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Any advice for driving to Arabba?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all,

I'm in Annecy with my car and I'd like to drive to Arabba (for the BB obvs ) through Italy and then head back to the UK via Innsbruck through Germany and stopping off at Strasbourg.

France is no problem but I was wondering if anyone had any advice on Italy/Austria/Germany?

Google gives me a doable seeming route to Arabba here:

Route

...but sometimes google is a bit optimistic.

Coming back to the UK I can be a bit more flexible and I know people drive to Arabba from Germany (thanks again @andy snowHead ) so that seems doable ( but I don't know about tolls etc...)

Grateful for any advice anyone can give me. snowHead

[ps I do have winter tyres and snowchains]
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Depends a bit what time of day both journeys are. Dunno what the best route in to Arabba is from the SouthWest of the Sella Ronda. Campolongo Pass is the easiest and least wiggly for sure, and most likely to be the last to close in case of heavy snow. I think the roads are clear now, and nothing massive predicted between now and the BB?
The road from Ora/Auer turn off up to Canazei is fine, but Pordoi is wiggly as heck, and I imagine one will be bored of hairpins. So I'd be tempted by that route that google came up with via Selva+Corvara.
If it properly dumps several feet, then be prepared for a long diversion via Pustertal/San Lorenzo, if passes close. That's the way we came in from Innsbruck.

For the return, via SanLorenzo/Pustertal/Brenner, if you leave first thing Saturday, expect to get stuck in a jam at San Lorenzo, and all the way along Pustertal valley to the Brenner. That is why I ski Saturday, and leave 3-4pm and kip over in Innsbruck usually.
Tolls - no idea about the bit across Italy. From Pustertal-Brenner summit is about €3 on the Autostrada. From Brenner summit to Innsbruck is €10 or thereabouts special toll, and then about another €10 for the vignette necessary for the other autobahns if you want to avoid the faff of avoiding them). Then toss a coin... via Munich-A8-Karlsruhe, via Bregenz-A7-A8 (with an extra €10 for the Arlberg tunnel), or over another wiggly pass (which is doable with some back roads with no Austrian vignette).

Check these when you set off if it's gonna snow heavily, to see the road/pass status...
https://verkehr.provinz.bz.it/default.asp
https://www.adac.de/reise_freizeit/verkehr/alpenstrassen/default.aspx
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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?
If you use the route finder on viamichelin.com it will tell you what the tolls are
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@Dmitri, Looks about right to me.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
wow thanks @andy, I knew I could count on you for a thorough analysis of all the possible trajectories Very Happy

Look forward to seeing you there, I'm sure I still owe you a drink wink
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Great tip @Rabbie,and thanks @GlasgowCyclops that's reassuring.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
We do Lake Garda to UK and v.v. fairly often but not in winter. With experience we travel mid-week - it's better/safer/less frustrating to mix with professional drivers than the unwashed motoring public.
Our preferred route is over Brenner paying the tolls and then the ordinary road from Innsbruck to the Fernpass passing near Stams, near Motz. After Fernpass it's Lermoos Tunnel and then on to Ulm by autobahn.
Ask your Autoroute Badge provider if they can switch on Italian autostradas - this will let you use the TELEPASS lanes (big yellow sign).
When you turn off the autostrada at Peschiera there are a couple of restaurants if you are ready for lunch (as in France, look for the parked work vehicles!).
Fuel in Italy is probably more expensive than in France, but it'll be much cheaper when you get to Austria, Germany and Luxembourg.

NB - southbound from Germany into Austria the Autobahn goes down to 1 lane for the Fussen border tunnel. Between Fussen and Reutte there can be queues on busier days which are made worse by a flow control system on the main road outside Reutte!
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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!
Good point about the fuel. If at all possible, try to get in to Austria before tanking up there for the way back. Italy is about €0.20/litre more than Germany, and about €0.40/litre more than Austria (which can't be far off Luxembourg prices too, if you go that way).

The Fernpass is fine, except when tanking it with snow and you get stuck behind a bus. It's ace once on to the fast bits on the German side, and I think the border is in the tunnel and never any border Polizei roadblocks IME (unlike at Kufstein). In terms of time, the Bregenz, the Munich or the Fernpass route are practically identical, so long as you know which one to avoid for traffic reasons.
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@Nemisis, thanks for advice. I've got the APRR which covers Italy as well as France (somehow I suspected I would want to go to Italy if I got near it) I'm hoping that will work as well as it has in France up to now.

