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Campervan hire Switzerland

From skiing down fresh-powdered slopes to hiking up a daunting trail, and from dips in Alpine lakes to dipping bread in cheese fondue, Switzerland will melt your heart.

 

Sat in the heart of the Old Continent and between all of your favourite countries, Switzerland is Europe’s sweet spot. In the affluent north, trendy cosmopolitan cities are the right size to bedazzle, whilst not overwhelm–– making them a perfect urban intermezzo from the rural south, where quaint mountain villages move to the sound of cowbells rising from the pastures below, and where winding back roads and exhilarating mountain passes turn alpine backdrops into life-sized adventures. Hire a campervan in Switzerland and let adventure kick in, as you drive your campervan or motorhome from the green depths of the valleys up to the daunting heights of the Alps.

 

Getting around Switzerland by campervan

 

Diesel prices for your campervan hire in Switzerland are the same as in neighbouring countries, except for Austria, where diesel is cheaper.

When driving a campervan or motorhome in Switzerland, keep in mind that speeding limits 120km/h (80mph), while expressways are limited to 100km/h (62mph).

Switzerland’s dense road network is perfect for campervan road trips. Be aware that alpine roads often are two-lane and sometimes lack central reservation. Prepare for snowfall in winter by bringing snow chains. Also, some passes might be closed due to snow.

Swiss motorways have tolls, for which you need a vignette. When you rent an RV in Switzerland, , buy a vignette at a gas station.

Campervan road trips are popular in the Alps, and Switzerland has many private and public motorhome campsites across the country, as well as fully-equipped camping sites.

 

The national currency is the Swiss franc (CHF). Switzerland is more expensive than other European countries. An average three-course meal for two costs about 100CHF (approximately 85€). Tips are not expected, as a service charge is added, but you can round the bill up to the nearest franc.

Switzerland’s climate is temperate, with warm summers and cold winters. Precipitation varies according to latitude, with the lower areas generally being drier.

Swiss are welcoming and polite people, and always greet each other in public, whether in the streets or in an elevator. Most encounters are sealed with shake hands.

Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansch. Many people speak at least some English, especially in the German regions.

While local cuisine varies from region to region, some dishes are the nation’s favourites. Cheese fondue is served in a pot with bread, while raclette is melted cheese served as half a wheel and scraped off. Rösti is delicious fried potato cake, and älplermargronen the original mac ‘n cheese!

 

About Switzerland

Switzerland is like a giant fondue. It’s a melting pot of French, German, and Italian regions divided over 26 bite-sized cantons. But why do with 26 provinces in a country half the size of Portugal? That’s because a confederation was first formed in 1291 by three confederate allies known as the ‘Forested Sites’, or Waldstätte. It was then extended to ‘Eight Old Places’ (Acht Alten Orte) in the fourteenth century. By the late-eighteenth century, five more Alten Orte had been added, making thirteen. Then, in 1798, Napoleon tried imposing one central government under the Helvetic Republic, which held for five years––until the Swiss came to the conclusion that thirteen is a far greater number than one, and that twenty-six is twice as much as thirteen!

It also means infinitely more fun when you hire a campervan in Switzerland to start an epic road trip along as many cantons as you can. Along Jura, a sub-alpine pasture paradise of farms, vineyards, and Freiberger horses; to urban and artsy Basel, where witty design and odd art make a medieval city thoroughly modern; past the cantons of Zürich and Schaffhausen, between which lies the roaring Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfall; up the mighty Matterhorn, in the canton of Valais; and down to Montreux, following the charming Swiss Riviera. However much you choose to fit in your RV road trip, Switzerland has cantons to spare!

 

What to discover

In and around the country

Jungfrau-Aletsch

If you’d condense all of the beauty of the Alps into a single reserve, you’d get the Aletsch Glacier. This alpine world consists of snow and ice, rocks and crevices, forests and flowers, cultures, and villages unique to this part of the Alps.

The Aletsch Glacier can be admired from multiple vantage points: from the Moosfluh, Bettmerhorn, Eggishorn, of Jungfraujoch––which can all be reached via rail and cableways from the base.

Matterhorn

The pyramid-shaped Matterhorn is Switzerland’s most famous landmark, and the Alps’ most iconic mountain. Its 4,478 meters of rock, snow, and steep ridges have mountaineers raving fanatically about the stories surrounding this legendary peak, and passive passersby, too, can’t help but be entranced by the majestic mountain.

Zermatt lies at the foot of the Matterhorn, and serves as a perfect base to explore the Matterhorn!

Rheinfall

Biggest and best aren’t just adjectives to mountains in Switzerland; the cantons of Schaffhausen and Zürich are home to the Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfall. At 150 metres wide, the sheer amount of water crashing down and propelled further down the Rhine River is astounding.

The best way to experience this force of nature is by taking a boat tour to the falls.

