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large family week stay

My wife and I are taking our family of 15 to Switzerland for our fiftieth anniversary. I had initially looked in the Interlaken/Luaterbrunnen valley for places to rent for a week, but our group size seems to be a nonstarter. There seem to be quite a few vacation homes in the Valais region at ski areas. Rick doesn't seem to have much to say about this area, so I am wondering if any of you have experiences there. We are a very outdoorsy bunch. With some adventurers in the group. A few of us have been to Zermatt, but again, not much for lodging with this large group. Any thoughts? We would go in the summer, by the way. Thanks, Daniel

Posted by
2311 posts

I would recommend renting multiple places. Finding one house with 7+ bedrooms/bathrooms for that size group will be very challenging. There are many, many places that rent multiple apartments within the same building. Maybe 3-4 of these will work for your group. You’ll have better luck going through a local rental company vs. an online site like booking.com or AirBnB. Try googling Lauterbrunnen vacation rentals and looking for local agencies. You could also reach out to the local tourist information office for local agencies. Call or email and explain your needs. You might also be able to reserve an entire small hotel. Having separate spaces within the same building might have its advantages. I’m sure you know this will be very expensive.

Posted by
484 posts

As I have thought about it, here are some more ideas - and congratulations on fifty years! 🥂

You can also try searching for “Ferienhaus”. I think that you might still find something in the Berner Oberland, this would be my personal preference over the Valais.

Maybe try some locations like:

  • Beatenberg
  • Wilderswil
  • Unterseen or Matten (by Interlaken)
  • Bönigen or Iseltwald on the lake of Brienz
  • Aeschi
  • Kandersteg
  • Adelboden (accessible only by bus, which could be a
    negative)
  • Lenk

All of these locations have hiking and other outdoor and adventure options nearby.

Here is one in Aeschi - not as a recommendation, because I don’t know it, but just as an idea of what you might be able to find.

https://www.halteweidli.ch

Posted by
11312 posts

You might also try Saas-Fee or Saas-Grund in the Valais. Easy access to Zermatt as well. We stayed in Saas-Grund for a few days in 2021 and enjoyed it, although the Jungfrau Region is still our fave.

Posted by
977 posts

The Valais is a very nice region of Switzerland, there is plenty of scenery, good walking, train trips etc... I spend a couple of weeks there every year. Just because Rick does not cover it and most people just go to the Berner Oberland, does not mean it is not worth considering.

Posted by
32 posts

I want to thank all of you for your kind responses. This gives me much food for thought. It appears that each separate family will go their own ways after our week, so your ideas are good to pass along to our adult children and their families. We do not like to split up in smaller groups, so are reluctant to go into separate apartments. The age grouping in grandchildren will be 4 to 17, so a place with a variety of activities would be good. My wife and I have not been to Switzerland for almost 20 years, so we are sure many things have changed since then.

Two questions: Why do some of you feel the Bernese Oberland is the preferred location? To the respondant that enjoyed the Valaise, what kinda of activies do you most enjoy/ Again, thanks for your help. Daniel

Posted by
484 posts

Why do some of you feel the Bernese Oberland is the preferred location?>

This is for sure just a matter of preference. One is not ‘better’ than the other.

For me, it is all about what I see as I look around. I like the green fields and hillsides of the Berner Oberland with the higher, snow covered peaks in the background.

This is what I pictured Switzerland to look like before I came here.

The Valais is a major wine region and has drier weather and more rugged topography.

For the kids in your group:

Switzerland has a lot of themed hiking trails for children to enjoy, you will find them in most regions.

https://swissfamilyfun.com/category/hiking/theme-trails/

Posted by
1289 posts

Have stayed in Unterbäch in Valais twice. Various kinds of accommodations. Not much other than hiking activities going on. Pretty relaxing. Up to the Moosalp for hiking. Down to the east of Moosalp you come to Stalden and can go to Zermatt or Saas-Fee. There are public buses that run routes through the area.

Posted by
16215 posts

I do not see how you are going to find lodging for 15 people in one house, so splitting the group among several apartments may be necessary. But you could find 3 holiday apartments in one building.

For example, this apartment in Mürren will sleep 7 in a lovely modern 3-bedroom, 2-bath apartment in the upper village, near the Allmendhubel funicular.

https://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/murren/1745868?rSid=du4

We stayed in Chalet Oberdorf with my son’s family in 2018 and I can recommend it for comfort, space, and beautiful views from the wraparound balcony. You can find it on Air BnB under the name Chalet Oberdorf ( I cannot post a link to the app but the apartment is easy to find and recognize from the photos).

In the same building are two additional 2-bedroom apartments, each sleeping 4 people, so that takes care of the other 8 family members.

https://www.topapartments.ch/en/4-persons

I believe these two may be on Air BnB as well if you prefer that platform, but the Top Apartments site has been around a long time and I would trust it. These apartments have different owners than the one listed above.

Posted by
16215 posts

As far as childrens’ activities around Mürren, there are many. Our kids and grandchildren of various ages (6 to 18) have enjoyed the following:

Flower Park Playground at the top of the Allmendhubel funicular:

https://swissfamilyfun.com/allmendhubel-flower-park-playground/

Adventure trail with slides, tunnels and bridges from the playground down to Mürren:

https://bring-the-kids.com/kid-friendly-adventures-abound-in-murren-switzerland/

https://play-basel.weebly.com/flower-park-adventure-trail.html

The easy walk down to Gimmelwald, continuing to the Chilchbalm:

http://www.gimmelwald.com/chilchbalm.html

(Lots more hiking suggestions on that website)

The village itself offers an outdoor, oversized chess set, a sports center with indoor pool (nice for rainy day) and clay tennis courts our daughter really enjoyed. And of course one can travel by cablecar and train to nearby sites in the Berner Oberland, such as the Männlichen ridge walk (a fun playground there too), the Ballenberg outdoor museum, and maybe the fairytale castle Hotel Giessbach and waterfall, reached by boat from Brienz.

https://www.maennlichen.ch/en/summer/experiences/alpine-herdsmans-playground.html

https://www.giessbach.ch/en

https://thirdeyetraveller.com/grand-hotel-giessbach/

https://www.ballenberg.ch/en/

And for the really adventurous teens and their parents, there is the Mürren Via Ferrata:

https://www.earthtrekkers.com/murren-via-ferrata-guide/

Travel by train or cablecar/gondola to nearby Grindelwald and older kids will enjoy the zip lines and Trottibikes or scooters at the First Gondola:

https://www.jungfrau.ch/de-ch/grindelwaldfirst/

Younger kids can ride the Pfingstegg Rodelbahn, also at Grindelwald:

https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-us/experiences/the-pfingstegg-toboggan-run/

(Generally children under 6 are allowed to ride a Rodelbahn with a parent or older teen—-but you should confirm with them.)

Posted by
4385 posts

if you're not sure why people go to the BO, watch some Youtube videos and see if it isn't exactly what you think of when someone says "Switzerland".

Posted by
454 posts

Daniel, I just sent you a private message with a suggestion on a vacation rental home.