Hi there ! Let me tell you more about my incredible trip in Switzerland. In my opinion, it’s one of the best destination to visit in Europe. I immediately fell in love with this country.
For this first day, we went to the Bernese Alps and more precisely in the region of Grindelwald to show you beautiful landscapes and maybe to give you the desire to discover Switzerland. Program of the day : a cable car to go up until “first station” then a 45 minutes hike to Bachalpsee. (not hard) The hike is really nice and we had a panoramic view of the whole valley. We arrived in front of Bachalp Lake where the summit of the Schreckhorn was reflecting on the water. This place is idyllic for the lunch !
Then we made the way back by foot (about 2:30) It was sumptuous ; the view over the Bernese Alps all the day, the sun was shining, a romantic break at Bachalpsee, then the way back through the woods; everything was gathered to spend an unforgettable day. We joined for the evening a town named Iseltwald. Such a lovely place near Brienz lake… We had dinner on a bench just in front of a magnificent sunset ! FOOD : We are from France so we had a small budget for Switzerland. Indeed, products & services are more expensive compared to our country. So you have 2 options : save money and have a comfortable trip or live the adventure like a real backpacker ! You will see… Salads and sandwiches of the supermarket will be your friend for 7 days ahah! No, seriously even if we didn’t spend time in great hotels / restaurants, our trip was perfect !
Lauterbrunnen & Oeschinensee
We woke up in Iseltwald for the sunrise… So pretty to see the sun lights coming on the mountains. We grabbed a coffee and took the road to Lauterbrunnen, It’s a famous village well knonw for the huge waterfall just above the chapel. We spent time in a bar to select pictures of the first day and get ready with cameras & computer batteries. It’s was fun to sea cows herds everywhere !
So, we went to the this famous spot where you can have both the church and the waterfall. It’s a splendid scenery, you must go there, it’s really a good place to relaxing. We found a restaurant not expensive (24 € for 2 lunch). It’s was so good to eat hot food! (Road trip are sometimes rudes for your nutrition, we always eat sandwich or salads…) So, we enjoyed our french fries and pasta and took the road to Oeschinensee !
The Oeschinensee lake is a natural lake on the heights of Kandersteg. It’s bordered on its eastern slope by a high and imposing rocky cliff. Our hike started in Kandersteg. Many paths partially go around the lake. People come here for the mountain hikes and gorgeous blue waters in summer and for the family-friendly ski runs and ice walks in winter. If you have only 2 or 3 hours, take the cable car up to the top and walk to the lake.
With a short visit, you can either rent a rowboat for an hour, walk along the shoreline for pictures of waterfalls. Back at the upper cable car station, a twisty toboggan sleigh run at the edge of the mountain is open in summer. If you have extra time, you can hike up from Kandersteg to Oeschinensee (about 90 minutes) or ride the cable car and tackle the 3-hour Heuberg loop trail above the lake instead. After a hard hike, you can enjoy a jump into the water for a swim.
After taking A LOT of pictures, we saw huge black clouds above the mountain. We decided to leave for the way back to Kandersteg. However, it was too late. We literally took a natural shower and came back to the car completly wet. We took our shower in the camping of the town, the owner was nice because she accepted us even if we were not staying for the night. WHAT HAPPINESS TO TAKE A SHOWER ! The first one after 2 days of hiking. Then, we bought cheese and bread to the supermarket. The castle life for backpackers 🙂
A big day is coming…. So, after this luxury dinner, we drove to Täsch. We had to take a train with the car. Yes, it’s a bit confusing at the beginning. It’s because there is no road to go to the south part of Switzerland from the north. So you have to pay around 30 € for 20 min.
Zermatt – Riffelsee
Ready for the day 3 ? So last night we slept on the road because we were a bit tired. We continued the road to the parking before Zermatt. You have to know that Zermatt is car free village. So you must take the train to join this village. We parked the car in a huge parking, just near the train station in Täsch.
After the train ride, we finally arrived in Zermatt and the weather outside was not so good…A foggy morning means a beautiful afternoon right ? 😉 So we took directly the path to go up. Indeed, because of the high cost of transportation, we decided to do the return hike by foot (7h30). Let’s meet the Cervin Mount ! Zermatt is a famous tiny village sits in the shadow of one of the world’s most photographed mountains – the Matterhorn. Yes this is the mountain that inspired both the triangular shape and the logo for Toblerone !
We were super dynamic and talking about the trip, photos, etc… and apparently not concentrated… We took a path in the woods and we were totally alone. I think it was not the shortest one because its takes a lot of time to join the top ! So after a long long hike, we finally arrived Riffelalp and saw for the first time the Cervin Mount ! We took some pictures but the hike was not finished yet! It was a unique show during the last 30 minutes. Clouds were dancing around us, sometimes we were stuck into a white fog and then literally 5 minutes later, we were just in front of the mountains with a blue sky completely clear.
The Riffelsee lake finally show the tip of its nose ! We were looking to have a reflection with the mount but the wind was not clement with us. After this long hike, we had a tiny nap on the grass. The sun was shining on our face, it was really pleasant. Then we just climb a little bit to have access to the glacier. How impressive is this scenery ? I had no word to describe what I had in front of me.
We took pictures but it was already time to take the way back to Zermatt by foot. We arrived at 7.30 pm down and were super super hungry ! Unfortunatly… Restaurants were not affordable and we decided to buy a sandwich, for changing ahah. I was dreaming about having a dinner with simply tomato pasta or something like carrots or zucchini, something HOT ! So after this wonderful dinner, we came back to the parking and found a bar to charge batteries and to select pictures to free up place on the SD card. Mmmmm a delicious hot chocolate after a long hike ? What else ? … A shower I would say ahah
The famous FURKA PASS !
