First world problems because of Corona: where to travel this summer? But for real guys… don’t forget to be grateful for having a European passport that makes it possible to travel around the world so easily in the first place. Lockdown? Don’t forget to some people are forever in a ‘lockdown’ simply because their passport makes it impossible to travel!
Our first world problems aren’t really a problem, it is just an issue!
Well in my case it just made things easier. No option to fly to another continent, so what we do? We road trip in Europe. Where to go? What to do? Well let’s first pick up my Peugeot 5008 in Amsterdam and then we will see.
Road tripping in Europe in summer for the 3th year in a row. Last year I traveled from Switzerland through Italy to Slovenia and via Croatia and Hungary to Vienna. In 2018 I also did a road trip with Peugeot and created the ultimate Balkan itinerary for 3 weeks, visiting all 8 countries in that region.
This year I only had about 3 weeks so didn’t wanna go that far and decided to road trip to Germany, Austria and Italy. In this road trip travel blog I show you all my stops and will give you some local tips for that area.
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More fairytale villages in Austria! 🏘💒 . Different times, different adventures. Road tripping is probably among the safest trips to take at the moment and getting lost in Europe isn’t that bad as you can see! 👌🏻 . Take an unexpected left where you supposed to go right... simply don’t just always follow the paved path. Trust on your instincts and get out of your comfort zone. Now is probably the best time to travel in Europe! #roadtrip #austria #peugeot5008
Brombachtal for cycling
Road cycling is a big passion that flourished again during the days of Corona. so I decided to bring my race bike on my road trip. Putting everything in my Peugeot 5008 was super easy and everything actually fitted easily in the trunk: all my bags, tent, camping utilities, my travel gear and my road bike.
On my first day I decided to drive to the Brombachtal to go cycling the beautiful hilly countryside there on the next day. But first I stopped at a little town not far from Frankfurt: Idstein. The center is beautiful. A great restaurant for lunch/dinner is: Deli Dojo.
I found last minute an Airbnb in Brombachtal close to where I was cycling the next day, before heading towards Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Get €25 free Airbnb credit when you sign up through this link. Already got an account? Simply sign up with a different email address!
Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber had no priority as I had been there already in 2018, but when you are that close it is always fun to visit this ‘all-year-round Christmas village’. Patrick, a German friend and awesome travel buddy (@germanbackpacker) lives not far from this very popular tourist destination in Germany and I was staying at his place for 2 nights.
The next morning we strolled through the streets of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a picture perfect colorful village in Germany. This is also the place where you will find the amazing Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop. You have to walk in here, when visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber, it is like walking into a fairytale land full of Christmas goodies.
Also find the high-line walking path which gives you some good views over the city, visit the cathedral, find narrow colorful streets and have a coffee on one of the many terraces.
A must do when traveling in Bayern in Southern Germany, but it was going to be my first time only. I heard about the crazy lines and busses full of tourists arriving to catch a glimpse of the Disney Castle Neuschwanstein and that had always put me off a little. Now during the Corona pandemic I figured it would be a great time to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.
Patrick and I drove towards Füssen where we strolled through the city a little bit and had a coffee. Just another German town with some colorful houses I would say, nothing really special. But great place to sit on the terrace have a coffee and a bite before visiting Neuschwanstein Castle. Makes sure to also check out the Füssen Castle: Hohes Schloss zu Füssen.
We arrived at Neuschwanstein Castle around 15:30 only on a cloudy summer day. Parking my Peugeot 5008 costed me €8 and from the parking there are busses going up to Neuschwanstein Castle or you can hike a steep road. We decided to hike up and it took us around 25 minutes I would say. Be aware that it is pretty steep.
When you arrive at the castle, it is so big you can’t really see that much so for a much better view you gotta continue another 10-15 minutes uphill towards the Marienbrücke. From here you have that amazing view and that WOW-moment.
If you go uphill through the a small slippery forest trail you get to an even higher viewpoint that is less crowded. Pretty cool place to go when visiting Neuschwanstein Castle.
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Tour de Germany! 🇩🇪🏰 It was my first time admiring the most visited tourist attraction in Deutschland and I could not have chosen a better time. . Neuschwanstein Castle was truly mind blowing to see from the bridge above the castle. It is a little bit of a steep hike but totally worth it. I was in awe and after all those castle I have seen in the last years this def is something I recommend. . My trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber was fun too. At the moment there are hardly any foreign tourists mostly just Germans. This in big contrast to the last time I was in this ‘always Christmas village’. Make sure you don’t miss the Käthe Wohlfahrt Christmas market shop. You will be stunned! . All the videos of these adventures can be found in my Germany highlight on my Instagram profile! 🙏🏻 . I understand you re all asking how it is to travel now and I have replied most of you already about it personally. But what you see in my stories is the reality! I visit tourist attractions like normally, hike, explore, visit restaurants spontaneously, find places to sleep online, etc. Of course there are some things different as usually and in Germany you still have to wear a mask indoor. . In my opinion now is the best time to travel, whether you like to hear it or not! Due to corona most places aren’t flooded with tourists and it feels actually very relaxed to be on the road! ✌🏻 #travelnow #germany🇩🇪
There is also a second castle, just nearby. You will see it as you hike up to Neuschwanstein. Looks pretty from far!
