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Provence, Bernese Oberland, Bavaria, and the Rhine-need a good route

I am planning a trip in late September and early October for 21 days in France, Switzerland, and Germany, and maybe Prague. Is this possible? The main places I would like to see are Avignon, Les Baux de Provence, Mittenwald, maybe Thun, Rudesheim or Bacharach, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Munich, and Prague. Should I consider Austria? The route I have in mind is fly into Frankfurt, go directly to the Rhine (2 nights), 1 night in Rothenburg, 2 nights Munich, 2-3 nights Prague, 3-4 nights Bernese Oberland, 1 night Les Baux, and 2 nights Avignon, 2-3 nights Paris (been there before, but want to take my sister), and fly out from there. That leaves a few extra days unplanned. Any better suggestions?

Posted by
12040 posts

"2-3 nights Prague, 3-4 nights Bernese Oberland" Too far. After checking out the Rhine, you may want to head in the direction of Prague, going slightly off course to see Rothenburg first. Then maybe head back towards Munich to Mittenwald and then onto Switzerland. I don't know about Les Baux, but just looking on the map, you may need to add another stop between there and the Berner Oberland... the Berner Oberland is just one of those places that's far more isolated than you can appreciate by just looking on a map.

Posted by
10 posts

Do you think it would be better to fly into Paris 1st, take a train to provence area, then back up to Switzerland, maybe stop somewhere in the French alps 1st? But then there will be a long drive from the Bernese Oberland to the Rhine area in Germany. Is it worth staying in Lucerne for a night?

Posted by
521 posts

A couple thoughts for you...with 21 days I think you can accomplish all of that. However, I am not sure I would if I were you. The Prague to Berner Oberland is quite a trek. I think Prague to Munich is about 4 hrs. We did Munich to Luzern and I recall that being about 6. Luzern to Interlaken was about 2 and then a good hour or more to get up into the Oberland. That puts you at good 15 plus hour day with train changes and whatnot. Is that how you want to eat up a day of travel?
Secondly of all the cities I have been to in Europe, I think Avignon was my least favorite. Not that it was bad, but for your route - if it were me, I would not put it as a priority. If I were in Southern France, absolutely - check it out. But don't go out of your way. Maybe consider Arles instead? If I go back, I think I am going to check out Arles.

Posted by
10 posts

I'm going to look into Arles. Ryan Air has a budget airline that goes from Frankfurt to Prague and back. Then I could go to the Rhine and into Bavaria. What would be a good route to go into Switzerland from there? Maybe I can pass through Austria. Is Prague really pretty as they say?

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks Harry. I checked out click4sky and will fly from Frankfurt to Prague and back. Then I will go directly to stay somewhere in the Rhine for 1-2 nights. Is there a better place than Bacharach or is Rudesheim to Koblenz a must see? Then 1 night in Rothenburg, 2 nights Munich, and I am thinking about spending a couple nights in Austria (Salzburg or Vienna). My sister teaches piano and loves Mozart so Austria would be good.

Still having a hard time finding a good route to lucerne, seems like a very long drive. Want to rent a car the whole time. Is Switzerland driveable around the Oberland area?

Thinking about cutting off Provence altogether, but still want to go to Paris. Any advice on must sees in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany?

Posted by
12040 posts

"Is Switzerland driveable around the Oberland area?"

Yes, with the exception of Gimmelwald and Murren. Some of the scenery you will pass (when you're not driving through one of Switzlerand's many tunnels) is amazing.

Posted by
10 posts

Maybe I could take public transportation from Salzburg to Switzerland and hop on the Glacier Express from Davos to Brig, then train to Oberland area. I'm stuck.

Posted by
12040 posts

"from Davos to Brig, then train to Oberland area. I'm stuck." If you're passing through Davos, a world-class resort area in its own right, continuing on to the Berner Oberland is a little redudant.

Posted by
10 posts

I'd like to stay the night somewhere on the Rhine because we will be tired from flying. I want to rent a car in Frankfurt. I was thinking about taking a river cruise through the scenic area, but driving would give more freedom to explore. I was also thinking about renting a bike and peddling from Rudesheim to Koblenz and back, but it seems like too much distance. Is Rudesheim a good place to stay the night?

Posted by
10 posts

I've done a lot of thought on this itinerary and it's hard planning something on my own with no feedback from my family on what they want to see. To make things easy, it sounds like traveling by rail may be more convenient. I'm thinking of the Global Pass for 15 consecutive days for $593 each. To touch up my original itinerary, I'm now thinking of 3 nights Paris, (Global pass starts from Paris to Oberland), 3 nights Oberland area, maybe 1 night Lucerne, 2 nights along the Rhine, 1 night Rothenburg, 2-3 nights Munich with day trip to Neuschwanstein, 1 night Salzburg, 2 nights Vienna (Global Pass ends), and 3 nights Prague. That leaves a couple days left to spend. Does the itinerary sound good?

"If you're passing through Davos, a world-class resort area in its own right, continuing on to the Berner Oberland is a little redundant." It would be nice to board the Glacier Express, any suggestions how to add to my itinerary or forget about it?

Posted by
3696 posts

Sounds like a huge agenda... just a tip on Avignon..there is a fast train I think out of Paris that can get you down there if you really want to go, then you would have to drive on to LeBaux.. while both are great, especially LeBaux, you will want to see so many more things while in Provence, so maybe keeping your trip to Germany, Austria and prague might make more sense. Salzburg is great and if you are going to Vienna you might want to consider going on to Budapest... a wonderful and reasonable city to travel to. I like it better than Prague (which I love) There is such beautiful scenery driving from Germany to Austria that it is worth taking your time. Also, consider the weather as it can start getting cool in the areas you are talking about in Oct. Still quite warm however along the Riviera and provence areas. Have a great time. As for Prague I could not take my rental car there, so took a train. Also could not take my rental car from Romania to Budapest, but you might be able to from Austria. Be sure to check all that stuff out.

Posted by
3551 posts

I would skip Prague and Austria this trip as it is a fair distance. You will be spending a great deal of time traveling from spot to spot. Provence(min 4 days), Rhine, Mosel river valley(min 4days) and Bernese Oberland (min 4 days)area are really worth spending alot more time. they are terrific. I would also suggest leaving Rothenberg and Munich for another time

Posted by
3 posts

I would advise spending just a short time in Avignon. It is preferable to stay in one of the outlining villages. There are really nice B&Bs in the area. You will need a car for Les Baux. While you are visiting Les Baux, drive to some of the surrounding towns: St. Remy, Orange,Arles to name a few. The Pont de Gard is also in the area. It is a beautiful region to explore. Carole (presently living in Bormes Les Mimosas, France)