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Best route from Calais to Austria

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
1. French toll roads down towards Strasbourg and then Stutgart
2. Belgium, Luxembourg Karlsruhe then Stutgart
3. Brussels, briefly through Holland, Koln, then down towards Stutgart

My sat nav took us on option 3 last time on the presumption it was the fastest route (which was surprising). Previously I have always gone through Luxembourg (option 2) and last feb we made a conscious decision to see if coming back using the French toll roads reduced the endurance test (but to my mind it was very similar to the Lux, Belgium route).

Which, in your opinion, is the least knackering to drive?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Where in Austria ?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
2 is my current way and definitely best way for the Arlberg end (if that's where you're going)

3 is longer but more straightforward and you can drive faster for longer. Prefer taking it by Nuremberg though.
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Saltzburg.
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2 is the generally suggested route
3 is the route I take, but I'm only going as far as Frankfurt, so that way is shorter and faster than 2
on the Brussels-Aachen part of 3, it's a 50/50 toss up as to whether it's better to go via Liege or that other parallel way that briefly goes thru Holland. I reckon there's only about 3 minutes in it, but the Liege way has the worst road surface in Europe.
I only go Frankfurt-Nuremburg-Munich if I have to collect someone from the airport.
Between Karlsruhe and Munich, I pick the route with least traffic jams reported on SatNav.
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I just go with satnav. Its taken me all 3 depending on the traffic
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Brussels, Koln, Frankfurt, Nuremburg, Munich is the less stressful and faster. You can get to Nuremberg in 7 hours without hammering it. There will be people on here tell you the Brussels ring road is a nightmare. This is not my experience in more than a dozen times using it. No road is guaranteed to be trouble free. Munich ring road does have busy periods just like M25 or any ring road in U.K. Also entry into Austria is also busy on Saturday change over.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Brussels ring is fine IME.
15 minutes from one side to the other is my typical experience, generally travelling round it on working days around late lunchtime / early afternoon.
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kevinraine wrote:
Brussels, Koln, Frankfurt, Nuremburg, Munich is the less stressful and faster. You can get to Nuremberg in 7 hours without hammering it. There will be people on here tell you the Brussels ring road is a nightmare. This is not my experience in more than a dozen times using it. No road is guaranteed to be trouble free. Munich ring road does have busy periods just like M25 or any ring road in U.K. Also entry into Austria is also busy on Saturday change over.


Brussels ring road is bad during rush hours, otherwise it is quite OK. Also the direction you will be traveling it is relatively easy.
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French toll roads are the quietest and therefore an easier drive.

Germany Autobahns can have some crazy drivers on them where the speed is unrestricted and can thus be quite stressful. Beware pulling into the overtaking lane as that black dot half a mile away could be travelling 120mph faster than you so will be on you in 15 seconds.

http://www.autobahn-speedhunter.com/

I'd probably choose the Lux route. Cheap petrol too.
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Option 2 in my opinion, just back from the Black forest area and did this route with no major hiccups. Went to Dolomites last year and will be again this year in March. Always do option 2 as can fill up with fuel in Luxembourg which is a lot cheaper (Monday 2nd Jan - diesel was 1.02 Euro), along with cheaper Coffee (beans & ground type)!!
My only headache is whether to head on the route 10 past Pirmasens to Landau then picking up the 65 to Karlsruhe, sometimes its been great, other times with recent roadworks its been a bit of a backlog...
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Miss our Sue on threads like this... Sad
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queen bodecia wrote:
Miss our Sue on threads like this... Sad
I was just thinking that. Sad
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
We met up with Sue the last couple of years in Wagrain which was a pleasure. We will be thinking of her this year.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Simon94, just done option 2 myself as well (first time driving to Austria), looked at the short cut between landau to pirmasens on our return as it seems to cut out a lot of mileage, (annoys the life out of me if I cannot go direct!!!!) I assumed it is similar to a british A road, is this the case and is it mainly dual carriageway?

am interested to know for when we go next time


in the end decided to go the motorway route via manheim, on the way out it was the middle of the night so the huge autobahn roadworks programme did not affect us as much as the return journey during day time hours

was pleasantly surprised with the low cost of fuel in Luxembourg and Austria, so much so I even resented filling up in Calais at about £1.05 a litre compared to £1.20 here!!!!!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I shared a straight through drive using option 3 on the way out and option 2 on the way back in the week before Xmas. Both trips were overnight, which meant there was very little traffic on the road at any point.

