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Looking for beautiful mountains in switzerland, where's the best place, any suggestions?

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Just hoping someone might have a good suggestion for me for a great place in switzerland to see the alps. Thanks. This trip will be in the summer, if that matters.

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    You essentially have two choices for seeing the high Alps. The Berner Oberland is the range of mountains on the north side of the Rhone, usually approached by most tourists from Interlaken, which is north of the main range. Ed has indicated his preference for this region.
    The Pennine Alps, which form the mountain barrier between Italy and Switzerland, are approached from within Switzerland by going south from the Rhone Valley.
    The place most frequented by American tourists is Zermatt. The mountains that ring Zermatt are higher than those of the Berner Oberland, and you encounter more peaks with chacter and grandeur, if you penetrate into the mountain world.
    I agree, if all you do is sit on a terrace somewhere and tour on your bottom, there may be more places to sit and tour around the Berneroberland than from around Zermatt. Mürren for example is situated on a shelf along the west side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, about 4,000 feet above sea level with a grand view of the mountains: the Mönch, Jungfrau, Breithorn, and perhaps a peak at the Eiger from the side.
    Having spent considerable time around Saas Fee and Zinal as well as Zermatt as well as the valleys and glacial shelves at the base of the Jungfrau, etc., I think it depends on what you want, and your predilections for seeing the Alps. I don't think you can go wrong visiting either place.
    In a few days I am off to spend a week in Lauterbrunnen so I can take another look at the whole region, again. But in previous years I have spent whole weeks in the Saas Fee area wandering and driving about.

    How long do you want to be there and what do you want to after you arrive?
    I think those are the key questions.

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    I am going to be in Europe for a month, but really haven't gotten to the planning stage where I set out exactly how long I will be somewhere, but I gave switzerland 5-7 days, dependant on how much I like it. I want to be able to see the alps, and hike on trails around them, or on them, if you can. I really want to see the views of the mountains from the ground and from the top, not really experience the history of switzerland, I saved that history stuff for Austria and Germany. I think switzerland will be the place where I just walk around, and not necessarily see historic places or tourist attractions.

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    You can get a good feel for the Berner Oberland in a couple of days, but I think at least four is a very good idea. There are just so many different trails, plus the two major excursions to the tops of the Jungfrau and Schilthorn and boat rides on the lakes. I am sure Bob and Ed can vouch for this as they have both spent a lot of time there. Having more days will allow you to do the best trails and excursions in good weather too. It can be quite variable, and storms can come in no time.

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    Yep, old slosh in the sleet Bob can well attest to the fact that mountain storms can strike quickly. I never head off on a stroll of more than 1K without my Gore Tex equipment in my pack, plus a PolarFleece pullover.
    Of the various train or cable assisted excursions, I can name 7 of the first magnitude. In the Berner Oberland area
    in order of decreasing expense, the trips are: 1. The Jungfraujoch. The term Joch in German means notch or col. It is reached after a high-priced ride on the train. The trip is rewarding, particularly if you walk the groomed track out to the Mönchsjochhütte - the "hut" in the saddle between the Jungfrau and the Mönch ( peak between the Eiger and the Jungfrau). The "hut" sleeps 125 dormitory style and has a kitchen staff in the summer. Spectacular walk, but if the wind is whipping up the slope, it can be a little cool. 2. Top of the Faulhorn. This minor peak is reached by trail from the First gondola station. The gondola ride originates in Grindelwald. The trail that leads from the end station named First to the Faulhorn gives eye-popping views of the Oberland giants, including the Schreckhorn, Finsteraarhorn, the north wall of the Eiger, and the Wetterhorn. (The Finsteraahorn is the highest peak in the area, if my map reading is accurate.) Once on top you can see the Brienzersee and the Thunersee on either side of Interlaken, and off in the distance you can see tomorrow.
    3. The Schilthorn ride. The Luftseilbahn (big cabin hanging on a cable) starts in Stechelberg and goes to Mürren and then to the top. The view from up there is encompassing.
    4. The Pfingsteggbahn and walk to the Stieregg Restaurant. The trail overlooks the Unter Grindelwaldgletscher. If you have the legs, you can continue toward a high mountain hut. This walk takes you into the heart of the mountain world.
    I know of no other quite like it. You are in the middle of what most people view from afar. And by only viewing, they really don't comprehend the world of peaks, cliffs, glaciers, and routes that go seemingly straight up.
    On this trail, most people shrink when they start up the fixed cables and ladders of the cliffs known as the Rots Gufer. (I decided discretion was the better part of valor.)
    In the area around Zermatt, the ride on the train to the Gornergrat station with its view over the glacier and the peaks of Monte Rosa is thrilling. If the day is clear, you see the Matterhorn on the way up and some other peaks. We got off at the Rotenboden station and walked up to the Gornergrat station. We got snowed on before we came back.
    And #6 is the cable ride to the Klein Matterhorn. It can be cool up there because the wind whistles through the notch in the mountains.
    As #7, the ride up to the Plattjen station above Saas Fee is something else again, particularly if you take the walk over the glacier to the Britannienhütte. The Dom towers above you. At 4,545 meters (14,907 ft) it is the highest peak entirely within Switzerland. At the hut, about 10,000 feet above sea level, about half of the mountain is still above you and half below you. With all the ice and no trees to divide the terrain, you can get the illusion that you are suspended in air.
    My own assessment is this: if you want to do the Alpine mountain world justice, you must view both the Pennine Alps south of the Rhone Valley as well as the Berner Oberland. But viewing alone does not do it justice, to sense the beauty as well as the awesomeness of the landscape, penetrate the depths.

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    I agree with Steve that the Matterhorn is spectacular, but I would suggest not going to Zermatt for that alone. Last time we were in Zermatt for three days and fortunately caught just a glimpse of the Matterhorn one morning through the fog. This year we stayed there two nights and never got even a glimpse of the mountain. But our four days in Grindelwald were wonderful. Even though it was often rainy, we hiked anyway and had a great time. Bob Brown has given a complete and accurate account of just a few of the best things to do in the Jungfrau region. We have spent four days there each of the last two years and are anxious to get back, we haven't begun to complete our list.

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    Dear George,

    Since you're not sure of your itinerary, but seem to be looking for a great mountain experience, might I suggest the French Alps? I just returned from a 3 week stay in 'Les Arcs' (Bourg. St. Maurice--not too far from Albertville), and was absolutely floored by the beauty of the area. My husband and I went on some incredible hikes, and even took a day-trip to Italy (all we had to do was drive over the nearest mountain range). In fact, this was our second trip to Les Arcs; we were so impressed by our stay there last year that we decided to make the 12-hour drive from Brittany (three children in tow!) just to see it all again. We had a splendid view of Mont Blanc, and in addition to the countless hiking opportunities available to us, we were also able to try our hand at whitewater rafting, canyoning, paragliding, hydrospeed, via short, a complete mountain experience. And on the days when we were too tired to climb, we simply sat and drank in the magnificent view. Definitely worth seeing!

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