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Driving from Calais to Venice via Bruges & Colmar??

Wrexham
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Driving from Calais to Venice via Bruges & Colmar??

Hi guys...

I keep changing this itinerary but I think finally I have the final draft.

We are stopping in Bruges for the 1st night then Colmar the 2nd.

We have got our route from the rac website. Do you think this is ok? I have read on here the michelien one is good and it will tell you about toll roads etc but as this is my 1st time driving across Europe how will I know what the best route is, and if we should avoid toll roads or not??

Many thanks, xx

Alsace, France
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1. Re: Driving from Calais to Venice via Bruges & Colmar??

Be brave! Try www.viamichelin.co.uk! Type in your starting point as Calais, your end point as Bruges. Then repeat the procedure for Bruges to Colmar, then Colmar to Venice. You'll get all the tolls, distances and timings, and also be able to ask for a route taking into account economy, speed or scenery.

If it's your first time driving abroad TAKE IT SLOW AND EASILY. Off the top of my head:-

Calais to Bruges, easy roads with few challenges except for staying on the right side of the road and judging when it's safe to overtake.

Bruges to Colmar. A long day ... if you are routed between Brussels and Arlon, it's long straight and INCREDIBLY boring. Bring good music! Petrol is cheaper in Luxembourg with the result that there are long queues at the two service stations in Luxembourg. It might be better to leave the motorway to find a petrol station and then go back on to it.

Colmar to Venice. Now that really IS a long day and I wonder if you wouldn't be better making it one longish day and a shorter one. Driving time from my experience is 8-10 hours, but they are very concentrated ones - 5 hours to Milan then the Milan ring road and finally 3 hours of the A4 to Venice (don't forget it'll be signed VENEZIA!). You might be better heading for Verona or near there for an overnight. The N2, Gotthard route, has the most stunning scenery, the Milan ring road can be worse than the M25 (so get practising!!) and the A4 is very straight!

Have a look at the Michelin routings and then come back and ask as many questions as you'd like.

A couple of pointers:-

Keep water and non-choc snacks in the car for those peckish moments when the service stations seem to have gone into hiding.

Make sure you have headlamp deflectors, spare bulb kit, warning triangle, first aid kit and a Hi-Vis jacket IN THE CAR (France!!!).

You should drive on dipped headlights during the day on Italian motorways - new law introduced this Spring.

You will need to be a motorway windscreen sticker for Switzerland, bought at the border. Costs around 30 SFr or 40 €, but do check up to date prices.

Remember to make your drive part of your holiday. Relax and enjoy the scenery and don't let other drivers wind you up!!

Wrexham
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2. Re: Driving from Calais to Venice via Bruges & Colmar??

thanks so much for your reply, it really is appreciated.

I will have a look on the michielin website later...

i forgot to mention that the 3rd night we are staying in Lake Como so we only have to drive from Colmar there and then onto Venice the following day.

With regards to restaurants...we will be arrving into Colmar at about 4pm and would like to go for a meal in the evening. Not expensive though. We are thinking of staying at the Le Colombier so ideally, it would be within walking distance of that hotel. (the hotel doesn't have parking so we may look elsewhere)

Thanks again for your quick reply,

Wrexham
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3. Re: Driving from Calais to Venice via Bruges & Colmar??

ignore that last bit - the hotel does have parking!

Alsace, France
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4. Re: Driving from Calais to Venice via Bruges & Colmar??

Just by the Colombier, the Winstub Brenner (now possibly renamed after the sad death of Mr Brenner), one where the boats go from next to Brenner, and down the Quai des Poissoniers ... loads of little bistros. Le Palmyre is a superb Lebanese and Syrian just down the road from you, but I'd give the Indian a miss ... not as tasty as I had been used to in England.

PS Have just come back from Como - great time - allow 4-5 hours from there to Venice depending on the state of the Milan ring road (tangenziale). We noticed queues for the Gotthard tunnel ... caused by traffic lights so deliberate to handle traffic flow. If you decide to take the pass (depending on your time of travel), I'd suggest getting off at WASSEN and driving on the main road through Goschenen and up to the pass road that way to avoid queues. On your return, you might look at side roads from Biasca (a long way south of the queues) or Ambri-Piotta ....

Edited: 5:15 pm, August 11, 2010
5. Re: Driving from Calais to Venice via Bruges & Colmar??

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