Camping at Lake Lucerne

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Finding a place to camp after spending my birthday in Lucerne, Switzerland proved to be a frustrating experience.  We visited three separate campgrounds before finally finding a place to stay.  Our experience turned out to be so disappointing, we wouldn’t recommend it to anyone!

The first campground we visited was right in town along the lake.  After driving through the small RV city lit with brightly colored Christmas lights, we scrammed outta there just before someone could close the entry gate with us still inside.  Now I know how it feels to escape Alcatraz, minus the human head sculptures fashioned from soap and tp.

We left the city limits of Lucerne and drove to a second campground recommended by a friend of a friend, who cited it as her favorite childhood campground not known to tourists.

Finally locating the tiny campground on an even tinier lake, we parked in the dark and tried to locate the “front desk,” then realized we’d settle for any warm bodied person on-site to assist campers.  Waylaying a campground guest as she came out of the restroom, we probably scared her half to death when we approached her.

She and her husband spoke only German, but she excitedly took us around the corner and showed us a long sloping field, indicating we were welcome to stay there!

Relieved, I indicated that we also had a hund (dog) with us, and it was like I’d told her we had a bear in the car.  Shaking her head emphatically back and forth and wagging her finger, it was quite clear our hund was a deal breaker.  Returning to the car, we continued on to the next campsite.

#Travel Tip: If you plan to camp anywhere near Lake Lucerne, book in advance. Campgrounds are few and far between, particularly along the southern shore.

Finally, we’d driven the entire length of the southern boundary of Lake Lucerne.  Though not far in total distance, the lake resembles a lower case “t” – one written by a drunk person, considering its misshapen perimeter and bizarre curlicue in the middle.

About to leave the lake entirely, we made one final attempt at a campground called Windsurfing Urnersee at the lake’s most southeasterly tip. Since it was almost midnight and we were exhausted, our standards had sunk to new lows – all we wanted was a square of ground where we could sleep for a few hours.

Pulling in through the campground’s gated entry, we were disappointed to see how truly tiny the spaces were.  Knowing it would cost us almost 40 CHF for the night made it even less attractive, but we sucked it up and decided to stay.

It wasn’t until the next morning that we realized the campground was situated on an absolutely stunning point along the lake with superb lake and mountain views.

Camping at Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
These views from Windsurfing Urnersee on Lake Lucerne might be stunning, but don’t be fooled. Our campsite is far uphill with no views save for neighboring RVs.

We also realized we were surrounded by RVs on two sides and cabins on one. With a low concrete wall on the other, our only lake views came from walking down to the waterfront.

After an unpleasant interchange with the camp host, who was exceedingly unfriendly, we dropped any thoughts about renting kayaks there to do some paddling.  Seriously folks, we really, really can’t recommend it.

Instead, we hopped on the interwebs to see if there were any interesting sites to visit nearby and headed for Teufelsbrücke – The Devil’s Bridge, an incredible attraction that we absolutely DO recommend you visit!

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