One thing that is puzzling me is that when I use google maps with the "avoid tolls" option, there's a small change in the route in Austria (and I was thinking I might just enjoy the journey in those sections) but there's no change at all to the German section. Is that google maps not accounting for German tolls or are the tolls limited in some way or just a few autoroutes?

Actually, I just found a site that seems to say that tolls in Germany only apply to larger vehicles....or have I misunderstood that. Puzzled
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There are no tolls in Germany, unless you're driving a truck over 7.5t (or something like that)
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Driving to Arabba from the French Alps, which I've done twice is easy if the weather is good and can be virtually impossible if it's bad. With no significant snow I'd go via the Italian motorways and Selva. The whole trip, including the Frejus tunnel, the motorways, the skiing and the bombardinos is so expensive that fiddling around with the route to save a few quid on petrol and kidding yourself you're being economical is pretty futile!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
As I remember it the road up through Selva, which I drove in the dark, was a bit tortuous but well engineered and well signposted. Not a problem. And absolutely glorious on the return trip, in bright sun. I recommend paying for covered parking in Arabba if it's forecast snowy. And snow tyres and chains, obviously. For Snowmageddon I packed a sizeable shovel but that was exceptional!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
During winter months nowadays snow tyres or "chains in the boot" are required on motorways in northern Italy.
I post here occasionally but don't ski (laughter) so cannot compare Dolomiti Superski prices to little areas such as Espace Killy or 3V.
Quite a few of the roads in the Selva/Sella/Arabba area were built by WW1 POWs so the engineering was good. By the way, look out for the WW1 war graves - it was fairly bloody up there.
The Autostrade aren't cheap, but a one-way through the Frejus or Mont Blanc is eye-watering!
As Pam says the scenery is absolutely glorious. I don't drink bombardinos but the Italian equivalent of a Kir is white wine with Campari Bitter (not the fizzy one).
If you should have a couple of hours spare on the way there go into Bolzano and visit the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology which is where Oetzi lives nowadays. EXCELLENT!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The recommended route via Mt Blanc tunnel and Val Gardena looks good, just the two passes, Gardena (2121m) & Campolongo (1875m). Both are generally kept open during winter unless it's snowing or there has just been a heavy snowfall and they are still clearing.

Keep an eye on the weather/road closure situation. The workaround, if Gardena is closed, but Campolongo is open would be staying on the A22 as far as Val Pusteria, then SS49/SS244 to Arabba.

If both passes are closed, the only low altitude route into Arabba is from the SE, via A27 to Belluno, then Agordo, Caprile, etc, but I suspect that if the snow has been such that the passes are iffy, this route might not be much better, the part N of Caprile climbs steeply and gets quite exposed.

ViaMichelin gives the tolls for a private car on the original route as follows:

€8.50 Annecy-Chamonix
€46.30 Mt Blanc tunnel
€54.60 Italian sector of route (Entreves-Bolzano Nord)

€109.40 Total plus fuel and around 8-9h driving time.

For the return to Strasbourg, the route is SS244 back over the Campolongo, SS49/A22 up to the Brenner, Innsbruck, W on A12 to Imst, over the Fern pass to Reutte, then A7 to Ulm, A8 past Stuttgart, then A5 S twd Strasbourg.

Toll costs are:
€2.90 Brixen-Brenner
€9.50 Brenner autobahn
€9.20 Austrian 10-day vignette

Motorways in Germany are free for private cars.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Mon 27-01-20 11:17; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Just forgot to wish you well on your trip, have fun at the Bash!! snowHead

You're unlikely to encounter serious snow problems, your winter tyres will get you safely through any tricky conditions.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Dmitri wrote:
...but sometimes google is a bit optimistic.



A couple of years I got got fed up with the car's inbuilt satnav and splashed out on a TomTom 5200 (currently £185 on Amazon). Life time map updates and live navigation without impacting data allowance has saved hours on long distance journeys, it's more than paid for itself already.

Then just plug in the Portovescovo and let it do its thing. Have a good trip and see you on the 1st!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
If it's a sensible choice the Frejus tunnel is less faff than Mont Blanc albeit no less expensive. Fast motorway all the way.
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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?
pam w wrote:
If it's a sensible choice the Frejus tunnel is less faff than Mont Blanc albeit no less expensive. Fast motorway all the way.



To go via the Frejus from Annecy is a longer route 732km (8h26m) vs 677km (8h5m), I guess that's why the route planners seem to prefer the Mt Blanc route.

Saying that, if the Frejus route is less trafficked, it could be a more pleasant journey that way.

