Switzerland is bursting with beauty, culture, cuisine, and exciting activities. Whether you come to visit the snowcapped mountains coated in the lights and life of winter or drive by the lakes and soak in the vibrant colours of the spring, Switzerland is always ready to provide an unforgettable road trip.
The best all-around vehicle for a holiday in Switzerland is a Deluxe or Budget-friendly Camper, which is packed with everything you’ll need to fulfil your basic needs, plus enough room for everyone to relax in the back. The larger Premium Class Camper is ideal for anyone who wants a fully equipped camper with more space to go around. However, these are more expensive and can be more challenging to drive. If you want to take a more rugged approach to your road trip, check out the compact 4WD Camper.
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Switzerland is a fantastic country filled with cheesy fondues and legendary chocolate. The nation provides an incredible variety of scenic drives, from twisting mountain passes to peaceful riverside roads, making it an excellent choice for a campervan road trip. It also happens to have some of the best ski resorts in the world.
The biggest cities in Switzerland are Bern, its capital, Zürich, Geneva, and Basel. While these large urban spaces have modernised, traces of the nation’s long cultural history are evident in each city’s medieval old centres. Friendly lakeside towns that are popular destinations for both summer and winter holidays include Lucerne, Neuchâtel, Lausanne, and Lugano.
Switzerland also has a range of national parks, nature parks, wildlife reserves, and biospheres that preserve and present the country’s enduring natural beauty. As Switzerland is an Alpine nation, many protected areas are mountain ranges, such as Parc Ela, Gantrisch, and Gruyère Pays-d'Enhaut. For a change of scenery, visit Diemtigtal, Binntal, and Sihlwald to see rolling hills, fauna-filled forests, and picturesque river valley villages.
Here’s why a campervan is an ideal companion for a trip to Switzerland:
Campsites are Cheaper than Hotels: Although campsites in Switzerland are pricier than in other European countries, they still beat the average Swiss hotel cost of £140 a night.
Wild Camping is Allowed: Many of Switzerland’s cantons allow campers to sleep in wild places overnight for free.
Give Yourself More Flexibility: A campervan gives you a huge amount of freedom and flexibility on the road, meaning you can adjust your holiday on the fly if you find something you don’t want to miss out on.
Breathtaking Alpine Views: Switzerland is famous for its forest and mountain landscapes, with dozens of roads that twist their way through the Alps, offering panoramic views from every window.
The centre of Bern is a UNESCO-listed medieval old town filled with sandstone buildings hiding indoor markets and shady cafés. The best sights are the Zytglogge, an 800-year-old mechanical clock in the historic western gate, the majestic architecture of the Bundeshaus (Parliament), and the gothic towers of the Berner Münster Cathedral. Once you leave the old town, you can head to higher grounds for a stroll around the romantic Rose Garden or visit the Hammam & Spa Oktogon to soak your stress away.
Dozens of grand medieval castles dotted around Switzerland open their baroque doors and vibrant gardens for interested tourists. If you enjoy a hilltop castle, the forts of Castelgrande and Castello di Montebello in Bellinzona or Sion’s towering Tourbillon Castle are your best bet. The oldest castles with the richest histories are the 10th-century Schloss Spiez and the 13th-century Schloss Oberhofen in the Bern canton.
The quaint hilltop town of Gruyères is the birthplace of Gruyère cheese, the main ingredient in an authentic Swiss fondue. To get the best fondue, head to Le Chalet de Gruyères and eat your meal inside a cosy log cabin in the heart of the historic centre. While you’re there, sample Switzerland’s other popular delicacy: chocolate. Visit the Chocolaterie de Gruyères to taste traditional chocolate treats made from regional Swiss products.
If you’re only staying in one spot this summer, make it the leisure town of Interlaken. A popular tourist resort that’s literally wedged between two lakes, Thunersee and Brienzersee, Interlaken has a range of exciting summer activities, including hiking, canyon climbing, and parasailing. Of course, being near the lakes means there’s a wide variety of water sports, such as kayaking, white water rafting, water skiing, and windsurfing.
Scattered across Switzerland’s Alpine landscape are vast, crystal-clear lakes that are fed by melted glaciers and snow banks from the tallest mountains. These calm, fresh waters offer a perfect setting for a peaceful nature hike or canoe ride. The biggest and best ones to visit are Lake Geneva, Lake Constance, and Lake Neuchâtel. Beautiful lakes can also be found near the towns of Lugano, Zürich, and Lucerne.
Lucerne’s historic centre runs along the bank of the river Reuss and is formed of narrow buildings and cobblestone streets. The colourful yet austere houses provide a romantic setting for a day of historical exploration. Interesting attractions include the wooden 14th-century Chapel Bridge, the old city defences known as the Musegg Wall, and the fossil-filled Glacier Garden. If you’re up for the challenge, try to summit the nearby Mount Pilatus to get a 360° view of the region’s peaks and lakes.
