Driving to Desenzano Del Garda
I´ve driven twice to Desenzano using a rental car. The first time was when flying to Milano Malpensa airport and the second time to München (Munich) airport in Germany and then drove over the alps over to Lake Garda. This is how I did it. It is only to give you an idea not to be used as a definite guide.
Car rental at Milano Malpensa AirportI used Hertz which I got at Malpensa airport. I had ordered the car when I bought my airline ticket and that was a good call as the prices were higher on the airport. Good car, diesel as many cars are in Italy, and it was very economical fuel-wise.
I was not able to return the car in Desenzano as they didn´t have a office there. (Europcar has an office there though, I saw when I came there). I was however able to return it at Brescia Montichiari (Verona Brescia VRN for Ryan Air) which is about 20 minutes drive away using the highway. When I returned it nobody was there and I had to leave the key, well throw the key into their both through a hole in the window. Not very trustworthy. Then there was no parking available so I just parked it in front of other parked rental cars. But everything worked well in the end and I took a cab back to Desenzano which was about 55 euros.
The problem is that no Rental Car is cheap when you need it, only in odd times and odd circumstances. After checking many rental companies I found out that they all charge pretty much the same.
I will let you know when I find a better alternative but I think you are better off to take care of the rental car with your travel agency or your local dealer in your home country where you can communicate more efficiently and you are in a much better bargaining position.
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Car rental from München (Munich), Germany
Firstly, if you are going to go between countries you intend to go for longer distances then and hour or two, order a car with GPS Mapping system! To drive at 130+ km/h trying to read a map can be a very dangerous thing and also it is both trying and a agitating way to travel as there is so much to see on the way which is a better way to spend your time;)
I went through München (Munich) airport this summer, in a brand new Alfa Romeo 159 station Turbo diesel from Hertz. That was a nice driving experience, even though this car is not economical it is a fun drive on the German Autobahn as it has a bounch of horses in the engine room. I stayed one night in Munchen (I will put a link to it here later) as it is a 8 hour travel time and did not want to travel at night. I recommend this, find a economical hotel in or by the city and go early the next day. It will give you a extra treat to see the Alps in stead of just driving like a maniac, though that can be fun as well;)
Important regarding rental cars in Germany
If you decide to rent a car in Germany remember to tell them that you are going to drive to Italy as it is forbidden to take certain makes and models of cars over the border, such as Mercedes, Volkswaken and few others. If you are going to fly back using another airport than Munchen you will have to pay a extra fee, sometimes ridiculous fee. Also as GPS navigation system is not a standard in a car yet, check if the daily surcharge for the navigation system will eventually cost more than to rent a bigger model of car which has the GPS-navigation system built in.
Directions from München (Munich) to Lake Garda
As I mentioned befor, use a GPS, espesially if you are going to the hotel first or going to see the city. But this route is really simple though.
You have to find your way to Highway E45 and just stay on it until you reach Lake Garda. When you pass the Lake Garda there is a turn which says either Brescia or Milano, if you go the other direction at that intersection you go to Verona. If you do that by mistake, don´t worry it is only 20 minutes between Verona and Desenzano del Garda. You can take a smaller road before that big highway intersection but I recommend you stay at the big highway all the time until you reach Desenzano.
You go through Insbrück and through the Brennen canion. I put a google map here below for you to see. But use a GPS as there are a number of forks in the road which can take you off track very easally. I would not have wanted to make some of the decisions, driving at +130km, regarding forks on the road, a number of those "Stay on the left" and "Stay on the right" directions from the Navigation system where crusial for my mental health in this journey as it takes the stress away and helps you to drive carefully and calmly during this 8 hour trip.
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