Tag: winter

Skiing In New Zealand- Your Ultimate Guide

New Zealand is a natural wonderland, though most tourists prefer to visit this country during the summer. You may be surprised to hear that New Zealand is a terrific destination for skiing and snowboarding, yet it still remains vastly underrated.

Here is your ultimate guide to skiing in New Zealand.

Skiing In New Zealand- The Best Resorts

These are the best ski resorts near Queenstown:

The best alpine resorts near Christchurch:

Note that many of New Zealand’s best ski resorts are located on the South Island. Rentalmoose recommends flying into either Queenstown or Christchurch. You can then pick your rental car up directly from the airport and drive up to the resorts! There are 34 of them in total, though these are the ones we consider to be must-visits.

The North Island is home to just two ski resorts. Both of them are situated on different sides of the same mountain. Nonetheless, they are certainly worth paying a visit!

Ski resorts on the North Island:

Without further ado, let’s dive into the best ski resorts in this fascinating country!

The Best Ski Resorts in New Zealand’s South Island

Check out some of our favorite spots you need to visit when skiing in New Zealand! We’ve focused on the best alpine resorts located near Queenstown and Christchurch.

For maximum convenience, consider picking up your rental car directly after arriving in New Zealand. Don’t forget that airport pick-up usually means having to pay an extra premium location surcharge on top of your rental bill.

Coronet Peak

Coronet Peak is one of the most famous ski resorts in New Zealand, located around half an hour out of Queenstown in the South Island.
Chris Counsell/Flickr

Nearest airport- Queenstown Airport (NZQN)- 30-minute drive

Day-pass- around $150 per adult, 50% reduction for children

Coronet Peak is easily the most popular ski resort around Queenstown, and it’s easy to see why.

As it’s the most famous alpine resort in the region, prepare to see lots of fellow riders. Especially during the peak season. If you’re looking for a serene spot, this is definitely not it.

Nonetheless, Coronet Peak is an absolute must on the itinerary of any skiing aficionado. The resort is made up of 3 different chairlifts and a variety of exciting trails to ride down. In addition, Coronet Peak is home to 2 restaurants, 2 bars, and a cafe to wind down after a joy-filled day.

What makes this alpine resort special is definitely its signature nighttime skiing sessions. That way, riders can enjoy the slopes even after the sun sets.

Those who are not in the mood for skiing can take the scenic gondola ride up to the summit and simply take in the jaw-dropping views. Coronet Peak overlooks one of the most breathtaking mountain ranges in this part of the planet.

Cardrona

Skigoers enjoy a sunny winter day at Cardrona Alpine Resort, one of the best places to go skiing in New Zealand.
by ZK-NZE on Flickr

Nearest airport- Queenstown Airport (NZQN)- 1-hour drive

Day-pass- around $150 per adult, 50% reduction for children

Cardrona Alpine Resort is one of the most popular ski resorts in New Zealand. Slopes are plentiful, for both beginners as well as experienced riders.

Cardrona features some of the best slopes in the country, paired with an unbeatable setting. Admire an impressive backdrop while riding down the tall mountain. After a day of skiing or snowboarding, you can unwind at one of 8 different cafes and restaurants within the resort.

Proximity to Queenstown is one of the main reasons why all ski lovers flock to Cardrona during the season. After all, the slopes are around an hour away from the heart of Queenstown. The nearest international airport is merely an hour away by car.

Rentalmoose insider tip: You can purchase a multi-day pass that can be used at both Cardrona and Treble Cone.

On the other hand, you should note that Cardrona can get rather crowded during peak tourist season. If you’re looking for a quiet ski slope with little to no tourists, this may not be the perfect pick for you.

Cardrona Alpine Resort in The Summer

If you’re planning to visit New Zealand outside of the skiing season, you should still consider driving up to Cardrona. This action-packed resort is the ideal year-round destination.

These are just some of the things you can do in Cardrona outside of the ski season:

  • Mountain biking
  • Gondola ride up to the Cardrona Summit
  • Mountain carting
  • Visit the iconic Bra Fence
  • Stargazing

Treble Cone

Shellie/Flickr

Nearest airports- Queenstown Airport (NZQN)- 90-minute drive, Wanaka Airport (NZWF) is a 30-minute drive away

Day-pass- around $140 per adult, 50% reduction for children

Treble Cone is yet another famous ski resort near Queenstown. Unlike Cardrona, this alpine resort is not the best pick for beginners. If you’re an inexperienced skier or snowboarder, it’s probably best to skip Treble Cone.

Experienced ski and snowboard fanatics can enjoy the largest ski area on New Zealand’s South Island. In addition, the thrilling slopes get the highest amount of snow in the country!

