Trip Planner: Alpine Heights & "Old-World"
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the route of this Europe Trip Planner and discover
incredible, breathtaking Alpine scenery and fascinating
village life on your fascinating adventure through
incredibly varied and scenically staggering are
just a few words that describe this extraordinary
travel adventure. This was my first ever camper
vacation as an adult. I had previously visited
Europe many times, mostly to major cities, or
touring by car and staying at hotels. This camper
vacation really turned to be a fantastic, completely
different vacation for the whole family - an eye-opener
that really got me hooked on the lifestyle.
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night, I find I get the best deals when I book
air + hotel together with Travelocity
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for more information without leaving this site.
Europe route planner trip, detailed below, encompasses
23 days. Obviously, you should take this trip
at your own pace, so treat the time and route
as a guideline, and just adapt it to your needs.
planning this trip, we decided on Munich as our
start/end point for the simple reason that camper
rentals in Europe usually work out much cheaper
from Germany than in other countries - something
about car tax I expect. It also usually works
out much cheaper to drop-off your camper at the
same location where you picked it up too. Most
European camper rentals are small companies who
do not have the facilities to allow drop off in
other locations, and even the larger companies
charge quite a heavy surcharge for this.
take into account that this is a very popular
mode of travel and if you are planning a trip
during the peak season, it is best to book at
least 2-3 months in advance of your trip to ensure
you get the vehicle type you want. If you're renting,
Campertrails has arranged a serious discount with
major Europen RV rental companies - and when you
rent through us, you get a the reduction and our
exclusive TravelPak as well. Click here
planned our route to include Salzburg, Austria,
a delightful gingerbread type town that is also
the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and
the magnificent Italian cities of Venice and Florence.
The idea of Venice came up because our 12 year
old daughter had heard about this romantic 'water
park' in a city, and she thought it would be a
great way to cool off in the Italian summer and
have fun at the same time. After several unsuccessful
attempts at trying to explain her mistake, we
arrived in Venice and we all had a great time
(even our 12 year old, who started the visit a
little disappointed with her amusement park).
may want to extend your time at these fantastic
cities, especially if this is your first visit.
The route takes you past (and through) the spectacular
Alps, and includes including the Matterhorn, France's
Mont Blanc as well as the Eiger and Jungfrau peaks.
the regular tourist track, you can take the time
to discover the Krimml falls, Sirmione, the fishing
villages of Cinque Terre, and plenty more.
trip proved without a doubt that there is truly
no better way to experience Europe than in a motorhome.
This Europe trip planner will show you what we
did and describe our experiences. Use it as is,
or adapt it to your own needs.
Day 1 - Munich
Departure from Munich. Plan enough time to pick
up and get operating instructions on your rental
. I usually figure in 2-2.5 hours for this. Don't
forget you'll also need time to stock up before
departing. Fortunately we didn't have too long
to drive to our first campground near Salzburg.
There are many things to do in the area, but we
concentrated on Salzburg itself.
Apart from this being Mozart's home town, the
year 2006 marks his 250th birthday and there are
many Mozart concerts to choose from throughout
the year. Apart from that and his home, other
places of interest in Salzburg include: the "Getreidegasse",
the "Salzburger Dom", the "Festspielhauser"
and the "Hohensalzburg" fortress. Other
day trips easily accessible from the camper park
we stayed at are the spectacular Schmittenhohe
hiking trails and visits to the many gorges and
caves in the area.
6 - Crossing the Austrian
A day to savor spectacular Alpine sights. We start
with a visit to the Krimml Falls, located at the
north-western margin of the Hohe Tauern, near
the Tyrolian border in the area of Krimml. The
Hohe Tauern are part of the impressive and diverse
range of the Eastern Alps, in which lies the highest
mountain of Austria, the Grossglockner (3798 m.).
waterfalls are found in this area, among them
the falls of the Krimml Ache. These falls rank
eighth among the great waterfalls of the world
and are the highest in Europe. Awesome site. We
carried on our journey, climbing the steep Grossglockner
pass, with magnificent views of icefields and
12,000 feet summits.
reached the Italian border at mid afternoon, and
soon after arrived at our campground at the base
of the Dolomite Mountains.
7 - The
Leaving our camp after an early breakfast, we
drove through the Italian Dolomites, a rugged
limestone massif with towering rocky cliffs. The
route took us past pristine clear-water lakes,
grand panoramas and mountain villages. Make sure
you visit the resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo.
didn't dawdle here, but driving at a leisurely
pace we reached our pre-booked camper park on
the beach near Venice by the end of the day. This
was a spectacularly great day!
