Driving from the UK or Ireland to Lake Como is an achievement in itself and not for the faint-hearted. You need to plan your route in advance and be prepared for any roadworks, redirections etc and not get into a panic. It is important to keep calm when traffic builds up and be prepared for tail-gaiting when you hit the Italian roads. However don’t be discouraged from driving, this is just taking a practical view on what you should consider before deciding to take your car abroad.
There are lots of advantages of taking your own car as you can decide when you want to stop and eat, go sightseeing, spend a night or two staying in another country as part of your holiday. It is also ideal for when you do arrive in Lake Como as it allows you to go travelling up through the mountains and seeing some of the beautiful villages that you may have otherwise not have managed to visit. You can also take day trips to places such as St. Moritz, Milan, Genoa, the Dolomites or even take a visit to Lake Garda too.
There are various websites such as the RAC, AA and even Google maps which will help plan your route for you which you can print off and take with you. Our own experience of driving from the UK was a good one, we travelled down to Newcastle, took the overnight DFDS Seaways ferry across to Amsterdam and then planned our route to drive mostly through Germany, which was a very straightforward drive and the transport cafes serve excellent food. Another time we drove the French motorways which do have tolls, but the roads were excellent.
Depending on when you book the ferry, you can get a reasonable discount. You can take the ferry from the following UK ferry ports arriving in mainland Europe;
- Newcastle arriving in Amsterdam (dfdseaways)
- Hull to Rotterdam or Zeebrugge (direct ferries)
- Harwich to Hook of Holland (direct ferries)
- Dover to Dunkerque/Calais/Boulogne (direct ferries)
- Folkestone to Calais (direct ferries)
- Newhaven to Dieppe (direct ferries)
Once again these are just a few routes that you can take from UK ports.
Alternatively why not drive further down to Folkestone and take the Eurotunnel to France. The crossing only takes approximately 30 minutes.
Please note that if you are travelling through Switzerland, you will need to buy the road tax sticker which costs €40-€50. This can be purchased at any service station in Switzerland.