Take a break from skiing and enjoy a meal with the view at the Allpress At Altitude bar. Alternatively, you could just grab a quick bite to eat from Grab & Go and directly head back on the slopes. The town of Wanaka is just a stone’s throw away from the ski resort.

Don’t forget that you can purchase a multi-day pass that can be used at both Treble Cone and Cardrona. Naturally, equipment rental is available directly at the resort.

The Remarkables

The Remarkables Mountain range in New Zealand is home to a wonderful ski resort.
Nick Bramhall/Flickr

Nearest airport- Queenstown Airport (NZQN)- 30-minute drive

Day-pass- around $140 per adult, 50% reduction for children

The Remarkables is the go-to alpine resort in New Zealand for beginners. This resort has earned its reputation as one of the best spots for travelers who are just starting out with winter sports. Oh, and it’s one of the top picks among snowboarders, as there are 7 parks filled with thrilling jumps and obstacles.

Riders can make the most out of the 7 different ski lifts and plenty of snowfall. It is recommended for first-timers to book guided lessons before hitting the slopes on their own.

The Remarkables- Ideal for Snowboarding

In addition to being a great spot for inexperienced skiers, the Remarkables is a top pick among hardcore snowboarders. Riders can choose from different parks, such as the Burton Stash which was designed by Jake Burton and Craig Kelly. It is one of just 6 parks designed by the legendary snowboarder, and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere!

This ski resort is easily accessible from the Queenstown Airport. In fact, it’s only a short 30-minute drive away. Remember to come prepared, as driving during the winter can turn out to be challenging.

Craigieburn Valley

Nearest airport- Christchurch Airport (CHC)- 90-minute drive

Tow price- $85 per adult, 50% reduction for children

Craigieburn Valley- The Best Ski Resort for Experienced Skiers

Craigieburn may just be the most hardcore ski resort in all of New Zealand, not just the South Island. This alpine resort is infamous for having some of the craziest black runs in the country. If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly spot to ski, this is definitely not the right pick.

Certain about skiing in Craigieburn as a first-timer? Consider booking ski lessons before hitting the chutes on your own.

Skiers can make the best out of the three different ski lifts located within the resort. Then, make your way back down via the narrow chutes and steep slopes. Some of the trails are so crazy that even intermediate skiers may find them difficult.

As Craigieburn Valley is the opposite of beginner-friendly, you should not expect too many amenities. Unlike some of the other resorts on our list, Craigieburn only features one small cafe with panoramic views of the mountain range.

Broken River

A group of climbers hiking up to the summit of Broken River in New Zealand during the winter.
by Jason Blair

Nearest airport- Christchurch Airport (CHC)- 90-minute drive

Day-pass- around $85 per adult, 50% reduction for children, kids under 11 ski for free

Broken River is the polar opposite of the hardcore Craigieburn Valley. In fact, this ski resort is one of the top picks among beginners and intermediate skiers, and snowboarders. What’s more, affordable prices and seasonal discounts for children all make Broken River one of the best family-friendly ski resorts in New Zealand.

Note that, much like Craigieburn Valley, Broken River does not have many amenities. You could grab a bite to eat at the local lodge, or book ski lessons directly at the resort. Don’t expect fancy cafes or crazy nightlife here, though.

Broken River is yet another ski resort in New Zealand’s South Island which is worth visiting year-round. During the summertime, travelers can hike around the wilderness or try out mountain biking. You can book one of the lodges and spend the night among breathtaking scenery, too.

Mount Hutt

Mount Hutt ski field seen on a sunny day. Mount Hutt is one of the top spots to go skiing in New Zealand.
by Geof Wilson

Nearest airport- Christchurch Airport (CHC)- 3 hour drive

Day-pass- around $80 per adult, 50% reduction for children

Mount Hutt is unarguably one of the best spots to go skiing in New Zealand. Don’t take our word for it, Mount Hutt even won the title as New Zealand’s best ski arena six years in a row!

Skiing down Mount Hutt is an absolute must-do experience. The views are out of this world, while the never-ending trails are nothing short of exciting.

Naturally, you would expect New Zealand’s best ski resort to have lots of amenities. You will find two restaurants to unwind after a day of skiing, two bars, a cafe, as well as equipment rental, and extensive skiing and snowboarding lessons.

If you’re not in the mood to ski, you could always simply take the sightseeing trip up to the summit of Mount Hutt via the chair lift. The views from the top are unbeatable.

Mount Lyford

Mount Lyford is a fantastic ski resort near Christchurch, New Zealand.
by Justin McCormack

Nearest airport- Christchurch Airport (CHC)- 90-minute drive

Day-pass- around $85 per adult, $45 per child

Mount Lyford is one of the region’s best-kept secrets. This alpine resort is one of the most fun spots to go skiing in New Zealand. Surprisingly, it does not draw too many crowds either, even during peak ski season!