I found option 3 to be easiest to drive because it was motorway/autobahn all the way, I had to pay attention a lot more on "route 10" section of option 2 which I found significantly more tiring.

I met Sue a number of times over the last couple of years, she advised option 2 to me.

Keith
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Option 2 is our normal route, but on the way out before Christmas we came option 1 as the French autoroutes tend to be less busy than the (free) Belg ones. On the way back next week currently planning on option 2 - but it may change as not exactly sure when I'll be leaving (sometime Sunday, but my be 3pm or my be 11pm).

Never done the German route, except one year when I came back via a job in Weimar!
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My personal preference is option 2 although I would agree with the comment regarding the speed of some drivers on the autobahns. I tend to plump for an overnight drive so it is generally a bit quieter. I always fuel up in Luxembourg and was delighted to pay just €1.03 a litre for diesel last week.
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option 2 all day long - refuel in Luxembourg and avoid french tolls
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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Depends if its a busy weekend. If busy - i.e. half term, Luxembourg-Stuttgart is good, the stretch from Nurnberg to past Munich is a killer on busy weekends. If coming from Stuttgart, go to the end of the autobahn to Munich, through some tunnels and south of Munich, GPS will try to send you round the North of Munich which adds an hour.
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Via Luxembourg

The price of booze Very Happy
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scotspikey wrote:
Via Luxembourg

The price of booze Very Happy

Shirley you save more on the diesel?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@rumdiary, Route 2, fill up in Lux and save £££'s. Also as others have said, the saving on french tolls is very significant to.

2 years ago UK diesel was £1:20 /Ltr and Lux price was £0:83 /Ltr ( but £ stronger back then)
Also, fill up OFF motorways to save as well. I used unattended pumps using debit card and was getting fuel at around £0:9 to 0:95 /Ltr ( this was in France last year)

If diesel is your fuel, don't forget to mostly have 'mountain diesel' and not the ordinary stuff when o/n parking in unheated areas up mountains or anywhere that's minus a few degrees and below (sorry, don't know the actual minus temp. I'm guessing the ordinary stuff is OK/fine at -5c but below that ?).

All service stations in 'mountainous regions' will only sell 'mountain diesel' during winter.
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You via little Felchstead. You can always stop at the buttered ploughman for lunch.....,
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Via Lux and take advantage of cheaper fuel prices. I try to gauge it that I have no more than 2 gallon left when I hit Lux and fill the tank to the brim and a few 5 litre reserves.
Saves on tolls as well so double benefit over taking the French route.
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@terrygasson, Pirmasens to Landau was not too bad, they are still working on the road and have some road works, its part way dual carriaged, then goes down to a single road (like you say A road). It depends if you are stuck behind a truck, but overall its ok. Cuts quite a bit of time off I feel..
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I too always do Belgium / Lux. Last trip though I hit the one stretch of non highway road with no fuel stations open at 3am... had to wait in a village till 7 for a garage to open.
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Gosh there are so many ways to do that route ...
and there is only a few minutes in all of them.
I used to drive regularly that way.
So my favourite would be:
Calais
Bruxelles
Aachen
Koln
Fankfurt
Nuremberg
Munchen
Salzburg
1127km
10hr 11mins
Don't plan to do it all in 1 day
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You know it makes sense.
Advice gratefully received! driving from Calais to Obergurgl in half term. Google maps suggest fastest route is through France, Reims, Metz, Strasbourg, Baden Baden, Stuttgart, Ulm, by passing Munich but going through Memmingen. Can't see anyone suggesting going through France on this site so wondering if there is a reason I should avoid France and go through belgium, lux. Thanks so much! Novice here.
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@gingertonic, i am not sure there was much difference in time from what i could see, i thought it was about 15mins quicker than other routes according to google maps, not a lot in the scheme of things, whereas Belgium/lux route there are no tolls but massively cheaper fuel (Luxembourg!!)
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Thanks Terry - do you have a personal preference from experience?
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@gingertonic, the lure of "cheap fuel" in Luxembourg is a bit of a myth in my opinion. Yes fuel is cheaper but you do consume more going via Lux, Strasbourg, Stuttgart and Ulm because the route is very hilly and makes for more stressful driving. The route @DrLawn lists above is my preferred route by experience. It may be a little further but much easier driving, faster and much better mpg. To Obergurgl you follow the route to Frankfurt but continue on the 3 to Wurzbug to join the 7 all way down past Memmingham to Fussen where you cross into Austria the 179 and 189 takes you down to Imst in the Inn valley and the up the 186 to Obergurgle. Be Warned the 179 crosses the Fern Pass which they try to keep open at all costs but sometimes it closes. Check before use!!


