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Driving In Switzerland

Worthing, United...
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Driving In Switzerland

We're touring Switzerland in our motorhome for the latter half of April, visiting Lucerne, Interlaken, Raron and Lausanne hoping to visit close to The Eiger, The matterhorn and some scenic mountain routes that are open. I'm equipped with snow chains but hope they're not necessary, however what are road conditions like at this time ? Any advice or experiences you can share will be appreciated, many thanks.

PS we won't be on a skiing holiday !

Martigny...
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1. Re: Driving In Switzerland

You will need to make arrangements to spend the nights in camping sites... have you thought about this? The TCS (Touring Club) runs a lot of them and you can get info on their site -- www.tcs.ch Also given the narrow roads and restricted areas (lots of pedestrian areas too) in our towns, motorhomes are best left outside towns and you would then take a bus or a train in. There is a campsite near Lauterbrunnen that you could use to be near the Jungfrau, and then of course you would take a train up the mountain.

All the high passes are closed, and will be closed till early June at the soonest. Some lower passes are open, including the Brünig which you can take between Luzern and Interlaken.

Why Raron? As far as I can see it doesn't have much to recommend it...unless you plan to camp there and take a train up to Zermatt, for example.

Lausanne - not an easy place to navigate so don't try to drive there. Find a camp site and take public transport into town. And perhaps this will help --http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g188107-c180593/Lausanne:Switzerland:Visiting.Lausanne.For.The.First.Time.html

Between Raron and Lausanne I would strongly recommended visiting Sion and Martigny as well as Montreux.

For Martigny - tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g580371-s4/Martigny… and note that camper vans etc can park in the parking lot of the Gianadda museum... which is very convenient. In lausanne I would suggest finding something at Ouchy so you can take the Metro into town.

I doubt you will need chains but having snow tyres would perhaps not be a bad idea - though we normally take ours off mid April.

Worthing, United...
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2. Re: Driving In Switzerland

Hello Hambaghle, I'd already read a few of your inputs and hoped you'd reply to this. Yes we have booked sites, The CI in Lucerne, which makes it local to use a bus outside into town, similar in Interlaken and have gleaned info from the Tourist Info.( live chat) in those locations too. In addition Raron for those places we'd like to see the mountains, aware that a lot of passes are closed but would love to get close to the Eiger, the villages of Merringue, Murren and Wengen to name but three and want to know if thats possible. Moving on after this to Le Bouveret on the end of the lake some distance down from Lausanne.

It is very difficult to get accurate info on the roads and passes, the info is limited to Youtube video and "The European Driving Handbook" to see the roads and gradients not the actual conditions in April, the generic weather data for temperature and rainfall. I take your advice and will try to visit Martigny, Montreax and Sion, another major consideration for us is we have a special needs adult son( who is able bodied )and finding a toilet with only short notice means the motorhome's importance is paramount unless we've done our homework on locating toilets in advance, which with help on line we've got Lucerne and Interlaken covered even though they are rarely free. So Hambaghle, I've now laid bare the situation and any further advice you have is most welcome, thankyou for your time and trouble.

Martigny...
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3. Re: Driving In Switzerland

OK - I understand!

Raron is not a good place to stay if you want to visit the Jungfrau area -- Eiger, Mürren and Meiringen (actually Meiringen is near lake Brienz, on the flat !!) If you stay in Raron you will have to put your van on the train from Goppenstein to Kandersteg because there won't be any passes open to get you from the Valais to the Oberland AND then you will have to drive down from Kandersteg to Spiez (not to mention up to Goppenstein from Gampel!) both of which roads are steepish and hair pin bends etc. this is not something you want to do for several days in a row!! I suggest you look at the Interlaken area and see if you cannot find a campsite there. That would be tons easier. Raron would be OK if you want to visit Zermatt as it is not a long drive from there to Täsch where you must take the train in to Zermatt.. 12 min ride and there is a lot of parking available at the station in Täsch.

Le Bouveret is very nice but not all that handy for visiting Lausanne.... and BTW I would not visit Lausanne if I were you - I would go to Montreux and Vevey and the Château de Chillon. You can do this by boat, easily, from le Bouveret. The reason I say not to go to Lausanne is its topography. It stretches out on a long hillside which is in turn bi-sected by a ravine. (The Flon). the old town in Lausanne is very nice but you cannot get near it with a car, let alone a motorhome. Nearest parking would be at la Ripponne and I am not sure they have space for motorhomes there... At Vevey as long as it is not Tues or Sat you can park in the large openair parking at the "Grande Pace" also known as the Place du Marché... At Montreux you can park right at Chillon (from le Bouveret you take the route cantonal towards Monthey and there is a new road which is most likely not on maps nor in GPS yet (!) that is signposted for Montreux and Villeneuve. This takes you over to Villeneuve in less than 5 mins. Then you take the route cantonale towards Montreux, passing through Villeneuve, and Chillon is on your left. At le Bouveret is the Swiss Vapeur Parc (miniature but working trains) and Aquapark which is a huge water sports complex which might be of interest. le Bouveret is quite small but has a nice big Migros supermarket more or less at the entrance to the town.

Now about toilets. There are rest areas on all the autoroutes and they have free toilets. Then any café will be more than glad to let you use theirs IF you buy a drink. Most trains also have toilets, even the smaller ones...though the latter is unpredictable. And almost all stations do too. But I agree, it is a concern. (I have two grandchildren who are very young and it is also a concern of mine whenever we take a day trip with them, so I know just what you mean!!)

Hope this helps you sort it out. And feel free to ask more questions if you have them!

Southport, United...
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4. Re: Driving In Switzerland

There are a number of camp sites in the Meiringen area. I have seen motorhomes at those in Meiringen and the one on the Hasliberg. If you go to www.haslital.ch and then click on accommodation and then camping having first changed the site to English you will find lots of information. I have never stayed at any of them or know when they are open.

Worthing, United...
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5. Re: Driving In Switzerland

Hi Marmot12, the web site is good and it gives us some alternatives, I think we will start off as planned in Interlaken and either move on to the area there after 4 days OR seeing it looks comparatively close may include it from Interlaken, depends I suppose very much on the weather, roads and whether our appetite has been satisfied in and around Interlaken by then. So many variables, should have researched and planned for June with hindsight ! Many thanks for taking the trouble.

Munich, Germany
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6. Re: Driving In Switzerland

The toilet/rest stops on theAutobahns are well maintained.

With your sons needs there are a number of issues to take into account. Specifically those towns which are car free. You wont for instance be able to park your camper in the towns themselves and therefore have the camper available to you.

This is important for instance if you wish to visit Zermatt.

The nearest campsites to Zermatt is down the valley between the villages of Randa and Taesch

www.restaurant-holeinone.ch/en/home/home.html

restaurant-holeinone.ch/34aeddab19b9509ecd49…

http://www.campingtaesch.ch/home.html

http://www.campingtaesch.ch/location.html

You would have to leave your van there and only use public transport to Zermatt and this may make your life difficult as far as your son is concerned.

The local public transport only runs every 25mins or so.

This may be a recurring theme generally. You may find campsites are way outside of your places of interests and find yourself more reliant on public transport.

Worthing, United...
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7. Re: Driving In Switzerland

Hello Giftzwerg, thankyou for your reply, I am learning fast ! The trains have toilets and I think I will be doing a few trips that way,and less of driving through the passes. I think we will get to see more of an overview of Switzerland this time, and may return next year at a later time to get better access as see it at its best. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

8. Re: Driving In Switzerland

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