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Camping in the Swiss Alps

Posted by Richard Hammond at 09:44 on Saturday 16 June 2007

The Swiss Alps turn into a crowded adventure playground in the middle of summer so you have to pick a campsite carefully if you don’t want to wake up looking at your neighbour’s guy ropes. At 6,000ft, Arolla in the Valais region of Switzerland is one of Europe's highest campsites, reached by a one-hour bus journey from the nearest train station at Sion, though I walked to it along the Haute Route from Chamonix, staying in mountain refuges along the way before the final day's descent to the small village of Arolla, which had some of the best views of the entire trek...

The campsite is on a steep hillside among woods of larch and arolla pine, a 20-minute walk downhill from the village at the head of the Val d'Hérens. It is dwarfed by the enormous Pigne d'Arolla and has all the amenities you'd expect from a well-organised Swiss campsite, including hot showers, washing-up facilities and a grocers serving fresh local food. There are also restaurants in Arolla, from where you can walk up through woodland to Lac Bleu or to Pas de Chèvres to see the Matterhorn.

Detailscamping-arolla.com, 0041 2 7283 2295. From 5 Swiss francs (about £2) per tent plus 6.50 francs (about £2.50) per person.

Getting there: For details of travelling from London to Geneva by rail, see our detailed journey planner: Train from London to Geneva

An edited version of this article, by Richard Hammond, was first published in the Guardian.

For other camping sites and more information about staying in the Swiss Alps, follow the links below:

Green Camping Sites | Green Accommodation and Holidays in Switzerland

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