4 days in Switzerland: camping, mountains and cheese
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. For a perfect road trip in Italy, we advise driving a Dolomites road trip. When traveling with a child, we advise these tips.
Where to start 4 days in Switzerland
We started our stay in Switzerland at the Umbrailpass. After that we took the Stelviopass, the end of our 4 days in Italy, 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. Another road trip with beautiful views and mountains is a Californian road trip. We’re all about taking road trips!
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I have not driven through the beautiful areas of Switzerland. Your camp stays look like they gave you endless stunning views. I would enjoy the Emmentaler museum and seeing how cheese making progressed over time.
Yes, it’s not hard to find a campsite in Switzerland with stunning views. And the Emmentaler museum was worth the visit.
Switzerland is top of my bucket list and your photos remind me why! The ice chamber looks so cool (literally haha) and all of the landscapes are just beautiful.
Yes, it’s hard to see a not beautiful landscape in Switzerland. The ice chamber was indeed cool and it wasn’t a warm day, so harder to warm up again afterwards.
Kooky Loves to Travel
It looks beautiful, the nature there amazes me!
Yes, the nature is definitly amazing in Switzerland.
Your photographs are totally gorgeous! Switzerland looks stunning. Looks like you got awesome weather too.
Switzerland is indeed stunning. We had partly sunny weather, but also some downpours.
Thanks for posting! I have been so far in Zurich and Utrecht! I have travelled a lot in Europe & Switzerland is in the top 3 of the most beautiful countries to travel in Europe! Sublime natural scenery as your captures! Love your post and will have in mind to follow your path! The little fellow looks very happy being there 🙂
Zurich is still on my list, haven’t been there yet. Switzerland is certainly in the top 4 of most beautiful countries in Europe. Norway, Iceland and Croatia are also pretty high in that list for me. Yuri, our son, loves a good roadtrip.
Wow these are the offbeat places which I never heard of ..I visited Chum and Zug when I visited Switzerland. Thanks for sharing
Glad to have given you some new ideas, for when you can visit Switzerland again. I haven’t been to Zug in Switzerland yet.
Switzerland looks like a great country for a road trip which I never thought about before. I have only spent 1 night in Lucerne, but I have ached to go back for a while now – your pics make that even worse!!! Cheese, chocolate & mountains sounds perfect!
Hopefully when it’s save to travel again you can make a road trip through Switzerland, it’s perfect for it!
Wow, Switzerland looks stunning! Perfect place for some camping. and cheese eating. Thanks for sharing!
Yes, Switzerland is indeed stunning. And camping and cheese eating are lways good.
You had such an incredible Switzerland trip! I love the top photo as well as many of places I have not even seen but man, everywhere in Switzerland is just drop-dead gorgeous. I stayed(lived?) in Brienz for a month for a seminar in university and stayed with a local there, so it made my heart swell to see a Brienzersee photo <3
Oh, that must have been fantastic to live in Brienz for a month. The scenery was so gorgeous around there.
Lisa | Handmade in Israel
Such beautiful scenery! Seeing the glacier must have been amazing. I hope we will all be able to travel again soon. #WanderfulWednesday
Yes, Switzerland is really a beautiful country. Let’s hope we can all travel again soon.
This blog post is a great reminder that I need to get back to Switzerland and explore more. Your trip looked fantastic. I would love to camp in the Swiss mountains. 🙂
Yes, we had a fantastic trip and there’s still so much to explore in Switzerland.
I love your pictures, the scenery is stunning. I can’t believe I’ve never been on a cheese tour. It’s definitely on the list of things to do!
Thank you! A cheese tour is really great, definitely deserves to be on your things to do list.
Great post! I have a friend living in Switzerland and this post reminds me that I should give her a visit very soon! 🙂
Hope you get to visit your friend in Switzerland soon, it’s such a beautiful country.
This post is really making me want to plan a trip to Switzerland. I’ve been meaning to for a while now but never have the funds needed for a longer stay there. It looks like you had a great time!
Yes, it’s an expensive country, but really beautiful and you could go for a shorter trip.
I love the snow in summer photo. It reminds me of the time I hiked a snowy mountain in Kazakhstan in July and couldn’t feel my hands for nearky a day, haha!
Switzerland looks beautiful and how awesome it was that you captured the rainbow!
Yes, that rainbow was indeed awesome to capture. Wow, didn’t feel your hands anymore for a whole day!
I’ve only spent a few days, maybe a week in Switzerland. It has such a great atmosphere with the mountains, snow and villages. That would have been so much fun getting so close to the glacier!
I loved visiting Switzerland & this article makes me want to go back on a road trip, camping in the beautiful mountains. Your pictures are stunning! Thanks so much for sharing!
I will definitely be driving through Switzerland the next time I visit Europe with my kids. Such great spots to add to our “must-see and do” list.