Day 8-10 -
Venice. Ah! Venice!
Got up bright and early again. Birds chirping
all around. What a life. We grabbed the water
bus (Vaporetto) to Venice's famed Piazza San Marco
and spent the day wandering around taking in all
the highlights of this remarkable city. It's like
visiting a museum without the queue! (Except when
you want to visit a real museum or monument).
After a leisurely lunch at one of the city's excellent
restaurants, we visited the Doge's palace. Later,
we visited the Leggy Guggenheim Museum at the
Palazzo Avenger de Alone, in the Dorsoduro section,
just over the Accademia bridge.
of the same the next day, except we took a boat
out to the island of Moreno where we were able
to watch the glass artists at work and do some
souvenir shopping at the same time. The girls
especially loved that part. Dinner again at a
great restaurant (Viennese cooking is something
else!), and after a nice evening stroll we took
the vaperetto back to the camper park.
Day 11 - Verona
Leaving Venice behind, we headed westwards towards
the town of Verona. The city center still bears
its mediaeval charm and an hour after leaving
Venice we were thoroughly enjoying our stroll
through the historic town (We passed Julia's balcony.
Couldn't find Romeo, though). Another must see
is the Coliseum, one of the largest Roman amphitheaters
in the world, and the market is also well worth
a visit. On the road again, we stopped at a local
vineyard, for a taste of Valpolicella wine.
Valpolicella wine region, located directly north
of Verona, is a place of many contrasts. The region
doesn't have a signposted wine road like the neighboring
Bardolino wine region or other tourist-friendly
Italian wine regions like Chianti Classico in
Tuscany. Despite the lack of signs, however, Valpolicella
has many wineries that are regularly open for
tasting and buying wine, and have some of the
friendliest, most welcoming people in all of Italy.
Valpolicella wine can be watered down and bland,
or a complete delight. We made a slight detour
to the town of Gargagnago di Valpolicella where
we sampled some excellent wine at the Serego Alighieri
estate. One thing led to another, as it generally
does, so after tasting some great wine, I got
myself a couple of bottles (no trouble where to
store it when you're traveling by camper) to be
enjoyed later on, and we journeyed on to our next
camper park, near Sirmione on Lake Garda. This
is a very chic town and is blessed with some of
most interesting Roman ruins in Northern Italy.
Day 12 - Lake
Garda to Tuscany
After a morning spent exploring the town and surrounding
areas, we broke camp and drove across the Po river
plains and along the "Autostrada del Sole"
through beautiful wooded hills into Tuscany. Day
13's camper park was located in the beautiful
Tuscan countryside, not far from Florence.
13 -15 - Florence
So much has been said about Florence, I don't
think I can add much. Be sure to take in Michelangelo's
David at the Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence
(the whole museum is a must of course - take your
time) and his fantastic staircase at the Biblioteca
Other great sites include the city's many art
and architectural treasures, including the Duomo
and Baptistry Doors, San Lorenzo market, Ponte
Vecchio and the Santa Croce church David. The
covered market is one of the most colorful and
vibrant sights in a completely overwhelming city.
We picked up some bread and vegetables, the best
pruscutto I have ever tasted, a bottle of really
delicious olive oil and other odds and ends, and
happily headed home for a delightful picnic supper.
strongly suggest you allow at least two days for
Florence - preferably more. Four will do nicely,
if you have the time. It's OK to leave your camper
at the camper park and come into the city by coach.
I personally could spend months here. Definitely
a tour highlight!
16 - Florence
start the day with a pleasant drive through the
rolling hills and vineyards of the Chianti region,
stopping at a vineyard or two ;-) for some wine
Siena In the early afternoon, we tour what many
believe to be the best preserved Renaissance town
in Italy. The walled city has retained all of
its charm and is a delight to explore. Apart from
the city, we find that the many restaurants are
well worth exploring too. Pleasantly stuffed,
we drive on to our next camper park right near
17 - Siena
Tuscany has to be one of the most beautiful areas
on earth. No wonder it is the birthplace of so
much beautiful art and architecture. It is completely
inspiring. My wife loves to sketch, and she really
got her charcoal out in this area. Day 17 was
another day of spectacular Tuscan views as we
leisurely drive from Siena the hilltop town of
San Gimignano, famous for its medieval towers
and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Center.
spending several hours in the town, we moved on
across the Arno plain to Lucca, another beautiful
Renaissance town. We spent a relaxed evening walking
along the town's ramparts and among the Gothic
and Renaissance palaces. After sampling some of
the regions gastronomic delights (mmm) we headed
to our overnight camper park near Lucca.
