Driving to italy

i8blades Image
05/29/2009 - 16:02

There was a thread on the other forum about a route to bypass Basle to enter Switzerland but I cant find it.Anybody any idea of the route.would be grateful as we are setting off on monday morning.....Cheers



In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

via Prague is now no longer acceptable UNLESS you have to buy some real beer enroute.Anyway, no need to worry about a route too much, the flemish signs will try to trip you up and then the E numbers will have a go but you'll still find your way. The main thing is to try to enjoy the drive. Belgian motorway stops are excellent. German laybys are horrible. Buon viaggio

Found the details on the old forum - husband sor tof remembered the route - definitely recommentd it http://www.italymag.co.uk/forums/travel-holiday-advice/9840-driving-down... Drove back from Italy over the weekend. I have always found getting through Basel a bit of a pain - but this time I took a route around Basel that cut the delays to under 15 minutes. [I have spent over 2 hours getting through the traffic and Customs/immigration checks in Basel, and never less than 30 minutes queueing in the car] The route is very simple, and only adds about 5 miles or so to the route. Coming down the German autobahn [easy connection from France at Mulhouse] - take the turn off just before Basel to Lorrach and continue into Switzerland that way. Its a good road all the way - mainly dual carriageway - and it only took 10 minutes to 'do the checks' to enter Switzerland and 15 to leave. You end up on the Swiss motorway about 1km East of the turn to Lucerne. Hope this helps someone. 

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

is your preferred route in to this fair land via Trieste? Very interesting. Have you done the drive to Greece and then ferry? I would've but am a little concerned with the greek connection. 

 I must be doing something wrong - I drive to and fro regularly and always go straight through Basle without any problems. Truckers have a big problem but I've never had to wait in the car. They only give you a cursory glance to check your vignette is up to date, so you don't even need to stop. I usually travel mid-week.Similarly, I have never had a problem at Gotthard, though I have read some dreadful reports of delays there too.  

Travelling midweek is better for getting through Basel, but if you are stuck with weekends and/or the holiday season and/or Rush Hour you can spend up to 2 hrs queuing through Basel - we did And if the Germans decide to do one of their security checks [which appears to stopping a lot of cars (including all that have 'non-white' travellers in)]  traffic backs up everywhere, including blocking access to the 'French' exits That's why I 'found' the alternative route and posted about it in the old forum.   I reckon that it could take about 15 minutes longer against 'sailing through' Basel [something I've never managed], but on average taking the 'bypass' it will save you some time.  Scenery is a bit better too.  .

In reply to by alan h

I agree with Alan that his route is better - we have used it twice and sailed through the customs (vignette bought online)  - when we have been coming back we go through Basle abd have seen the long queues in the other direction.  So thanks Alan (can't rememebr if I thanked you on the forum).  We usually stay In Neuemberg An Rhine in a lovely (and inexpensive) hotel with fab food - can't remember the name but it is on the left handside of the crossroads as you come into townChris

Last time I did went straight down through France (Prague was closed at the time). Was in a Hertz box van with all our stuff to put in the renovated house.  Got to the Frejus tunnel and got charged almost €200 return. Going again in 10 days time (in a car) so might try the recommended Basle detour.  How much is it now to use the Swiss motorways?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

It's 40 swiss francs for the year. We pay by visa at the booth (and use the toilets there as well) but you can buy it at the services before you get there - or on line. If you pay at the booth like us, when you put in your pin, it asks if you want to pay swiss francs or GBP. Put is swiss francs otherwise they charge a silly exchange rate.We too have never been kept waiting at Basle more than 5 minutes - we usually arrive there from France about 8.30 Sunday morning and return about 6.30 Satruday night. we usually travel weekends as the UK roads (M25, M1 etc) are quieter. We stay overnight at Wassleonne - left of Strasbourg.

When we drive we go through the Mont Blanc tunnel and then up the French motorway, Dijon, Reims. Troyes etc. Good fast route with plenty of place top overnight stop just of the motorway. Hate going through Switzerland after several nightmare delays on their motorways.........

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

 Agreed, great route.It's just that I resent paying something like €35 each way for the tunnel, compared with €0 for the Swiss tunnels. (I need a Swiss vignette anyway, so the cost of that is not an issue).But again, weekends in the season can result in long delays on the Italian side.

Surprised no one has mentioned going via belgium/germany/austria and through the Brenner pass.  No French Tolls, Cheaper vignette and far less chance of getting customs hassle (do you really want to unload and have import duty charged - see the Swiss customs website).  For us in Southern Italy it is about 100 miles longer than going via Basle but the route is fast and with two drivers in a van we comfortably do the 1350 mile journey from Calais in 24hours with leisurely breaks.  If going by car I would opt for the Basle route, but still avoid the French tolls and on those Autobahns you can travel a long way in a short time

If you look at the 'mappy' website, [or multimap. via michelin etc etc],  that will give you

  • approx petrol cots,
  • autoroute charges,
  • tunnel costs and
  • Swiss motorway vignette

Ferry costs vary on route etc - the obvious crossing is Dover to France - costs vary between £60 return [Norfolk Line - weekday] to £200+ [Eurotunnel, P&O, Sea France - peak booking]. From Manchester, the Hull - Rotterdam overnight crossing looks expensive - but it saves about 250 miles driving each way, plus an overnight stop.  Driving distance from Rotterdam is similar to that from Calais/Dunkirk Motorways in Belgium are free - so it can pay to pop up from Calais - travel distance increases by about 12 miles only Cheapest petrol is Luxembourg [Belgium route takes you there] -   see - http://www.theaa.com/onlinenews/allaboutcars/fuel/2009/may2009.pdf Overnight stops vary from about £30 a night - Formula 1 up to whatever one wants to pay Allow 400miles/day max driving - so you won't feel completely knacke*red  [I try to keep it down to 300 - 350 max] "You pays your money and takes your choice"  .