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sat 14-01-17 18:08; edited 1 time in total
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Dunno why one would go via Strasbourg?

Luxembourg, Pirmasens, cross country for a bit to Karlsruhe perhaps.

None of the routes are flat.

I'd definitely check the weather before taking the Fern Pass.
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I never suggested that my suggested route was flat only that it was a lot less undulating than going via Luxembourg, Pirmasens and beyond thus easier driving and much more fuel economic and that more than offsets the cheaper fuel in Luxembourg. This is my personal experience of driving both routes several times plus transport companies no longer see it more economic.
The Fern pass is a very easy pass and easily kept open but no pass is guaranteed in winter so just beware. The status of the Fern Pass is piste on sign boards well before auto bahn 8 at Ulm and 96 at Memmingen so you can divert via Munich if needed.
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Thats really helpful - thanks so much Happy
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@gingertonic, to be honest I have only done the trip to Austria once, and like you I called on the joint wisdom of fellow snowheads to decide which way to go, probably still go the same route next time we go back.

hope you enjoy your trip and it all goes without a hitch
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I've driven to kitzbuhel 4 times in the last 2 years and my preferred route is from dunkerque up to Brussels and then through Germany via koln,frankfurt,wurzburg,nurnburg and Munich. It takes approximately 10 hrs depending on how many stops etc but I shared the driving with my partner so we drove overnight. At Xmas I took the route from bonn down to karlruhe and stuttgart and didn't think much to it. I like the autobahns and I thought the services were much better and easier to get to on the A3.
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Do this route a couple of times a year and 90% of the time go via Luxembourg/Karlsruhe. Have tried various more German routes and always find them more stressful due to the need to watch for the occasional *very* fast car. Did try going via Reims/Strasbourg/Baden-Baden in December and route was fine, a bit quieter than going though Belguim/Luxembourg but it is tolled. Also depends if you are doing it in one go, or stop overnight (which i tend to do when driving solo).
For western Austria (Arlberg) then sometimes I'll go to Luxembourg then head south through Nancy and over the Jura to Basel and then through northern Switzerland but this only makes sense if you already have a Swiss vignette. Next month I've got an interesting variant to this as going to Slovenia via Venice so will head for Switzerland and the Gottard tunnel to Milan and then head east.
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Hi Gingertonic we've been down to Austria (skiwelt and hochinberg) 7-8 times in the last five years or so and tried all of the northern, Luxembourg and Strasbourg routes. For us the Strasbourg route is by far the least stressful. I'm not a nervous driver but my nerves have been frayed by constantly changing speed limits, endless roadworks with ridiculously narrow lanes, and most of all five car BMW/Merc/Audi convoys travelling at 120mph expecting everyone to get out of their way on the German autobahns- especially it seems in the North.
Google maps usually seems to agree- and the traffic feature has been brilliant especially this last trip avoiding horrible queues.
We usually stop overnight- and last time had a lovely relaxed family meal at BuffalloGrill (really!) right beside our Hotel BB stop at Metz.
Hope that helps.
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Thanks Doccam - so did you travel from Calais, to Reims, Metz (A4) to Strasbourg and then across to Germany - stuttgart, Munich? Which hotel did you use in Metz? Was thinking we'd avoid the tolls in France and go through Brussels, Lux but now I'm having a re think! Too many routes! Thanks for your help Happy
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