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After Berner Oberland in 2018: New Zealand, Norway or more Switzerland in 2019?

We had a very, very short but wonderful visit to the Murren and Lauterbrunnen area in June, part of a two week "snapshot" visit to 4 countries in Europe. I'm already thinking of spending about 7-10 days in July 2019, enjoying more of the Berner Oberland, and other selected places in Switzerland. Being in Murren and Lauterbrunnen made me realize that these are the kind of places, where I would enjoy doing absolutely nothing if necessary. No lines, no crowds, or worrying about pickpockets, just sit back or hike to enjoy the clean air and spectacular natural surroundings.

We aren't interested in seeing more museums or big cities, and a friend suggested that we consider New Zealand or maybe Norway in 2019, instead of more Switzerland. Based on the very limited information I have, it seems like Switzerland has more to offer in terms of variety than a fjord or two (and more) in Norway or New Zealand. For those of you who have visited Norway or New Zealand in addition to Switzerland, I'm very interested in your thoughts. Many thanks!

Posted by
59 posts

Hi Andy

I live in Australia and have been to all three places. I loved them all but we visited them in different ways so it’s hard to compare.

We hired a car and drove the two times we visited NZ’s South Island, travelled by train through Switzerland, and took a cruise up the coast of Norway.

I loved all three places for their beautiful scenery. Switzerland and Norway also have very old towns which NZ doesn’t have.

We’re returning to see more of Switzerland this September as I’ve always wanted to go back. I’d also be quite happy to see more of Norway in the future, probably travelling overland rather than by sea next time.

NZ’s South Island has beautiful glacial lakes as well as fjords. For me the lakes were the most spectacular thing there. In Norway it’s the fjords that are beautiful. And in Switzerland there are lakes and mountains but no fjords.

I’m sure you’d enjoy NZ and Norway if you liked Switzerland, but I think Switzerland wins in the outstanding scenery contest. It also has such a great rail system.

Posted by
2162 posts

We just left Norway a few days ago. We loved it, although it was a bit hotter than we would have liked. I have not been to Switzerland, but have been to New Zealand. I don’t think you can go wrong with either.

Posted by
10052 posts

We go back to The Lauterbrunnen Valley as often as we are able and we stay a week or more. Our 5th visit is coming up in Sept. we like to combine places we have visited before with places we have yet to discover on each trip and going to Lauterbrunnen is like coming home. On a return trip your familiarity with the area pays off and you can dig deeper, range farther, and enjoy it more.

But then I have not had a chance to visit NZ and Norway. They could be new favorites.

Have you been to the Dolomites in Italy? Another fave your could combine with some time in the Berner Oberland,

Posted by
153 posts

Thanks all, for your replies! We haven't been to the Dolomites in Italy, but think that there is so much still left for us to see and enjoy in the Berner Oberland, that for 2019 that's where we will go. Most likely, we'll visit NZ in 2020, and Norway the following year.

Besides the spectacular scenery, the thing we like about Switzerland is that distances are small. That's probably not the case in NZ or Norway. For example to visit a scenic place like Lofoten in Norway would mean traveling for an entire day from Oslo.