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How long is the drive from Zurich to Colmar?

Burlington, Vermont
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How long is the drive from Zurich to Colmar?

It looks to be perhaps 2 hours, is that accurate?

Is it a simple drive along a major autoroute, or are there complications, bottlenecks, etc.?

My wife and I are pondering a return to Alsace in 2011. Earlier this summer, we flew to Frankfurt, rented a car there at the airport, and drove down the autobahn, crossing near Strasbourg. The drive was fine, if just a tad longer than we would have liked.

We did not like the Frankfurt airport at all, and we are seeking an alternative that still offers a direct flight from the U.S. My wife is visually impaired. Unbelievably, the international flight home from Frankfurt to Dulles used a gate that had access to the plane via a long series of stairs. Is the Zurich airport any more thoughtfully equipped to handle disabled passengers than Frankfurt's airport?

Thanks in advance for your assistance with my questions.

Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: How long is the drive from Zurich to Colmar?

www.viamichelin.com

www.mappy.com

http://maps.google.com

All will give you information as to drive times, mileage, and tolls, plus the option of taking all motorway, recommended routes, or scenic routes.

I think you'll find that European airports are considerably less well-equipped than their US counterparts in terms of accessibility for the impaired...they've come a long way, but there's a long way to go. (Frankfurt is one of the better ones, frankly. Can't remember Zurich's facilities.)

Burlington, Vermont
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2. Re: How long is the drive from Zurich to Colmar?

Thanks, those websites are helpful, but they don't always give you the "real world" picture of what the drive is really like, since they don't reflect the realities of road construction, traffic bottlenecks that routinely develop, etc.

If anyone has driven Zurich to Colmar and has some thoughts that might vary from the internet sites, I'd love to hear from you.

And of course, I'd love to hear from anyone who's used Zurich's airport. I've done it a couple times, but I honestly can't remember a thing about that airport.

Tampa, Florida
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3. Re: How long is the drive from Zurich to Colmar?

ViaMichelin DOES include construction information.

The drive times tend to be on the optimistic side...simply because there's no way to adjust it for everyone's driving habits, affinity for rest stops, and inclement weather. Traffic changes by the minute, but significant delays are usually shown on the VM maps, too.

Add about 20% to the estimated time to get a fairly reliable drive time including short stops for fluid exchange.

Edited: 15 September 2010, 20:58
Alsace, France
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4. Re: How long is the drive from Zurich to Colmar?

At the moment there are no roadworks on the A35 from Basel to Colmar. I have noticed some heavy traffic entering Basel from the N2 coming from Pratteln, but this seems simply to be volume of traffic and will depend on the time of day. There are no significant roadworks between Zurich and Basel at the time being.

So the timings given by viamichelin are reasonable ... but WHO KNOWS what will be underway when you return sometime in 2011. Contact this site and we'll try to give you updated information.

As for handling at Zurich airport, I have never heard of any grumbles about the way disabled passengers are treated. I have however heard that Frankfurt requires a walk of at least 1.8 km to some gates, and that disabled passengers can find the many stairs very daunting,which seems to be borne out by your experience.

Contact your airline and ask for disabled assistance at Zurich WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR TICKETS so that it is logged in the computer, and if you want the 'belt and braces' approach, contact Zurich airport by email in advance of your travel with all the details of dates, flight numbers, your point of origin and airline, and I am sure they will be able to help you and reassure you that you will get the necessary help when you arrive.

Edited: 15 September 2010, 22:57
Alsace
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5. Re: How long is the drive from Zurich to Colmar?

The only bottle neck I know of is at rush hour in the morning going towards Switzerland and then another one 4pm to 6pm leaving Switzerland.

And it's not standing traffic, it's just lots of cars moving slower than the speed limit.

And it only lasts until the turn off for Mulhouse.

After that, your way to Colmar is normal.

Although the road to Colmar in general is a bit crowded because it's only 2 lanes each way and it's a main road for big trucks and people in cars.

It's really easy to get stuck in the right lane with the trucks while tons of cars keep the left lane full.

But nothing like big city driving in the US (lived in Chicago so I know what that is!)

Hope it helps,

Suzele

http://www.getalsaced.com

Chateaurenard...
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6. Re: How long is the drive from Zurich to Colmar?

If you wish to drive on Autoroutes (Autobahns) in Switzerland your car will need to have a "vignette". This is a sticker on the windscreen to show you have paid the annual charge imposed by the Swiss authorities for driving on these roads. If you don't have one the choices are 1) buy one, 2) don't drive on these roads 3) drive on them and risk getting fined.

Burlington, Vermont
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7. Re: How long is the drive from Zurich to Colmar?

Thank you, Suzele, your info about routine bottlenecks is exactly the kind of info I am seeking.

Regarding the "vignette" to drive on Swiss major highways, is it safe to presume that cars rented in Switzerland will already have them?

Alsace, France
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8. Re: How long is the drive from Zurich to Colmar?

*****************So the timings given by viamichelin are reasonable ... but WHO KNOWS what will be underway when you return sometime in 2011. Contact this site and we'll try to give you updated information.************************

As I said a few posts up, contact us nearer your intended journey and we'll update you on the ACTUAL situation. You are too far away from your stay for factual up-to-date information.

And whilst it is likely that your car has a Swiss motorway sticker, it depends on whom you are hiring from .... because that car might not be a Swiss registered car .... however there is a high probability that it will have a sticker. Have a look on the windscreen before you drive it away from the hire car lot, and if it doesn't, go back and ask either for a sticker or another car with one on.

9. Re: How long is the drive from Zurich to Colmar?

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