Switzerland in 7 days, a week of nature in its purest form
Ready to discover our camper (or car) route through Switzerland full of spectacular natural corners and charming towns? Let’s begin!
Summary of nights in Switzerland:
– Bulle (near Gruyères): 1 night
– Frutigen: 1 night
– Wilderswil (Interlaken): 2 nights
– Innertkirchen (Interlaken): 1 night
– Raron (near Zermatt): 2 nights
If you are going to fly to Switzerland and rent a car there to do this route, I recommend you search for flights on Skyscanner and look for a rental car on Auto Europe. Both websites will be very useful to find the most affordable prices.
Day 1: Chillon Castle
Let’s start with our first day in Switzerland!
↠ CHILLON CASTLE
We entered the country in the afternoon, therefore, on our first day in Switzerland we only visited Chillon Castle, located at the eastern end of Lake Geneva, in the town of Montreux. It is one of the most important and most visited historical buildings in Switzerland. It is made up of a total of 25 buildings and 3 courtyards. If you wish to visit its interior, you can walk through its underground vaults, its many rooms and bedrooms, which still retain their original decoration.
Not only do the wonders of the castle themselves attract hundreds of tourists daily, its scenic location is another great attractions. In fact, we did not visit the interior because it was already closed when we arrived. We focused on getting to know its exterior and walking around the surroundings of the castle.
If you feel like doing the same, I recommend walking on the pathway along the lake that leads from the castle to the right. After walking for 10 minutes, you will see a small cafeteria (Snack Café) that has a very nice view of Château de Chillon.
If you continue walking for another 25 minutes, you will reach the center of Montreux, where you can stroll through its streets or take a boat trip on Lake Geneva.
After visiting Chillon Castle and its surroundings, we left Montreux behind to head towards Gruyères. Our idea was to sleep in a campsite near this famous Swiss town but they were all booked. We ended up sleeping in a small forest located a few kilometers from Gruyères.
Day 2: Gruyères, Jaunpass and Blausee
We continue our journey through Switzerland.
We start our second day of the trip visiting Gruyères, one of the most beautiful towns in Switzerland. We parked the camper in one of the lots located on the outskirts of this small town and began the visit around 10 in the morning. I recommend going to Gruyères as early as possible as it is a very popular place among tourists and it quickly gets crowded. Also, it is a very small town, so it can get quite hectic if you visit it with a lot of people.
Apart from getting lost in the four little streets of the town, be sure to visit the Castle of Gruyères. It is a fortified castle from the 13th century. You can visit the castle inside or simply enjoy the incredible views from its freely accessible terrace. Another essential stop is the Church of Saint Theodule and the cemetery located next to it. I recommend you walk around. From here, you can see a very nice postcard-like view of the castle.
Despite Gruyères being very small, it has two museums that may interest you: the HR Giger Museum and the Tibet Museum. We prefer to sit in one of the restaurants on the main street to enjoy a warm coffee but you can do both.
We put the Blue Lake, known as Blausee, in our GPS and continued with the tour. The views from the road were amazing so we decided to stop at a place called Jaunpass. From here, you can appreciate a beautiful landscape with featuring the Gastlosen peaks, a place that reminded me a lot of my trip to the Dolomites.
This is the exact location of the Jaunpass car park. Parking is free if you spend less than an hour. We took a short walk around the area, enough to enjoy the beauty of the place.
↠ BLAUSEE (BLUE LAKE)
After traveling a few kilometers, having a picnic lunch next to a river, we arrived at our last stop of the day, the Blausee, which translates to Blue Lake. As you can already imagine from the name, the water in this lake is an incredible deep blue. After leaving the car in the car park and paying the entrance fee (10 francs per person), you will have to walk 200 meters through the forest until you reach the famous lake. The landscape is out of this world.
From the lake, I recommend you take one of the trails available in this 20-hectare natural park. The shortest walk, and the one we did, was the one that goes around the lake. If you have more time, you can walk other longer paths that takes you into the forest.
Another activity that you can do in Blausee is a boat trip on the lake, which is included with the ticket. There is a hotel with a spa and restaurant, a small museum, a park for children and a barbecue area.
Day 3 of Switzerland 7 days itinerary: Oeschinen Lake
We continue out journey through Switzerland.
↠ OESCHINEN LAKE
We continue with one of the highlights of this trip: Oeschinensee, a huge lake of glacial origin. It has intense turquoise-colored water surrounded by green mountains and snow-capped peaks. It is one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland and an essential stop if you like nature and walking.
