (near Fuessen) before heading further East to Berchtesgaden. Go see the salt lakes in the underground mines, before heading into the clouds to admire the views from Hitlers Eagle Nest. Finish off by heading to the nearby Salzburg - a very nice small city, with great struedel + Mozarts birthplace.
Sep 12, 2012 8:07 AM
Sep 15, 2012 4:13 AM
4Switzerland is full of castles and stunning scenery, you'll be in your element particularly in the Swiss Alps! It's easy to get into Italy from Switzerland - a good place to head for is Stresa on Lake Maggiore. It's in a beautiful setting and there's some really historic islands to visit on the lake. However if you're going to the South of France first you would go into Italy through Menton - also a really interesting place. I absolutely loved Nice, especially the old town. It's so charming and a really great mix of Italian and French culture. Also two places called Eze and Vence in this area are just stunning - in terms of scenery, architecture, food, wine and EVERYTHING!!!!
If you're on a budget, interhome.com is a great website for booking relatively cheap chalets and apartments for self-catering. Be aware that driving in Switzerland you need to buy a vignette if you want use of the motorways. You can buy it at the border, I think it's about 40 Euros but you can use it for a whole year.
By the way you can take rental cars out of the country you rented them in but check with the company that they know you're doing this. You can also drop them off in different places. I reccommend Hertz, they are great.
My article on the Swiss alps should help you as I've avoided writing about major cities:
Also my blog post on quaint towns and villages in Europe might be useful - it covers a few places in Italy, France and Switzerland that may interest you and it focuses on places generally off the beaten path which have genuine authenticity.
I also have a blog post about Nice (comparing it to L.A.!)
Also on my blog I also have documented my various road trips including a South of France and a Switzerland on - just search for road trips on my blog :)
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