walking in Swiss Alps

Old Jan 17th, 2003, 01:27 AM
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walking in Swiss Alps


I'm trying to find some easy-to-moderate walking trails in the Swiss Alps. I'm really really keen on hiking myself but I'll be travelling with 2 other friends whose fitness levels are yet to be challenged! We're planning to travel in early June from Spain, spend about 3 or 4 days in Switz somewhere walking the Alps before flying out to Italy. Can anyone recommend (or point out any websites or sources of info) a trail that's not strenuous and at the same time can be a rewarding/exceptional-fun experience?

Thanks for any pointers in advance!
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 01:33 AM
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Go to the Bernese Oberland. You can take the cable-cars/gondolas up to the top of the mountains and either take round trip walks and take the lifts down or go downhill all the way. Check out the Swiss tourist office. There are some great hikes around Wengen/Murren/Grindelwald. One thing you may want to look into is a Swiss-rail pass as these can get you hefty discounts on the mountain lifts. Also, do a more thorough search on this board as similar questions have been asked many times.
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 01:38 AM
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Lonely Planet books has a great book "Walking in Switzerland". This rates walks by fitness level, even walks for kids. It also gives directions for using public transport. I find it accurate and very helpful.
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 03:01 AM
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I agree with xxx - the Bernese Oberland offers some great hiking.

I have the LP Walking in Switzerland Guide, but I haven't found it any more helpful than the information readily available at the train stations/tourist offices throughout Switzerland.

In Murren you can take the Allmendhubel funicular then begin the North Face Trail. It's easy, incredibly scenic and one of my personal favorites.

Another popular and very easy hike is from Mannlichen to Steckelberg - from Wengen, you take the cable car to Mannlichen, then walk to Steckelberg - I've seen people in wheelchairs on this path. You can also take the lower path from here, which is a bit more difficult.

There are many scenic trails above Wengen - one in particular can be accessed by taking the train to Wengernalp, then hiking to Wixi, Bigernalp, and Mittlenap. This trail is through a meadow and offers spectacular views of the Eiger, Jungfrau and Monch.

There's also a scenic, level walking path from Lauterbrunnen to Trummelbach falls and a variety of hikes above Grindelwald which can be accessed by taking the Pfingstegg cable car or the gondola to First.

There's no shortage of hikes in Switzerland - many of the hikes begin ON mountaintops, so they're all that difficult.

Hope this helps -
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 04:46 AM
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This site explains several walks and has listing of books.
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 06:53 AM
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What a great site. Thanks for posting it (I'm from Colorado, have spent much time hiking in Switzerland and Bavaria and love beautiful Roma!)
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 07:02 AM
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Consider the Ticino region. It is the Italian region of Switzerland and if you stay in Locarno on Lago Maggiore you can hike in the Centovalli (100 Valleys). Take the small train to one of the stops and off you go on incredible hikes. I have some route maps I can fax you if you're interested. Also, there is a wonderful easy bike ride to do.

Then you can easily train into Italy in a couple of hours!
Old Jan 18th, 2003, 03:10 AM
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Just re-read my previous post - gave you some bad info in error - the hike from Mannlichen is to Kleine Schiedegg -sorry for the screw-up.

Old Jan 20th, 2003, 08:48 PM
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Where ever you decide to go be sure to take proper and broken in hiking shoes. Worth the weight to take them.
Old Jan 21st, 2003, 05:44 AM
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Try Scarpa boots - they are the best! We have used ours for hikes in Scotland, Switzerland, French Alps, Bavarian Alps, Pyrenees, Lake District, South Africa, Utah, Colorado, etc. and have never had a blister or a sore spot and just LOVE them! The above poster is right, for hiking around the mountains, even for easy rambles, good hiking boots are worth their weight in gold.
Old Jan 21st, 2003, 07:21 AM
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Exodus Travel has some guided walking tours in Switzerland. One option would be to book a trip with them. The other would be to read their detailed itineraries to get some ideas of where to go, and how long to walk for. In addition to the LP guide, these might provide you with some useful information for planning.
Old Jan 21st, 2003, 08:48 AM
Bob Brown
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I have spent several weeks in all in the Lauterbrunnen - Grindelwald area.
My favorite walks/hikes in that area are these:
1. For an ascent to a point where you can see the main range of the Berner Oberland, take the gondola from Grindelwald to First. (First means ridge in German.) Walk as much of the trail to the top of the Faulhorn as you can do. The higher you go the better it gets, with the ultimate view coming from near the mountain hotel at the top.

2. Take the cable car up to a station called Pfingstegg and walk to Stieregg.
There is a restaurant at Stieregg. As mountain hikes go, this one is not terrible uphill. The view once you turn due south if of the thin western escarpment of the Eiger, and then you soon reach a point where you can see the glaciers flowing off of the Fiescherhorn. The route beyond the cafe gets truly wild as you walk deeper into the mountains. You are in the heart of the glaciers.
3. From Gimmelwald take the trail to the Kilchbalm. The "Kilch" is a deeply recessed cirque full of waterfalls, towering cliffs, even remnant ice pockets and snow. The hike out is fairly flat as mountain trails go, but it is mountain terrain!!
The cirque is where as glacier was a few hundred years ago, and you are deep into the innards of the Berner Oberland Range.

The view from the Männlichen is nice too, with the Eiger staring you right in the face. There are two cable lifts to the crest of the ridge.
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