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Austria-Germany 2 weeks (June'15)

Hi All,
Need your help in designing a 15 nights itinerary for Germany-Austria trip in June'15 ( I am traveling with my husband for my second honeymoon). We will be flying into Munich from Mumbai, India and out of Vienna. I have created a tentative itinerary as below-
Munich 2 nights
Oberammergau/ Fussen( See Neuschwanstein Castle, Hohenschwangau Castle)- 1 night
Garmisch-Partenkirchen (visit Zugspitze)- 1 night
Mittenwald 2 nights
Innsbruck (Visit Hintertux for summer skiing ) 1 night
Zell Am See (Visit Grossglockner Alpine Road) 2 nights
Hallstatt 2 nights
Berchtesgaden/ Salzburg 2 nights
Vienna 2 nights
I know that there are 1 nights stays at 3 places that might get some criticism on this forum, but I am visiting Germany/ Austria for the first time and really want to make the most of my trip. I don't mind stretching myself a little. My husband and I are interested in picturesque landscapes coupled with sports like skiing and parasailing. We are damn excited to see the pretty villages of Mittenwald and Hallstatt!
Please advise if all these places are easily reachable through a mix of trains/ cable cars or should we go for a rented vehicle? I guess there are hefty charges if you rent and return cars in different countries.

Plus feedback on the overall itinerary..many thanks in advance!

Posted by
105 posts

Can't wait to see replies.....

We love the areas mentioned, which we've visited several times. Always would recommend 2-3 nights per stop.....maybe skipping an area or sneaking a quick peek/walk around, then moving on, rather than spending the night.

We like having a car, so as to dictate our own schedule, and have found the driving fairly easy. Yes, there is a drop off fee of approx. ?$300. but worth it to us.

What a great trip!!!!

Gute reise!

Posted by
41 posts

Aditi
I M also an Indian like you, but U know Europe is better experience with stays of atleast 2 or 3 nights at a place rather than running on after one night stays. the kind of itinerary u are having, u can easily get that from a travel agency like make my trip. I think A better way could be to stay at one place and do day trips to surroundings. rest ofcourse is upto u.

Posted by
14016 posts

If you want to rent a car, try to find somewhere near Salzburg but in Germany to return it - it may even been worthwhile to drive back from Salzburg to Munich if you think you'll need the car in Salzburg, then continue by train to Vienna.

Posted by
2663 posts

Hi,
You could rent a car without the drop off fee: pick up when you leave Munich and return in Freilassing, Germany, just across the border from Salzburg, before heading to Vienna (by train).
Think about combining overnight stops. Mittenwald is 20 min. from Garmisch. Fuessen and Innsbruck are about 1 hour from Garmisch. By car, Salzburg and Berchtesgaden are less than 30 min. apart. Hallstatt is les than 1:30 from Salzburg and Berchtesgaden.
For me, with a car:
2 nights Munich
Pick up car and:
4 nights Mittenwald or Garmisch
2 nights Zell am See
2 nights Hallstatt
3 nights Berchtesgaden/Salzburg
2 nights Vienna
Paul

Posted by
23886 posts

Note that there are additional answers in the duplicate thread on the Germany Forum.

Posted by
53 posts

Paul, excellent suggestions!
I am actually thinking to rent a car from Munich and return in Freilassing. However, I am getting varied costs for renting a medium sized sedan for 10 days covering theft/ injury protection, GPS, etc from $400 to $1000. please advise which car rental company is the most reliable.
As of now, I am lifting the entire itinerary suggested by Paul, it seems doable and not too stressful.
Have few more queries regarding the skii areas... how reliable is it to block 2 days just for Hintertux and G. Alpine Road in an already tight itinerary?

Posted by
2663 posts

Hi,

The German Alpine Road wouldn't be worth going out of your way to drive. There are many scenic roads in Bavaria and Austria. To me, the German Alpine Road isn't anything special. If you're planning on the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse (from your base in Zell am See), that will certainly fill the scenic road category!

If interested, we have photos of all the places you're looking at for your trip, as we've been to them all, some many times.

www.flickr.com/photos/pjbassplyr/sets

Paul

Posted by
17724 posts

I've asked Gemut for quotes on several occasions. Each time I ask for a quote for rental and CDW. Every time, they have ignored my request and quoted only the rental cost, telling me to use my CC for insurance.

No way! Read the small print on your credit card agreement. Mine, at least, states that I must first pay the claim, then try to get them to reimburse me. To get reimbursed, I must provide them with any and all documentation that they ask for. So I have to correspond with the rental company, in a language which I don't fully understand, ask for documents that might not exist in that country, with names they might not understand, or I don't get reimbursed. There was even a post on this forum from someone who was refused reimbursement by their credit card company because they didn't have enough balance on her card (?). Face it, credit card companies are not in the business of paying out money, so you can count on them using whatever excuse they can to not pay you.

