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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Luxembourg and Switzerland

    Have any of you been to Luxembourg or Switzerland? If so, do you have any campground recommendations? Or good parts of either country to visit?

    Ideally what we'd like to do is to go to both, find a nice area in each to make our "home base" for several days, and then do a bit of hub-and-spoke touring from those bases.



    I have located one campground in Luxembourg, but a difficulty we're encountering is that many campgrounds here in Europe do not allow tents, and I can't tell if this one I've located does or does not. Another difficulty we're encountering is that some campgrounds seem to be members only ... no tourists allowed. It makes finding decent campgrounds a bit more challenging.

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    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Hi,

    There is a campground at Koblenz, right on the Rhine Route where the Rhine and the Mosel Rivers come together, and only about 120 km from Luxembourg. There might also be rail service between the two cities.

    There is also a nice campground, camping Sutz am Bielersee( Biel on the Lake), near Nidau, Switzerland. It is located just south of Biel. It is a short 3 mile walk to the train station from the campground. We left our bikes and gear in the campground, walked to town, hopped a train ( actually 3 trains), and spent the day in Grindelwald. I had aspirations of climbing the Eiger when I was a kid , never did it , but really wanted to see it. It would have been another week of cycling to get there, and we could not afford to stay in Switzerland too long. We were just looking at the currency exchange rate this morning, and it is much more favorable today than when we were there last summer. However, It is still a very expensive place.

    The campground has storage lockers so valuables like computers can be locked up. We just locked our bikes to a fence in the campground, put as much of our gear in a locker that would fit, put the rest inside the tent, and headed for town.

    You may already know about Eurocampings. It a good resource for campgrounds in Europe. http://www.eurocampings.co.uk/en/europe/

    Campground near Biel. That is the "secure" fence we locked our bikes to.


    This might be a better campground, because it may be on or near your route. It is near Waldshut, Germany. It is right on the Swiss-German border and about where we picked up the Rhine Route. It was one of the only campgrounds we stayed at in Europe that had chairs. None had tables. My "Logistics Chief" hard at work.
    Last edited by Doug64; 08-19-12 at 09:19 AM.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I go to tourist information bureau offices in town centers when in doubt..

    Luxemburg is minute, Strasbourg &, north and I was in Belgium in a couple hours,
    it seems.. think I camped some where above Metz.. [it was 91]

    Switzerland, I stayed in the Hostel in Bern.. Bern to Basel was not far ,
    then I headed up the Rhine .. Levee top gravel road
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-19-12 at 04:02 AM.

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    Google " bicycle camping Luxembourg". I never had a problem finding camping places in Europe in the Summer. The local travel office or syndicate d'initiative has a list.

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    I don't know about tent camping but there is campsite near Vianden Luxembourg. Nice castle and town. Not too much in the surrounding area, except hills. Vianden to Bastogne was very hilly, not many services, but I was very keen to see Bastogne (Battle of the Bulge). Vianden south along river then along mosel to trier is fairly easy. Trier is great, lots of Roman sites. Sorry can't help much with campsites though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Have any of you been to Luxembourg or Switzerland? If so, do you have any campground recommendations? Or good parts of either country to visit?

    Ideally what we'd like to do is to go to both, find a nice area in each to make our "home base" for several days, and then do a bit of hub-and-spoke touring from those bases.



    I have located one campground in Luxembourg, but a difficulty we're encountering is that many campgrounds here in Europe do not allow tents, and I can't tell if this one I've located does or does not. Another difficulty we're encountering is that some campgrounds seem to be members only ... no tourists allowed. It makes finding decent campgrounds a bit more challenging.
    We stayed at two camps in Luxembourg but recommend the one at Ettelbruck. We travelled through Switzerland following Route 9 for most of the way and camped all but one night. Details at
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=4474&v=b6

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    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    I would highly recommend a base in Martigny or Sion, Switzerland. Spoke rides from these towns are many and fantastic, include rides to places like Zermatt, Chamonix, Gstaad and Montreux. Martigny is a nice city with nice accommodations, markets and cafes and a very nice art museum.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

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    Senior Member djyak's Avatar
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    Having biked through many parts of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, I have had some problems finding campgrounds, but that's when good local knowledge comes into play. They always know the best places, and unlike many of the maps (my experience) which show campgrounds which don't exist, locals are usually more than happy to advice, and in some cases, have invited me to camp in their back yards. They were only too happy to learn more about what I was doing and open their home. Also, great thing about camping in Europe, many of the campgrounds have an eatery/pub on site so you don't have to cook if you don't want too.

    Ask the locals too about free camping. There are usually places to go, but if you don't know about them, you get fined.

  9. #9
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    There is a campground at Koblenz, right on the Rhine Route where the Rhine and the Mosel Rivers come together, and only about 120 km from Luxembourg. There might also be rail service between the two cities.
    Yep. We took one look at that one ... and said, "Absolutely Not" and kept moving. And from the piles of beer and wine bottles everywhere when we came through the next day ... I think we made the right decision.


