In the Summer of 2016 we had a roadtrip through Europe and Switzerland was included. We hadn’t been there before, but were curious to see the beauty of Switzerland. We had 4 days in total in Switzerland and loved it. Our days were marked by camping, the beautiful mountains, cheese, glaciers and sadly rain.
4 days in Switzerland: itinerary
In this blog I describe the route we took on those 4 days in Switzerland. Lots to see and do on the route. 4 days isn’t enough to explore the whole of Switzerland. We roughly followed a route, from Italy to France, through Switzerland and took 4 days for that in August of 2016.
Where to start 4 days in Switzerland
We started our stay in Switzerland at the Umbrailpass. After that we took the Stelviopass, crossing from Italy into Switzerland. We had fantastic views and lots of hairpin turns driving down from 2758 meters. It was a stunning, first acquaintance with Switzerland. We drove down to Santa Maria Val Mustair, a small town where we had breakfast and a short stroll through town. Mustair is the most eastern township of Switzerland.
Parc Naziunal Svizzer
This is the only National Park in Switzerland, and it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s also the largest wilderness area in Switzerland. The highest mountain in the park is Piz Pisoc with 3100 meters. The visitor center is in Zernez. The park is closed from the middle of November till May for winterrest. The park offers 21 hiking routes. I made a hike from an hour and loved it. The men stayed at the parking lot during that time, they didn’t feel like hiking.
The park also offers guided hikes, educational trails and there’s the Smelzra museum where you’ll find a mining exhibition and bear exhibition. The park was founded in 1914 and is the oldest national park in the Alps and central Europe.
The famous skitown is also worth a visit in the Summer. We stayed one night at TCS camping St. Moritz. Surrounded by trees, mountains and near a large lake. The campsite is on 1800 meters an it’s a hiking and mountainbike paradise. On the lake there’re different sorts of watersports possible.
Going deeper into Switzerland
From St. Moritz we drove through Parc Ela. Which is a nature park and has stunning views. We loved driving through this part of Switzerland. Parc Ela offers high mountainpeaks, broad views, mountainlakes and glaciers.
After Parc Ela we visited the beautiful town of Chur. We could only pay it a short visit since we didn’t have enough coins for the parkingmeter. Chur is placed at the beginning of the Rhinevalley. It’s on an axe of different traderoutes between the Bodensee and the Alp mountain passes. Chur has named itself the oldest city of Switzerland, since the Romans started a settlement here in the first century b.c.
There’s plenty to see and do in and around Chur. There’s the Bündner Kunstmuseum, old town of Chur, Bündner Naturmuseum, Obere gasse, St. Martin Church, Rätisches museum, St.Lucius Church, bischöflicher Hof, Rathaus and the Regierungsplatz. We saw a bit of the old town, and paid a short visit to the Cathedral of Chur. Which is a beautiful Roman and Gothic style church.
After Chur we followed the road next to the Rhine. We stopped and stayed one night at TCS camping Disentis. This campsite has a small lake with lots of options to have fun, like a waterplay are, boating and kayaking.
The campsite is ideal as a starting point to go on hikes in the surrounding mountains. Visit the 1400 year old Disentis abbey or go panning for gold in the river. Not too far away is the Reinequelle, where the Rhine originates.
Sadly we didn’t get to enjoy all these outdoor activities since we had a lot of rain while here.
3 Passes tour
This is a tour you can take on your own, it covers the Süstenpass (2224 meters), the Grimselpass (2165 meters) and the Furkapass (2436 meters). It’s a classic tour which we took by car. The tour is 120 kilometers long. The tour gives spectacular views on snowcapped mountains, glaciers and beautiful mountain lakes. The road was built in the 19th century.
The passes itself are great to drive over and stop at, but there’re more attractions along the way. Towns worth stopping in are Wassen, Innerthirchen, Hospental, Andermatt and Göschenen. Attractions are the Handeggfall (a waterfall), Meienreussbrücke, Furkastrasse, Eisgrotte Rhone glacier and the Teufelsbrücke.
The Rhonegletscher is a glacier you can approach pretty close by car. Nowhere in Europe can you come this close to a glacier.
Since 1870 each year they dig a tunnel with an ice chamber in the glacier. In June it starts at 100 meters and at the end of season in October 30 meters have melted away. The start is at Hotel Belvédère, next to that there’s an glacier panorama viewpoint, an Kneipp- and Alpgarden and a glacier learning path. On pictures you can clearly see how much the glacier has retreated over the years.
We stayed one night at Hotel Gerig after driving the 3 passes tour. A hotel already at the 5th generation of owners of the same family. From the hotel you have a view on the historical Gotthard-Eisenbahn.
Wassen is ideal for exploring mountain passes. It’s close to several passes: Süsten, Grimsel, Furka, Oberalp. Lukmanier and Gotthard. The vicinity is perfect for hiking, fishing and mountain climbing.
The End of 4 days in Switzerland
From Wassen we drove over the Süstenpass one last time and then headed to Meiringen. After that we passed through Brienz, Interlaken and Thun. Driving on the banks of the Brienzersee and Thunersee. Sadly we didn’t have time to explore, but it was such a beautiful region we simply need to get back here someday.
To end our stay in Switzerland we visited the Emmentaler Schaukäserei. The museum shows how the famous Emmentaler cheese is made and the production of cheese over the ages. On site are several different farmhouses in which they used to make cheese. In those houses demonstrations are given, we found this interesting to watch. There’s a guided tour through the 4 cheese dairy generations. We loved seeing how the holes appear in the cheese.
After browsing and touring the whole complex, sit down in the restaurant and sample the cheese. Perfect ending to your visit of the Emmentaler museum.
Yuri loved seeing how the cheese was made and was thrilled with the excellent playground on site. Other fun thing for the kids is the petting zoo with goats and chickens.
The cheese gets its name from the surrounding Emmentaler valley. The Emmental is a beautiful valley with lush green hills.
After our visit to the Emmentaler Schaukäserei we drove further towards the French border and crossed it after 4 beautiful days in Switzerland. We plan to go back some day and visit longer. Switzerland is so beautiful. For more information on planning a trip to Switzerland, I recommend this blog post from Holidays to Switzerland.
Our roadtrip through Europe was 6 weeks long, read here about the Austrian part.