Snowsport lovers, hikers, mountain bikers or cold water swimmers, Switzerland is a must-visit destination! And, with so much on offer, one of the best ways to explore is by hitting the road. Here Goboony, the campervan experts, share their eight-day Swiss itinerary, which takes in everything from active hikes through dramatic mountain ranges to sightseeing in picturesque villages and bustling cities.
Starting in Zurich and ending in Lugano, you can book one-way flights or if you have the time, drive over instead.
Goboony is a motorhome sharing platform that was born from the belief that everyone should have the chance to experience the freedom of motorhome travel. Goboony have over 5.000 campervans and motorhomes, available for hire. Sustainability is a priority, with the platform aiming to reduce the number of new motorhomes being produced and left unused for months on end and helping ensure older motorhomes get used to their full potential.
Day 1 - Zurich
No trip to Switzerland would be complete without a stop in this renowned city, and with only one day planned for you to explore, here are our recommendations to help you make the most of it.
The first stop has to be Lake Zurich - walk the promenade to savour the incredible architecture and witness daily life bustling by or take a boat ride on the lake or the connecting Limmat River.
Next, hit the museums, of which Zurich has plenty. One of our faves is the Kunsthaus Zurich because it's one of the best places to see various works of art from renowned Swiss artists, alongside work from worldwide names including Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Picasso. There are also interactive exhibits, which give the gallery a different vibe from your average art museum.
If you're still feeling the need to get your cultural fix, you can check out the numerous historic churches dotted across Zurich - top of our list are the Romanesque Grossmunster church and the eighth-century St. Peter church.
For those with more time, we recommend taking a full-day trip to Uetliberg. This mountain peak offers incredible views of Zurich and the alps in the distance. Whether you take a cable car or choose to hike up it, make sure you sample the delicious treats in the restaurant at the peak.
Day 2 - Zurich to Lucerne
After exploring Zurich, it’s time to hit the road and drive 50 minutes to Lucerne, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Established in the ninth century, it’s unlike anything you’ve seen before, so definitely one for your Insta.
Situated on the banks of Lake Lucerne, it’s the perfect place to take a boat trip on the gloriously blue waters. The Golden Round Trip is our pick as it begins on the lake before moving to a cogwheel railway up to the summit of Mount Pilatus.
Once back on firm ground, the Chapel Bridge is a must-see. Thought to be built in the 14th century, it was partially destroyed in 1993 but has since been rebuilt. A sight to behold, it links the Aldstadt to the right bank of the Reuss River.
You should also check out the Dying Lion Monument, which honours the tragedies of the French Revolution in 1792, when approximately 700 Swiss Guards were massacred during and after the storming of the Tuileries Palace.
Day 3 - Lucerne to Interlaken
A calming drive starts your day as you follow the A8 towards Interlaken. Taking just over an hour, you’ll know when you reach this incredible Swiss town, as you’ll feel like you’ve been teleported back to a medieval fairytale. Positioned between two lakes and surrounded by lush forests and mountains, it’s the epitome of Swiss culture.
But the real jewel in Interlaken’s crown is the variety of outdoor activities available. As well as skiing and hiking, you can soar to new heights paragliding or skydiving, conquer the waves with speed boating or river rafting or spend an afternoon mountain biking.
Once you’ve had your fill of adventure, we recommend slowing things down with a trip to the Weissenau Nature Reserve, the St. Beatus Caves or visit the Jungfraujoch railway, which takes you to the highest railway station in Europe.
If you find yourself with time left to kill, why not take a trip to the neighbouring town of Unterseen, which still offers plenty of history, but is less touristy?
Day 4 - Interlaken to Bern
On day four, it’s time to head to the Swiss capital Bern, around an hour’s drive from Interlaken. Filled with history, stunning architecture and plenty to visit, if you love a city trip, it’ll be just up your street.
