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Driving to Alta Badia

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all, any thoughts or experiences of driving to the Dolomites in Winter looking at San Cassiano. Driven to Bormio in the past. Route looks like France/Germany to Innsbruck then Brenner Pass, would like to hear anyone's experiences. We tend to take the driving as part of the holiday so would stopover on the way
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I do the drive in the summer and would suggest taking two days over it. We stopover at europort near saarbrucken. You will need to winterise your car of course but overall it shouldn't be too much of a hassle.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Drove to Corvara 2 years ago and loved the drive down, but then again I find driving quite relaxing. From Calais into Belgium, then onto Luxembourg, fill up with what use to be cheap fuel, but is now reasonable. Into Germany, stopped over around the Karlsruhe area. Next day, down to Munich , into Austria over the Brenner Pass and onto Corvara. 1st day from Nottingham to Karlsruhe was 13 hrs with tunnel time and the plus 1hr time change. Next day, made it to Corvara in 7hours.
You can now do your Austria Toll ticket online as its number plate recognition along with the Brenner Pass, which definitely saves queueing at the pass.

Roads in Belgium are a bit sh**ty, but are easy to get through and fairly quick. You could take the road to Garmisch rather than Munich as the ring road around Munich is always busy, its a single road to Garmisch but has some great scenery, but can get busy at the weekends. A8 Stuttgart to Munich autobahn also gets busy on Friday afternoons and Saturdays, so avoid these days if you can, its also having a major road upgrade, so this doesn't help.

Looking at going next January to Canazei and will be doing the same journey.
ski holidays
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Going via Kempten and then the Fern Pass is the route which drops you down to Innsbruck and over to Italy.

From here then go via the Val Pusteria and then on to Kronplatz and then Badia before getting to Corvara/San Cassiano.

The drive is easy enough, however Belgium is a pain....traffic and terrible driving, Luxebourgs fuel is no longer cheap enough to be worth the queues or traffic imo.
As is germany a pain imo, with the section near Stuttgart being carmageddon if you are unlucky and hit it at rush hour.

You will also need winter tyres for driving in Southern Germany and Austria.

I prefer (hear me out) to drive via France so Calais, Reims Nancy then Mulhouse and down to Basel in Switzerland (tolls through france approx 33 euros) then you need a swiss vignette (you also need an Austrian one though can buy a 14dayer) then go through Switz pass Lucerne down to Lugano then down to Como into Italy. From there head across towards the Veneto past Bergamo and at Lake Garda (after Brescia) take the A22 North towards Bolzano and the Brenner Pass.

Now, its not the quickest mileage wise, or cheapest in tolls. But having done every permeation of route to Italy that i can think of (i have a house there also and think i have done the journey 100 times or so) i find this is the most relaxing and beneficial route for me in terms of motorways and being able to drive at a normal (and constant speed). I know you can drive faster in Germany (who hasn't) but having driven to Italy more times than i have had Ragu my journey of choice is cruise control on at 70/80, not going off route onto slower sections of road (like going through Austria coming from Germany) and having plently of stops available (always loads through France and Switzerland and Italy) which are clean, open late, have good food and safe at night unlike the free motorway services in other countries.

I find it a much more relaxed route and that means you don't arrive stressed or having to do hours in stop start traffic (being careful of timing around Milan goes without saying!).

i usually stop of in Como at a place called Hotel Cruise, its a gem with great breakfast and importantly private garages for certain rooms so no worry about leaving your ski stuff in the car or on the roof and it getting stolen.

Also the rooms have a private lift to the garage....just sayin... Toofy Grin
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks both, agree with you both about Belgium, the comment - its like driving in Belgium has become a family saying for roads with huge Potholes! Interesting to get different route ideas, the German route had looked the most obvious on route planners but I'm not a huge fan of autobahn driving, too much concentration required. Will have a look at the Italian route, many thanks
ski holidays
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Yes Belgium has terrible road surfaces and worse drivers...you aren't wrong!

Yes clearly on a map the German route is most direct. But unless you have driven in Germany a lot and see what a pain it really is (lots of 2 lane narrrow motorways with large areas of stop start driving with aggressive drivers expecting you to do 100mph plus or get out their way in a heartbeat) it just makes for an unrelaxing experience. Last time i dropped down into Austria i got caught on major tailbacks going over the Fern Pass as that part is single lane...it was painful and i missed my Eurotunnel and had to stay in Calais overnight as there were no more available crossings left.

The Italians driving standards aren't far behind the Germans in the speed and overtaking respect but their motorways are often bigger (more lanes- especially Milan across to Venice) and there is more room to relax on them in general without always getting boxed in the slow lane, you can cruise nicely in Italy at 80mph and make headway on a journey as the motorways rarely see any snow on the road and getting up to San Cassiano via the Val Pusteria (assuming Passo Gardena is closed) means barely any snow on the roads (as long as its not snowing) until the last 30/40 mins of your journey if at all.

If you need any more info just ask or pm me!
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