As Christchurch is nearly two hours away, many tourists choose other resorts that are easier to access. That way, Mt Lyford remains an exceptional alpine resort that’s quite underrated.

The trails at Mount Lyford as suitable for both advanced skiers as well as first-timers. Lessons are available, along with equipment rental. If you want to spend the night at Lyford, consider booking one of the cozy mountain huts.

After a day of skiing, travelers can unwind at the cafe or spend some relaxing time at the Terako Day Lodge.

The Best Ski Resorts in New Zealand- North Island

While the North Island does not have as many alpine resorts as the South, there are still plenty of spots worth visiting in the central part of the island. That said, travelers who wish to go skiing in New Zealand will probably have a better time down on the South Island.

You’re not spoilt for choice in this part of the country-the North Island is only home to 2 ski resorts! Nonetheless, both of them are worth visiting.

Whakapapa

Snowboarding in empty Whakapapa, the largest ski resort in all of New Zealand.
by Kiwi Flickr

Nearest airport- Auckland Airport (AKL)- 3-hour drive

Day-pass- around $150 per adult, $100 per child

Whakapapa is undoubtedly the place to ski in the North Island. It’s the largest ski resort in New Zealand, and it sits atop the tallest mountain in this part of the country. What’s more, Whakapapa also features the largest beginner area in the country.

You may notice that Whakapapa looks strangely familiar. That’s because this resort was used as a filming location for one of the scenes in Lord Of The Rings! This in itself is already a great reason to pay Whakapapa a visit.

Don’t expect Whakapapa to be secluded. After all, New Zealand’s biggest ski resort does draw serious crowds, especially during peak season.

Skiers and snowboarders can make the most out of nearly 70 different trails at Whakapapa. Everyone will find a run suitable for their skill level here, no matter if you’re a first-timer or an expert.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Consider visiting Whakapapa on a weekday if you want to avoid the crowds. A weekday pass costs nearly half the price of a regular day pass.

Looking to do some sightseeing rather than winter sport? Don’t miss the Sky Waka, a breathtaking gondola right that will take you up to the Knoll Bridge Chalet, over 2 kilometers above sea level. From there, you can take in the panoramic views. Note that Sky Waka is open all year long, not just during the wintertime.

Turoa

photo courtesy of Flickr

Nearest airport- Auckland Airport (AKL)- 4.5-hour drive

Day-pass- around $150 per adult, $100 per child

Turoa is a stone’s throw away from the previously mentioned Whakapapa. In fact, this ski resort sits on the other side of the same mountain, Mt Ruapehu. Two of the best ski resorts in this part of New Zealand are both situated on the same active stratovolcano, shall we say more?

On top of all this, Turoa also features the tallest vertical drop out of any ski resort in all of Australasia. It’s a whopping 722 meters!

Every skier and snowboarder is bound to have a good time at Tuora, no matter what their skill level is. This alpine resort features a selection of challenging trails, along with a large beginner area for those who want to try out skiing in New Zealand.

If you’re not in the mood to ski, you could always simply take the country’s most technologically-advanced gondola ride up to the summit. Then, you can take in the panoramic views atop New Zealand’s highest lifted point.

As great as Tuora is, no ski resort is perfect. There are limited lodging options here, despite having both fantastic nightlife and tasty places to eat. Travelers who wish to spend the night here may want to head over to Whakapapa instead.

Don’t forget to use Rentalmoose to find the best rental car deals for your New Zealand ski trip!

Post your pictures from skiing in New Zealand online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in our travel guides.

Get your car from Rentalmoose, we plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Prepare For A Winter Road Trip- The Ultimate Guide

A road trip during the winter is absolutely magical. No matter if you’re renting a car to visit your family for the winter holidays, or to drive between some of the best ski resorts in the Alps, it’s crucial to come prepared.

Use this guide as a handy checklist before you set off on your adventure this winter. This blog post will cover:

Before the trip

Begin planning before you set off on your trip. Otherwise, you might face some unpleasant surprises during your winter holiday.

Car type

When going on a road trip during the winter, you’d want a vehicle that’s capable of getting you through the snow. Consider booking a rental car class that offers vehicles with an all-wheel-drive drivetrain. 

Note that some parts of the rental fleet may not be available during the winter season. You might want to lay off that sweet convertible until the summer.

Winter tires & snow chains

If you’re renting a car during the winter, the supplier should have a part of the fleet that’s equipped with winter tires as standard. Double-check with the rental company before booking your vehicle. Snow chains for the wheels are generally part of the same winter package as the winter tires.

A winter package is compulsory for some regions. In that case, it will be added to your rental automatically.

European countries where a winterized rental car is compulsory during the winter season (early November to the end of March) include:

Driving without winter tires in a country where they are legally required can result in a hefty ticket. What’s more, your insurance may be void if you happen to have a collision.

