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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
I,m going to Italy to watch the Tour of Italy cycling race, leaving on Sunday evening Dover to Calais, can anyone suggest the best route down to the Italian lakes/Bergamo, avoiding expensive tunnels and Switzerland?

I thought down to Lyon then Grenoble + Briancon but looking at the map it seems a long way around.
Ill be driving a 3850kg HOBBY.
Any advice appreciated.
thanks Barry
 

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long Way

Hello,

Yes it is a long way but the best without the expensive tunnel tolls and Switzerland as you mentioned.

Having said that, it is only about 80 miles more! each way.

Trev.
 

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Hmmm. I've spent the last few weeks trying to find the fastest/cheapest way to Genoa from Calais in June to cross to Corsica.
Last year we went from Calais to Nice in our 3850kg van and spent nearly £250 on tolls (return)!!

Taking the toll free 'motorway' from Calis, via Belgium, Luxembourg, back in to France, toll free, passing Metz, Nancy, Colmar & Mulhouse and from there, Basle and through Switzerland, does involve the Swiss vignette but this is only around £35 for one month
This vignette includes free passage through the St Gothard tunnel and is by far the cheapest route - and, it's very close in distance to the route you suggest.

If anyone out there knows I'm wrong - Please let me know!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi
thanks for info.Tikki+Trev,
I am going to stay off the Toll roads as much as poss.and wife not keen on tunnels..so it looks like its the "Long way down"but still open to suggestions...NO I won,t leave the cook at home..
Barry
 

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Italy

Hi

I would run via Switzerland and pay the 32.50 SFR for the permit. That is valid for one calendar year and allows ten days worth of traven in the country.

If you run Calais, Dunkerque, Ostend, Brussels, Arlon, Luxembourg (cheap fuel and cigs), Metz, Met airport, Chateau Salins, Saverne, Molsheim, Mulhouse you will not pay a bean in tolls.

You could also start as above and continue Metz, Nancy, Epinal, Thann, Basle and be toll free. A rather nice route too, over the Bussang Hill.

From the Swiss Italian border you can spend as much or as little as you like on tolls.

I can do the journey to Garda and back toll free, except for the Swiss pass...and at £20 for one year, I don't give a hoot about it.

Russell
 

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Calais - Italy

:D Ciao, any particular reason you don't want Switzerland? If it's a question of tunnels I can understand, but if it's a question of cost then the only way is Russell's and Tikki's.
You could go down to Lausanne/Brig and the Simplon pass. This would still involve the Swiss vignette, but avoid long tunnels. Or from Basel go to Luzern/San Bernadino pass - just a short tunnel.
Unless you go your previous long/expensive route round the coast Nice/Ventimiglia, then at some point the Alps have to be crossed one way or another.
saluti,
eddied
 

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Hi Russell,
I notice you run Dunkerque - Ostend - Brussells - Arlon en route to Luxembourg.
Would you not find it shorter and quicker to use the A25 to Lille then A15 to Namur and A4 to Arlon and on to Luxembourg?
Regards
Graham
 

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To be honest I would go Calais - reims then Head to Basel then down towards Milan and across to Bergamo, I would not use Motorways at all and therefore No Tunnels, My better half will NEVER go through a tunnel and this is the way we go sometimes, it is about 730 miles in Total.

You only have to pay the Vignette in Switzerland if you travel on Motorways so No Motorways either not only that it is only about 180 miles From Swiss border to Italian border so you would not pay anything at all.

I have never been asked for vignette if not traveling on Motorways or staying in Switzerland
 

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Journey

Hi Graham

I used to travel via Lille on the A25, but the road surface is so appalling, it is not worth travelling on. Also, the traffic around Lille can be horrendous - worse than Birmingham in my opinion.

I travelled to Garda via Lille in December and returned via Ostend. The mileage differential from the A4/A31 in France back to Calais was only a few miles greater. Also, this route puts you near tobacco alley should you so wish.