It was super impressive, the road was only big zigzags and you have to be careful because it’s so hard to drive & admire at the same time. Indeed, there is a lot of bikers on this road, it’s funny! I felt like in the USA with long long roads and motorcycles everywhere !
When you join the top of the mountain, you have a breathtaking view all over the road you drove 5 min ago… and the famous hotel ! This the most instagrammable place in Switzerland I think. Now, I know why, this place is magical. You have a view on the road with splendid zigzags ; caves to visit in the Glacier du Rhône & an amazing panorama. About caves : it’s around 9 € to go down and have a look of the powerful water coming from the glacier and then visit the caves. It’s not long but it’s really impressive and unique. I loved the “frozen” atmosphere and my feet as well ahah
It was not planned but we spent all the afternoon there and left when the dark became ! A strange sunset appeared that evening. it was super dark with a light rain but it was perfectly matching with the scenery. We were looking for a bar to charge all our equipment but this region was totally empty! We finally parked the car after only 1 hour drive because we were tired. The night was pretty cold… -2° C but we fell asleep with a lot of memories of this perfect day.
The day 5 was full of surprises! We decided to visit Limmerensee lake even if there was not so much info about it on internet, we found the place. You have to go to Linthal and then follow your map to Tierfehd. (it’s the cable car name) Because we didn’t have so much info about the hike and because the weather was so cold, we took the option with the cable car. ( 15 CHF return per person) Once you’re at the top of the mountain, you have to follow a long long tunnel (35 min). It’s a little bit weird and dark. Don’t forget to take your goretex shoes because the tunnel is totally wet. After this “hike” we found a door and opened it. Then WOW ! The landscape was unreal ! So beautiful that I was asking to myself if it was not a dream. We were totally alone there, the weather was cold and rainy at the beginning of the walk (that’s why nobody came). Just in time, the sun met our way in front of this lake.
We had not so much time because the last cable car is leaving at 5 pm. So we followed the path to go up in order to have a view over the lake. We met lovely goats on our way ! We took a couple of pictures but it was already the hour to go back to cable car. Once back in the car, we were a little bit frozen and were looking for a shower ! So we drove until the first camping we saw. It was near a beautiful lake during the sunset, so beautiful place ! The first camping was pretty empty and the staff was not there.
So we asked to the second camping (at the end of the lake, 10 minutes further away). What a good surprise ! The girl at the reception was super friendly and told us “Oh it’s ok, go ! take your time ! It’s over there ” We were super excited and took our stuff as soap, toothpaste etc.. The bathroom was big and clean so I dressed myself off quickly and jumped in the shower. The water was extremely cold. Maxime asked if something was wrong because he didn’t have hot water either. I grabbed the towel to go to the reception and see if there is a dysfunction. The women told us that men came the morning to do the plumbing and she realized they didn’t press “on” before leaving for the the hot water tank. So… no chance to have hot shower tonight.
So we took the coldest shower I’ve ever experienced in my life ! At least we slept well that night !
Landwasser Viadukt – Appenzell
Day 6 ! Almost the end, I wish I could stay more… Switzerland is an amazing country. So the plan is to go to the Landwasser Viadukt to catch the train, the famous Glacier Express on its way! The viaduct is impressive by its size. So you just have to put your car on the parking and then follow the path to join the lookout NORTH ! (there are 3 differents lookouts on maps me) We went first to the South one but it was not the point of view we were looking for. So obviously we missed the first one and waited for the next. Fortunatly we waited only 35 min and then we came back to the car to go to…
Do you know the famous hotel on the top of the mountain ? We took the road to join this lovely super green region ! Let’s go! We directly took the hike path to go up by foot. I advice you to not pay for the cable car. If you take your time, the hike is not so difficult and beautiful (around 1h20). First you will cross the woods, it’s pretty dense so you will not see the sun for almost 40 minutes. And then you’ll arrived on a plateau. What a great atmosphere! I was running on the super green grass like Heidi, the little girl in the mountains. And I saw other people reading a book or having a nap. This is a such a peaceful place.
We climbed until the hotel Aescher and the scenery was unique ! The sunlight was perfect. I do you recommend this hike, especially when the weather is good ! We attended to a marriage proposal! I’ve told you, this place is magical ! You have a view over the whole village! Once back down on the parking, we drove to Appenzell centre to discover this lovely colorful village. I advice to do a short tour to see the architecture, the decoration, everything is beautiful there!
The hiking path begins in the village of Brülisau, not far from Appenzell. We parked the car on the parking near Alp Sigel Bahn Talstation. Then you can easily find a sign board with a lot of hike destinations. We choose to go to Saxer Lucke because we’ve already found really good spots for impressive pictures. Also this hike leads you first to a beautiful lake named Fallensee. You can have a break for the lunch there. It’s really peaceful and quiet. There is a hotel / bar / restaurant if you want to enjoy something with a good view.
The hike is pretty long so once we finished the lunch, we already took the path to go up to join Saxer Lucke. This is so impressive, even if we saw pictures on internet before leaving for Switzerland, every spot is always suprising you by its height and beauty. Once you are at the top on the hike, you can enjoy a 360 ° panorama view. That’s a wonderful gift for our last day. This sensation of being alone in the world… Wow I could not expect a best experience. On this way we met only 3-4 people ; hikers in search of nature. It’s already time to go back to the car before the sun goes down. I advice you this hike for sure ! 100 % ! To end this unforgettable week , we ate a … sandwich for the last dinner 😉 And we decided to stroll in the lovely town of Appenzell that we loved so much the last night. Tomorrow we have to reach the airport of Basel so we slept earlier.