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Winter Trip to Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland

I am planning a trip for late March for my husband and 15 year old son. They will be starting in Munich for a few days, heading into Austria to ski/snowboard at Kitzbuhel, down to Italy to ski/snowboard at Val Gardena, then heading to Switzerland to ski/snowboard in Zermatt. The entire trip will be a total of 9 days. Aside from 1 day skiing/snowboarding in each location, I am looking for suggestions as to where to stay and what to do. My husband and son are more outdoorsy people. My son is very interested in history. They are definitely NOT the museum type. I was thinking Eisbach, Rathaus, Hofbrauhaus, and Neuschwanstein in Munich area. In Austria, salt mines, Sound of Music Tour or Hellbrun visit in Salzburg and Kristallwelten, Innsbruck Nordkettenbahnen and Tyrolean Evening with the Gundolf Family in Innsbruck. In Italy, I'm at a loss for activities around Northern Italy. Near Zermatt, I was considering dogsledding and thermal baths in Leukerbad, the sledding trail in Grindelwald, and possibly the Glacier Express train. Help!

Posted by
6847 posts

Tara: It looks like you've researched the region carefully. I too have skied the Olympic ski runs around Innsbruck, as I went to University there. The mountains are great, but facilities are not as good as in the U.S. European skiing is often icy and more difficult than in U.S resorts. Munich, Kitzbuhel, Northern Italy and Switzerland is sure moving a lot through ski country, especially since you only have 9 days. Making plans for so many locations would be very difficult due to unreliable weather, mountain passes and mountain roads.
You really need to figure out if your family's going to ski or to tour the countryside. Touring is best done after the snow's thawed. Skiing is best done out of one city. Your itinerary with all the things you want to do is virtually impossible to . The winter weather in the Alps is not always stable, and one cannot always be assured that the roads will be open thru 4 countries. Planning accommodations in one central city is much more reliable than moving around.

Posted by
2715 posts

Hi Tara, I was reading you post and found it interesting. I don't ski, but... They have 9 days. A few days in Munich leaves 6 or 7 days. Even if you planned 2 nights in each: Kitzbuehl, Val Gardena and Zermatt, then 1 day of skiing in each location (their only full day in each place), add transportation between these places, getting to/settled in the new hotel, they won't have time to even remember where they've been, let alone adding sights and activities. Then add a day getting to the airport or airport area for the flight home. I can't even imagine taking this trip. Sorry for all the negativity, but I just don't see it. Paul

Posted by
3696 posts

Are you planning on having them drive? I often tend to cover a lot of ground on my trips, but there are way too many options here to be fesible...plus getting in any time to ski. Do the 9 days include travel days from the US?
Exactly how many days will they be in Europe?

Posted by
16 posts

Yes it's way too busy. Cut back on the number of locations to visit.

Posted by
2 posts

They will be in Europe 9 full days. They arrive on a Saturday morning and leave on a Monday. They were planning on driving. My son was envisioning a snowboard trip to the Alps. My husband wants them to do a little sightseeing and break up the ski/snowboard days. They were starting in Germany in order to visit a former au-pair who lives an hour west of Munich. Val Gardena and Zermatt were recommended and I filled in the other stops in order to break up the trip. Perhaps I am planning too much. I wasn't taking into account the possibility of road closures in my estimates. If they begin in Munich and fly home from Zurich, any suggestions for good stops on the way? They could probably ski Garmisch-Partenkirchen instead of Kitzbuhel and eliminate Val Gardena. And then concentrate on Swiss Alps?