18 - Cinque
Bright and early, and we're on our way to Cinque
Terre. The five small villages built in the rocky
terrain between the terraced vineyards and the
beach are the perfect location to escape the throngs
of tourists, as access by road is limited. We
left our camper at the beach resort of Levanto,
and took the local train for the short ride to
the fishing villages of the Cinque Terre. We spent
the day wandering around the isolated villages
and climbing the surrounding hills, thoroughly
enjoying the 'relative' peace and quite after
the tourist-full towns we had visited in Tuscany.
Cinque Terre is one of the best preserved natural
areas in the Mediterranean. Truly unique, the
entire area has been designated by UNESCO a World
Heritage Site. The Italian Government has designated
it a National Park to protect the characteristic
landscape. After another landmark day (this trip
seems to be full of them), we returned to our
camper park near Lucca for the night.
Day 19 - Italian
Riviera to Piedmont
Leaving the Italian Riviera, we headed northward
in the direction of Piedmont. This entire region
is a food lovers paradise. A Mecca for gourmands
from all corners of the globe, people travel vast
distances to sample the great wines, cheeses and
all the other classy food. Autumn is the truffle
season, so you can just imagine what goes on here.
is the ancient domain of the Savoy family, ill
fated rulers of Italy from the Unification of
1870 until the abdication of King Umberto II in
1946. The abdication effectively ended the 999-year
reign of the Savoyards. (I'm a bit of a history
freak, so just skip those parts where you feel
I get a bit long winded).
Pondering the ill-fated Savoys during our (extremely)
enjoyable drive through the rolling Piedmont hills
(the male descendants of the family were constitutionally
banned entry to their homeland until 2002, mainly
because of King Victor Emmanuel III's [Umberto's
dad] infatuation with fascism and Mussolini) built
up an appetite for all of us. Allthat brainwork,
you know. Not wanting to stop, we made up some
sandwiches in the back of the camper and had a
The winding roads of Piedmont finally led us to
our next camper park, near Alba. (Take my warm
suggestion - camp here for a few days and get
to know the area. Well worth the time).
Piedmont to Lake
Well, our circuitous route is almost at an end
Continuing north through the Aosta valley, the
smallest of Italy's 20 regions, surrounded by
Europe's four highest mountain peaks (Mont Blanc-Monte
Bianco, Matterhorn-Cervino, Monte Rosa and the
St Bernard Pass, at 8100 feet one of the highest
Alpine frontier passes. First mentioned in 69
A.D., the pass has been protected for centuries
by the monks living in the Hospice at the peak.
Even though the views aren't outstanding and the
souvenir stalls an eyesore, you feel drawn by
the sense of history - well I do, anyway.
For centuries, this was the only pass between
northern and southern Europe for hundreds of miles
on either flank, and countless travelers have
arrived to the same view of the little summit
lake backed by the same mountain panorama.
a very interesting visit to the museum which documents
the history of the pass and an exploration of
the surrounding area where you can see the statue
of St Bernard and the remains of the Roman road
cut into the bedrock we continued our journey
through the pass and into Switzerland. Our destination
is our camper park for the night - near the town
of Montreux, near Lake Geneva.
LakeGeneva to Interlaken
Starting off bright and early as usual, we start
our next to last day with a visit to the town
of Gruyeres, a charming little hill village world
famous for its cheese. After a visit to a cheese
factory we drove onwards in the direction of Interlaken,
a lovely town set in beautiful scenery in the
middle of the Bernese Oberland. We spent the rest
of the day enjoying the views of cascading waterfalls
and of the mighty Eiger and Jungfrau peaks, and
spent the night in a camper park near Interlaken.
22 - Interlaken
OK, this is it. We're basically at the end of
our trip. We are on our way to Lindau, our final
stop before returning our camper. Our route takes
us on a scenic drive across central Switzerland,
affording us magnificent vies of Lake Lucerne,
Lake Walen, towering Alpine peaks and meadows
and pastoral villages.
Lindau is located on the shores of Lake Constance,
on the German side of a three-nation triangle
created by Germany, Austria and Switzerland. There
is a lot to do in the vicinity, but we settled
on a foot tour of Lindau town, situated on an
island in Lake Constance. In the evening we had
a great farewell BBQ cookout, enjoying it with
some new friends we made at the camper park. All
that was left after that was to prepare our camper
for drop off the next day in Munich.
Day 23- Lindau
(Not too) bright and early we mount up and head
off to Munich, to rseturn our camper at the rental
depot. That's it - the end of a fantastic vacation,
but definately leaving us with a taste for more.
And more there were.Click
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