Ah, here we go again, a route to Lake Garda avoiding tolls! Our previous route to Lake Garda avoiding tolls is a slight misnomer as there is the Swiss vignette/paperwork charge to pay – have a read of that route here. However, we have undertaken this route to Lake Garda avoiding tolls and it is just that – totally toll free! Noteworthy of a mention, you can divert at Bolzano and/or Trento for Venice or the Dolomites, so this toll free route to Italy almost offers three destinations in one!
From Calais, it is the usual route to Dunkirk and then your choice. Either run via Ostend towards Brussels and Arlon or via Lille and Charleroi towards Arlon. From Arlon, it is business as usual to Luxembourg for the low priced diesel but at Luxembourg, this time we head for Germany. Towards Saar Louis and Saarbrucken. In Germany, follow the signs for Landau, Pforzheim and Karlsruhe, before heading towards Stuttgart and Ulm. Along the A7 motorway towards Kempten and then enter Austria close to Reutte. Onwards towards Landeck and Nauders, then entering Italy. Once in Italy travel towards Merano, Bolzano and Trento – you will then see the signs for Lago di Garda!
Dont for forget you are passing close to the duty free town of Samnaun. A trip to Samnaun will add approximately twenty miles overall to your journey, but diesel, cigarettes and alcohol is duty free. Click here for details of our visit and some prices. It is well worth the visit. The road to Samnaun is not particularly suitable for caravans. That said, coaches and articulated lorries and fuel tankers go up there.
Italy – Merano, Hermitage Camping
Route to Lake Garda avoiding tolls – distance
Using this route to get you to Peschiera del Garda is just over 800 miles. As a result, it is longer than the 750 miles or so via the more conventional routes. This route to Lake Garda avoiding tolls does however avoid the requirement for the Swiss tax/toll.
This route via Austria assumes NOT using the Austrian motorway – thus avoiding the need to purchase a vignette for vehicles under 3500 kg or a Go Box for vehicles over 3500 kg. The more direct route would of course be via the Brenner Pass and Vipiteno, but until we have tried this, we will not document the Brenner route.
We did see a lot of caravans on this route – non British – all Dutch and German registered. Look at Google maps – see what you think. Some of these routes are high altitude though so check the weather!