We'll be on this tour in mid June. I would appreciate any suggestions, especially if you have been on the tour, about hikes that we could take on our free days (Engleberg, Lugano, Murren) that would have the best show of wildflowers. We will be arriving three days early in Lucerne so any suggestions in that area would be especially welcome.
There is a demanding but rewarding hike in the Lauterbrunnen area that fits this perfectly for June. It's a hike to Sulsseei, an alpine lake, and the only people you will see are a few locals doing mountainy things.
Take a bus from Lauterbrunnen to the nearby little town Isenfluh. There is a restaurant there and a place to buy supplies. From there take the cable car up to the Sulwald station. Sulsseei lake is to the west through high medows and farms with a great view of the Lauterbrunnen valley over your shoulder. Check out the route on GoogleMaps.
I'm guessing the whole route is about 6 miles with lots of up and down. I am of average fitness and I found it demanding.
We took this tour last year from June 3-June 13. The tour was wonderful and I expect you will enjoy it. After the tour completed, we took the train back to Murren/Lauterbrunnen where we spent 5 additional nights. I can't speak for wildflower hikes in Lugano as that is not something we did on our free day there. In Engelberg the group went to the top of Mt. Titlis in the morning. It was drizzling and not a great day. When coming down from the mountain, you exit the gondolas in one (or two) transfer spots. I know at one of those exits there is a lake which you can walk around. On a nice day that might provide some good wildflower sightings. Your guide will probably be able to provide some good suggestions there. Since it was drizzling and foggy, we decided to skip that activity.
In Murren there is a hike (or funicular) you can take from right in Murren to the Allmendhubel. There is a flower trail (easy) that you can take which has a lot of blooming wildflowers (depending on season). When we were there in the early part of June, the funicular was not yet open for the season and we did some other activities on our free day there (Schilthorn and Gimmelwald). When we returned to Murren on June 14 the funicular was open, and we took it to the Allmendhubel. the views from there are beautiful and we walked the trail and saw many wildflowers blooming. I think a week or two later, there would have been even more. There is also a restaurant up there which was a great place to relax and enjoy the views.
This excursion would be an easy one to do during your free time in Murren and by mid June or later, you should see some blooming flowers. Rick's Switzerland book covers this attraction.
Have a great trip. I would love to return to Switzerland again.
I will add, we also spent a couple of days in Lucerne prior to the start of the tour. I recommend the trip to Mt. Pilatus if the weather is good. We had a sunny day and we took the boat ride to Alpnachstad and then the cogwheel up to the top of Pilatus. There are some hikes up there as well as a restaurant. We watched paragliders taking off from the top. We took the cable car down to Frankmuntegg stop where we did the toboggan run (great fun). Then a gondola down to Krems where we caught the city bus back to Lucerne. We purchased the round trip ticket from our hotel. The only extra cost was for the toboggan (luge), which you pay at the site. This was a great day for us and the views are beautiful from the lake, cogwheel and top of mountain.
We enjoyed Mt Pilatus and Mt. Rigi-
I liked Rigi better, maybe because of the spectacular day we had, and at the mountain peak you can see several countries. The cogwheel train has 2 or 3 stops, with restaurants , where you can have a drink with the view, [before or after hiking?] Also, if you have the Swiss Travel Pass, all of Rigi transportation [boat ride, cogwheel train] is covered fully by the Pass.
We were warned about the hike estimates on the trail signs: the posted time is the pace for a Swiss grandmother. For the rest of us, double the time, even for down hill hikes. We found this to be very true!
Safe travels and enjoy this wonderful country!
Hi - I imagine you'll find beautiful wildflowers (and different varieties) all throughout this tour. I haven't taken it but have been to Murren a couple of times. Ellen F. above refers to a restaurant on the Flower Trail near the Allmendhubel. The views are amazing, and the restaurant is called Suppenalp. Talk about wildflowers! I ordered some tomato soup there - it had a kind of delicous foamy cream on top and on top of that were wildflower petals - pink, yellow, and purple. I can still visualize it!
If it is flowers you want, I highly recommend Rigi. There is a Floral Trail that passes through Rigi Kaltbad. You could get off the train at the Rigi Staffel stop and walk back, or start in RiginKaltbad and walk in either direction.
Mid-June may be a bit early for some of the higher areas, but Rigi Kaltbad should be OK.