    I suspect I'm spoiled by Canadian and Australian campgrounds. Quiet campgrounds, with shade, and often individual sites for tents, rather than having to set up in a general grassed area with no shade all crammed in with numerous other campers. And some campgrounds in Canada have a Zero Alcohol policy.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djyak View Post
    Having biked through many parts of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, I have had some problems finding campgrounds, but that's when good local knowledge comes into play. They always know the best places, and unlike many of the maps (my experience) which show campgrounds which don't exist ...
    Yes ... we're finding that too.

    1. They exist, but they don't take tents.
    2. They exist, but they don't take tourists.
    3. They exist, but are obviously party-type campgrounds (like the one at Koblenz)
    4. They exist, but are full of old, rundown, permanent camping units, with a very inconvenient area to offer to tent campers (i.e. long hike to nearest toilet blocks, steep slopes, noisy, etc.)
    5. We can't find them at all.

    And very occasionally (twice) we have come across something decent. I'm hoping for more of that when we get to Luxembourg and Switzerland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Yep. We took one look at that one ... and said, "Absolutely Not" and kept moving. And from the piles of beer and wine bottles everywhere when we came through the next day ... I think we made the right decision.


    I suspect I'm spoiled by Canadian and Australian campgrounds. Quiet campgrounds, with shade, and often individual sites for tents, rather than having to set up in a general grassed area with no shade all crammed in with numerous other campers. And some campgrounds in Canada have a Zero Alcohol policy.
    We're not wowsers by any stretch, but the binge culture at campgrounds in Germany has really got us down. It's happened on two Saturday nights in a row, where the drunks have partied on, and on and on into the night. It terrified Machka a week ago to the point where she doesn't want to camp anymore, and it happened again last night when the noise was less threatening, but annoying at 1.30am when we were dog tired.

    And for my efforts in letting the campground staff know about it this morning, the female campground manager basically abused me.

    Frankly, Germany and the Rhine Route has not been as happy an experience as it might have been, and especially when compared with the grace and courtesy of the Taiwanese and Japanese, and the downright friendliness of the Scottish and Dutch.
    .
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Rowan
    It's happened on two Saturday nights in a row, where the drunks have partied on, and on and on into the night.
    We found this to be pervasive throughout a lot of Europe. We found that if we paid a little extra, one up from the basic tent site, we had a lot better luck finding a quiet spot. We also tried to pick a spot nearest the oldest people we could find. One of our quietest campgrounds was behind a beergarten, where the building shielded us from the customers. It was small with only 6 sites. I can empathize with you, because we also had several nights like you describe. Actually the Spanish Mediterranean Coast campgrounds were even noisier.

    Koblenz was one big festival when we were there. It was the " Rhine in Flames" celebration, just about this time of year (8/13). There was one of the best fireworks displays that I have seen and concert across the river, but everyone was quiet by about 11:00. It was a nice campground, and we were warned about the celebration when we registered. Most of the campgrounds we stayed at throughout Europe did not have individual sites for tent campers. They are much like our hiker/biker campsites on the Pacific Coast of the U.S. The tents just crowd in together as best you can, and hope you have congenial neighbors.

    Koblenz, with our little gray and yellow tent tucked in.
    Last edited by Doug64; 08-19-12 at 12:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Or good parts of either country to visit?
    My favorite pass in Switzerland was the Grosse Scheidegg, which connects Grindelwald (just south of Interlaken in central Switzerland) to Meiringen. It's closed to cars and the scenery of the north face of the Eiger is stunning. The gradient starting from Grindelwald isn't too steep.

    The small canton of Appenzell has lovely bucolic scenery, and the large canton of Graubunden in eastern Switzerland has some great scenery, less traffic than most of Switzerland, and an abundance of passes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    We found this to be pervasive throughout a lot of Europe. We found that if we paid a little extra, one up from the basic tent site, we had a lot better luck finding a quiet spot. We also tried to pick a spot nearest the oldest people we could find. One of our quietest campgrounds was behind a beergarten, where the building shielded us from the customers. It was small with only 6 sites. I can empathize with you, because we also had several nights like you describe. Actually the Spanish Mediterranean Coast campgrounds were even noisier.

    Koblenz was one big festival when we were there. It was the " Rhine in Flames" celebration, just about this time of year (8/13). There was one of the best fireworks displays that I have seen and concert across the river, but everyone was quiet by about 11:00. It was a nice campground, and we were warned about the celebration when we registered. Most of the campgrounds we stayed at throughout Europe did not have individual sites for tent campers. They are much like our hiker/biker campsites on the Pacific Coast of the U.S. The tents just crowd in together as best you can, and hope you have congenial neighbors.

    Koblenz, with our little gray and yellow tent tucked in.
    The Koblenz park was wall-to-wall RVs, with the excess on the outside perimeter fence in the car park being fed by extra long electricity cables. It was somewhat different to the picture you have posted.

    By contrast, we paid the extra and went a few kilometres up the Mosel River and found a nice little hotel in Guls with a Spanish-style restaurant next door. We had a good feed, and sleep that night.

    The other issue that Machka alludes to is that the "official" Rhine Route guide shows and lists campgrounds, but quite a few simply exclude cyclists. There is one listed at Guls, but we inquired at the hotel (after booking in), and was told it only takes RVs. The book we are using was updated for 2012.