As we were planning to hike in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and visit the Eibsee and the Zugspitze we stayed in Oberau in the simple but ok hotel Alpenhof for around €80 per night, including breakfast. Hotels in Garmisch-Partenkirchen were simply too expensive in my opinion.
All my travel adventure videos from the above Germany tourist destinations can be found on my Instagram highlight: Germany 1.
Hiking at Eibsee/Zugspitze
When you travel with me, it is always a big surprise where you will end up. This day I led Patrick up to (almost) the highest point in Germany: the Zugspitze. We wanted to visit the Eibsee but also go for a cool hike around. I found a cool hiking route, but it was kind of challenging. Well we are fit… let’s see where this ends! :)
Eventually we walked for more than 9 hours and arrived back at my Peugeot 5008 around 9pm, but what an epic adventure it was. The hike is called Riffelscharte and it is a great way to see the Eibsee, hike up to a peak next to the Zugspitze and experience the Höllentalklam, a narrow canyon passage in the mountains.
Probably one of my best hiking adventures in Europe! Here are some impressions.
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All my hiking adventures in Germany in one post! From the Eibsee to the Tegernsee and everything in and between... . Being outdoors is the best place to be right now and hiking through the mountains Im pretty sure you won’t catch any Corona. Im not a specialist but you hardly come across any other people so there is very slim chance anyway. Being active outdoors is not only healthy but also resets your mind! Not that I need it... but hiking for hours feels like a kind of meditation! Anyone who can relate? . But for those who are writing me it is stupid to travel, I advice you to please stay home. For those who are taking a leap of faith in these uncertain times I will tell you again and again... this is the best time! 🙌🏻⛰ . Also what is your favorite place from all of these pictures? And may you need more info about the hikes, please be patient, I will post about them in detail on my blog soon! #hikersparadise #bavarianalps
After hiking the Riffelscharte and the Höllentalklam we decided to move onwards towards the Tegernsee where we would go for a hike the next day. We found a cheap place to stay: Lenggrieser Hof in Lenggries and paid only €65 for the night. The hotel was very old fashioned and simple, but good enough for a good sleep.
Watch all my travel adventures from hiking at the Eibsee and Zugspitze in my Instagram highlights: Germany 2.
Hiking around the Tegernsee
Patrick called a friend from Munich who was willing to guide us around on this beautiful day at the Tegernsee. She led us first steep uphill to the Riederstein Kapelle before we hiked onwards to the top of the Baumgartenschneid.
After yesterday’s big hike I couldn’t feel my legs anymore but we managed and a couple hours later we got back to the Tegernsee. I first wanted to go for a swim, but the water was pretty cold and I was being a pussy!
But on the other hand I still had to drop Patrick and his friend in Munich and then drive back down South to Innsbruck which was going to be my next destination on this road trip with Peugeot.
It happened that I only stayed in Innsbruck for 1 night in Hotel Central. It was a last minute deal but I only paid €95 for this standard but very nice hotel regarding the price, Nice buffet breakfast included.
Initially I wanted to stay longer in Innsbruck and Austria, but I got a confirmation to stay at a very nice place in Merano, South Tyrol, Italy.
Hotel Chalet Mirabell - Merano
The next morning I hopped onto the Brenner highway into Italy and 3 hours later I was checked in to what later became my favorite mountain chalet I ever stayed in. Staying in Hotel Chalet Mirabell was an absolutely amazing experience and very welcome after all my hiking in South Germany.
The wellness area with 4 different sauna’s, multiple relaxing rooms and even an infrared cinema sauna was the perfect place to rejuvenate. The infinity pool and even my balcony had the best mountain views. The breakfast was an absolute dream and was dinner. Four days in a row I didn’t leave the property, that is how fabulous my experience was.
Check out my review of Hotel Chalet Mirabell blog with more than 40 pictures and you will understand why…
My first stop after staying at Hotel Chalet Mirabell was Merano, but I wasn’t convinced. Sincerely though guys if you have limted time when visiting the South Tyrol region, don’t put Merano on your itinerary. Why not? Because it simply is just another small city. No Italian vibes, no beautiful squares to hang out, no colerful houses or anything that makes a city special to visit. My honest opinion do with it what you want!