If you’re unsure whether or not you need a winter package, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your rental company. The staff at the rental desk will be glad to help, too.

Don’t forget that winterization packages are subject to availability, booking one in advance is highly recommended.

Check the weather forecast

Make sure to check the weather forecast for the region you’ll be visiting, so that you can plan your route accordingly. Keep in mind that the weather can change dramatically at high altitudes (i.e. in the Alps).

If you’re planning a cross-border trip, don’t forget to check the forecast for every country you’ll be visiting. How can you check if your rental company permits cross-border trips? Check out this blog post to find out.

Pack accordingly

When packing for your trip, be sure to take extra warm clothing for the cold weather. Anything from spare warm clothes to a pair of sturdy shoes could turn out helpful. It’s always better to come overprepared rather than not packing enough with you.

A pair of gloves and some hot packs will surely come in handy, too.

When picking up the rental car, ensure that you have taken all of the additional equipment that you’d booked. Check the car for an ice-scraper.

Ensure that you have the phone number for local emergency services at hand, just in case. Know who to contact in case of a breakdown, the roadside assistance contact details are in your rental agreement.

During your trip

Once you’ve picked up the rental car, follow these tips to ensure that you get to your destination safely.

Slow down

It’s crucial to know when to keep your foot off the gas pedal in snowy weather. Don’t forget that the braking distance is increased compared to a dry surface. What’s more, the visibility can be very poor during a snowstorm. Maintain a low speed to give yourself enough time to react.

Keep your distance

Tailgating is even more dangerous during the winter. If the driver in front of you sees danger and slams the brakes, make sure you have enough time to slow down as well. Otherwise, you might end up rear-ending the car in front.

The braking distance in snowy conditions is up to 12 times greater than on a dry surface.

What’s more, some countries strictly follow the minimum required distance. Failing to comply can result in an expensive penalty.

Don’t brake (or accelerate) too hard

If you push the brake or acceleration pedal too quickly, you can end up losing control of your rental car. Make sure to accelerate and brake gently.

Rentalmoose tip: Even modern rental cars equipped with high-tech traction control systems can fail during extreme weather conditions. Press the pedals gently, no matter what rental car you’re in.

Avoid stopping on hills

If possible, don’t stop on hills during your journey. An icy snow-covered road at a steep angle can make it difficult to continue driving after stopping half-way up. Apply the gas gently to ensure that you don’t lose traction. If your car is equipped with traction control, turning it off can make it easier to get going once again.

In case of a breakdown

If you do happen to have a technical breakdown during your winter road trip, here’s what you should do.

Ensure you are visible

Limited visibility during the winter paired with an extended braking distance could be the recipe for a disaster. If you’re stranded at the side of the road, make sure that other drivers can see you. Here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Turn on your rental car’s hazard lights
  • Put on a reflective vest (it should be in the boot of your car, together with a warning triangle). Remember to check for oncoming traffic before exiting your vehicle.
  • Set up a warning triangle around 50m (150ft) behind your rental car.

Contact roadside assistance

The contact details for roadside assistance are listed in your rental agreement. If you’ve added an optional roadside assistance package when booking your rental car, the service will be free of charge. Otherwise, an additional fee will be added at drop-off.

In case of an accident

If you’ve been in accident, making sure that everyone involved is safe is your first priority. Contact emergency services first, before calling the car rental company.

Make sure everyone is safe

The first priority is to ensure that everyone involved in the collision is safe. If anyone is in great pain, refrain from moving them and wait for the emergency services. You could cause more damage.

Call the emergency services

When you’re sure everyone is safe, dial the local emergency services. You can find a comprehensive list of emergency phone numbers in every country in the world right here. Be sure to describe to the operator where you are and whether anyone is injured. Be informative, brief, and clear.

If you’re renting a car in the European Union, you can call 112 for emergency services. It is free of charge.

Rental Moose mascot is photographing a red crashed Kia rental car. Always take pictures of a collision in your rental car. Rentalmoose is a worldwide car rental broker.

Document the collision and exchange details

If you’ve been in a minor accident with no injuries, photograph the collision and exchange details with the other drivers. Don’t pay for any damage, as the rental company will only reimburse you for the charges that they have previously agreed on.

Properly documenting the scene will help when solving the matter with your rental company.

Contact the car rental company

Lastly, make sure to let the rental company know that you’ve been involved in a collision. The company should then handle the recovery of the car, repairs, and a replacement for you if applicable.

Although a technical breakdown or an accident are both unlikely during your winter road trip, it’s important to be prepared for the worst case scenario. Having covered all of the key points during your next trip, it’s time for you to enjoy your adventure!

Don’t forget to book your next rental car through Rentalmoose. Our platform offers thousands of rental cars from trusted suppliers all across the world. Browse from over 15 000 different locations and find your ideal car today.