Russell

Edit - www.viamichelin.com shows Calais to Luxembourg as 414km via Lille, and then Calais to Luxembourg via Ostend as 432kn, so an 18km differential. However, you do not actually go into Ostend and as such, you can knock about 10km off these figures, leaving a difference of 10km or 6 miles. I think the speedo recorded a difference of 3 miles.
 

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Toll Free

tikki said:
Hmmm. I've spent the last few weeks trying to find the fastest/cheapest way to Genoa from Calais in June to cross to Corsica.
Last year we went from Calais to Nice in our 3850kg van and spent nearly £250 on tolls (return)!!

Taking the toll free 'motorway' from Calis, via Belgium, Luxembourg, back in to France, toll free, passing Metz, Nancy, Colmar & Mulhouse and from there, Basle and through Switzerland, does involve the Swiss vignette but this is only around £35 for one month
This vignette includes free passage through the St Gothard tunnel and is by far the cheapest route - and, it's very close in distance to the route you suggest.

If anyone out there knows I'm wrong - Please let me know!!
That Route sounds interesting!
 

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SaddleTramp said:
You only have to pay the Vignette in Switzerland if you travel on Motorways so No Motorways either not only that it is only about 180 miles From Swiss border to Italian border so you would not pay anything at all.
How interesting, did not know that.

Trev.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks everyone for the info,
It looks like I will be going through Switzerland....
plenty of options to get from Calais to Basel
thanks again...
Barry
 

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Tolls

teemyob said:
SaddleTramp said:
You only have to pay the Vignette in Switzerland if you travel on Motorways so No Motorways either not only that it is only about 180 miles From Swiss border to Italian border so you would not pay anything at all.
How interesting, did not know that.

Trev.
Hi

There is a thread about Swiss tolls somewhere and I seem to think that you still have to pay even if you are not using the motorway. I will try to find the thread later.

Russell
 

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Calais - Italy via Switzerland

:D Ciao tutti, this thread seems to be generating a bit of confusion about Switzerland.
The vignette is only applicable if you are going to be using the Swiss motorway network, and are entering Switzerland along one of said motorways.
It has been suggested that you can get across Switzerland without using motorways. Of course you can, as we did years ago. But, and a big BUT, how long is it going to take you? If you have oodles of time, fine. But you still have to cross the Alps somewhere. Before the days of Seelisberg and Gothard tunnel we used tp put our car on the train at Goschenen to Airolo, but it is still a tunnel. Otherwise between November and May, where would you cross without using a tunnel?? And how long do you allow from Basel to Chiasso/Como or Luino or anywhere into Italy?
I remember having to allow a full day for the job with a Ford Escort van, or Van Hool West Belgium Coach Company tour bus.
saluti,
eddied
 

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Re: Tolls

Rapide561 said:
teemyob said:
SaddleTramp said:
You only have to pay the Vignette in Switzerland if you travel on Motorways so No Motorways either not only that it is only about 180 miles From Swiss border to Italian border so you would not pay anything at all.
How interesting, did not know that.

Trev.
Hi

There is a thread about Swiss tolls somewhere and I seem to think that you still have to pay even if you are not using the motorway. I will try to find the thread later.

Russell
They WILL try and get you to pay but if you state you are traveling on NON Motor-ways you definitely DO NOT pay, I have been going that way for over 20 years and know that you do not, The Vignette is a Motorway Tax, See Here.

http://www.switzerlandtravelcentre.co.uk/vignette.html?gclid=CO7O_rLirpoCFZCD3gody1-BcA
 

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Hello all, I have been advise about this route by a few posters.

I think that although you can use Swiz non motorway roads without a vignette, we did try it a couple of years back, and you seem to nearly always get fed on to a motorway for a short piece at least, which you could take a risk with, but to get across the alps would take a long time.

