We are 2 retirees that will be spending 8+ days in Europe after a cruise (Rome to Rome), in May, and are considering renting a car and driving to Vienna, Salzburg (Sound of Music tour), Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Berchtesgaden, Lucerne and flying home from Milan. We are mostly interested in seeing the country side, stopping in some of the little towns, villages, etc. along the way; staying in B&Bs (any suggestions). We would like to stay off the autobahn as much as possible. Is a car trip like this possible in the amount of time that we have. We have done the Romantic Road so we are not interested in this. Thanks.
Here's how to answer your question, go here: ViaMichelin Europe Road Trip PlannerInput your destinations and look at the driving time for each leg you're considering doing, the time the site gives you will be only the "road time" or straight driving time and will not include pit stops, sightseeing stops, and other stops--so add those. After you do this for your destinations, you'll be able to figure out how much you want to do in the time you have. Also add, for each time you change hotels, the time to find the new hotel, checking in, unpacking, packing up the next morning, checking out, etc--for every day that you change accommodations.
With just 8 days you might consider doing one country. I would suggest doing Austria. You could start in Vienna - visit Melk (I'd suggest staying a night or 2 and enjoy walking or bike riding along the Danube)on your way to Salzburg - then top it off with a night in Hallstatt (near Salzburg), and fly home from Munich. Lot's of beautiful countryside on this trip.
There's lots of great small towns in the Salzkammergut, a lake district just outside of Salzburg. Just think about all the beautiful scenery from the Sound of Music, all those lakes and mountains, and that's it. Check out the Austrian tourism website at www.austria.info and request some brochures.
I wouldn't spend my whole trip driving to Austia and not having the time to do it right when you still have Italy to explore. You'll be there at the best time of year when things aren't as expensive and not many tourists.
My husband and I fell in love with Alassio, Italy when our trip to Austia and Switzerland had to change beacuse of weather and we hadn't planned to drive the coast or even go to Italy that trip at all.
My advise-don't me in a hurry to get somewhere and you'll find some really great places.