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Itinerary from Vienna to Lake Garda

Hi all!
Was interested in any input on a 2 week itinerary which starts in Austria to Salzburg-Hallstadt-Dolomites(2-3 stops)-Riva Del Garda...then I'm lost. Not sure how to create a good loop that makes sense and is precise....if we pick up a car in Austria we need to return it there. And SO far to drive from Lake Garda back to Vienna, and not waste too much of a day in travel. Trying to avoid a 4.5hr drive in a day. Too much. Another idea would be to go in and out of Munich but then there's a bit of back tracking out and back to Vienna, on to Salzburg then South...perhaps unavoidable? Ideas welcome. Thank you. :)

Posted by
1694 posts

Have you considered flying ‘open-jaw’ or ‘multi-city’ (whatever your airline calls it), into Vienna and out of (maybe) Milan, getting around mostly by train, and only renting a car in one country?

Posted by
984 posts

The trains are good. Would you consider doing a day trip from Salzburg to Hallstatt? Check Rome2Rio for ideas.

Posted by
2590 posts

yes you need to open jaw, fly into one, fly out of another. and don't forget you will be in multiple countries with multiple COVID rules, and you need to make sure you get tested before return to the Big PX following their rules.

would suggest you keep it in one place, either Austria or Italy. there's enough to see in each methinks.

Posted by
7 posts

Yes, have been thinking along the lines of multicity flight...into Vienna perhaps, out Venice. The Covid thing may complicate issues so have to be settled on what I'll need between countries to follow rules...still 6 months away so will continue to change and will have to keep an eye on it. Would do just Italy but Vienna has such appeal and have never been there...a shame to leave it out I think. But also yes, partial train, partial trip by train may be something we have to do. My wife doesn't like the pressure of having to meet the train schedule, find the right train, etc...but we can deal with that. And have in the past. Lots to think about. :)

Posted by
27759 posts

I understand the train schedule issue especially if you are used to infrequent Amtrak services, but most European routes are hourly or at worst every couple of hours on the really long distance ones. If planning for specific trains is problematic you can get tickets maybe the evening before and still find decent prices in many cases.

Although if you know the hotel and when they want check-in, choosing a train will become much easier. Stations are well signed, and English isn't a problem. A number is a number. It is good to know the destination names in the local language. Pretty easy though - Venezia = Venice, Firenze = Florence, Wien = Vienna etc.

I don't know if you will have a smartphone but if you do you can get real time information about the running of your train - in English - and be able to see the names of cities in both English and the local language.

I hope we can help relieve the stress.

Posted by
2590 posts

your trip is six months away? May as well be in the next century! Everything will change a thousand times by then.

Posted by
16883 posts

You don’t have to return a car all the way to Vienna, even if you pick it up there. Most car rental companies have.multiple offices within Austria, allowing you to use a second city but avoid second-country drop off fees.
* Villach would be a possible location to drop within Austria and then catch a direct bus or train to Venice, but note that these only run a few times per day on this route.
* You also could dip into Italy with the car before driving to Salzburg and flying home from Munich.

Posted by
3844 posts

Driving back to Vienna or even Salzburg would be insane indeed, but you could drive back to Innsbruck after lake Garda without too much hassle. A scenic route would be to go via Stelvio pass and enter Austria in Nauders, but that may be ambitious in a day.
Or it is a 3-4 hour drive on the Brenner Autobahn, depending on where you start around lake Garda.