Planning a trip to the Italian Lakes (1 Viewer)

Sep 7, 2017
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We usually take a trip into Europe mid-May and for a change we thought we might head to the Italian Lakes at the end of May. We have been to Italy a few times before, but have never taken the motorhome there, although we have trundled around other parts of Europe in it quite a few times.

We have a month and the tunnel is booked (using Tesco vouchers). Normally we meander to a vague destination, often dictated by areas that have the nicest weather and equally often never make it to the original destination. This time, unusually for us, the plan is to get on with the journey and use toll roads so we can spend as much time as possible in the area. We will probably use a combination of sostas and campsites while there. We hope to visit the Dolomites and work our way back through Germany, Belgium etc.

As we don't know this part of Italy (apart from skiing) we thought we ask for ideas and suggestions. We've driven a car in the Naples area previously and the driving was crazy, so we are hoping it will be a little more sane in the north. Has anyone any suggestions of places to see, tips and tricks and so forth?

We also wondered if a thread along the lines produced by Tam, Lenny, Mousey and 'Two go' would be of interest to others? That way we can pass on all the mistakes and 'what not to dos'.
 
Aug 19, 2013
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It's not hugely far to the lakes, depending which route you take. I wouldn't want to advise a route because we each have different priorities. But go for it. Italian drivers are, well, Italian. Italian roads likewise. Some minor mountain roads can be a bit tight, they just get narrower the higher you go. Watch that satnav!
 
OP
OP
Wanders from Glos
Sep 7, 2017
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It's not hugely far to the lakes, depending which route you take. I wouldn't want to advise a route because we each have different priorities. But go for it. Italian drivers are, well, Italian. Italian roads likewise. Some minor mountain roads can be a bit tight, they just get narrower the higher you go. Watch that satnav!
Thanks, we will probably head down the toll road towards Dijon and then cut through Switzerland and take the Simplon Pass. Hopefully that should be OK by then and hopefully it's not too narrow!

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OP
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Wanders from Glos
Sep 7, 2017
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I've had several trips to the lakes, never in the van but I wouldn't hesitate. It's a fabulous part of the world. Driving standards seem better in the north compared with Naples. Enjoy your trip and definitely post a 'tour' thread đź‘Ť
That's reassuring. We'd quite like to do a tour thread, although I don't have the wit of some on here. We certainly find some of the others interesting and useful.
 

suavecarve

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Aug 18, 2009
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We have done a bit of Northern Italy.
Check out Glossglockner for route over Austria (you pay for the road but avoid the Go box or vignette)
Lago di Fusine free stopover in stunning surroundings on Slovenian/Austrian/Italian border. (A top 5 aire)
Search for "sundial" or "sun dial" and you ll find a lovely walk near Venice with 100+ sundials and it is well worth it.
Lake Garda has a fascinating cycle route ON (2km) Lake Garda that would be on our hit list.
We also stayed around Polcenigo at a friends house but there is a bit to do around there.
 
Mar 30, 2019
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Lake Garda is lovely, I liked Lazise and there is campsite just at the northern entrance to the town (which looked ok from the road). Sirmione is also lovely but busy unless you can get there early evening when the tourists have gone. I can recommend the spa there right on the lake, well worth the 20euros or so for a couple of hours. Use the ferries on the lake to visit a few more towns, they are all very picturesque.
I also liked Verona, we went to the opera in the colosseum which was one of those once in a lifetime things.
Lake Maggiore has lots of nice towns if your coming in from the west and Also Lake Orta if you want somewhere less touristy but still very Italian.
 
OP
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Sep 7, 2017
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We have done a bit of Northern Italy.
Check out Glossglockner for route over Austria (you pay for the road but avoid the Go box or vignette)
Lago di Fusine free stopover in stunning surroundings on Slovenian/Austrian/Italian border. (A top 5 aire)
Search for "sundial" or "sun dial" and you ll find a lovely walk near Venice with 100+ sundials and it is well worth it.
Lake Garda has a fascinating cycle route ON (2km) Lake Garda that would be on our hit list.
We also stayed around Polcenigo at a friends house but there is a bit to do around there.
We probably won’t go to Venice as we were there not long ago. Like the sound of the Glosglockner and Lago di Fusine will have a look at it. Bike route sounds right up our street too.

What a brilliant site this us.
 
