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Is it possible to drive from Colmar to Lauterbrunnen area?

Is it possible to even drive from Colmar to Lauterbrunnen area in the late afternoon/ early evening (after 6 p.m.)? Are there any potential issues we should watch out for?

We are planning on going up the Schilthorn, and visit Murren, Gimmelwald, and Lauterbrunnen, then spend a little time at Lake Brienz. Is it possible to drive from Lauterbrunnen to lake Brienz?

What is the most convenient location to stay/ park the car to minimize train cost if we want to go up to the Schilthorn?

Thank you so much!!!!

Posted by
1434 posts

GoogleMaps says Colmar-Lauterbrunnen is a 3-3.5 hour drive. The only special issue is to watch your speed. France and Switzerland are serious about enforcing speed limits and they do it with cameras. Months after you get home you may get a bill from your car rental agency for a speeding ticket.

You can park your car in Lauterbrunnen and go to the Schilthorn and anywhere else in the region using only public transportation.

Posted by
8889 posts

Yes. According to it is 02h41, 225 km. That assumes no stops or delays, so add 25%.

The end of the road is just past Lauterbrunnen, at Stechelberg. This is the bottom of the cable car up Schilthorn, and you can park there.
The quickest route is via Bern and past Thunersee (Lake Thun). The alternative route is via Luzern, the Brünig pass and Brienzersee (Lake Brienz). Viamichelin estimates this at 03h07, 239 km. I would say this route is more scenic, you could go one way and return the other.

Yes, you could drive there in the late afternoon/early evening. But than you would get to Lauterbrunnen late. I assume you are staying in Lauterbrunnen, and going up to Mürren, Gimmelwald and Schilthorn on following days.

You will need to buy a "Vignette", cost CHF 40, at the border. This is a road toll for using Autobahns in Switzerland. You may be lucky and the car already has been to Switzerland in 2018 and already has a 2018 Vignette.
I assume you are returning to France afterwards. Renting a car in France and returning it in Switzerland has a high surcharge.

Posted by
58 posts

Thank you so much Chris! Your info is sooo helpful! Hope you have a wonderful day!


Posted by
30298 posts

If you g the long way around, via the Brünig Pass you should expect most of the route to be one lane each way with no places to pass and mostly tunnels to avoid the towns and mountains. If you want the very scenic part you need to opt out of each tunnel but expect that to take quite a lot longer.

Doing the Brünig by train is beautiful; by car a bit less unless you miss the tunnels and stop at lookouts.

If I were driving all the way from Colmar I'd pick the most direct motorway route via Basel, Bern, and towards Interlaken, swinging around Interlaken to avoid the town and then up the hill.

Posted by
30298 posts

To be completely clear as I see that my notes were just as clear as mud when I reread them - it is only the Brünig Pass road, the road between Luzern and Brienz (near Interlaken) which is single lane each way. There is a normal Swiss autobahn (keep your speed down in the tunnels, usually only 80 kph) between Basel and Luzern, and all the way between Spiez (near Interlaken) and Basel.