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Travelling by car in July

Winnipeg, Manitoba...
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Travelling by car in July

Hello everyone,

I have a three week trip coming up in July, and I'm struggling with the decision about how to get around. I think I'd really like the flexibility of having a car. I'll be travelling with my girlfriend, and our plan would involve renting a car as we leave Vienna and heading towards Switzerland with stops in Zell am See and Innsbruck, eventually ending up in Zermatt. My main concern is that the roads will be congested with traffic during July. Can anyone comment on the conditions in July or have any other suggestions?

Thanks for your time,

Paul

York, United Kingdom
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1. Re: Travelling by car in July

You will find that traffic in general is very light away from major routes. The autobahn around Vienna and Munichcan get pretty busy but Sundays are quiet as no heavy goods are allowed. Rural roads are a pleasure to drive compared to what we are used to here in UK.Just be aware of the speed limits. A car gives you so much more flexibility about what to see and where to stop. Why not consider continuing your journey from Innsbruck or Salzburg by train thus avoiding the heavy charges for leaving the car in another country and the hefty bmotorway charge in Switzerland.

Edited: 26 March 2014, 08:51
Lancaster, United...
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2. Re: Travelling by car in July

No need to do the Autobahn around Munich, especially if going to Zell am Zee and on to Innsbruck. Take the Grossglockner or Gerlos passes for some nice views. Can sometimes be roadworks taking place that can cause a little congestion, but apart from that, enjoy.

Echo the suggestion of train from Innsbruck to Zurich (direct train) or elsewhere in Switzerland. Much cheaper than driving and dropping the car off in another country, plus having to pay for the yearly Swiss motorway toll pass (hiring a car in Austia means the car will come with the Austrian vignette for using on the main Autobahns and select other roads).

Amsterdam, The...
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3. Re: Travelling by car in July

Travelling in the Alps is quiet in general, also on main roads.

Apart from saturdays in the main season (which is in july and august). Saturday is to be avoided completely, especially on the main routes towards Italy: Munich-Innsbruck-Brenner (through Austria) and Zurich-Gotthard (through Switserland)

On saturday you should stick to the swimmingpool or a mountaintop!

Be aware that some high passes require experience in driving!

And for Zermatt you will have to leave the car in Täsch and from there with train to Zermatt.

Winnipeg, Manitoba...
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4. Re: Travelling by car in July

Thank you all for your responses. I'm hearing that taking the train into Switzerland might be the better plan and to avoid driving on Saturdays.

My initial plan was something like this:

July 2-5 Vienna

5-7 Zell am See

7-9 Innsbruck

9-11 Lucerne

11-14 Zermatt

14-17 Zurich

17-20 Munich (fly home from Munich)

There were a few reasons I was considering a car: 1. Glossglockner road, as Downhill_bex suggested. 2. I wanted to hike around Lake Oschinensee in Switzerland, and I wasn't sure if that would be possible if we're travelling by train, and 3. I was considering avoiding Zurich as I've seen the hotel prices and I would consider checking out the Black Forest area of Germany if I was in a car....

And thank you, Flexen, for the information about Zermatt.

Cheers!

Paul

Dublin, Ireland
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5. Re: Travelling by car in July

you have a serious omission.....you are missing out on the best area of Austria! Salzburg and the salzkammergut!

you may have reasons to see the places you mention, but the likes of Innsbruck could be fitted in , even if you visited the salzkammergut.

chop one day off Vienna and go to salzkammergut for a day or two, at least. plenty of lakes to hike around. and a visit to hallstatt is a must. you can then go to zell (hike around the lake) and take a day trip from there to the Grossglockner. you can pick up Innsbruck on your way to Lucerne, but Innsbruck has less of interest than Salzburg.

Zermatt is indeed worth a visit and stay, but zurich is not too interesting, (unless you are a banker!)

Zermatt is car free, so you have to off load your luggage at tasch, get a train for a short journey, and there are electric carts to take you around in the town.

of course, if you stayed in Salzburg, you could also visit Bavaria from there.

by the way, if you rent a car in Vienna and return to munich, you will be faced with a charge for dropping in a different country. so it may be more economical to bring car back to Salzburg, and then get the train to munich for your few days there, and then train to munich ap?

6. Re: Travelling by car in July

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Removed on: 27 March 2014, 17:53
Winnipeg, Manitoba...
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7. Re: Travelling by car in July

Thank you, nakagoli. I'll give Salzburg further consideration and I think I'll take Zurich off my list!

And thank you, vertical. I think I'll use the trains and then I can rent a car for a day here and there as needed. And I'll probably avoid Zell am See based on your description.

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Removed on: 27 March 2014, 21:35
Winnipeg, Manitoba...
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9. Re: Travelling by car in July

nakagoli, I am still going to look for somewhere to stay in the area but likely not Zell am See in particular. When a place is packed with tourists, whether they're american, asian or middle eastern or whatever, I likely won't enjoy myself as much. A quiet typical alpine village is more what I'm looking for, although it might be harder to find in peak season.

Dublin, Ireland
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10. Re: Travelling by car in July

drpaul. between zell and the Grossglockner, is a village called kaprun. this might be a suitable alternative, allowing you to visit zell, the krimml waterfall, and even take a gondola up to the glacier on kitzsteinhorn (at kaprun). of course, you could always go over the Grossglockner first and drive down to heiligenblut, which is another small and nice village.