Rainbow Lake Carezza
This is one of the emerald blue lakes from the Dolomites you see often passing by on Instagram. It is only 30 minutes from Bolzano so I had to make my way up there. It is located in the Eggental and the drive uphill is beautiful surrounded by the peak of the Dolomites constantly.
Getting to Lake Carezza is easy, walking around even easier. Read all my tips for visiting Lago di Carezza in my complete guide, including multiple photos, places nearby, etc.
Hotel Saltus - San Genesio
After Merano I moved into the hills just above Bolzano. Here in the charming village of San Genesio I found a brand new hotel that I wanted to check out. It was a gorgeous rooftop pool on Instagram that got my attention and that is how I ended up staying the next couple days in Hotel Saltus in Jenesien.
It was the place for total relaxation. Have a look at my Hotel Saltus review blog and find out what I loved about this hotel even more than the rooftop pool. The breakfast and the sauna were by the way also heavenly!
All my videos from my adventures in ITaly so far can be found in my Instagram highlights: Italy 2.
One of my favorite regions in South Tyrol is Alta Badia. I have been there in winter while snowboarding in Dolomiti Superski, but now I finally had the time to explore Alta Badia in summer. It turned out to be a couple epic days full of adventures.
First I went paragliding which was an absolute dream coming true. I mean I have had a lot of adventures around the world and did crazy things, but this was my first time. I had an absolute legend of a pilot who guided me through the take off and after that it is basically just: sit back, relax and enjoy! I did my tandemflight with Tandemflights Alta Badia.
Also had to take my drone (see my travel gear list for all my equipement) for a spin and hiked up to some lakes. Lake Boé is pretty easy to get to, the other one is located 15 minutes Southwest from Rifugio Franz Kostner where I had lunch. A great place to go for hiking as the majestic peaks of the Dolomites are looming large behind this mountain hut.
It was also my first time renting an e-bike and going on an adventure. I still didn’t have time to take my road bike for a ride and I was willing to ride Sella Ronda, but ended up taking an e-bike up the mountain and ride downhill. But not before I made several stops at different mountain huts.
Also when curious about more videos from the above things to do in Alta Badia then have a look at my Instagram highlights: Italy 3.
Ciao Bella Italia! I had to say goodbye as I was heading towards Pitztal to climb Austria’s second highest mountain: the Wildspitze. But I still had some time to visit my friend Arianne living in Innsbruck where we went cycling around the mountainous area.
Unfortunately I got the bad news that my expedition leading up to the top of Austria got cancelled due to bad weather! So I had to make new plans.
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When your friend is 3x World Champion you have to take a selfie! ⛷🥇🙌🏻😂 @ari_tricomi . Went cycling around hilly Innsbruck on a beautiful day and had the best guide ever! I brought my road bike with me on this road trip but actually hardly had time to ride. Still a big fan, but I was on the move too much to really use it. . Well days like these proofed I didn’t bring it for nothing! 🤗🚴🏼♂️ . Riding a bike is one of my fave ways to explore a place. You move around so easily, can stop wherever you want, you are active and breath fresh air! . Who else is a fan? . Guess the fact that Im from Holland 🚴🏼♂️🇳🇱 contributes to that, but hey guys whenever you can go for it! Grab a bike and start exploring... 👌🏻
Well who would have thought I would end up in Italia again towards the end of my road trip? And this was far! I made it to Verona, because I had friends asking me to come over and who were willing to show me around. I quickly looked on Airbnb and found a cool place to stay for €80 a night… that literally felt like I was staying in a castle. Here is the exact Aribnb link. Remeber that signing up through this link gives you €25 travel credit for free and it takes only 2 minutes. Easiest money ever earned!
It was about 20 minutes North of Verona in the little town of Grezzana. A little far from the city to be honest, but the fabulous accommodation made up for it. And besides that I had my Peugeot 5008 with me anyway.
Verona was were I actually felt the real Italian vibes. No bad word about South Tyrol, you guys know I love it, but it is more like Austria up there. The old city of Verona really is worth visiting. On my first day my friends took me for breakfast but I ended up coming back home at my Romeo and Juliet love suite way after midnight.
In Verona definitely go have dinner or lunch at Osteria Ponte Pietra Ristorante, one of the best restaurants in Verona with amazing food and views.
I hope all the above tips were helpful if you are planning a road trip to Southern Germany, Austria and Italy. Let me know if you have any more questions. Please send me a DM on my Instagram account @traveltomtom.
Thank you for keeping up with the adventures of Traveltomtom.