Toll free route to Switzerland – save more money on tolls!

A toll free route to Switzerland is a good money saving option, not only for those travelling through France and to Switerland itself, but also for those heading towards Italy. The good thing is that much of the routing is on motorways and dual carriageways and so whilst the actual distance covered on a toll free route to Switzerland is similar to the  conventional route via the A26 and A4 motorways in France, the overall time for the journey is more or less the same.

Toll free route to Switzerland via Chateau Salins

This is a particularly straight forward route and using Calais as a starting location, it is simply a matter of following the signposts as detailed. It may of course be cheaper to take a ferry to Dunkerque – plus this has the added advantage of chopping a few more miles off the journey.

Calais – Dunkerque – Lille -(towards Belgium)  Tournai – Mons – Charleroi – Arlon – Luxembourg – Metz – Metz Est – Chateau Salins –  Sarrebourg – Phalsbourg and then here, a little cheat. It is worth joining the A4 motorway for one junction at J44 and leaving at J45 – this avoids a steep hill and the town of Saverne. Of course Saverne is a pretty enough place for an overnight stop, but the traffic can be busy. From J45 of the A4, head for Molsheim – Obernai – Colmar and the French/Swiss border at Basel/Mulhouse. It really is that simple. We have done this route many times with a conventional motorhome and also the tag axle – it is a very easy drive.

A Google map of the route is shown. The actual distance  is 462 miles with a Google time factor of 8 hours 53 minutes. Obviously, us motorhomers and caravanners may take longer than that anyway, but I make reference to the timings for information only.

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Toll free route to Switzerland via Nancy

This route starts off in the same way – so Calais – Dunkerque – Lille – Tournai – Mons – Charleroi – Arlon – Luxembourg – Metz but then south on the toll free A31 motorway towards Nancy – Epinal – Bussang – Thann – Basel

This route comes out at 459 miles and an anticipated journey time of 8 hours 10 minutes. I like this route but have only done it Northbound. The “Coline de Bussang” is quite steep but it used by buses and trucks. We have driven this route both north and south at various times of the year and had no promlems with passing villages or the hill.

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 Toll free route to Switzerland via Germany – just!

This is the last of my tried and tested toll free routes to Basle, the quirk being a short stretch on the German autobahns! The mileage for this route is 462 with a time factor indicated by Google maps of 8 hours 54 minutes. The routing is the same start as far as Luxembourg then onwards towards Saarrebrucken in Germany before re-entering France at Sarreguemines, then on the N61/D1061/D661 towards Saverne, before continuing again via Molsheim, Obernai, Colmar and finally Mulhouse/Basle.

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The non toll free route from Calais to Basel, via the A26 motorway and the A4 motorway comes in at 474 miles and a traveling time of 8 hours and 4 minutes – so as you can see very little time differences between the routes.

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Full details of the cost or routing via Reims is available on the French Autoroutes website.

Another advantage of a toll free route to Switzerland

Luxembourg is a feature of a toll free route to Switzerland

Luxembourg is a common factor for the toll free route to Switzerland

The three toll free routes to Basel that I have tried and tested have a common factor – routed via Luxembourg. Diesel is Luxembourg is amongst the cheapest in Europe and so compared to France, you could save upto one euro per gallon. By planning your journey carefully, adding diesel at Calais to get you as far as Luxembourg and then filling “to the neck” with cheap diesel once in Luxembourg, you can make further savings to your journey thus reducing further the cost of your toll free route to Switzerland




  1. My toll free route is Dunkirk to Ieper via the N8 then motorway to Mons, Namur, Lux, Mets, Nancy, St Die des Vosages – motorway ends. St Marie aux Mines (toll tunnel or over the mountain), motorwway from Selestat to Basle
    – 450 miles – about 50 miles are non motorway

  2. Trucks do use the mountain road. The mountain route has about 8 miles of rather twisty going, but very managable. In winter, the route is closed by the authorities when the road is unsafe because of snow. leaving the tunnel as the only option. I last crossed the mountain road in December 2010, when most of Europe was socked in by snow and, going sensibly, I had no difficulty with the mounbtain road.


  1. […] Chateau Salins. The route from Basle to Calais and vice versa has seen the Chateau Salins “toll free route” used many times, but without a stay in the […]

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