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Looking for beautiful area in the Alps similar to Wengen/Murren

Looking for beautiful area in the Alps similar to Wengen/Murren

Aug 26th, 2015, 09:48 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Looking for beautiful area in the Alps similar to Wengen/Murren

This is pretty much a re-post but with a clearer title and correctly tagged locations. My previous version made it sound like we only were considering the Swiss Alps. We're looking for a beautiful mountain town to visit between Paris and Salzburg, regardless of what country it's in. In the other thread Lowe/Upper Engadine were mentioned but the thought was that early June wouldn't be good there. Zermatt and Gstaad were also mentioned. I've been pondering the Dolomites but think train access would be more of a problem there??
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Next summer we're heading to Europe with two families. We'll have 4 children between the two families ages 13-18. In between a stay in Paris and a stay in Salzburg we'll have 2.5 days to spend in the Alps (not including travel). This portion of our itinerary occurs the first of June and is as follows:
Tuesday - last day in Paris
Wednesday - train to Alps/late afternoon and evening in Alps
Thursday - day in Alps
Friday - day in Alps
Saturday - train to Salzburg

In 2011 we were fortunate to travel with the same family (with kids) and have already spent several wonderful days in the Lauterbrunnen valley. Our hotel was in Murren. And in 1999 the same adults also spent time in the same valley while staying in Wengen. So as much as we love that area we feel it's time to try another location.

What we want is something similar to the Lauterbrunnen valley with steep, dramatic mountains all around with great train access and light hiking (and possible paragliding). We had considered going to Lucerne and hiking around Rigi...but after considerable research, and viewing pics of the area our group feels that we're looking to be deeper in the Alps vs. on the edge as Lucerne appears to be.

So I'm looking for a recommendation of another area to visit. I realize that nothing may be quite as breathtaking as Lauterbrunnen but am looking for something close. We don't mind being off the beaten path a bit (as Murren was) as long as we can get around by train. To us it almost seemed like Grindelwald was too touristy (haven't been there but have seen videos and my parents visited there). Another option that we had considered was Engelberg, which could allow for a visit to Lucerne and yet was more tucked away in the mountains.

Thank you for your input
Wekiva is offline  
Aug 26th, 2015, 11:46 AM
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Engleberg is an Alpine resort area with dramatic Jungfruaesque scenery but much less expansive but yes Engleberg - which may be likened to Grindelwald not Murren or Wengen - not sure there is much varied things to do right there - take the celebrated rotating cable car up to near the summit - hiking, etc.

Lucerne is an easy day trip by train and or train and boat.

Zermatt of course would fulfill the Alpine Wonderland aspect but you basically have Zermatt it seems and few if any Wengen or Murren like towns but some small hotels scattered about.

The Engadine may well be what you're looking for - nice small villages with great views and locations - I am not as familiar with that area but the Berinia Pass to me is Europe's most scenic train trip - up and over the Alps, not tunneling under it.

Chamonix in France just over the Swiss border would be another choice - trains take you there from Martigny Switzerland and France - cheaper area since it is in France and has everything any primo Alpine resort would have, including small Murren and Wengen like towns.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 26th, 2015, 02:07 PM
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I think early June might be too early for Chamonix.

This might not work out, but have you considered Bavaria or southwestern Germany? I am thinking that in early June you might get more favorable weather there. It's 6 hours to Munich by fast train from Paris -- although you could stop further west than Munich. And then a rather easy trip to Salzburg from there.

