They are in demand all over Switzerland: camping sites. The Maienfisch family from Aargau is spending their holidays in the camping site in Unterägeri for the fifth time – although they didn’t initially buy their caravan for this purpose.
Karin Maienfisch was lucky: she was able to rent one of the coveted places at the Unterägeri camping site for this summer. The stay of the Aargau resident and her family will last two weeks. On a spacious pitch, directly on the lake, with bathing facilities and views of the mountains.
She now sits with her partner Philipp Bucher and their two children Ladina (11) and Andri (12) on camping chairs in front of their caravan and pours a glass of mineral water.
"The tip to go to Unterägeri came from a colleague who lives in Zug," she says. For them, a location on the lake is very important – especially with the high temperatures. She likes her holidays in the caravan, always having her own bed with her and the exchange with interesting neighbours. "We’ve already seen some familiar faces today."
For Philipp Bucher, camping is "like an extended everyday", and the holidays "already start at home with the packing". And, unlike when travelling by air, there is no need to pay attention to weight.
And why not go abroad by caravan? "Camping holidays in Switzerland don’t require a lot of effort," says the 55-year-old. It would have been too hot and restrictive for him in summer, with an estimated 40 °C on the Mediterranean. His partner adds: "If one of the two of us still had to work, the other could follow on without having to drive for a long time."
The weekends are almost fully booked
"The camping boom continues," says Esther Egli, who heads the Unterägeri camping site. "We are practically full at the weekend at the moment – except for people using tents." She would like a few more guests during the week, but, in principle, the figures have been "very pleasing" since Easter, and are comparable to those in the previous year. She has also noted:
"VW buses are popular – especially among younger ones – because of their flexibility, otherwise I see a trend towards ever larger vehicles."
Business is also rosy a few kilometres further along the lake in Oberägeri – at the Naas-Sod camping site. "The camping boom started even before Corona," says owner Patrick Müller. Thanks to the beautiful weather, things are going a little better this year than in 2021.
It’s actually almost too hot for this fast game: Philipp Bucher, Karin Maienfisch and the children Andri (12) and Ladina (11) (from left) play "Ligretto" at the camping site in Unterägeri
Directly on the lake: pitch 334.
Ready to hand: equipment for stand-up paddling.
Photos: Maria Schmid, Unterägeri
At that time, the season lost three to four weeks due to the bad weather, but that’s not the case so far this year: The most popular weeks, at the end of July and beginning of August, have been fully booked for a long time.
"The phone sometimes rang 30 to 40 times a day."
Concrete figures are also available for the camping site of the Touring Club Switzerland (TCS) on Lake Zug. According to its own information, the TCS is the largest provider of camping sites in Switzerland. Oliver Grützner, Head of Tourism and Leisure, speaks of a continuing boom throughout Switzerland.
The number of bookings in Zug looks "very good": "In Zug, we are recording a decline in overnight stays of 14 % compared to the previous year, but an increase of 50 % compared to 2019."
There are still individual pitches for motorhomes and caravans available here during the week. "The camping site is quite full at the weekends up to 7 August, but, even here, individual bookings are still possible," says Oliver Grützner.
You have to reserve earlier and earlier
Back to pitch 334 in Unterägeri. The family only sees a few disadvantages when camping: Karin Maienfisch sees on of these as the elaborate packing and unpacking and the relatively limited space in the caravan if it rains for several days.
She originally bought the camper in order to park it in front of her home and set up her own office in it. She and her partner work as consultants for schools at the Pädagogischen Hochschule Nordwestschweiz (Teacher Education University North-western Switzerland). "But the children soon wanted to go on holiday with it."
In the meantime, the places have become a bit more expensive due to the high demand, and you have to reserve earlier and earlier, says Philipp Bucher. Having been reminded about this, the couple headed for the camping site reception to inquire whether their beloved place is still free next year as soon as the interview was finished.
According to the website of Ägerital-Sattel Tourism, there are other camping sites in Morgarten (Camping Neselen and Camping Chällermatt) and Unterägeri (Camping Hinterwiden-Hof).