We plant a tree for every rental car booked with us, as a way of contributing towards a better tomorrow. Find out more about us here.

Interlaken panoramic view small town near blue lake and alps mountains in the summer

Around The Alps- Switzerland Itinerary By Car

Curated Switzerland road trip. Check out our ultimate Switzerland itinerary by car!

Click here for detailed directions

Summary (click the red pins for directions) :

Geneva to Chillon Castle- 100km (60 miles) 📍 

Chillon Castle to Interlaken- 160km (100 miles) 📍

Interlaken to Andermatt- 120km (75 miles) 📍

Andermatt to Lugano- 110km (70 miles) 📍

Lugano to St Moritz- 120km (75 miles) 📍

St Moritz to Zurich- 200km (120 miles) 📍

810km (500 miles) total

Tags: Travel guide, Drop-off at another location, Switzerland, Alps, Winter

This Switzerland itinerary takes you on a road trip through the Swiss Alps, one of the most scenic regions in Europe. The road trip begins in the city of Geneva and continues across the Geneva lake and Interlaken with an overnight stop in Andermatt. On day two, head to Lake Lugano before arriving in St. Moritz. The Swiss road trip finishes in Zurich.

The Switzerland road trip is a little over 800 kilometers in total and is divided into segments ranging from 30 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes each.

In order to discover the most of each destination, Rentalmoose recommends adding at least one overnight stop along the way, plus a night at Geneva and Zurich.

If you have the time, add extra overnight stops in Interlaken and St. Moritz.

Road Trip Extensions to Germany

The Black Forest

Do you want to explore the region even further? This road trip can be merged with our Black Forest Road Trip. Once you arrive in Zurich, continue to Basel and cross into Germany to discover the beautiful region of Schwarzwald.

Munich and its surroundings

Alternatively, you can head up to Munich and explore the best of Bavaria and Austria, including the fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle. Click here for the guide.

Is Switzerland expensive to visit?

Switzerland is the continuous leader as the world’s most expensive country to visit. Zurich and Geneva are also among the most expensive cities to live in on the entire planet.

It’s best to budget your Switzerland trip carefully.

Check out this short video we shot in the beautiful town of Verbier.

What is the best month to visit Switzerland?

Winter and summer are both good parts of the year to visit Switzerland.

Between May and September, most of the snow has melted away and the hiking trails are open to the public, cable cars are in service and the weather is more moderate.

The peak of the winter season is around January and February. Check out this beautiful video to see why you should visit Switzerland in winter!

Why should you get a rental car in Switzerland?

Despite high petrol prices and strict traffic laws, a rental car is the best way of getting around during this road trip. There are lots of scenic driving roads along the way, and the freedom of modifying the route can only be achieved by traveling in a car.

Switzerland can be best explored by car.

Various rental companies support drop-off at a different location, browse through available options on Rentalmoose.  

When booking your rental car, do not forget to add excess coverage provided by Rentalmoose for extra protection.

After picking up the car, be sure to take check-in photos of the vehicle and qualify for a 50% discount from the excess cover fee.

Can tourists drive in Switzerland?

Absolutely! Switzerland is a part of the open-border Schengen Zone, this means crossing countries is quick and hassle-free. However, if your license isn’t in English, German, French or Italian you are required to have an International Driving Permit when driving in Switzerland. 

Check out this Rentalmoose blog post to learn all you need to know about International Driving Permits.

Swiss motorway vignette system

In order to drive on Swiss highways, cars, as well as motorcycles, are required to have a vignette. Rental cars available in the country have a vignette already, so you do not need to purchase one. For extra safety, it is best to double-check with the rental company before setting off.

Are traffic laws strict in Switzerland?

Switzerland is generally regarded as a strict country, and the nation’s traffic laws are no exception. Driving even just a few kilometers over the speed limit can land you a speeding ticket, and the roads are filled with speed cameras. When driving in Switzerland, be sure to follow all of the traffic rules carefully.

Real-life example: a student who drove around 20km/h over the speed limit got a minimum ticket of 2500€. Speeding ticket penalties depend on your income. The higher the salary, the bigger the ticket.

Once you’re ready, it’s time to dive into this Switzerland itinerary by car!

Geneva

geneva switzerland city seen from lake clear day water fountain

Luis Francisco Pizarro Ruiz/Pixabay.com

Welcome to the picturesque city of Geneva, situated at the western tip of the country. The city is a hotspot for luxury shopping and fine dining, and it is the starting point of your Switzerland itinerary.

What is there to do in Geneva?

Patek Philippe Museum

Fans of prestigious watches should be familiar with Geneva, as some of the world’s most expensive timepieces are manufactured around the city. Pay a visit to the Patek Philippe Museum, where visitors can learn about five centuries of watchmaking.

