Matt, at 1,235 meters
Several people asked about camping in Europe. We’ve camped in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and France. We found the best camping in Spain- pretty sites, great views, and the most amenities for the price (hot showers!). A difference between the US and Europe: on the continent, in many places, no one minds if you camp in a farmer’s field for the night. I traveled to six climbing areas in three countries with a group of German climbers, and we’d climb all day, drive ‘til late to the next climbing area, and pull up to the nearest empty field and pitch a tent.
No one ever bothered us, and they told me they do it all the time.
View from Matt toward Brüggler
Here’s our (admittedly limited) experience:
Switzerland: We camped at a mountain hut named “Matt”, near the base of the Brüggler.
Parking, per day: Euro 3.50
Tent, per night: Euro 7.50
Sleeping in hut: Euro 3.00
Tent, per person: Euro 1.50
Which amounted to Euro 14.00 per night for the two of us in one tent. This was a private campground, run by the Alpkorporation Vorderschwändi, basically the town / village owners. The owners of the land up the road from the hut had working dairy farms and grazed their cows in the meadows across the street. At night hundreds of cowbells, from large, deep ones to smaller higher-pitched bells, lulled us to sleep.
View across valley from Matt
The hut had toilets, an outdoor sink with cold running water, and a small room indoors with tables and chairs. We cooked inside on the rainy days and ate outside on sunny days. It’s the best campsite we found near here (the Schwändital, near the town of Näfels). We headed east from Zürich on 3 toward Sargans and the south on 17 toward Glarus. This isn’t a major tourist area, but a small climbing area where my father enjoyed climbing. An English couple stayed here to climb and said it was also the best camping they’d found in the nearby mountains.
Please comment if you’d like to share favorite camping areas in Europe. Click the red number right of the title to comment.