Driving camper through Switzerland in November

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Heidigenaia
Heidigenaia
4 posts
new member
Oct 26, 2016 - 9:58 AM

Hi we are driving our camper from Milan thru Switzerland on our way to England in early November and want to know the best route to take to avoid dangerous mountainous road conditions but still see towns and the beauty of Switzerland. Thankyou.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5164 posts
expert
Oct 26, 2016 - 7:33 PM in reply to Heidigenaia

Hi Heidigenaia -

Welcome to My Swiss Alps.

How much time do you have for your transit of Switzerland?

Your request causes me to puzzle a bit. You two requirements are difficult to deal with. Somehow, driving from Milano to any part of Switzerland except the southern parts of canton Ticino pretty much requires going across some of the Alps. Whether the conditions on the various routes are dangerous is a matter of interpretation.

The most scenic and beautiful parts of Switzerland are the high Alps. They require mountain driving. At least, for some of those, you are required to park your car.....many of the Alpine resort areas are car free.

Seeing many parts of Switzerland that are not in the Alps involves backroads. Do you have time to travel that way? What kind of towns and beauty are you seeking?

Don't forget that you need to buy a carnet ( permit) to allow you to use the motorways.

Slowpoke

Heidigenaia
Heidigenaia
4 posts
new member
Oct 27, 2016 - 5:44 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi thanks for the reply. We are not locked into exact days but we're probably looking at 3 days in Switzerland. We are aware that some alps driving is required but we're hoping for a route that may have less snow and ice, eg lower altitude. We are driving a Long wheel based transit van which is not designed for snow and ice. As for the towns some 20 years ago I visited Lucerne, Bern, interlaken, Launterbrunn and Jungfrau all of which I truly loved but I was not driving back then.

We are thinking of stopping in a lower altitude towns and taking the train higher up. We do know that the weather prediction will govern our route and that no one will know that until the day. We have read that the Gotthard road tunnel has the lowest elevation but are unsure what towns this will allow us to see. Because it's November our priority is driving conditions first and sightseeing second.

As you can see we don't have a lot of knowledge in driving this country so are really seeking your guidance.

thankyou.

Arno
Arno
11357 posts
expert &
moderator
Oct 27, 2016 - 7:10 AM

Hi Heidigenaia,

There are a few car trains to avoid passes: myswissalps.com/car/ca rtrains. The Goppenstein to Kandersteg train (Lötschberg) might be an option. You'll reach it from Milan through the Simlon pass, which is open all year round. Once you get off the train you can reach Interlaken, Spiez, Meiringen, Bern, the French border (Basel) and a lot of other places without crossing any other passes.

Heidigenaia
Heidigenaia
4 posts
new member
Oct 27, 2016 - 7:46 AM in reply to Arno

Great that sounds what we were looking for, we will Check it out, thanks so much for your help and any other thoughts you may have.

thank you

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5164 posts
expert
Oct 27, 2016 - 2:36 PM in reply to Heidigenaia

Hi Heidigenaia -

I've taken used that car trai a couple of times. You will have to take your time on the access roads. They have a lot of sharp turns, on both sides of the Alps.

You might also consi9der the Gotthard Pass (Tunnel) lots of trucks use it ( unfortunately) but I recall thathe acccess routes are easier to navigate. You can avoid any snow by that route, as well. That is a very scenic route by train, but you'll miss a lot of it in the tunnel.

If you were traveling after mid- December, there is a new very long "basis" rail tunnel which surely will have car trains, that starts regular service about then, and enters and exits at lower altitude.

Maybe next time? ;-)

Slowpoke

Heidigenaia
Heidigenaia
4 posts
new member
Oct 27, 2016 - 3:01 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thanks slowpoke

we will look into both options, all the info has been a great help, the forum has supported our travel plans unbelievably, great knowledge thanks guys. Anything else you think we might need to know will be appreciated.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
5164 posts
expert
Oct 27, 2016 - 3:12 PM in reply to Heidigenaia

Since you have three days, what you can see along the Gotthard route itself is not so important.. You will come down to lower altitudes at Flüelen, at the southern end of lake Lucern.

If you wish to see cities, you will find parking scarce and expensive, especially with a larger vehicle. You might, for example park in Brunnen....5 minutes walk from the station, and use the train to see Luzern. There are surely closer places to Luzern with generous parking; I'm just not recalling which stations at the moment. Arth Goldau is a major rail connection point, but there is not a lot of space for parking cars.

If you use the route Arno suggested, you come out closer to the Jungfrau region.

Although some places will be open, that is low season in the high Alps, and a lot of places will be closed. In general, cableways will not be running. Cograil train runs everyday. Park at Lauterbrunnen.

www.myswissalps.com/be rneseoberland

Where will you exit Switzerland? Basel? Or, somewhere in the Jura? Or, via Germany?

Slowpoke

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