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Switzerland, Italy, Slovania, and Croatia in Oct/Nov-TRAVEL?

Missoula, Montana
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Switzerland, Italy, Slovania, and Croatia in Oct/Nov-TRAVEL?

Hello all you fine travelers on here. I would like to pick your brain if you would let me. My husband and I are planning on travelling in Europe from Oct 20th to Nov 10th. The following is the itinerary we are thinking about.....

Oct 21 - Zurich, Switzerland

Oct 22 - Appenzell, Switzerland

Oct 23 - Appenzell, Switzerland

Oct 24 - Val Gardena, Italy

Oct 25 - Val Gardena, Italy

Oct 26 - Val Gardena, Italy

Oct 27 - Ljubljana, Slovania

Oct 28 - Slovania

Oct 29 - Slovania/Croatia

Oct 30 - Croatia

Oct 31 - Croatia

Nov 1 - Croatia

Nov 2 - Tuscany

Nov 3 - Tuscany

Nov 4 - Tuscany

Nov 5 - Tuscany

Nov 6 - Rome

Nov 7 - Rome

Nov 8 - Rome

Nov 9 - Rome

Okay. Now that you have any idea of what we are thinking.... here is where ALL the questions start. First, the areas that I put behind the days are just ideas of the area we want to be in. We are open for day trips anywhere so any good suggestions would be appreciated! Next, we are planning on mostly traveling by the trains, however in the dolomite region we would like to rent a car and drive. I know it will be Oct, any ideas on road conditons?!?! We are from Montana, USA and drive winter passes through mountains quite often around here but were hoping that it would be a little nicer than that. Should we expect snow on the roads? Also, is it easy to rent a car somewhere in the dolomites? Hard to do if you are American? Any specific documents we should have with us for it? Can you rent a car somewhere around Val Gardena? We were also planning on driving around in the Tuscany area. Any suggestions of where to start at and rent a car, etc. We were thinking we would travel by ferry to Ancona and train to Florence and then rent a car there. Any better ideas? Any specific towns in Tuscany we should see????

Thanks for all your help! Much appreciated!!!


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1. Re: Switzerland, Italy, Slovania, and Croatia in Oct/Nov-TRAVEL?

1. Driving around the Dolomites in October cannot be worse than driving the Bear Tooth. Too early for snow.

2. You need to talk to the car rental companies. Re their locations and any bias towards driving into Slovenia and Croatia? Some car rentals place restrictions on where you can go, just like those in Hawaii.

3. Where in Croatia are you thinking of? You don´t have time to see even half of those tourist spots, esp the islands. Are you restricting yourselves to Istria, or down to Split? and Dubrovnik?

4. Might as well rent a car from Ancona to your Tuscany destination.

Munich, Germany
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2. Re: Switzerland, Italy, Slovania, and Croatia in Oct/Nov-TRAVEL?

Zürich Airport - Appenzell

1h35 with 1 change

from Zürich main station ~ 2hrs with 1 change www.sbb.ch for Swiss Rail

Appenzell to Val Gardena - Villach - Ljubljana

IMO based on your itinerary is to pick a car up in Innsbruck and take a one-way rental to Villach (also in Austria). One way rentals in country are often free (e.g with Avis) or there is a minor drop off fee. Also not knowing what the weather will be like in the dolomites it is law in Austria that all cars must be fitted with winter tyres from October to April. Winter tyres cost extra to hire in Italy and Germany but as it is law in Austria then hire cars must come fitted with them.

So take the train from Appenzell to Innsbruck. It is possible to get some journeys requiring changes in St Gallen, Bregenz (or Buchs). www.sbb.ch

This is unfortunate as the direct Zürich - Innsbruck Intercity service goes through Buchs (36km south of Appenzell) but to pick it up you have to go north to St Gallen then back down south to Buchs.

What you can do then is drive from Innsbruck to Val Gardena/Dolomites then through the Dolomites to Villach (Austria). Drop the car off in Villach. From Villach there are direct Intercity trains to Ljubljana every 2hrs or so operated by Austrian rail www.oebb.at - the journey takes well under 2hrs.

Never too early for snow. Forecast for the alps (German/Austrian) this friday is snow down to 1000m - already had snow down to that level in mid september (although melted away as temps hit 25C/77F). My avatar is when I was climbing 2nd week in October - snow level was 1000m - you just don't know.

Also note in Val Gardena/Dolomites that from mid October until december is low/no season in the Dolomites. Expect to find many businesses closed and nearly all of the cable cars closed. All Val Gardena cable cars will be shut down. Only the main cable car out of Ortisei to the Alpe di Siusi/Seiser Alm is running.You may be better off in Ortisei



Where exactly in above. Can't give best info on travel although you can use German national rail www.bahn.de to get an idea of travel links.

Depending how far south you go will depend on what is your best options for return travel to Italy.

In north-western croatia there are bus services to Trieste where you can get direct Regional trains to Venice. There are also some fast ferry services to Venice.

Further south there are ferry services to/from Ancona- Split/Zadar

or Dubrovnik - Bari


New York City, New...
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3. Re: Switzerland, Italy, Slovania, and Croatia in Oct/Nov-TRAVEL?


The Mont Seuc cable car in the Val Gardena (Ortisei) is open until October, 31, 2011. Great for walks/hikes in the gorgeous Seiser Alm/Alpe di Siusi.




We've been to the Dolomites a few times in mid October and I would suggest staying in the Val Gardena. With a car, any of the 3 towns/villages (Ortisei, St. Christina, Selva) would be fine. They are just a few minutes drive from one to the next, so nothing is really inconvenient to use as a base. Take a drive over the spectacular Gardena Pass.

If interested, we stayed at the Garni Ariston in St. Christina, Val Gardena.



4. Re: Switzerland, Italy, Slovania, and Croatia in Oct/Nov-TRAVEL?

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