From Frutigen, the town where we spent the night, we only had to travel 13 kilometers in the van to reach Kandersteg, the starting point to visit Oeschinensee Lake. Once you leave the car in the parking area, you have two options, you can go up by cable car (30 francs round trip or 22 francs one way) or walk up to the lake.
From Kandersteg to Oeschinensee it is about 3 km uphill. We chose to go up and down by cable car. Once you arrive at the top station, you have to walk 25 minutes to reach the lake. There is also the option of taking a shuttle bus for 8 francs.
What to do at Lake Oeschinen?
There are different activities to do in Oeschinensee, depending on your tastes and your energy level. We chose to do one of the available hiking routes, specifically route 8. It is a 3-hour circular route (we took a little longer) that takes you along one of the slopes located next to the lake. The views are amazing but be prepared to go up and up and then down. There are other easier hikes and others even harder.
If you feel like having a more relaxed visit, you can go directly to the lake and enjoy a swim, take a boat ride, sunbathe, have a picnic or even a barbecue. There is also a restaurant and food stalls. It is a very beautiful place that offers different activities, so I recommend you spend a large part of the day there and take a hike one of the trails and then enjoy a refreshing swim in the cold waters of the lake. Do not forget to bring your swimsuit, sun cream, enough to drink and something to eat.
By the way, in the cable car station located above, apart from bathrooms and some food stalls, one of the famous alpine slides awaits you.
After hiking trail 8 (and being exhausted), we went down to the parking lot in the cable car, we got on the vans and we started driving towards Interlaken. We ended up finding a campsite in Wilderswil, a small town on the outskirts of Interlaken. We never got ready for dinner and sleep without first going for a swim in Lake Brienz. It was needed after such a long day walking!
Day 4: Lauterbrunnen and surroundings
Let’s continue our journey through Switzerland.
The fourth day of this tour of Switzerland in 7 days was spent visiting the famous town of Lauterbrunnen and its surroundings.
Lauterbrunnen is located in one of the most beautiful and picturesque valleys in Switzerland. The snow-capped peaks in the background and the enormous rocky walls full of waterfalls give rise to one of the most famous beautiful landscapes in the country. Among all the waterfalls, there are a total of 72, highlighting Staubbachfall, located in the same town as Lauterbrunnen. It is one of the highest free falls of water in Europe.
The best way to get to know Lauterbrunnen is to get lost in its streets on foot, and that’s what we did. We moved away from the center of the village to look for a higher area from which to appreciate some beautiful views. We ended up at a walk called Heimegg, from where we could enjoy a lovely landscape.
Later we went up to the small town of Wengen by cogwheel train, one of the main activities to do in Lauterbrunnen. Wengen is located at 1,274 meters above sea level. (400 meters higher than Lauterbrunnen) and is a very popular holiday destination. It is also the gateway to many of the tours that can be done in the Jungfrau Region. After taking a walk through the village and admiring the incredible views of the Lauterbrunnen valley, we went back down to Lauterbrunnen.
Price rack railway Lauterbrunnen – Wengen: 13.60 francs round trip.
↠ TRUMMELBACH WATERFALL
Our next visit was to the amazing Trummelbach Falls. If you want to witness the incredible power of water, you can’t miss this place. You will be able to walk through a series of caves located inside a mountain and see how the water has carved a pathway inside the cave. It is the largest underground waterfall in Europe and its waters come from the melting of the glacier in Mount Jungfrau.
It’s hard for me to explain the wonders of this waterfall in words, so I recommend you go see it with your own eyes. By the way, take a jacket because, even if it’s hot outside, it’s cool inside the caves.
Price Trummelbach Falls: 10 CHF per person.
Although we did not visit this place, another tourist town found in this valley is Mürren. It is located at 1,650 meters above sea level. The village is the highest year-round populated village in the canton of Bern. It can be reached from Lauterbrunnen (cable car and train) or from Stechelberg (cable car), located at the end of the valley. In Mürren you can take a walk through the town, appreciate the views, take the funicular up to Allmendhubel or go hiking in the surrounding area.
↠ BRIENZERSEE LAKE
We liked our swim in Lake Brienzersee the day before so much that we didn’t hesitate to go back again. Who doesn’t want to swim in a turquoise lake and in cool water after a day of sightseeing in the summer? If you want to do the same, go to the small town of Bönigen and follow the road next to the lake. You will find different gaps along the road where you can leave your car and take a good dip.
Day 5 – Switzerland 7 days itinerary: Grindelwald and Bachalpsee Lake
Our fifth day in Switzerland.
One of the places that impressed me the most on my trip to Switzerland for 7 days was Grindelwald, a small town surrounded by green meadows, forests and snow-capped mountains, including the Eiger and the Wetterhorn. It looks like something out of a fairy tale! The reason we ended up in this town was because we wanted to visit Bachalpsee Lake. I’ll explain how to get there below.