Feb 18, 2017
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The shorter route (and also toll free) is to cross Harwich/Hook of Holland
After the first night in your cabin, you get off the boat at 7am and can be in Germany for a late breakfast.
2nd night in a Stellplatz on the Rhein and if you booted it, you could be on lake Garda by the 3rd night.

The Grossglockner pass (check opening dates), is a high point (pun intended) of the trip down or back, just make sure it's good weather as no point in heavy cloud or rain. Toll is€27. and well worth it.

For Austria I'd get the Vignette, as it's only €9 and saves a load of expert navigation requirements
 
OP
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Wanders from Glos
Sep 7, 2017
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The shorter route (and also toll free) is to cross Harwich/Hook of Holland
After a night in your cabin, you get off the boat at 7am and can be in Germany for a late breakfast.
One night in a Stellplatz on the Rhein and if you booted it, you could be on lake Garda by the 2nd night.
We did think about that, and that is on Tesco vouchers too. Can’t remember why we chose the tunnel now, probably a bit more flexible and nearer.

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suavecarve

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We probably won’t go to Venice as we were there not long ago. Like the sound of the Glosglockner and Lago di Fusine will have a look at it. Bike route sounds right up our street too.

What a brilliant site this us.
Allow a day for the Glossglockner. Make sure your battery is charged in your phone. Stopping points of stunning scenery every 400 metres. You may have to walk the final vertical 300 metres as it is 3.5 tonne and there wont be a lot of space.
Check out the route in and out without using the motorways. Think its about 35 euros. Money well spent.
Italian tolls have even been used by me. about 6 or 7 years ago we went from Briancon to Trieste for something like 45 euros.
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Sep 7, 2017
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Lake Garda is lovely, I liked Lazise and there is campsite just at the northern entrance to the town (which looked ok from the road). Sirmione is also lovely but busy unless you can get there early evening when the tourists have gone. I can recommend the spa there right on the lake, well worth the 20euros or so for a couple of hours. Use the ferries on the lake to visit a few more towns, they are all very picturesque.
I also liked Verona, we went to the opera in the colosseum which was one of those once in a lifetime things.
Lake Maggiore has lots of nice towns if your coming in from the west and Also Lake Orta if you want somewhere less touristy but still very Italian.
Lazine looks lovely and its an ACSI camp site. It’s definitely on the list. Unfortunately the opera is later in the year… just have to go back!

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Wanders from Glos
Sep 7, 2017
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Allow a day for the Glossglockner. Make sure your battery is charged in your phone. Stopping points of stunning scenery every 400 metres. You may have to walk the final vertical 300 metres as it is 3.5 tonne and there wont be a lot of space.
Check out the route in and out without using the motorways. Think its about 35 euros. Money well spent.
Italian tolls have even been used by me. about 6 or 7 years ago we went from Briancon to Trieste for something like 45 euros.
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Thanks, looks worth doing.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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Bike route sounds right up our street too.
If you cycle, there is a lovely cycle route to the beautiful village of Borghetto about 14 km south of Perchiera del Garda.
I think the route goes further south but that's as far as I made it

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OP
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Wanders from Glos
Sep 7, 2017
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If you cycle, there is a lovely cycle route to the beautiful village of Borghetto about 14 km south of Perchiera del Garda.
I think the route goes further south but that's as far as I made it
We do like to cycle, always have our bikes with us. Are there cycle paths or is it a case of mixing in with the traffic?
 
Apr 17, 2016
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We stayed here in Venice, not fancy but a few minutes walk to the water taxi that takes you into the back of Venice.
You see so much more coming in the back and walking through the little streets to loads of shops you probably wouldn’t see if you arrived at the front.

For Salzburg we stayed on this site, just park where you want and a short walk to the bus stop then 5 minutes into town.
Site has a shop and restaurant/bar and is owned by a lovely helpful lady.
 
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Wanders from Glos
Sep 7, 2017
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We’re off to the Lakes end of the month, so following with interest. Will be going via Gotthard tunnel and stopping at Lake Maggiore to start with. Have 7 week’s available to us.
Hopefully we will be able to share a few tips. We are thinking of starting at Maggiore and working our way East. Maybe stop in Suave for some wine then head back through Austria. Looks like Grossglockner might be a great route.

But we do find things often unfold completely different to our rough plan.

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