How much time for Dolomites? Itinerary question

Here my the itinerary I have been working on for this September 2013. I am trying to fine tune it and am debating taking out Munich in order to add time to the Dolomites. I'm nervous that the Dolomites-Varenna portion is too rushed due to the traveling required. Any suggestions based on experience? I have been to Munich twice, but my travel partner has not. Is Varenna worthwhile considering the time constraints? (Dolomites is a must). Thank you!! 1 Fly 2 Vienna 3 Vienna 4 Vienna – durnstein side trip? 5 Vienna to Salzburg (am) 6 Salzburg 7 Munich 8 Munich 9 Munich – Bolzano - Alpe di Siusi 10 Alpe di Siusi 11 Bolzano – Milan – Varenna (am) 12 Varenna 13 Varenna – Murren (am) 14 Murren 15 Murren 16 Murren - Lausanne 17 Lausanne
18 Fly home from Geneva/Zurich

Posted by JS
Bay Area
2365 posts

Varenna is wonderful place to visit but for your itn a bit to tight. The dolomites also should not be rushed. IF YOU ARE DRIVING you may be very tired with the dolomite route. It is very windy and slow driving espec if you are lodging in Bolzano. We spent 2 days in Dolomites and could have easily added another day cuz it was so beautiful. And that is without any hiking.

Posted by Paul
NYC area
2048 posts

Hi Jesse, If the Dolomites (Alpe di Siusi) are a "must", I'd get at least another day/night there. As it stands you have 1 full day. If it happens to rain that day...not good. I wouldn't take it from Muerren though. The Berner Oberland is all that. I don't know what you'd cut though. Me, IF the choice is between Munich and Salzburg, I'd keep Salzburg. Sorry I couldn't help much. Paul

Posted by Jesse
St. Louis, MO, USA
177 posts

Thanks - that is helpful. I'm thinking I'll add one day to dolomites (taken from Munich) and then I'll have one more day to add somewhere.

Posted by Bev
Decorah, Iowa, USA
307 posts

We were in Bellagio and drove from there to Bolzano in September, 2011. We drove on a wonderful winding road highlighted in Back Roads of Italy. In Bolzano, it had started raining and continued for at least two days. We stayed at a hotel in the western area of the Dolomites, just north of Bolzano. It was in a little higher elevation than Bolzano. The next morning, the rain was coming down in big splatters reminding us of what could become snow. As we were packing our car, some other cars drove into the parking lot covered in snow. This caused a change in our plans! We had to go south, then east and go to the eastern Dolomites. I guess the main part of the Dolomites will have to wait until another trip!

Posted by Jesse
St. Louis, MO, USA
177 posts

Thanks! We will only be taking public transportation, if that makes a difference.

Posted by Kat
Boston, MA, US
17 posts

I really enjoyed our stay in Bolzano last summer. A really lovely little town and the train ride to Bolzano from Munich was quite scenic.

Posted by Anita
Long Beach, California, USA
1802 posts

My husband and I have travelled extensively in the Dolomites using only public transport. We had a only car once but that really opened up the options for seeing a lot though! If you want to do that, there are car rental agencies in Bolzano. Either way, head up to the Seiser Alm or to the Drei Zinnen - it's a great day-hike around that beautiful massif. The towns of Brixen, Castleruth, and Klausen are very nice, and you can't go wrong going up to the Geisler Alm - breathtaking! These are all easily done using public transport. This is truly an unspoit area of Europe - get out of Bolzano's extremely expensive and very touristy. Most of the license plates are from Rome! Same with Cortina...