I have to travel by car from Ancona (Italy) to Brussels in the end of August. Any advice???
The full story is that I am in Athens Greece. I got a job in Brussels, starting on the1st of Sept.
I am therefore moving there by car. The car is full with my clothes and some household goods.
I have a ferry ticket from Patras(Greece) to Ancona (Italy) but it remains to plan the route from Ancona to Brussels.
I prefer highways and no big changes of altitude. My car is in a good shape but already 10yrs old. Additionally, it is totally full and has a packed Thule Pacific 200 on top.
Any advice as to planning the route would be useful
Last week I drove from the south coast of Spain to NW France, 1301 miles with a detour in my packed full 18 year old car, without any problems at all. Just make sure water and oil is topped up and you have spare water.
The shortest route is not always best. Motorways in Continental Europe are sometimes toll roads but if you do not take them, you'll often wish you had as the alternative means many extra hours on the road, which will cost you in fuel.
Buy yourself some maps or get an atlas of Europe. Driving for hours in the wrong direction does not help, and road signs are not always helpful. You might want to print off some Google maps?
From Ancona, E2/A14 NW to Bologna, continue A1 past Parma.
At Piacenza, take A21 west to Torino.
A13 west (not motorway) to the A41.
North a little way to A43 at Aix-Les-Bains and west on A43 motorway to Lyon.
E1 north through Dijon, through Nancy and then Metz.
At Luxembourg take the A4 north west to Brussel (Bruxelles).
There are some long distance sign posts which help. I found Bordeaux on a sign post just south of Rouen, hundreds of miles away.
Anything you buy on the motorway is more expensive than in towns. Find a supermarket and stock up on drinks and sandwiches. Fuel you'll just have to pay the extra as getting off the motorway can be troublesome.
Firstly, good luck with your job, and have a great trip. Unfortunately this might be a bit late but hope it is still of use.
- Switzerland and Austria require you to buy a sticker which lets you use motorways. If you do not buy one, you will get a big fine. For just a few hours crossing the country, this can be quite expensive sticker.
- If you go via Switzerland or Austria, you will have some great views, but also go through the alps. Although the main roads are fine, you will still be gaining and losing quite allot of altitude on mountain passes, so if you have a car full of stuff which adds lots of weight, it is something to consider.
- The easiest way to avoid changes in altitude is to go up the East coast of Italy, then cross the plains via Bologna (and depending on your preference, maybe Milan) across to the West Coast at Genoa, and then take the coast autostrada to France and the crossing at Ventimiglia. There are still several small hills, but you do avoid the big mountains. From there, continue along the coast until you hit the main North-south motorway in France, and follow that via Lyon, and Reims, crossing into Belgium in Northern France. This is not the shortest route, but it is the flatest.
- Be aware of tolls: Italy and France both charge tolls on many motorways, and these can add up to quite a large cost. You need to decide if speed, cost, altitude or something else is the most important to you, then plan a route accordingly. Old roads are normally free, but can be significantly slower and also involve worse fuel economy.
Hope that helps a little, and sorry i am not able to offer more detailed help at the moment (i'm on a night train!). Good luck!
I finally made the trip through the alps.
I went through Italy-Austria-Germany and avoided France, cos I am fluent in German but speak very little French.
The car made it through the Fernpass splendidly!
Thx for the tips