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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 10 Mar 2008
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Know of a way to cross Switzerland w/o going over mtns.?

Hello everyone,

I looked through many pages of the Trip Planning threads but couldn't find information about this. I apologize sincerely if there already is the answer to my question, and I would be grateful if I could be pointed in the right direction to find it.

On short notice, I have to go to San Marino, Italy (on the East coast south of Venice). I am currently in Heidelberg, Germany (north of Stuttgart). The weather forecast for this weekend does not look so good, and I have no choice but to go this weekend. As anyone who has ridden or lives around Switzerland, it can become quite dangerous and cost a lot of time to start up a pass and then get hit by snow or freezing temps. I have tried to route out a way on maps so that I can avoid going over passes, but even with using some tunnels, there are still stretches that get up in altitude. Do you think the St. Gotthard pass is the best option? I've ridden that several times and it seems to be the best way to minimize the time spent up high?

Is there someone out there who might be able to suggest a way to go through Switzerland following valleys or lower altitudes, or as the lesser preferable way, a route through France down to Nice, where I can then ride along the coast into Italy. It's a lovely ride along the coast but going that route more than doubles the distance.

Many thanks in advance for your help.
Jim,
Toronto, Canada
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Old 11 Mar 2008
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Wink Hope this is of some help

Hi Jim,
I've thought about your question for all of a couple of minutes and I reckon that I would take that route through France and the coast if I was riding. But, even more likely, I would take the train - after all, it is the height of the skiing season!

You could look at putting your bike on the train, but if you are going for just the weekend, then I would not bother personally.
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Old 11 Mar 2008
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Have you considered taking the motorway....?

The swiss take great pride in their over priced motorways, this can be a rather uninteresting but relatively snow free option, which will take you the most boring and flattest way possible from basel to chiasso to milan. I suppose that , alternatively, nothing really stops you from taking the Landstrasse and then taking at least the San Gottardo tunnel. The pass is usually closed in winter anyway.

Check your route on ViaMichelin: street map, maps, map UK, route finder, route planner, directions, road map, route map or Mappy - Road Guide

Have you considered going through Austria instead? The alps are kind of hard to avoid, but at least this way probably works out cheaper (Bikes pay only 4 euros for a 10 day autobahn vignette) If you're really set on avoiding mountains then the straighest way through could be from Muenchen straight down to Innsbruck, then from there into Italy via Bolzano Verona and Bologna straight to San Marino.

I also live on the eastern coast of Italy...it's cold , wet and miserable, and it was snowing 2 days ago...
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Old 11 Mar 2008
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Location: NYer living in Finland and traveling through Europe
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I would check the train schedule, as they do not run in the winter time for for cars or bikes. I was attempting to do the same a few months ago but the car trains were not running, I thing between October and April if memory serves me correctly.

The lowest pass in the Alps is in Austria, Brenner pass. Go through Innsbruck and straight across. No idea about weather as my plan of riding through there in December was thwarted by a storm.
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