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Swiss Alps wanting to stay in one place and take tours from one location

I will have a wheelchair (she is not wheelchair bond) for my 85 yr old mother as she can't walk long distances but it is her dream to see the Swiss Alps
we will have 7-10 days in July 2015. I looked at Zermatt as it looked like a central location that we could get to by train.

She does NOT want me driving so we will be using trains. But then Rick Steves did not recommend it as a good place to stay. I am looking for other suggestions. I see there are many one day tours from Geneva but I would prefer something closer to the being in the Alps It would just be the two of us traveling
Murren looks interesting. Note we are sight seeing not skiing

Posted by
32244 posts


Given the circumstances, Zermatt is probably not the best location, especially if travelling by car. You won't be able to drive into the town, so will have to get about on trains or whatever with the wheelchair.

You might consider the Berner Oberland, as there are gorgeous views of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. It's easy to reach by public transit, but of course that means getting your mother on and off the trains or lifts. You could perhaps use a car here also, although it would be parked and gathering dust and parking fees most of the time. Mürren would be a good place to stay for a few days, as once you get there it wouldn't be difficult to get around in a wheelchair (for the most part) as the main part is fairly level. However to clarify, there are no cars in Mürren - you'd have to park in Stechelberg and take the Cable Car via Gimmelwald (which you should be able to do with a wheel chair).

I believe the cable cars to the Schilthorn are wheelchair accessible, so you could take a trip up there and have a fine hot lunch in the James Bond revolving restaurant, with magnificent vistas of the alps gliding by the window. I can't imagine a better Swiss alps experience for your mother!

7-10 days would probably be a bit much to spend in one area, so you might split your time between at least two different locations. Lucerne would be another place to consider as it's a beautiful city and some nice day trips possible.

Posted by
11294 posts

I agree with all of Ken's post. The problem with Zermatt is that it would only be "central" if Switzerland were flat. Since it isn't, Zermatt is at the end of a rail line, and quite a distance to anywhere else in the country. Luzern, on the other hand, is quite central in the country, as well as having attractions of its own, so it makes a very good second base after Mürren (which is also a great place to base yourself).

Adding to the reasons to use Luzern as one of your bases, it's also relatively flat. From there, you can use boats, and you can take the boat and train combination to the top of Mt. Rigi (I saw a person in a wheelchair use the cogwheel train up the mountain; the train staff had a ramp to get the chair on and off). However, if you want to go to Mt. Rigi, be sure to take the boat to and from Vitznau. If you take the boat to or from Weggis, there's an insanely steep hill between the boat dock and the cable car, and it's quite some distance between them as well (a 10 minute downhill walk). At Vitznau, the distance from the boat to the train is very short (1 minute) and only a slight incline.

Posted by
995 posts

I would consider St. Moritz as a better location. There you can pick up trains for the Bernina Express, the Glacier Express and there are also a few other local trips you could do.

Also you should be aware that the Swiss train service offer help in getting your mother on and off the trains. Be sure to contact them as they are very helpful.