    Anyway, we are in a nice little hotel, the Rheinhotel, in St Goar with lit castles on either side and lights from the opposite village dancing on the Rhine's waters. The train and barge noise has abated (last night I prayed for a constant stream of trains to drown out the drunken witch's cackle of a laugh one of the neighbouring female partiers had).

    We have decided to boost our morale a bit by doing a cheap deal on the room for two nights, so we can do a river cruise and go up to the main castle tomorrow before we head off for Luxombourg
    Last edited by Rowan; 08-19-12 at 01:48 PM.
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    I'm not sure why but it always seems to me the further north you go in Europe the s**tier the campgrounds are (or in our case the further south we went the better they got). And don't get me started about German campgrounds.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    I would highly recommend a base in Martigny or Sion, Switzerland. Spoke rides from these towns are many and fantastic, include rides to places like Zermatt, Chamonix, Gstaad and Montreux. Martigny is a nice city with nice accommodations, markets and cafes and a very nice art museum.
    Thanks for that ... we'll check it out.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve0000 View Post
    We stayed at two camps in Luxembourg but recommend the one at Ettelbruck. We travelled through Switzerland following Route 9 for most of the way and camped all but one night. Details at
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=4474&v=b6

    We're hoping to check out a campground or two south of Luxembourg City ... fingers crossed they are good.


    I don't know if you can answer this, or someone else ... but would you recommend staying in the Luxembourg City area or going north to Ettelbruck? We are in Luxembourg City right now, and would like to get out into the country, into nature, and into quiet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    We're hoping to check out a campground or two south of Luxembourg City ... fingers crossed they are good.


    I don't know if you can answer this, or someone else ... but would you recommend staying in the Luxembourg City area or going north to Ettelbruck? We are in Luxembourg City right now, and would like to get out into the country, into nature, and into quiet.
    We did not travel as far south as Luxembourg City. We entered the country at Wisembach and followed the north side of the Sure River into Ettelbruck. This is a really nice quiet country road in wooded surrounds. There were plenty of camping grounds along this route from memory, attesting to the attractive countryside they are sited in. I recommend this route if it fits in with your plans. From Ettelbruck, we travelled to Grevenmacher but although this passed through countryside, it was open farmland and not as nice as the previous section. We also enjoyed Ettelbruck. It is a neat and attractive town.

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    I have been to three campsites in Switzerland so far this year. The TCS Campsite in Zug which was right by the train line, I wouldn't recommend it.
    Just got back from the TCS campsite in Fontinvas in Disentis, this is a lovely campsite right by the Rhein and is on the rhein cycle route I think.
    Our local municipal campsite in Wetzikon which is a good spot for exploring the Zurich Oberland.

    http://www.reisen-tcs.ch/travel/de/home/camping.html
    https://www.wetzikon.ch/Stadtleben/s...platz-auslikon

  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    I would highly recommend a base in Martigny or Sion, Switzerland. Spoke rides from these towns are many and fantastic, include rides to places like Zermatt, Chamonix, Gstaad and Montreux. Martigny is a nice city with nice accommodations, markets and cafes and a very nice art museum.
    Did you happen to stay in a campground in that area? A quick search is coming up with 48 of them in the general area of Martigny and Sion.

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    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Did you happen to stay in a campground in that area? A quick search is coming up with 48 of them in the general area of Martigny and Sion.
    We stayed in a B&B in Martigny for a few nights, then moved to a little mountain inn a few miles above that town on Lake Champex. There was a nice campground next to our inn in Champex, very pretty, but a bit of a climb from the valley up to Champex. I did see a nice campground in the valley near the village of Sembrancher, maybe 10 miles out of Martigny. It's been a few years, but that area was the highlight of Switzerland for me, I LOVED the Alps in that region. If you can do it, the ride by bike to Zermatt is wonderful. The road is closed to car traffic, there are only local cars (very few) and shuttle buses to Zermatt. When you get there you are at the base of the Matterhorn in a beautiful village. There is a campground marked on the map in Zermatt, that might be worth checking out too, WOW!!
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    We're in Switzerland!

    It's absolutely flat, not a hill in sight. I'm guessing they keep the mountains on the other side of the country.

    And it's expensive.

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    And it's expensive.
    A country of banks stuffed with the money, looted by despots
    around the world, will do that .

    Yea, just a gentle hill between Bern, (stayed in a Hostel there,)
    and Basel ..

  24. #24
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I did a little bit of reading about Switzerland last night, so we weren't taken off guard when we arrived. Switzerland is not part of the European Union, so there is a border crossing (although it was quite uneventful). And because Switzerland is not part of the EU, they don't use the Euro.

    We're in Basel right now, but planning to move onward tomorrow.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    It is winter!! Lots of fresh snow on the mountain tops ... and cold rain and wind down in the valley. I'm hoping it warms up a bit in the next day or so.

    We've gone from cool and rainy in Scotland, to roasting hot along the Rhine, and then plunged into cold ... where is the happy medium??

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