But I also think I may be wrong that it you are over 3500kg you have to buy a pass on entering switzerland, not sure if that is just for motorways, or just a tax on larger vehicles entering, but You are charged daily for when you are in Switzerland so I think it not just motorways. But if you are passing through then it only counts the days you are travelling through.

Sorry if not clearly written, just got up and yet to have a cup of tea.
Pat

I just wikipedia it and found this,

Vehicles larger than 3500 kg have to pay a special toll assessed through special on-board units that is applied for all roads, not just the motorways.

the link that Saddle tramp added is true for Vignettes, but that is only up to 3500kg.

The original posters vehicle is 3850kg

Thanks Pat
 

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PATSY4 said:
Hello all, I have been advise about this route by a few posters.

I think that although you can use Swiz non motorway roads without a vignette, we did try it a couple of years back, and you seem to nearly always get fed on to a motorway for a short piece at least, which you could take a risk with, but to get across the alps would take a long time.

But I also think I may be wrong that it you are over 3500kg you have to buy a pass on entering switzerland, not sure if that is just for motorways, or just a tax on larger vehicles entering, but You are charged daily for when you are in Switzerland so I think it not just motorways. But if you are passing through then it only counts the days you are travelling through.

Sorry if not clearly written, just got up and yet to have a cup of tea.
Pat
Yes you are correct about the weight, It is a HGV Tax and it is per day, That was why I said it is only 180 miles from going into Switzerland to going out again and is 1 day which if I remember correctly is about 5 swiss francs.

I dont agree about always being fed onto Motorways as we have always gone quite easily without touching them and the roads were very good indeed and the roads over the Alps are excellent and don't cause any problems and the views are fantastic, We did and still do use Sat Nav and instruct "No Motorways" on it.
There are routes across Switzerland that do not entail Huge mountains etc, I initially went across with an American Eagle which was a 38 footer and we had a trailer on the back which made it to 48 foot with no problems at all this was my first Motorhome in about 1995 but before that I was travelling across as a "tugger" I had a 26 foot caravan and pulled it with a Toyota Land Cruiser which made the total length 40 foot I never had a problem so this shows the roads are good and easy.

But of course there were other places where we had tight squeezes (Very Tight).

I then had a Hymer B774 28 foot and went that way with No probs, Now down to a 26 footer and still no probs.

My better half will not travel on Motorways or do Tunnels since we had a bad accident a number of years ago but that is another story, I still kick myself for that and blame myself cos it was my fault and just through being stupid and trying to be clever, But as I said that is another story.
 

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Hi Les
Thanks for your reply (now had a cup of tea so part human).
I understand that you have more experience than me, and when I did it, I was map reading on the back of a motorbike and the first time that I was in Switzerland. ( We also ended up doing 4 passes in one day just for fun, which is was until we got to the last one and it chucked it down).



Although the HGV pass you say is about 5 Euros a day, there is a minimum purchase price of about 30CHF, so it you are making a return trip it is worth buying more days that you need, in our case we will probably buy a 10 day pass which is about that price.

Unless that if you buy a vignette at the same time which we will need to do so because we will be towing our motorbike on a trailer, which can also buy the amount of days (two) for the HGV (motorhome over 3500 kg) as well. But knowing our luck it will count as two different transactions.


(it will also be the first year that we will have a sat nav, so that will be interesting too.)

Kind regards

Pat
 

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Hi Pat.
Now that about the minimum charge is interesting cos I have never had that to pay, I am wondering if this may be a fiddle or something on the main routes.
We usually look for a small village or town on the border crossing as we think they are more human, we have even had them just wave us through with no problems and on another occasion we got a young cocky lad with an officer who went through everything and every time he caught our eye he raised his eyebrows as though to say Sorry.
On another occasion the chap asked us if we would make them a cup of tea (Which we did) and we had a very enjoyable hour with them.
I think in all the times we have been through that way we have only been charged about four times, and I think the max we paid was 20 CHF as we were staying at Lake Geneva for a couple of days.
 
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