Switzerland, famous for cheese, chocolate and mountains – This beautiful country will take your breath away with it’s amazing lakes, vast mountain ranges and wild flowers. Find out how to tour to Switzerland from the UK, with recommended stopovers and things to do in the Jungfrau and Lake Geneva regions.
The route to Switzerland from the UK allows you to take in other countries as you wind your way across mainland Europe. This route will take two weeks but it can easily be extended or reduced if required (the longer the better!). Breaking up the driving as much as possible gives the opportunity to see more places and have a break from the road so the longest drive on this trip is around 4/5 hours long (this route does not avoid tolls so avoiding them could alter travelling time).
This route crosses from Dover/Folkestone to Calais which is the best crossing for exploring this region. If South East Kent is a bit of a journey from your home there are a few stop-over options this side of the pond, including:
- Black Horse Caravan and Motorhome Club Site (they have ferry pitches for earlier arrivals/late leavers)
Stop 1 – Luxembourg (B in the map above)
After an early morning cross from Dover to Calais, the drive through France and Belgium to Luxembourg for the first stop (stocking up on baguettes and cheese on the way!) is the longest stretch of the journey.
A site just North of Luxembourg City gives the opportunity to fill up with much need water and plug in for a couple of days (details below). This campsite is set on the banks of the river Sûre where you can enjoy a stroll or cycle along the river paths.
Spending two nights here gives the opportunity to visit Luxembourg City – an interesting City to wonder around, having been built amid deep gorges cut by the Alzette and Pétrusse rivers, it is famed for its ruins of medieval fortifications. On researching the area, a large car park on the outskirts of the City seemed the best place for Motorhome parking (details below). Indeed a few motorhomes had stayed the night in this carpark (which has public toilets) and therefore could be a good wildcamp option for Luxembourg City as well!
This route allows for one day exploring the city but you could easily extend this to two or three days.
Stop 2 – Strasbourg (C in the map above)
A second stop option before Switzerland is in Strasbourg, winding along the France/Germany board gives the opportunity to pop across into Germany (although don’t expect too much if looking for a supermarket to stock up in – France is a better option for that!). On the outskirts of Strasburg is a free car park for local walking paths which provides a great wild spot for the night.
Car Park: Parking Place du Fortin
Stop 3 – Jungfrau, Switzerland (D in map above)
There is not enough words to describe the beauty of the Swiss mountains. Heading straight into the heart of Switzerland, Jungfrau is mesmerising with it’s vast mountains and stunning lakes – every aspect looks like a picture postcard!
A great base camp for exploring the this region is Camping Jungfrau, a site with quiet pitches as well as a restaurant and shop for all needs. A short walk from the site is both the train station and a cable car station, from here you can either catch the train to the ‘Top of Europe’ or a cable car to ‘Piz Gloria’ – both are not to be missed.
The ‘Top of Europe‘ takes you to the highest train station in Europe where you can marvel at the stunning scenery, explore the ice caves as well as enjoy a Lindt chocolate treat!
Piz Gloria offers some fantastic experiences, including; Skyline View Platform, 360°-Restaurant Piz Gloria, James Bond experience and a sky walk with glass floors – not for the weak of heart!
Campsite: Camping Jungfrau
Stop 4 – Geneva, Switzerland (E on the map above)
After the breathtaking mountain ranges, the next port of call in Switzerland is Geneva and it’s crystal clear lake. Just outside Geneva, on the banks of the lake is a convenient campsite, Camping Morgs.
From here you can take in the beautiful scenery as you walk or cycle along the lake side paths for as far as you choose!
You can also hop on the train straight into the centre of Geneva, the station is a 15min (0.75mile) walk from the site. There is so much to explore within Geneva but an excursion not to be missed is the Mont-Saleve cable car, a short bus ride from Geneva centre will take you to the cable car base and from the top the views over Geneva are the best you can get from the ground!
Campsite: TCS Camping Morges
Stop 5 – Champagne, France (F on the map above)
This route takes in the champagne region of France as it’s final stop on route back to Calais. A good mid-way point with a beauty all of its own, famous for our favourite bubbly drink, the champagne region also boasts stunning scenery amongst the meticulously planted vines.
A quiet aire just outside of Ay, enables you to soak in the beautiful views from the comfort of your van as well as being a short stroll down the hillside into Ay itself, a picturesque French town (the walk back up the hill is steep so wear comfortable shoes or grab a taxi for the return journey!)
Here are a few things to remember and advice for the above route:
- French Tolls – This route also takes you through some French tolls, these could be avoided by selecting ‘Avoid Tolls’ within your google maps settings. If you don’t mind the tolls or time restraints means you’ll accept them then don’t worry about coins, all the tolls take credit card so you can just pop your card in and be on your way!
- Switzerland Motorway Vignette – This route takes you onto the Swiss motorways and therefore you will need a vignette sticker in your vehicle. We suggest buying one in advance to avoid queing at the board stops but make sure you allow enough time for postage.
You can purchase one here: Switzerland Travel Centre
- Swiss Half Fare Pass – Purchasing a Swiss travel pass in advance might save you money, especially if you plan to do the excursions within Switzerland mentioned above. It will also save you money on trains, like the one into Geneva from Morges – it’s worth running the calculations to check (we definitely got a good use out of it)! You can purchase one here: Switzerland Travel Centre
- Speed Limits – Speed limits can change from country to country depending on the size of the unit you are driving, it’s always best to check in advance to ensure you stay on the right side of the law! Comfort insurance do a good reference table for speed limits in different countries here: Speed Limits