Head to Bern’s Old Town to enjoy the covered shopping area. Built on a cliff beside the Aare River, it features a variety of activities and delightful cafes. Next, take an hour to visit the Cathedral of St. Vincent. Also known as the Berner Munster and the Bern Cathedral, this esteemed artefact was built over 470 years ago and is home to numerous works of art from across the centuries.
You’re likely to hear it before you see it, but the famous clock tower of Zytglogge is also a must-visit attraction. Located in Bern’s Old Town, it’s a tribute to the clock-making history of Switzerland. Make sure you visit on the hour to catch a glimpse of the moving puppets.
And, for your fix of nature in the city, head to the Rosengarten city park, which perfectly captures Switzerland's subtle fusion of nature and urban landscapes.
Day 5 - Bern to Montreux
On your fifth day, we suggest setting out early as you’ll be driving for around an hour and a quarter to reach Montreux, known as the Swiss Riviera. The drive is pretty straightforward, following the A9 until the exit for the A12/E27, then staying on this road for 84km until the turning off for Route 1/Route 12, which leads to Montreux.
When you arrive, the first thing you should do is head up the Glacier 3000. Take a cable car up and catch the Alpine Coaster to reach the Glacier, where you can brave the world’s first suspension bridge.
Montreux is also home to the second-largest jazz festival in the world every July, and it’s worth the visit if your trip coincides. If not, there’s still plenty to see and do, including heading on the lantern trail of Les Pleiades or visiting the nearby Chaplin’s World, which is the only museum in the world displaying the illustrious film career of Charlie Chaplin. Only 15 minutes away from your campsite, it's the perfect end to your day!
Day 6 - Montreux to Zermatt
Although only two hours to Zermatt, on day six, you face the toughest drive yet, heading through mountainous terrain, so it’s a good idea to give yourself plenty of time.
Zermatt is a popular skiing resort tucked away in southern Switzerland with some of the best views and access to the Matterhorn. If you’re visiting in the winter or spring months, then skiing is a must, as is taking in some of the area's famous après ski bars which are buzzing with life during peak season. For summer visitors, hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing are the go-to activities.
Whenever you choose to visit, the walking tour, which takes around an hour and a half, is a must if you want to get a feel for the real Zermatt.
Day 7 - Zermatt to Brig
Brig is no doubt the most unique stop on this Swiss road trip. Just 45 minutes from Zermatt, this small town has a fascinating history, and stopping here helps break up the long drive to Lugano.
When it comes to things to do, Brig doesn’t disappoint. The Simplon Pass, a mountain pass of 2005m that links Brig with Domodossola in Italy, should definitely be on your list of things to tick off. Used in the 17th century to transport salt by mule, you can now drive the entire route and soak up the spectacular scenery.
In Brig itself, the Stockalper Palace is worth a visit. Free to enter, you can roam around the main court and baroque gardens, but the Thermal Camping Brigerbad hot pools are surely the main draw after a few days on the road.
Day 8 - Brig to Lugano
Before you know it, you’ve reached the final stop of your Switzerland road trip. From Brig, it takes three hours to reach Lugano. Mere inches from Italy, the wonderful city of Lugano has a delightful Italian air and offers unbeatable views of the lake and the alps in the distance.
Your final day in Switzerland deserves to be celebrated in true Swiss style, with a hike! Monte San Salvatore is just classified as a mountain at a touch over 900m, but to us, it’s the best way to start your morning.
Following that, you should explore Lugano’s glacial lake, which reaches the steep edges of the surrounding mountains and straddles Italy and Switzerland.
Finish off your day with a trip to the neighbouring village of Gandria. The perfect place for a tranquil afternoon stroll, its quaint cobblestoned streets were once the home of a major smuggling operation.
After eight days touring Switzerland, it’s time to hit the airport or start making your drive back. If you’ve not got your fix of this spectacular country, it’s easy to extend this trip since there’s plenty more to do, especially for those who love getting active outdoors. Just make sure you’re geared up for all the activities on offer.
If Goboony’s itinerary has given you a taste for van life, why not check out their impressive range of campervans available for hire?
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