If you had to pick one place to visit in Switzerland, where would it be? We've spent a few days in Epesses near Montreaux and a few days in Murren on our last two trips. We are trying to decide if we should go back to Murren or should we visit a different place on our next trip. We are looking for great views and wonderful hikes! Thank you!
Bettmeralp. A car free village in the Valais, perched high above the Rhone River, south-facing, with views into Italy. Easily reached from Brig and cable car. The hikes take you to viewpoints to see the Aletschgletscher, or a long traverse above the glacier, with options to get up close to it. That is one of my favorite hikes in the world. ( and I hike a lot, including the Sierras, Rockies, And Dolomites.) Www.bettmeralp.ch It is not necessarily "better" than Mürren; I like them equally. But I like the hikes at Bettmeralp more. The glacier views are really amazing.
KT, There are lots of good choices. > Return to Mürren and explore that area further. > If you want more of a city experience, I'd highly recommend Lucerne. It's a beautiful city and while there you could take a trip to Mt. Pilatus, a boat trip or just enjoy the city. The Museum of Transport is awesome! Of course, no visit to Lucerne would be complete without seeing the famous "Lion of Lucerne", which Mark Twain called "the most mournful and moving piece of rock in the world". > If you want to visit a somewhat "different" part of Switzerland, you might consider the Appenzell area. It's a very traditional part of Switzerland and somewhat different than other parts. While there you could perhaps take a day trip up to Ebenalp and visit the unique Church that's built onto the side of the cliff. > If you want to experience the "Italian" part of Switzerland, you could visit either Locarno or Lugano. Both are incredibly beautiful! Check the Guidebooks for details on all the above locations. Happy travels!
I like Flumserberg. It's more like a weekend getaway for Zurich residents than an international resort. The view is spectacular, and the hiking is first rate.
They asked for wonderful hikes, not cities. I like to see photos of places to inspire me to go there. I saw the Aletsch glacier on a travel show and thought Wow! And it did not disappoint. We stayed in Riederalp and hiked over to the glacier, and along the ridgetop, and to the top of the Eggishorn. Incredible. You are in the heart of the Alps, surrounded with snowy peaks and that amazing huge glacier. From the Eggishorn, you can look up the glacier and see the Jungfrau (an maybe with binoculars you can see the heardes of people up there too.) You can hire a guide to take you out on th eglacier itself but we didn't do that. We did see climbers crossing it, returning from a climb of the peaks on th eother side. There is a suspension bridge crossing the gorge below the glacier. We want to go back and do that hike next. You can also get close to th eglacier from the regular trail. check out photos 5 and 6 on this website: http://sevennaturalwonders.org/europe/aletsch-glacier Note that this area is considered on of the "7 natural wonders" of Europe. Since I like photos, I checked the Flumserberg website recommended by Tom, hoping to find a new place to go. It looks nice, but it is Heidiland, low-elevation hiking in rugged green hills, not snowy peaks and glaciers.
"Since I like photos, I checked the Flumserberg website recommended by Tom, hoping to find a new place to go. It looks nice, but it is Heidiland, low-elevation hiking in rugged green hills, not snowy peaks and glaciers." What pictures were you looking at? Some of the peaks above the town top off above 2,500 meters. There aren't any glaciers, but the mountains are usually snow capped from mid fall until early summer. It's far from the highest elevation in Switzerland, but most of the hiking trails begin at around 1,000 m and ascend from there. It's anything but "low-elevation hiking".
I was looking on flumserberg.ch, under "summer" and "hiking" http://www.flumserberg.ch/sommer/de/activities/wandern/7+Gipfel+Tour.htm There are lots of photos of summer hikes and no snowy peaks. You say yourself the snow only lasts until early summer. Not judgin', just sayin'. It looks like a fine destination for a weekend getaway for Zurich residents. But not a world-class hiking destination to come all the way from the US to visit, at least not to me. I can find 2500-meter peaks that are craggy and snow-covered all summer right here in the North Cascades. If I'm going all the way to Switzerland to hike, I want something even better than that, like a huge amazing glacier.
We are traveling from Chamonix to Zermatt (via train) for a two night stay in Zermatt before we leave for home. Is it feasable to go a little out of our way and stop in Bettmeralp, do a day hike (or half day) to see the glacier, and still get back to Zermatt in the same day?
I didn't mean to hikjack the thread or talk everyone into seeing the Aletsch glacier! But I'm glad you are interested.
It would be a bit out of your way but only an hour or so each way. From Chamonix to Zermatt you go by way of Martigny and Visp, changing trains each place. Chamonix to Visp is 2.5 hours. That is where you would get off and take the mountain train to Zermatt. Instead, if you want to go to Bettmeralp, stay on the train past Visp and Brip to Betten. It is about 10 minutes past Brig. (You may have to change trains at Brig too). At Betten you catch the cablecar that takes you up to Bettmeralp. Time from Visp is just under an hour. After your hike you would reverse (cablecar, train) back to Visp and take the small train to Zermatt. So it would be 3.5 hours from Chamonix to Bettmeralp, and about 2 hours from there back to Zermatt. Does that leave enough time to hike? If you want to hike up the Eggishorn, stay on the train past Betten to Fiesch and take the cablecar up to Fiescheralp, where the trail up the Eggishorn starts. Or you can ride a cablecar all the way to the top of the Eggishorn and hike down to Fiescheralp. These hikes from the Eggishorn have great views of the glacier but do not take you close to it. If you had more time you could hike from the top of the Eggishorn down the other side to the lake (lunch hut there) and right out to a spot alongside the glacier, a blue wall towering above you. Chunks of ice fall off into a pool so don't get to close. You can hike back to Bettmeralp along the glacier from here, or return to the lake and walk through a long tunnel under the ridge and back to Fiescheralp. But these are full-day hikes.