swiss water access

just heard from a friend that i may have to get a permit to float in switzerland. is that true, and if so, is it only on designated rivers. plan to base out of luzern with a fellow alaskan now living there and am looking for a packrafting experience. all suggestions are welcome! thanks for your time.

Generally no, there isn’t a permit system for rivers.
At least that was the situation in 2009 and I have not heard otherwise.
That being said, it might apply to specific rivers (for enviromentally reasons)
I will ask my swiss packrafting mates.


I’ve never heard of any permit requirements. There are, however stretches of rivers that are not navigable. There may be some lakes that where boating is not allowed as well. I haven’t done very much packrafting here in Switzerland yet, with the exception of a trip out on Lake Zug. Mostly because I don’t know any other local folks with packrafts.

There is a map put out by one of the auto clubs (TCS I think), that maps out a lot of the rivers. There are also a couple of books for rafting/kayaking. Not much in english, but there are a couple of books in German.

I know that a lot of the streams here have weirs and other obstacles in them.

There is the kayaking club in Zurich ( ) and the kayaking school in Versam, Graubunden ( ). Both of which might be useful to gather information. The bit of the Rhine near Versam is doable using the train as a shuttle. In fact, there are people who will run it several times in the same day.