Hello! I’m back from our Austrian-Swiss adventure and it was so wonderful! All in all we travelled about 3,000km in 2 weeks, through 4 different countries (Germany via Fuessen in Bavaria), Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. We could have easily dropped into Italy from Austria, but were trying to keep our car travel to a minimum and have more time to enjoy the places we stayed.
We saw fireflies and danced with a man in Lederhosen in Füssen, hiked in the countryside around Kals am Grossglockner and stayed at this wonderful B&B that I can’t recommend enough. On thursdays in a little watermill abotu 10 minutes hike from the guesthouse into the forest, traditional-style fresh baked bread is served. We regretted not staying here longer – not just for the bread but because it was so relaxing and there was so much to do.
In Switzerland it rained a lot but enjoyed the famous Interlaken area and saw some spectacular views and even some strange wildlife (beetles and bugs).
On the way back we stopped at lake Constance and to the Unesco World Heritage site of the middle Rhine valley with its medieval castles.
All in all, we would certainly return to Austria because the hiking is great, the food is great and it is very good value. Groceries cost more than in Germany, and also alcohol. For driving on the motorways in Austria you need to buy a little sticker for your front windshield called a “Vignette” and for ten days cost a fair €8. We only came across tolls at the Felbertauern tunnel (€10 each way). Honestly, you could probably avoid motorway driving in Austria altogether (then you don’t need a Vignette), but if you’re heading to the East Tirol by car you probably won’t avoid the Felbertauern tunnel.
Switzerland, we were expecting to be expensive, but even camping for three nights cost us €80 ($108), which we felt was a bit ridiculous since that didn’t include rubbish disposal, hot showers (or any kind of hot water) which is pretty much standard in Germany. Interlaken was much more touristey than we had expected and this I have come to learn means good Korean food! Both Interlaken city (Switzerland) and the city of Konstanz (Germany) offer free public transport to its visitors who stay overnight and in Interlaken this included half price fare on trainrides up into the higher peaks, so we used this when possible and were thankful for that because it saved us lots of money.
Driving in Switzerland also requires a vignette which costs the equivalent of approx. €40 (actually a whole years motorway tax in Switzerland!). You can save yourself about a tenner if you buy it in advance in a neighbouring country before you go in. It’s available at some garages, we bought ours in a newsagents. We didn’t encounter any other tolls in switzerland at all, which was a nice surprise.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures! We brought back some swiss “schoggi” (choccy) for ourselves, some wine and fresh local fruits from the Rhine valley which we will enjoy later :)