The museum is located within the heart of Geneva, you can stroll around the area or go for a coffee in one of the nearby cafes.

As of 2020, the Patek Philippe Museum admission tickets cost below 11 euros.

Geneva International Motor Show

If you’re visiting during the beginning of March, Rentalmoose highly recommends going to see the Geneva International Motor Show. The GIMS is among the most important automotive events in the entire world, guests from across the planet come to admire hundreds of cars that are showcased during the show.

Parking is available around Palexpo, where the show takes place. The annual expo can get quite full, it is best to buy your admission tickets in advance. The motor show is a must on any Switzerland itinerary!

Parc des Eaux-Vives

Go for a relaxing walk in Parc des Eaux-Vives, a lakeshore park on the east side of the city. Inside the park, there is a monumental residence that was built in the mid-1700s that has been turned into a hotel and a prestigious restaurant.

The upper side of the park is home to the Geneva Tennis Club

Where can you find the best food in Geneva?

Gusto

Once you get hungry, go for lunch at Gusto, a fine-dining Italian restaurant in the Metropole Hotel. The upscale venue is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a meeting. Open Monday to Friday till 10 PM.

Where should you stay in Geneva?

La Reserve Geneva

Sophisticated travelers should consider staying the night at La Reserve Geneva. The luxurious 5-star hotel offers a seaside villa rental, chic rooms and suites as well as a pool, and a wellness center. Free parking is available for hotel guests.

Hotel Des Tourelles

Guests on a tighter budget can choose the Hotel Des Tourelles, a 2-star hotel with an amazing location right in the vibrant heart of Geneva. The hotel may not have luxury amenities, but it is valued for excellent service and its perfect location. Parking is available at an extra charge.

Next on your Switzerland itinerary: Geneva to Chillon Castle, 1 hour 20 minutes

Chillon Castle

lake geneva boat with swiss flag approaching chillon castle switzerland

Pemaze/Pixabay.com

Set off from Geneva early in the morning. Then, head east along Lake Geneva until you reach a historic structure on the edge of the lake. The castle may look familiar to Disney fans, as Prince Eric’s castle from Little Mermaid was inspired by the Chillon Castle.

The Castle

This magical structure dates back to the medieval times, it was designed by James of Saint George. Inside the castle, there are thousands of historic items on display.

The castle is open to visitors every day of the week between 9:30 AM and 5 PM, admission tickets are priced at below 15 CHF (14 EUR) and can be purchased either online or at the entrance.

Complimentary parking is available by the castle.

Clos de Chilon- local wine

The Chillon Castle is home to local red and white stored in the castle’s cellars, made from grapes grown at the local vineyards. Clos de Chilon can be purchased within the castle, guests can also book a guided wine tour that includes wine-tasting.

Bella Vista

Bella Vista is a delicious Italian restaurant situated practically across the street from the castle. Head inside for a fresh pizza or dessert while enjoying panoramic views of Lake Geneva.

Rentalmoose order tip: Give Bella Vista’s pizzas a shot, you will not be disappointed!

Next on your Switzerland itinerary by car: Interlaken, 1 hour 40 minutes

Interlaken

interlaken in the summer seen from above the alps mountains town and blue lake switzerland

Enrique Lopez Garre/Pixabay.com

Why is Interlaken famous?

Interlaken is regarded as Switzerland’s capital for adventure junkies, as there are lots of action sports opportunities available throughout the small town. Its picturesque surroundings make Interlaken heaven for photographers, make sure to bring your camera along!

Outdoor Interlaken

Thrill-seekers should have a look at Outdoor Interlaken before heading to town. The company offers various adventure-packed activities for both summer and winter, ranging from canyoning and skydiving to skiing and winter sports. Take a look at their official website for more information on available activities.

Unterseen

Visit the picturesque village of Unterseen for an authentic, historic feel of Switzerland. Some of the beautiful historic buildings are dating back to the middle ages.

Pay a visit to the Stadtkeller, where you might just run into a live musical or theatrical performance. 

Jungfraujoch Summit

Head up the mountains to Jungfraujoch- The Top of Europe. The highlight of the Alps is surrounded by glaciers and snow, making for a truly unforgettable view. Head into one of the shops or admire the spectacular views from the observation deck. 

Rental Moose Mascot posing in front of swiss alps panoramic view with local employee. Photo at the summit, winter in Switzerland.


Schilthorn Summit

James Bond fans should also visit the summit at Schilthorn. The unbeatable panoramic views can be observed from the viewing deck atop the mountain.

Schilthorn was one of the filming locations for the 1969 “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, making it a must-see for James Bond fans.

Rentalmoose pro tip: The Jungfraujoch, as well as Schlithorn, can only be accessed by rail, park your car near the Lauterbrunnen railway station and take a train up the mountains.  