Plus, a few hold-ups on a busier route could easily negate any supposed time savings.
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The autostrada from Milan to Brescia is often very busy. If I am using the Frejus (either to or from Lake Garda) I will take the Turin, Asti, Piacenza, Brescia route. It's possibly longer in distance but so quiet in summer I can set the cruise control to 80 mph and go and go and go. Viamichelin will tell you to go via Parma instead of Brescia for Arabba - that looks good to me.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Some more alternatives that Google/viaMichelin are currently throwing up, maybe in response to current traffic conditions on the motorway networks:

Annecy-Geneva-Bern-Zurich-St Gallen-Arlberg Tunnel-Innsbruck-Brenner-Arabba 741km 8h40m compared to 677km 7h55m via Mont Blanc & Milan

Arabba-Brenner-Innsbruck-Arlberg Tunnel- St Gallen-Zurich- Basel-Strasbourg 644km 7h25m compared to 597km 7h4m via Fernpass & Ulm.

Both these routes would need Swiss 1yr & Austrian 10day vignettes plus tolls on the Arlberg & Brenner, but if you went via Switzerland/Austria both ways, it would work out cheaper than the Mt Blanc/Frejus plus Italian tolls.

Toll costs are €98 via Brenner & Arlberg using Swiss & Austrian motorways both journeys Annecy-Arabba-Strasbourg vs €131 via Mt Blanc, Italy and back via Brenner & Fern Pass, plus cheaper fuel in Austria??

Swiss motorways can be pretty busy too and the weather could be worse one side of the Alps compared to the other, usually the Northern side as it tends to be colder and get more snow in Switzerland & Austria. In Italy, dense fogs across the Po plain can persist during periods of high pressure in winter and rainfall can be very intense when a low comes up from the Med.

So with all these options & considerations, itwould be good to look at weather/traffic/planned roadworks before you leave and try and make a calculated decision as to which route might be best, but of course an accident/incident ahead of you could scupper the best made plans, so having a satnav app running with live updates would be useful, even if you only switch it on the data connection at critical points of the journeys.
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When I was planning my first drive to Arabba I was strongly advised to avoid the route across Switzerland. By people who lived in Switzerland. I went via Chamonix once as picking up a Snowhead there but I much prefer Frejus. An Italian toll doofer would be v useful especially on the Torino ring road. I didn't have one and had to keep hopping out. I've done a few drives down through Frejus to Genova and once encountered major snow delays but been lucky with traffic. Found the Italian motorways less intimidating than I feared and driving standards not bad at all. I guess I was lucky!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
luigi wrote:
Just forgot to wish you well on your trip, have fun at the Bash!! snowHead

You're unlikely to encounter serious snow problems, your winter tyres will get you safely through any tricky conditions.


Thanks @luigi snowHead
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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!
@Nemisis, I have a preference for Italy route because if something happens there's more likelihood of finding other ways around stuff. That's the rational reason, the other being I prefer not to go over my tracks because it's more interesting. Cool

I was just going to take the Chamonix route because it's shorter and I wanted to avoid Chambery because of traffic from the airport but I guess I'd have to get up pretty early to beat the traffic coming from Geneva the other way....but maybe I could do that.

@pam w, Is the frejus route just quieter traffic wise or is it that it's all motorway..or both? That would work quite well for taking the route around Milan...assuming that traffic is going to be a problem there. I think perhaps I'm a bit spoilt driving in France where there never seems to be a problem if you arent near Paris.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
pam w wrote:
As I remember it the road up through Selva, which I drove in the dark, was a bit tortuous but well engineered and well signposted. Not a problem. And absolutely glorious on the return trip, in bright sun. I recommend paying for covered parking in Arabba if it's forecast snowy. And snow tyres and chains, obviously. For Snowmageddon I packed a sizeable shovel but that was exceptional!


Had a poke around in the internet but couldnt find anything. Possibly need to search in italian Confused

Actually just found this from admin

admin wrote:
If you want covered parking, let me know and I'll enquire whether it can be had here at the PV - it's 12€/day btw.


I think I'll just dig. I've done that before snowHead
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Well I made it to Arraba in almost exactly the time predicted by google.

Left 8:15 am arrived 16:00.

Took the chamoniarde tunnel which was clear and got to Milan just before midday. No problems at all traffic wise.

Slightly confused as it seems like the speed limits in Italy are in mph even with brexit.

Beautiful route past the sella but a lot of people taking their time drinking it in. Became a bit Italian towards the end... Cool
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