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Alternatives to Berner Oberland?

Hi, we're planning a summer 2017 trip. My wife and I visited Mürren years ago and loved it. I've visited the area around Prien in Germany and also liked the area for hiking.

We're eager to hear ideas of places like the Berner Oberland that we might consider as alternatives for this trip. We plan to be in the area near Munich and Salzburg as part of this trip, and if we visited Berner Oberland, would then add a Switzerland circuit.

Thanks for any ideas!

Posted by
6477 posts

Do a search on here "Austrian Alps", choose Travel Forum and filter for 6 months and newer. There are several threads that address just this question with lots of good options.

Posted by
12040 posts

Depends on what you mean by "like the Berner Oberland".

If you mean a scenic cul-de-sac alley, then perhaps the Klein Walsertal near Oberstdorf. Or Oberstdorf itself.

If you mean a high-altitude village, there's two options I can think of, although neither is auto-free. One, Obertauern near Salzburg. This is not any sort of traditional village, but a modern purpose-built winter ski resort built along a high Alpine road pass. The hiking is as good as anywhere else in the Alps. Only a few hotels remain open during the summer, but they are of a very high quality and offer significant off-season discounts for the level of service they provide. I also like this town because during heat waves, the high altitude provides significant relief.

Another high-altitude option is Flumserberg, in St. Gallen canton. This isn't one distinct village, but a series of hamlets spread across the side of the mountain. It functions as a sort of weekend getaway for Zurich residents- the international tourism industry seems to have completely overlooked the town. The Alps here aren't nearly as towering, but still very scenic. If you have mobility problems, one advantage of Flumserberg is that the town maintains several kilometers of nearly flat trails near the summit. Just a ski lift to the top.

Posted by
10052 posts

We ask ourselves the same question all the time, with a twist: Is there any place like the Berner Oberland OR the Val Gardena, which is in Italy's Dolomites. Our question is based on a love of accessible and non-strenuous hiking coupled with marvelous transportation. We've tried Austria and not found the right place for us. The Valais in Switzerland has some appeal, but it is not as good at the Berner Oberland nor the Val Gardena for us. We've tried two other sections of the Dolomites, the Val Pusteria and the Alta Badia, but the Val Gardena calls us back. We are spending the month of July in Ortisei, in fact, and will spend a week in October in Lauterbrunnen.

The food is better in Italy, but the mountain transportation is perhaps a bit better in the Berner Oberland. Italy is less expensive, by far.

Take a look at the Val Gardena and consider dropping into a part of Italy that hardly seems Italian.