Driving at night from Montreux to Lauterbrunnen

Driving at night from Montreux to Lauterbrunnen

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FLhobbit
FLhobbit
14 posts
new member
May 24, 2016 - 1:27 PM

Hi all. Originally I planned on driving our family from Montreux to Lauterbrunnen at 5pm. That's an approximate 2 hour drive. I figured I would have plenty of daylight. But we've had to adjust our schedule. Now we would be making that drive at 7pm. That will have us driving at night. Is driving that route at night safe, or should I be wary with my family in the car on unfamiliar roads? i.e. Are the roads twisty, crowded mountain roads with blind turns? And do Swiss roads/drivers have the same reputation as Italian roads/drivers?

I can adjust our trip to spend that night in Montreux if need be, but that involves the headache of new bookings, the price of Montreux hotels, and losing the next morning in Lauterbrunnen.

What do you think? I'd be grateful for any advice.

Arno
Arno
7719 posts
expert &
moderator
May 24, 2016 - 1:56 PM

Hi FLhobbit,

In general I would not recommend to drive in the dark in an unfamiliar mountainous country. The day time would be safer and more enjoyable. But, when will this trip be (which date?), and which route did you have in mind? Via Bern, or the Jaun pass, or another route?

Driving in Switzerland is definitely different (better) from Italy, but new territory and roads in the mountains are nevertheless not to be underestimated.

Last modified on May 24, 2016 - 1:58 PM by Arno
FLhobbit
FLhobbit
14 posts
new member
May 24, 2016 - 2:04 PM in reply to Arno

We'll be doing the drive the second week of June.

The quickest route seems to be through Bern, but I'm open to driving a different route if it's safer.

I know sunset is around 9pm, but I imagine darkness falls quicker in that area, no?

Arno
Arno
7719 posts
expert &
moderator
May 24, 2016 - 2:30 PM

Hi FLhobbit,

Sunset will be just before 9:30 PM, so you should be able to make it before dark. The drive takes about 2 hours. Some areas, like Lauterbrunnen, will be shady well before that time because of the mountains, but there will be enough light to find your way. The advantage of that time is that the roads should be less busy than during day time. I would recommend the route via Bern as it's mostly highway, so pretty easy to drive.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
May 24, 2016 - 2:37 PM in reply to FLhobbit

Hi FLHobbit-

It seems you have looked at a map, but a closer look will reveal that the route through Bern is all on 4 lane motorways. Traffic is orderly, the routes are clear, and only as you go along the Thuner See after Spiez do the roads become 2 lane highways, still with limited access.

map.search.ch/?x=-44712m&y=-21488m&z=4

Easy driving. Don't worry about it. You won't even need a GPS, but a map is convenient to judge progress.

Watch the signs carefully as you near Interlaken. Make sure you take the one for Lauterbrunnen, or you may have to drive through "city" streets, in which case a GPS is useful.

You may well make it before sunset, since that will be at 2120, more or less.

www.sunrise-and-sunset.com/en/sun/swit zerland/lauterbrunnen/ 2016/june

At Lauterbrunnen, there is a huge low cost parking garage right by the train station, in case you have trouble parking at your hotel. Cheap parking for everyone going up in the mountains.

Your dilemma illustrates why I use a train as much as possible in my Swiss travels, or drive in daylight. In the winter, with early sunsets, I have to use familiar routes.... I have gotten lost in Burgdorf a dozen times at night. ;-) No trouble in daylight.

FLhobbit
FLhobbit
14 posts
new member
May 24, 2016 - 2:49 PM in reply to Slowpoke

As usual, the advice from this forum is priceless. Thanks so much for the replies. It definitely puts my mind at ease.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2656 posts
expert
May 24, 2016 - 3:14 PM in reply to FLhobbit

Glad to help.

Slowpoke

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