Last summer we made a 10 days travel to Switzerland. We stayed in a cabin in Interlaken and visited some cities like Montreux, Lucerne and Bern. We also made some recommended excursions, like Jungfrau, Giessbach Falls and Aare Gorge.
A little bit about Switzerland
The first thing you must know about Switzerland is that it doesn’t belong to the European Union, and the legal currency is the Swiss franc. Depending on the area of the country you can speak up to three languages: French, German and Italian. But almost everybody speak English.
Switzerland is a constant contrast of rivers, lakes, trees, huge mountains, charming medieval cities and districts of jewelry stores and banks. Everything is really well conserved and clean. We didn’t visit the biggest cities (Geneva and Zürich) because we wanted to know the rural Switzerland, the most traditional villages and the natural environment.
It’s not possible to know an entire country in 10 days, so one way or another we had to make a choice about how to make better use of our travel. Because of that we decided to stay in Interlaken, which is a pretty centric place from where we could start many excursions. This is the list of the places that we visited:
- Aareschlucht Canyon
- Route of the 3 Mountain Passes (Sustenpass – 2224, Furkapass – 2436 and Grimselpass – 2164)
- Rhone Glacier (Rhonegletscher)
- Jungfraujoch – 3454 m (station) 3571m (panoramic viewpoint)
- Giessbach Falls
- Zermatt, from where you can arrive to Matterhorn (in German) a.k.a. Mont Cervin (in French) and Cervino (Italian).
- Thun and Oberhofen Castle
Driving in Switzerland
Traveling around this country can be very difficult, depending on your destination. The roads are in a very good condition, but sometimes the orography makes impossible to reach some points by your own means, so the only choice left is to use the vast train network, cableways and cog railways.
There are no road tolls in Switzerland, but you’ll need to adquire and show in your car dashboard the famous ‘Vignette’. This is a sticker that gives you permission to drive around every Swiss road for the current year. The price in 2013 was 40 francs (around 30 €).
Like almost all over Europe, the parking areas in the cities are “pay-and-display”. However the price seemed cheap to us, if we compare it with another services. Parking your car for a few minutes or for the first two hours has a normal price, but an entire day can cost a maximum fee of 5 euros.
The map of our visits: