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Travelling on roads other than the Autobahn with 23 days

Lake Macquarie...
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Travelling on roads other than the Autobahn with 23 days

Hello,

We will be coming from Salzburg after spending 2 1/2 weeks in Austria.

We will have approximately 23 days, travelling the south of Germany.

Firstly, by not venturing further north than say Cochem/St. Goar area, is this too much time for the south of Germany? We will have a rental car, are slow travellers (meaning we do not dash from one place to another to see how many towns we can visit in one day!!!)

We love to base ourselves in one place for say 4 days or more and use this as a base. Would this work with Germany?

Secondly, we prefer to stay off the Autobahn and explore the back roads (or minor highways). Again is this possible?

I have a list of lovely small towns we wish to visit (plus other larger i.e. Munich, Heidelburg and Stuttgart).

Any advice would be most welcome.

Thank you, Chris

Stuttgart, Germany
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1. Re: Travelling on roads other than the Autobahn with 23 days

That gives you plenty of time to explore some leesr known places as well as the tourist must sees.

Do get a car with GPS or bring one . The smaller roads are fine here though watch your speed when entering towns they like to hide a speed camera in the trees,and as the rental company will charge you €25/30 to process the paperwork a €10 fine becomes expensive!

If you let us know your particular interests then I'm you will get lots of ideas

Chula Vista...
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2. Re: Travelling on roads other than the Autobahn with 23 days

You may want to consider driving some or all of the Deutsche Alpenstraße:

www.bavaria.by/the-german-alpine-road-1

And if you're considering going all the way to Cochem, then head through the Black Forest region on your way. (I actually enjoyed the Mosel River valley more than the middle Rhine--went all the way to Germany's oldest city, Trier.)

Zed

Germany
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3. Re: Travelling on roads other than the Autobahn with 23 days

> is this too much time for the south of Germany?

No. This is basically one week for the federal states Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate each. With is not that much. Esp. when comparing this with 2 1/2 weeks in Austria.

> We love to base ourselves in one place for say 4 days or more and use this as a base. Would this work with Germany?

Sure. As the distances are rather short and the density of sights is high.

> Secondly, we prefer to stay off the Autobahn and explore the back roads (or minor highways). Again is this possible?

Why not? You'll have more problems with the amount of options to get from A to B than with the lack of them.

GPS (called "Navi" in German) is a good idea. Before renting one from the rental company for the comparably long duration of your stay, rather buy one (if you are not already owning one where you can get European maps for).

A good road atlas showing sights and scenic roads will still pay for (for planning journeys and stopovers). Buy one after arriving in Austria/Germany.

Edited: 10 December 2013, 00:06
Lake Macquarie...
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4. Re: Travelling on roads other than the Autobahn with 23 days

Oh wow, what great information and advice!

Abalada, could I get some more info from you about your comment about 2 1/2 weeks in Austria (even though this is the German forum)?

Planning our itinerary, leaving Italy from Bressanone, I decided to travel to Vienna by train (this would be via Salzburg) which in itself is frustrating because after Vienna we want to visit Krems, Durnstein, Linz, Steyr, Gmunden, St Wolfgang, Hallstatt just to name a few. We would then be back in Salzburg to then begin our German holiday. This would all be with a rental vehicle.

What I am now wondering is that I have booked 4 nights in Vienna, 4 nights on the outskirts of LInz, 4 nights Bad Ischel and I was planning to make more bookings in Austria to make up the 2 1/2 weeks. Is this far too much time in these areas? It appears that some places are only 1 - 2 hours away from each other. I am not locked into these bookings and can reduce time there.

As I mentioned before, we are slow travellers and are use to staying in the one place for some time as a base but in saying that, do not want to feel that we should have booked less nights.

I apologise if you think I should have put this question to the Austrian forum and have given you far too much info to reply to.

By asking this question though, we would then be able to have more time in Germany which really appeals to us more.

Yes, definitely want to do the Black Forest and the Mosel River valley.

Our interests are generally just enjoying small towns (castles, a minimal number of museums) sampling local foods, plenty of walks and hubby is a keen cyclist (so need to include that in a couple of spots in Germany!)

Thanking you, Chris

greeley, CO
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5. Re: Travelling on roads other than the Autobahn with 23 days

When you have a list of towns you might want to stay in, go to the town website - usually www.town name.de. Most sites have a list of places to stay in the town and (many times) the nearby area. You might want to consider staying in an apartment (ferienwhonung or fewo for short). Lots more room, cooking possible, and often cheaper.

Check out the many trip reports and other great info at Bavaria Ben's excellent website - www.bensbauernhof.com

Las Vegas, Nevada
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6. Re: Travelling on roads other than the Autobahn with 23 days

SW Germany is the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, and here is something I wrote previously on things to visit there and it also has a couple of excellent drives- #1 of tripadvisor.com/…49932873 .

The best thing that you can do to have a successful driving trip is to get good large scale (at least 1:150000) maps that show hundreds of places of interest to a tourist. I believe that abalada has recommended an atlas, but these are inconvenient to use when driving and are not meant as much for sight seeing as a normal map, but for locals to find streets and addresses. After looking at all of the map options in a large German bookstore in Stuttgart, I discovered that by far the best maps for visiting places of interest were the Shell series of Regional Maps of Germany, our one centered on Stuttgart (#24) has over 4000 places of interest to a tourist on it. 18 maps cover the whole country, but just buy maps for the areas you will be traveling in. These maps show ALL rural roads; castles, palaces, monasteries and churches and whether they are intact or in ruins; museums; summer bobsled runs; waterfalls; caves; visitable mines; water and wind mills; zoos; botanical parks; wild animal parks; amusement parks; golf courses; named scenic routes; scenic drives; vista points; scenic valleys; enjoyable towns; rack railroads and aerial trams; monuments; archeological excavations; military cemeteries; moors; spas; gardens; etc. Each map contains more useful information than a shelf of guidebooks. The sights are also rated: unrated which still can be excellent; better; and best. The maps are so detailed that every road curve is usually shown so you will know where to look from the road for that hidden castle or church. Unfortunately, this map series has been discontinued, but it would be well worth the effort to try to get maps of the areas you will be visiting, perhaps Amazon or Ebay.

When we lived in Stuttgart we spent many enjoyable days making day trips using these maps. We would set out to see a few of the better or best sights, and then stop and visit other places along the way or nearby. These were our best visits, and those "hidden gems" aren't really hidden, they're clearly marked on the maps. And with these maps, there is usually no need to backtrack as all of the rural roads are shown so you can return by a different interesting route and perhaps stumble upon other places by accident.

Lake Macquarie...
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7. Re: Travelling on roads other than the Autobahn with 23 days

Thank you both for all of the above information.

I have been working with a Michelin 1:750,000 map which has been pretty good for the initial planning. Will definitely get hold of maps of the areas we are planning to visit.

Yes, we often find apartments or farm stays. What are your thoughts of a farm stay? Do they work as well as in Italy?

The above information has not only helped me, but am sure other travellers have piggy backed on to this thread and gained so much information.

You are all so brilliant!!

8. Re: Travelling on roads other than the Autobahn with 23 days

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