La Terrasse

If you’re craving a tasty meal, go to La Terrasse located within the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel. The upscale restaurant offers a wide selection of regional dishes that changes every season, along with a separate menu for desserts.

Next on your Switzerland itinerary: Andermatt, 1 hour 40 minutes

Andermatt

andermatt ski resort town in winter with alps in background

The driving time from Interlaken to Andermatt highly depends on the season, the fastest route goes along the A11, though the pass is only open around the summer.

During the colder months, taking the A8 is the fastest.

The mountain village situated nearly 1500 meters above sea level is home to central Switzerland’s largest ski resort. The town’s narrow streets are lined with traditional buildings, local eateries, and shops. Andermatt is truly the perfect mountain getaway.

Where can you ski in Andermatt?

Ski Arena Andermatt-Sedrun

Start at the Ski Arena Andermatt-Sedrun. Andermatt is a famous ski destination in the Swiss Alps and there are various resorts to choose from.

The two ski areas have over 50 different slopes, along with facilities such as numerous sun terraces and restaurants. Skiing and snowboarding equipment can be rented by the slopes.

Passes can be purchased online.

Gotthard Pass

Drive up the scenic Gotthard Pass, an absolutely breathtaking driving road outside of the village. The road is favored by petrolheads, bikers, cyclists, and hikers from around the world.

Drive across the Tremola and pass the Devil’s Bridge and admire the out-of-this-world scenery. Post photos from the Pass with #rentalmoose, the best ones will be rewarded with a Rentalmoose discount or even a rental car free of charge!

Andermatt Golf Course

If you’re visiting during the Summer, play a round of golf at the local Andermatt Golf Course. The 18-hole course is beautifully designed between the mountains and offers a picturesque setting during your game, with slight winds as an additional challenge.

Experienced players can participate in one of the tournaments.

Where to stay in Andermatt?

Andermatt is perfect for luxury hotel fans, as one of the best hotels in the country is located near the center of the village.

The Chedi Andermatt

The Chedi Andermatt is a prestigious 5-star hotel that offers beautiful rooms with panoramic views, as well as complimentary amenities such as spa and pool access, a fireplace in each room, 7 bars and restaurants and “a ski butler service”. 

Schweizerhof Hotel

A relatively affordable, at least for Swiss standards, alternative is the Schweizerhof Hotel. The hotel consists of 28 cozy rooms, as well as an atmospheric restaurant that serves delicious regional dishes.

Next on your Switzerland itinerary: Lugano, 1 hour 30 minutes

Lake Lugano

lake lugano large mountain flowers calm lake colorful sunset switzerland

Nicola Giordano/Pixabay.com

Lugano is a beautiful lake in southern Switzerland surrounded by monumental mountains, often regarded as one of the most beautiful destinations in the country. A visit to this part of Switzerland wouldn’t be complete without a stop here!

What to see in Lugano?

Piazza Riforma

Begin by exploring the cute town of Lugano. Leave your car at Autosilo Motta, a large multi-story car park close to the heart of the city (the cost is around 25CHF for a day).

Stroll around the narrow streets, visit some of the local shops or cafes placed along the Piazza Riforma.

Trattoria Galleria

Head to Trattoria Galleria for a delicious Italian lunch, a short walk away from Riforma. Afterall, Lugano is a mix of Swiss and Italian cultures and it is reflected in the local cuisine.

The Lakeside Promenade

After lunch, continue walking south until you reach the shore. The clear view of the lake and the mountains surrounding it is truly unreal.

Admire the scenery while walking along Lugano’s beautiful promenade.

Then, turn away from the lake and into Via Nassa, the town’s go-to shopping destination. Some of the stores here date beyond the 17th century.

FoxTown

Shopping freaks should consider paying FoxTown a visit. The luxury outlet is filled with high-quality clothing and accessories at discounted prices. A visit to FoxTown requires a minor, 20-minute detour south towards Italy.

The outlet is open daily between 11 AM to 7 PM

Gandria

Leave the town and drive a couple of minutes west until you reach Gandria, a beautiful untouched lakeside village. The beautiful facades of well-preserved historic buildings make Gandria a beautiful backdrop for photography, located at the foot of Monte Brè.

Next on your Switzerland itinerary: Saint Moritz, 2 hours 40 minutes

Saint Moritz

saint moritz ski resort hotel in winter frozen lake alps in background switzerland

Pitsch/Pixabay.com

The next stop on your journey is Saint Moritz, a prestigious alpine resort town favored by the rich and famous. The town’s elegance does come at a high price, as Saint Moritz is repeatedly rated as one of the most expensive holiday destinations in the world.

What can you do in Saint Moritz?

Ski Resorts

If you’re visiting St. Moritz in the winter season, you should definitely experience what the town is famous for: ski resorts.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a pro, a beginner or anywhere in between, St. Moritz is the place to go. 58 ski lifts and 350 kilometers of slopes make the town absolute heaven for winter thrill-seekers.

