Switzerland, the Greatest Drive in Europe: A Photojournal

Stunning Switzerland
“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiestest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy

The Greatest Drive in Europe: Switzerland

When my family and I lived in Europe, we drove everywhere. Not only was Prague (our home) a central location for most of Europe, but for 5 people (3 children), hopping in the car with a GPS and a map was far more economical than taking a train or airplane. (10 Tips for Traveling Europe on a Budget) In our four years in Europe, we drove everywhere — but one drive in particular was spectacular.

The Drive through Switzerland
The Drive through Switzerland

5 Countries in 1 Day

Czech Republic – Germany – Austria – Switzerland – Italy

The drive passes through former Soviet lands through the hops country of Bavaria and into the most beautiful drive I’ve ever taken — through Switzerland, top to bottom.

How to get there: from Prague, Czech Republic, drive southwest to Munich, Germany, and continue southwest into the northwest corner of Austria and into Switzerland. Then the drive turns from pretty to incredibly beautiful. You can even stop by Liechtenstein for coffee or their famous blood sausage and add in another country on the way toward Lake Como, Italy.

Drive through Switzerland
Drive through Switzerland

Luckily, my husband loves to drive, even the hairpin turns that descend the steep roads through Switzerland. So I kept my camera close and captured some of the stunning views.

A typical half-covered tunnel in Europe
A typical half-covered tunnel in Europe
Switzerland
Switzerland
Stunning Switzerland
Stunning Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland
the Linden trees in October: Switzerland
the golden trees in October: Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland: I love the dark barn on the bottom of the photo

Once you’ve traveled south through Switzerland past Chur, you encounter switchbacks in the road. They are quite the engineering feats, traversing the edge of a towering mountain peak.

The Switchbacks on Switzerland A13 E43
The Switchbacks on Switzerland A13 E43
Stunning Switzerland
Stunning Switzerland
Waterfalls, Switzerland
Waterfalls, Switzerland
Waterfalls, Switzerland
Waterfalls, Switzerland
Stunning Switzerland
Stunning Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland
another waterfall: Switzerland
Autumn Reflections, Switzerland
Autumn Reflections, Switzerland
Stunning Switzerland
Stunning Switzerland

One last thing to consider before you drive through Switzerland is to remember to buy a vignette before entering the country. Like most European countries, you’ll need to buy it before you cross the border, usually easy to find at a petrol station. The vignette for Switzerland has a steep price, but the drive and the scenery are worth it — they’re unforgettable.

Published by Jennifer Lyn Art

About Jennifer Writer Author Photographer Artist Corporate Marketer Happy Wife & Mom World Traveler Grateful.

9 thoughts on “Switzerland, the Greatest Drive in Europe: A Photojournal

    1. A vignette is what most of the European countries require in order to drive on their highways. The one in Czech Republic costs about $150 / year, if I remember right. Most countries sell them as a weekly pass, as well, for about $15. Each vehicle has to have one, and the highways are closely monitored for whether or not you have one as you drive. The fines are very steep.

      Thank you, Jagoda!

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  1. Wonderful captures. It’s like going back. Did you drive through the 17-mile tunnel? The ride is interminable and somewhat claustrophobic, but exhilarating when you see the light at the end. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  2. Hey Jennifer,

    We did almost that drive this past summer. We started in Fussen in southern Germany — after visiting Castle Neuschwanstein, we drove south into Austria, through Lichtenstein, and finished in Lucerne. I love driving too, but the switchbacks were tiring. Didn’t get to see much of the scenery either — except when I pulled over to let all the Porches and Mercedes and Audis blow by us down the mountains!

    (Funny, I found driving up the mountains easier — less braking I guess…!)

    That church in your fifth photo from the top, we called that the “other” church. The running joke in the car was to say to our kids, “Hey look boys, a church!” because you’d pass one every three minutes. Mostly they would be the peaked steeple kind, but once in a while you’d get the dome-y shaped ones like that one to break it up a bit.

    Some great shots there Jennifer!

    ~Graham

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    1. Wow, an excellent trip, Graham! Yes, the European sports cars do drive fast, don’t they? I had to laugh at your comment about the churches. They’re so beautiful, serene, and are everywhere. And, the church architecture is completely defined by the region. So glad you enjoyed the trip! Thanks!

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