Saffetz and the nearby Rheinfall on the Rhine were some of the most beautiful places we visited during our campervan tour of Switzerland. Beautiful and unique, which sank deeply into our memories and we are happy to show them to you now.
We present you with a suggestion for one or two days in Saffron including the most famous waterfall on the Rhine.
How temporal was our trip? We arrived in the Shafuz area around 5:00 pm and later that day headed to the parking lot near Laufen Castle with specially prepared platforms to admire the Rheinfall. We managed to catch free entry to the platforms (we write about it below).
In the end, we managed to find a place, but it was after dusk, so we didn’t have a chance to enjoy the surroundings and the campground itself. That time was also in short supply in the morning, as we had planned to visit Saffuza and Stein am Rhein for the whole day (we will write about the latter town in a separate post).
However, let’s start with the waterfall.
Table of contents
Rheinfall waterfall and Laufen Castle
We drove the camper to the free parking lot at Laufen Castle (Parking am Schloss Laufen). We were in the second half of the day and there was no problem finding a free parking space. You can also easily find dedicated spaces for RVs and cars with trailers here.
From the parking lot, it is very close to the entrance to the castle grounds, but beforehand you must purchase tickets at the ticket office. Entrance currently costs CHF 5 per adult and CHF 3 per child (ages 6-15), with a fee to go to the viewing platforms on the Rheinfall and to enter the special exhibitions – entrance to the castle grounds itself is free.
Since we were already quite late, the cash registers were closed and the gates were open. Nevertheless, we took a long time to see if we could enter without a ticket. After a few minutes of observing other visitors, we set off in their footsteps and made our way to the viewing platforms :)
One of them is located above the waterfall and here we can admire it in all its glory. It’s from here that you can see the enormity of the surging and falling water over a width of 150 meters! The water here flies an average of 600 m³/s (in summer), which makes the Rheinfall the most powerful in Europe. We were even anxious to watch the ships coming up from the other side almost under the waterfall itself. On this platform there are information boards with the geological history of the river and waterfall.
Even more impressive is the smaller platform at the bottom, where it feels like standing right at the foot of the waterfall.
The waterfall can also be viewed from the other side of the river – there are dedicated paid parking lots, but the approach to the viewpoints is free. It is from here that cruises to the waterfall start.
Schaffhausen (German: Schaffhausen) is the capital of the canton of the same name. Canton, as if plucked from German territory, on the other side of the Rhine.
Particularly noteworthy in Shafuz is the old town with its well-preserved townhouses and the Munot fortress with vineyards reigning over the city. This round fortress is a symbol of the city, and it was here that we directed our first steps. It is located on a hill, so to get to it you first have to climb some stairs.
As a reward, everyone can visit the facility completely free of charge, and a beautiful panorama of the entire city spreads from the top! We liked best the rose garden next door, from which you can also admire the Shafuzha, and it is quieter here than in the fortress.
The peace and quiet is also enjoyed by the deer and roe deer that live here ;) The fortress itself is also worth a look.
Before heading to Stein am Rhein, we strolled through the center of Shafuz through narrow streets closed to traffic, admiring the ornate bay windows (there are more than 170 here!), stopping at fountains and passing small local stores.
Head to the Romanesque cathedral of All Saints (Kloster Allerheiligen) and the adjacent monastery, as well as the Gothic church of St. Peter and St. Paul. John.
Saffetz and Rheinfall are close to each other, so it is worth combining the two places and here we have a ready-made plan for the whole day.
The waterfall made an incredible impression on us, especially when we looked at it from below and could feel the force with which the water falls. Shafuza is a place where we can take a leisurely stroll through the well-kept old town, and from the Munot fortress we can not only see the city, but also the aforementioned Rhine River.
You can see more photos in our gallery:
We also recommend our entry After Switzerland by camper van – first impressions, practical entry Campsites in Switzerland, or Switzerland by camper van, and
Switzerland – what to see
, or our TOP 5 most beautiful places.