Detailed information about ski resorts can be found here.

Some tourists believe that a ski resort town doesn’t offer much other than slopes. While this may be true for some towns, it is certainly not the case with Saint Moritz.

What can you do in St. Moritz except skiing?

Ice Skating

Every winter, the frozen lake by the town is transformed into a natural ice rink. Skating on a frozen lake while admiring the magnificent glaciers is another unforgettable experience during this road trip.

What’s more, the natural ice rink is very affordable. Admission costs below 15 CHF per day, children can enter for half the price.

Skates can be rented directly at the rink for around 5 CHF. Visiting in the summer? Head to Eisarena Ludains by the lake for an artificial rink open all year long.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking fans will find themselves in paradise upon arriving in Saint Moritz, as the resort town is home to thrilling world-class mountain biking trails. Choose from hundreds of kilometers of trails, you can find the best ones in Red Bull’s MTB Destination Guide

Mountain Biking Equipment Rental

Do you want to try out mountain biking? You can visit the St Moritz Bike Center, where visitors can rent different types of bicycles and necessary equipment. Pick up your bike and head up to the mountains!

Mountain Restaurants

If you’re looking for a more relaxing way to enjoy the panoramic views, visit one of the Mountain Restaurants by Suvretta House Hotel. Restaurants Chasellas and Trutz both offer breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps as well as delicious cuisine.

Which restaurant to pick?

Trutz features a variety of traditional Swiss dishes, while Chasellas has more of a Mediterranean cuisine.

Where to stay in St. Moritz?

Badrutt’s Palace

Luxury seekers can spend the night at the prestigious Badrutt’s Palace. This extraordinary 5-star hotel has been welcoming guests since 1896, making it one of the oldest hotels in Europe!

Its impressive history is present throughout the property. The hotel’s restaurant (Le Restaurant), for example, was once home to Europe’s first indoor tennis court.

The legendary property features classy rooms overlooking the mountains, 6 restaurants, an indoor pool, a spa and fitness center and more.

As expected, all this luxury comes at a hefty price tag, it most certainly isn’t the top pick among budget travelers.

Next on your Switzerland itinerary: Zurich, 2 hours 50 minutes

Zurich

zurich old town bridge medieval church clock tower during sunset switzerland

Jorg Vieli/Pixabay.com

The last segment of this trip is a drive to Zurich, the global capital for banks and financial institutions. The city, however, has a lot more in stock for you.

What is Zurich famous for?

Zurich is known around the world as the go-to Swiss city for luxury shopping and fine dining, banking and consuming as much Swiss chocolate as possible. The city is also very historical, with tens of museums and art galleries scattered around the streets.

Seebad Enge

Are you in town during the summer? If so, go to Seebad Enge, one of the city’s best spots where you can go for a swim in Lake Zurich. The water in the lake is very clean, and the surroundings make for extraordinary views.

There is also a sauna available during the winter, as well as a restaurant and bar.

Admission costs below 10 CHF per person as of 2020.

Bahnhofstrasse

Don’t forget to visit Bahnhofstrasse, Zurich’s vivid hotspot for shopping. Walk down the busy streets, get some of the local delicacies at numerous cafes and bakeries or shop for a luxury Swiss timepiece.

If you happen to be in Zurich during the Christmas season, you can admire the magical Christmas decorations that are lighting up the street or visit one of the seasonal Christmas markets.

Are you looking for more attractions in Zurich? Click here to read more about the city, including the best restaurant in town. You don’t want to miss it during your visit!

What are the best hotels in Zurich?

Widder Hotel

For your night in Zurich, consider staying at the prestigious Widder Hotel in the heart of Zurich’s Old Town. The 5-star hotel is situated in a 15th-century townhouse and is home to one of the best bars in town. Unique decor in each room, fine dining, and a beautiful library are also parts of the unique experience.

A private car park is available for hotel guests.

Kameha Grand

A more affordable alternative is the Kameha Grand. This 4-star boutique hotel is a part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and features a stylish, Middle-eastern inspired decor and a good location near the airport, as well as very good service.

A private car park is available. 

Drop-off

Your rental car can be dropped off directly at the Zurich Airport for maximum comfort. Rental companies that support drop-off in a different location can be found via Rentalmoose.

Don’t forget to book your rental car via Rentalmoose for your next adventure.

On our platform, you can find the top rental companies at the best price, along with tens of curated travel guides around the globe. Our Switzerland itinerary is just one of them!

Get your car from Rentalmoose!

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Post your pictures from your Switzerland itinerary and tag #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in the upcoming blog posts.

Rental Moose Mascot posing with traditional Swiss wooden homes in Verbier Village in Switzerland

Rentalmoose OÜ 2020