↠ BACHALPSEE LAKE
To get to Bachalpsee Lake, you first have to go to the small town of Grindelwald. If you’re already there, make your way to the Grindelwald-First cable car. You will have to buy the ticket that takes you to the last stop, First. A one-way ticket costs 32 francs and a return ticket costs 64 francs. If you want to skip the line to buy the tickets, you can buy them in advance now.
Once in First, it’s time to walk for an hour to the lake. Before or after visiting the lake, don’t miss the First Cliff Walk (it’s included in the price of the cable car). It is an iron walkway anchored to the cliff that ends up entering the void and provides on of the most incredible views in Switzerland.
Now yes, it’s time to start walking towards Bachalpsee Lake. It is a fairly easy one-hour tour, suitable for the whole family. Once you reach the lake, I recommend you make one last effort and continue the path that surrounds the lake until you reach the other end. You have to climb some hills but the view you have from this side is sensational. You will be able to see Lake Bachalpsee surrounded by green meadows and mountains and, in the background, the immense snow-capped peaks, among which is the Schreckhorn.
If you want to save some money, you can take the cable car up and walk down, but be careful with those knees. Another option that we considered was making the descent in a kind of tricycle that is available for renting right there. It is also possible to go up and down on foot from Grindelwald, although it’s a bit tough on the body.
In this article, I’ll explain in detail how to get to Bachalpsee Lake.
↠ JUNGFRAUJOCH, TOP OF EUROPE
Would you like to visit the highest train station in Europe? If so, you have to go to the Jungfraujoch station, located at 3,454 meters above sea level. Getting here is neither easy nor cheap, but it’s well worth it. We could not do it but it remains pending for a future trip to Switzerland. Update: I was able to go on my last trip to Switzerland and it’s amazing!
The fastest way to get to the Jungfraujoch is from Grindelwald, where you have to take a cable car up to the Eigergletscher glacier. From there, you have to take the Jungfraubahn train to Jungfraujoch.
If you want to avoid any hassle during the trip, I recommend buying the ticket to Jungfraujoch now. Another even easier option is to book an organized Jungfraujoch tour from Interlaken.
If you are going on the Jungfraujoch tour and also want to go up to Bachalpsee Lake, you should go up to the famous train station in the morning and visit the lake in the afternoon.
When we finished our visit to Grindelwald, we got in the van and began our journey to Camping Aareschlucht, in a town called Innertkirchen, located very close to Aareschlucht (Garge de l’Aare), a place we visited the next morning. We took a drive around the surroundings and ate traditional food at a local restaurant.
Day 6 in Switzerland: Aareschlucht and Goms Bridge
Our penultimate day in Switzerland begins.
One of the places that we liked during our trip to Switzerland in 7 days was Aareschlucht (Aare Gorge). It was a place that we weren’t aware of but the owner of the campsite recommended us to go. I am glad we listened to him! It is a 1,400 meter long wooden walkway set into one of the cliffs of the incredible gorge of the Aare River.
The narrowest part of this gorge is only one meter, while the widest part measures a total of 40 meters. On the other hand, the highest part of the cliff is 180 meters high. The water is 5 meters in some parts.
It is a beautiful walk since you are literally in the middle of the gorge. You pass through caves and walk along the cliff while you marvel at the different landscapes and the incredible turquoise green water. The entire visit is usually done in about 45 minutes. It may take less time but you will surely make several stops to better appreciate the place.
There is an entrance/exit at both ends of the walkway, so you don’t have to walk both ways if you don’t want to.
My recommendation is that you start at the west entrance, take the tour, exit through the east gate and then return to the parking lot by taking the underground train right next to the river or taking a walk on a marked path. In our case, the campsite was next to the east entrance, so we took the train to the west gate and went down the wooden walkway.
One of the drawbacks is that the walkway is rather narrow (it is only one meter wide) and there are people walking in both directions. We loved it nonetheless.
Aareschlucht price: 10 francs per person (quite affordable for Switzerland).
↠ GRIMSEL HOSPIZ HOTEL
After visiting this beautiful place, we got into the vans and put the Goms suspension bridge on the GPS. We left the Interlaken area to head to the south of the country. 60 km of incredible roads awaited us until the famous bridge. On the way, we pass through a series of huge reservoirs. The road began to curve upwards while the landscape became more beautiful, so we decided to stop at a viewpoint.
From here, we could see the Grimselsee and Räterichsbodensee lakes with the Grimsel Hospiz Hotel in between. This popular accommodation used to be the residence of the miners who worked in the area.