 

Top Regions

Explore Valais

From the depths of the Rhône River Valley, to the heights of Matterhorn, Switzerland’s southernmost canton is full of natural beauty. As one of the largest Swiss regions, Valais has ample room for farms and vineyards in its green valleys––which are some of the country’s most fertile, receiving less rain and more sunshine than up north. At the same time, Valais is home to all of Switzerland’s highest peaks, with Monte Rosa topping the list!

To properly explore the region, hire a campervan in Valais by starting in Geneva and traveling along its lake, at the other side of which your new favourite mountainscape rises from the peaceful valley below. Follow the Rhône River and stop at Matter Valley, with alpine lakes and a most-iconic backdrop: that of the Matterhorn. At Matterhorn’s base, go skiing, hiking, or eat like an emperor at one of the famous fine-dine restaurants. In the Bernese Alps up north, visit Lötschen Valley, probably the most picturesque valley of the region, with tiny villages dotting flowery plains.

Travel to Jura

The northwestern Jura canton is the newest member of the Swiss Confederation. It’s lush and forested, and très French––except for the village of Ederswiler, where the locals speak German. The canton borders France, after all, and shows its ties to its western neighbor with a new highway, the A16, to… yes, France! Besides that, the Jura produces great wine, something both the locals and the French enjoy––a lot. Jura is rooted in tradition, which culminates in the canton’s most-honoured resident, the Freiberger. Who’s this Freiberger, you ask? Jura’s own horse breed! You’ll still find horses galloping around the Jura today!

Are you a thoroughbred road tripper? Then rent a motorhome or campervan in Basel and make your way down to Jura, where your first stop is Delémont, a picturesque town of 12,000 inhabitants, medieval buildings, and a beautiful surrounding of meadows, foothill, and ancient gorges. Talkin about ancient, do you know where the word jurassic (as in Jurassic Park) comes from? That’s right, from the Jura region, which sits right on top of marine limestone from 65 million years ago, and in which thousands of dinosaur footprints have been discovered. Therefore, a visit to the Prehistoric Park of Reclere is mighty interesting! And if you’re more into Jurassic Park without the dinos, go hiking or cycling in the beautiful Jura-Swiss Park, which Route Verte is most gorgeous!

 

Visit Bern

Located in central Switzerland, the canton of Bern isn’t just about the country’s capital. Yes, the bear-themed capital, with its Altstadt and Bundeshaus, is worth a visit. But for road-trip fanatics, the canton is much more. It’s sights of soaring heights, like those of the Eiger and the Jungfrau; hikes through the Bernese Alps; trailing around Grindelwald; or strolling through the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

To explore the canton, instead of hiring a campervan in Bern, consider renting an RV in either Geneva (to the Southwest), Basel (to the North) or Zurich (to the Northeast) and drive to the Swiss capital. Start by getting to know the Bern’s medieval Old Town. Make sure to be at the main square when the Zytglogge chimes the hours and, also, to greet Bern’s bears along the banks of Aare River. Get back into your rental motorhome and head to Grindelwald, a cute village and gateway to the Jungfrau Region, where hiking trails make way for skiing slopes in winter, and waterfalls burst out of limestone walls. South of Grindelwald, at the foot of the 3,970-metres-high Eiger, you’ll find exactly that: Staubbach Falls crashing down from the dramatic limestone cliffs shadowing the town of Lauterbrunnen.

 

Discover Appenzell

Together with Appenzell Ausserrhoden, the northeastern Appenzell Innerrhoden once formed the historic canton of Appenzell––but the religious quarrels of the Swiss Reformation split the canton in half. Appenzell Innerrhoden is the prettiest of the two, with most of the surrounding Alpstein Mountains in its territory. Nowhere in Switzerland will you find the valley below and the surrounding mountains complement each other the way they do in Appenzell.

Start your Switzerland RV rental in Zürich and head east to the Appenzell district, where you’ll come across the aptly-named town of Appenzell, right at the foot of the Alpstein Mountains. From nearby Wasserauen, a cable car heads up the Ebenalp, where the Wildkirchli Caves show traces of the prehistoric hunter-gatherers that called these crevices their home. Carved into the same mountain are a hermitage and restaurant, seated along a stunning hiking trail! The trail is demanding, but doesn’t require hiking expertise––so give it a try!

Explore Switzerland - tipical buildings
Explore Switzerland - beautiful view for the mountains
Explore Switzerland - tipical houses in the mountains
Explore Switzerland - sunset behind a beautiful bridge
Explore Switzerland - train on the bridge
Explore Switzerland - bridge on the rocks
Explore Switzerland - bridge in the river
Explore Switzerland - mountains with snow
Explore Switzerland - sidewalk in the mountains
Explore Switzerland - house in the mountains
Explore Switzerland - biker in the mountains
Explore Switzerland - fountain and boat in the river
Discover Geneva - high fountain in the middle of a river

Campervan hire in Geneva

Indie Campers Geneva Depot
Avenue Voltaire, 01210 Ferney-Voltaire

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Campervan hire in Basel

Indie Campers Basel Depot
EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg - 68304 Saint-Louis

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Campervan hire in Zürich

Indie Campers Zürich Depot
Hohenkrähenstraße 11 - 79798 Jestetten

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