I'm sorry I don't have specific suggestions, but I'm thinking more in terms of weather. Maybe some google searches for hiking in southwestern Germany would turn up some promising options with good access to public transportation.
sandralist is offline  
Aug 26th, 2015, 02:36 PM
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Nothing in Germany matches the OP's desire for a Wengen or Murren like town eyeballto eyeball with dramatic glacier-girdled soaring Alps - Zugspitze not even. For hiking yes but not Alpine Wonderlands - only in a very few places, mainly in Switzerland, Austria and France and Italy would fulfill that wish.

and really nothing anywhere I have seen matches the likes of Murren or Wengen for what the OP desires - or a Lauterbrunnen or even a Grindelwald.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 26th, 2015, 03:03 PM
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I actually think the Dolomiti are more impressive than the Bernese Oberland, and I prefer the valle d'Aosta for ambience vs Switzerland -- but early June is not the time to go to either. The German Alpine Road in Bavaria looks rather glorious in pictures, but maybe most of it is inaccessible by public transportation


(and maybe the early June time frame isn't optimal either)
sandralist is offline  
Aug 26th, 2015, 10:46 PM
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Pal, the op mentions Lauterbrunnen, so she's not talking about eyeball-eyeball with dramatic peaks; she seems to be content to be on the valley floor as well.

Hi Wekiva,

I'm not sure I'd rule out the Engadin in June. This year, Pontresina had temps in the high 70s and 80s in June, and in 2014, temps were in the high 70s and 90s. With Global Climate Change, of course, chances are better for warmer rather than colder.

If I were you, I'd take some time and look at some google images of the Upper Engadin towns like Pontresina, Sils, Celerina, and the mountains there. See if it attracts you at all.

And do the same for Gstaad. I adore Gstaad. I think I posted on your last thread that I find it more beautiful than the Jungfrau region.

Have fun as you plan!

swandav2000 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2015, 08:49 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. A couple of responses...I only mentioned Lauterbrunnen because it defines the entire area we love. We enjoy being up high in the mountains as well which is why we enjoyed staying in Murren even more than Wengen. And secondly...I'm a guy...but good info none the less. Thanks again.
Wekiva is offline  
Aug 27th, 2015, 10:12 AM
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hehehee! Sorry! I got mistaken for a man for the first, like, 10 years of my posting here. My apologies!

I hope you find a nice mountaintop village. I can't really think of any like Mürren or Wengen -- except Riederalp & Bettmeralp (about 30 minutes from Brig by cable car). Unfortunately, there's really nothing else to do there except hike. They are purpose-built resorts, and when I was there, it felt like a cruise ship marooned on the mountaintops. Everything was self-contained.

Anyway, good luck with the search.

swandav2000 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2015, 11:29 AM
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Frankly, with only three nights in a place along the way between Paris and Salzburg, this limits your choice to something easily accessible, not remote places like - which came to my mind right away - Soglio. It also sits on a terrace high above the valley, similar to Wengen, although the mountains vis-a-vis are not as high as in the Bernese Oberland, but they are dramatic enough (less glaciers). There are a couple of places in the French Alps, tiny, but totally out of the direction Salzburg. I am not aware of a mountain village in Austria that nestles on a high terrace with similar gorgeous views as Wengen/Mürren.

The other big problem is that early June is really early for trips to the highest mountains. Maybe one or two (Diavolezza and Muottas Muragl, depends on the exact date) mountain railways/cable cars are open in the Upper Engadine, but most of the villages in the valley are still inbetween seasons, quite dead. So are most of the other high resorts/villages. Most hiking trails in high elevations will still be snow covered, mountain huts/restaurants closed. Only easily accessible places that are on the radar of tour groups from overseas (like Jungfrau region, Engelberg) and lower resorts have more activities to offer.
Ingo is online now  
Aug 27th, 2015, 01:32 PM
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The Kanderstag Valley may be your cup of tea and easy to include on Paris to Salzburg - take TGV to Bern and then it's a short train ride:

PalenQ is offline  
Aug 27th, 2015, 04:22 PM
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I'd suggest the Zillertal in Austria, about an hour from Innsbruck. Mayrhofen is the largest/main town in the Ziller valley. We had a car and stayed outside the village of Finkenberg, overlooking Mayrhofen. As close as I've come to the "Wengen" experience anywhere.



Our photo's:


pja1 is offline  
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