Please sign in to post.

10 days to hike/drive in Switzerland

My husband and I are celebrating our 60th birthdays with a trip to Switzerland. We will fly into Geneva Aug. 24th and fly home out of Geneva Sept. 4th. We would like to do a 2 or 3 night hut to hut hike...maximum intermediate difficulty. We will have a rental car..my husband is a true American and can not stand not having his own transportation. We have hiked and driven in the mountains throughout USA..so driving on small mountain roads will be no problem. We are not particularly interested in big cities, museums, etc. Just small villages, scenic drives, etc. If you have a suggestion of the best route for driving and or hiking...please offer your advise. Of course, I do have Rick Steve's Switzerland book..and have followed his advise on all our travels to Europe previously. We are aware Switzerland is expensive..but not particularly interested in fancy lodging and/or meals. Bread, Cheese, Chocolate on an alpine meadow could be our most outstanding meal of the trip. I will look forward to anyone's advise and experiences that can be shared.
Thanks, Carol

Posted by
12376 posts

Hi Carol-what a great way to celebrate your 60th b-days. I did the same, although we did village-based hiking, and it was not my first time in Switzerland. I can suggest some great hikes and places you won't find in Rick's book. Keeping the hiking to intermediate level will rule out some of the tougher hikes and huts on classic routes like the Alpine Pass route. However, there are other choices that offer wold-class views and a night or two in a hut. The first that comes to mind incorporates the Panaoramaweg trail from first to Schynige Platte. You traverse a high ridge between the Grindelwald valley and the Brienzersee (lake), with spectacular views and interesting terrain. Starting in Grindelwald, you take the First gondola and hike past the beautiful Blausee to the Faulhorn: http://www.berghotel-faulhorn.ch/ Next day you follow the trail to Schynige Platte, where there is a mountain inn and alpine garden: http://www.hotelschynigeplatte.ch/eng/walking.php#schynigefirst Day 3 you ride the cogwheel train down to Wilderswil and return to Grindelwald by train to pick up your car. I have done this whole hike in a day, but it would be nice to break it up into several and experience the Faulhorn at night. Other places: above Zermatt, there is a hiking circuit of 15 huts, linked by hiking traisl. You could pick 2 or 3: http://www.zermatt.net/hoehenweg/en/01.html Also in the Valais, perched above the Rhone valley, are some car-free villages just below the ridge that edges the Aletschgletscher. Hikes here have amazing views of the glacier. The Pro Natura center in Riederalp offers rustic accommodation for hikers, despite its "villa" appearance: http://www.zermatt.net/hoehenweg/en/01.html Finally, our personal favorite for beauty in Switzerland, a rustic nountain inn near kandersteg: www.oeschinensee.ch TBC. .

Posted by
12376 posts

We stay at the rustic mountain inn and love the peace and quiet. It is right on the lakeshore, and the hotel severs very good meals made in part with food from their own organic farm. The cowbells serenade you at night. there are SAC huts you can hike to from here; We have done both, but the trails are steep, not really intermediate. http://www.sac-altels.ch/huetten/fruendenhuette.php (be sure and watch the video). http://www.sac-bluemlisalp.ch/index.php?id=28 This one is on the Hohtürli (pass) between Oeschinensee and the Kiental. This makes a very nice hut to hut walk if you can manage the ascent. And of course there are lots of hikes in the Berner Oberland region (Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald areas) that can be done as dayhikes. And some mountain inns in the upper Lauterbrunnen Valley in the unroaded valley beyond Stechelberg.

Posted by
16 posts

Thanks for the info. I will check out the websites you suggested!
Still hope to find some "special out of the way-scenic drives" so if anyone has a suggestion..let me know.