I prefer using public transportation whenever I can (and in 15 years I've only once not been able to find a way to get to wherever I wanted to go - Burg Eltz - by public transportation). Not only do I save 50% or more vs car rental, but the travel time is mine. I don't have to watch the road and traffic or try to understand unfamiliar road signs. I can watch the scenery, read, write in my journal, review maps and information for my upcoming stop, sleep, whatever I want.

Anyway, if you are comparing price, the only fair comparison to public transportation is rental with CDW. That's the only way you can compare public transportation, where you have no absolutely no liability, with a rental car, where you could have liability.

Posted by
2663 posts

The Bestor's help and act as liason with any problems, as they have with me on a couple of minor issues (not accidents). I've never had contact with the rental co., only Andy Bestor.
The AmEx Premium Car Rental Protection Plan is what we use for CDW for our rental cars in Germany and Austria. You must of course have and pay with your AmEx card.

Posted by
17724 posts

As for the Alpenstrasse (did the OP say anything about the Alpenstrasse), it's really not on his itinerary. Like any other German "theme" road, it's not so much the road as the towns on the road. Lindau (he's not going that far west) is a nice place, and Berchtesgaden, on the other end, is, IMO, a better place to visit than nearby Salzburg. In between are Oberstdorf (the Oberallgäu), Füssen, Oberammergau, and Garmisch. Another interesting town on the Alpenstrasse is Reit im Winkl. I've changed buses there twice but would really like to spend a few days there sometime. As for the road itself, there are several scenic stretches, including the trip over the steep mountains between Bayrischzell and the Inn (Oberaufdorf), the stretch along Walchensee between Walgäu and Kochelsee, and the climb out of Bad Hindelang to Oberjoch.

As far as his specific itinerary, I would leave Munich for Oberammergau and spend two nights there. On the in-between day there is a bus mid-morning to Füssen (1½ hr), where he could spend the day at the castles and still get back to Oberammergau for the night. Then I would go to Mittenwald with a day's stopover on the way in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Posted by
4142 posts

For me, you are wasting a lot of time checking in and out of hotels in cities that are very close to each other.

For example, why not base yourself in Mittenwald and make day trip to Garmisch, Innsbruck and even Fussen.

Another example, base yourself in Salzburg and make a day trip to Hallstatt. Or do the opposite - stay in Hallstatt and day trip to Salzburg B'gaden.

Will you have a car?

Posted by
96 posts

Even acknowledging your willingness to "stretch," I feel you are trying to pack too much into this trip and may return home feeling you didn't have enough time to savor the experience. My wife and I were in Vienna for four nights in 2011 and left hungry for more; same thing with two nights in Salzburg. I would opt for concentrating your trip to get more out of fewer locales by, for example, cutting some of the one-night stays.

Posted by
53 posts

Hey!
Thanks so much you all for valuable inputs!
I am in the final stages of freezing my itinerary and will start booking the hotels/ rental car in Fe. Just to take a thumbs up from all the experienced travelers here, I am sharing my final itinerary with you..there is still scope of improvement (not booked the acco yet)

4th June-
Reach Munich (stay for 2 nights)

6th June-
Rent a car. Leave for Mittenwald/ Oberammagau for staying for 3 nights
By 12 noon- Reach Neuschwanstein Castle, Hohenschwangau Castle. Visit Mary's bridge. Roam around Fussen

7th June-
Visit Garmisch-Partenkirchen & Zugspitze

8th June-
Roam around Mittenwald

9th June-
Leave for Hall in Tirol. On the way, visit Gnadenwald & Hinterhornalm near Innsbruck. Check-in at a hotel in HiT. Visit Maurach in the night

10th June-
Visit Hintertux Glacier for skiing in the morning. Visit Mayrhofen for lunch.
On the way back to HiT, stop by Alpbach and Achensee

11th June-
Leave for Zell Am See for staying for the night.
Visit Schmittenhöhe, Hohe Tauern and Krimml Waterfall in the day.

12th June-
Leave for Grossglockner High Alpine Road starting from Bruck
Reach Hallstatt by 3 pm, Stay a night

13th June- Leave for Berchtesgaden and stay for 3 nights

14th June- Visit Salzburg as a day trip

15th June- Visit Chiemsee as a day trip

16th June- Drop the car at Freilassing. Take a train to Vienna

16th, 17th , 18th June- Vienna for 3 nights

19th June- Morning Flight to Mumbai

Please please please share your comments/ opinion!