Switzerland’s Alpine landscape has led to the creation of some incredible roads that wind back and forth along the side of a mountain before cresting the peak and arriving at a pristine view. These scenic switchback routes are called mountain passes, and the most iconic one is the Furka Pass near the country's centre. The best routes in the east of Switzerland are the Bernina Pass and the Maloja Pass. The Great St Bernard Pass is the most popular drive in the West. Please note that some of these roads are only accessible when the snow has melted, so check that the route is open in advance.
Stretching across the Rhine River, which acts as the border between Switzerland and Germany, is the Rhine Falls, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Standing at an impressive 150 metres wide, the average summer water flow is 600 m3/s, enough to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool every four seconds. Opposite the falls is Laufen Castle, a medieval stone structure now serving as a restaurant and youth hostel.
Switzerland’s vast Alpine ranges have made it a world-famous haven for winter sports fans. The best ski resort is Saint Moritz which has hosted two Winter Olympics, followed closely by Klosters, which is favoured by both celebrities and members of the British Royal Family. A more affordable and family-friendly option is the resort town of Arosa, which offers ski passes for as little as £27 per day if you book in advance.
Switzerland’s central city is brimming with cultural excursions, like the Swiss National Museum, the FIFA Museums, and the Museum of Fine Arts. Architecture fans will enjoy the historic Rathaus (Town Hall), the Grossmünster Cathedral, and the delicate stain-glass windows of the Fraumünster Church. Travellers arriving near the end of the year will be able to shop at Zürich’s Christmas Markets, including the massive indoor market at the main station.
Here are the best campervan-friendly campsites in Switzerland. Some of them are only open seasonally, from around March to October, so please check your dates with the camp before you travel.
in Arosa: Another great base for skiers is at the foot of the Alpine slopes in the Schanfigg Valley, a gorgeous and popular spot in the winter. Water and electric hookup pitches go for £40 during the ski season, and a kitchenette with laundry facilities and a snack machine is available for guests to use.
near Leuk: This friendly hilltop campsite is in the stunning Rhône Valley and features a large swimming pool with views across the forested mountains. The camp also has a restaurant with a sun terrace, outdoor leisure activities, an indoor games room, and laundry services. Electric and water hookup pitches with access to hot showers cost £40 per night.
in Bern: For £41 per day for an electric hookup pitch, stay in the capital at this riverside camp, complete with hot showers, an onsite restaurant, and free travel throughout all of Bern’s public transport network.
in Gruyères: This campsite is located on the slopes of the Gruyères Mountains in a large meadow enclosed by shady pines. Pitches with an electric hookup cost a flat total of £40 daily, and the camp has a refreshment hut, laundry facilities, and an outdoor games area for guests to use.
in Interlaken: Perched on a river bank on the outskirts of Interlaken, this campsite is a great base when visiting the summer city. The facilities include a dishwasher and washing machine, a tv lounge, a kitchenette, ping pong tables, and a natural beach. Prices start at £39 a day for a pitch with an electric hookup.
near Lausanne: This lakeside camp is a naturist site, although children are allowed. The camp features a swimming pool, lake beach, cycle paths, refreshment bar, and community kitchen. Electric pitches start from £35 a day.
in Lucerne: This camp is situated less than 2 miles along the lakeside from the centre of Lucerne. The campsite comes equipped with washing machines and dishwashing stations, a library lounge, BBQ areas, and a bistro and kiosk. Electric hookup pitches go for £48 per night.
near Zürich: This campsite is based in the heart of a nature reserve on the border of Greifen Lake, about 25 minutes away from Zürich. Electric pitches are available for as low as £30 a night, and you can take advantage of the on-site camp shop, kiosk, snack bar, washing machines, and outdoor leisure activities.
in Saint Moritz: The ideal stop for any Saint Moritz skier, this hillside camp has amazing views and helpful facilities, including a restaurant, a mini market, kitchenettes, and washing machines. For £40 for a hookup pitch, you can benefit from a football field, tennis courts, and exotic excursions like clay pigeon shooting and mushroom hunts.
near Lugano: The peaceful Paradise Camp is nestled against the edge of Lake Lugano beneath the Val Mara mountains. Leisure activities include ping pong tables and e-bike and paddleboard rentals. The sanitary facilities contain showers, washing machines, and dishwashing sinks. Electric pitches start at £38.50 per night.
You must have a valid Type B (Standard) Driving Licence to rent a motorhome in Switzerland. You must also be at least 21 years old to rent a campervan and have at least one year of driving experience, although some companies prefer drivers to be at least 23 years old.
Wild camping in a motorhome in Switzerland or “overnighting” is strictly prohibited.
Switzerland has over 350 campsites, starting at around 22 Swedish francs per night.
Note: policies vary from supplier to supplier. Always check the T&Cs for your rental.