↠ GOMS BRIDGE
It’s time to visit Goms Bridge, an essential place to visit in Switzerland in 7 days, at least if you like suspension bridges as much as I do. It is located in Ernen and it is part of a 5 km circular hiking route, although it is possible to visit the bridge alone. Admission is free and there is a small parking lot across the road. The Goms Bridge was built over the Rhône River in 2015 and measures a total of 280 meters long. Crossing it is quite an experience!
↠ GLACIAR GROSSER ALETSCH
Although we did not visit this glacier, I did not want to exclude it from this list since it can be a very interesting place to visit. The Aletsch Glacier is the largest glacier in all of the Alps. One of the pros about visiting this glacier is that it is easily accessible, therefore, any traveler can enjoy it without having to do a long and hard walk.
You just have to go to Fiesch and take the cable car towards the viewpoints with views of the glacier. You can purchase the ticket for the cable car to Aletsch now.
If you are going to visit the Aletsch Glacier, I recommend doing it before visiting Goms Bridge as the cable car is not open until very late. On the other hand, the later you go to the bridge, the fewer people there will be (unless you go early in the day).
After the day’s visits, we started looking for a campsite where we could spend the next two nights. They were almost all occupied but we finally found a place in one called Camping Simplonblick, in a town called Raron. If you travel by car, I recommend staying in the town of Visp, Brig or in any surrounding town.
Last day of this Switzerland 7 days itinerary: Zermatt, Matterhorn and Glaciar Gorner
We are now on the last day of the Switzerland 7-day trip.
Let’s start our last full day in Switzerland! After relaxing in the furgos and buying some food to spend the day, let’s head to Zermatt. You cannot travel by car to this idyllic Swiss town, therefore, to get to Zermatt you will first have to go to a small town called Täsch.
Park your car in the parking lot near the station and take a rack railway to Zermatt. It costs 16.40 francs per person round trip. Be sure to stroll the small streets of Zermatt and visit places like Bahnhofstrasse (the main avenue) and the Church of St. Mauritius.
↠ GORNER GLACIER AND RIFFELSEE (LAKE WHERE THE MATTERHORN/CERVINO IS REFLECTED)
From Zermatt it is possible to make different excursions by trains and cable cars, such as to Rothorn, to Matterhorn Glacier Paradise (the highest cable car in Europe) or to Gornergrat. We went to the tourist office next to the train station to find out, something I recommend you do, and finally we decided to take the excursion to Gornergrat, a very good decision.
The tour to Gornergrat consists of a rack railway that takes you to a huge viewpoint (with bathrooms, hotel, shop, cafeteria and restaurant included) located at 3,089 meters above sea level from which you can enjoy enormous views of the Gorner Glacier.
If you are lucky enough to go on a clear day, you will be able to see the famous Matterhorn (also known as Matterhorn), the most famous mountain in Switzerland thanks to its pyramidal shape. We were not that lucky as it was covered all day.
The rack railway not only takes you to Gornergrat, but also has other stops where you can get off to explore the surroundings and then hop back on the train until you reach Zermatt. As recommended at the ticket office, we first went up to Gornergrat and then went down making some other stop.
The penultimate stop, a place that should be your second visit, is Rotenboden. From here, I recommend taking a short hike to Lake Riffelsee. It takes only 8 minutes to get there. This lake is well known because the views of the Matterhorn are spectacular. You will be able to see the famous mountain reflected in the water! It was a postcard that I was wanting to see with my own eyes but I was left with the desire because, as I already mentioned, it was cloudy all day.
At this stop, apart from visiting the lake, I recommend you walk the different trails, especially to get closer to seeing the Gorner Glacier again. From here, the picture changes a lot since you can see the entire tongue of the glacier. Awesome! There are two other stops before reaching Zermatt again but we skipped it because it started to rain a lot and the peaks were barely visible.
Price cogwheel train to Gornergrat: 126 francs per person round trip. You can buy your ticket to Gornergrat in advance.
Once in Zermatt, we had a drink in a cafeteria, we took a walk in the rain and we took the train to Täsch to get in the vans and return to our campsite.
The next morning, we left for Chamonix (France) via Martigny, ending our week-long camper trip to Switzerland. If you are not going to go through this French alpine town, the route back to Spain will take you through Geneva.
Are you going to travel to more parts of the country? Do not miss my Switzerland travel guide.
I hope this post about my road trip through Switzerland for 7 days has been very useful for you when planning your route through this incredible country. If you have more questions or want to tell me how your trip to Switzerland was, you can leave a comment or write me an email. Until next time, travelers!