Originally, I´ve written this post for my fellow blogger Jana and her site S dětmi v báglu (With kids in the backpack :)), who had asked me to write tailored “family holiday in Switzerland” post. I´ve gladly done it for her. Since then, the number of interesting tips for trips has increased on the blog, so here are 10 tips for trips in the heart of Switzerland, in our favorite Bernese Alps.
The Alps in Switzerland meander from west to east, but due to our place of stay, we frequently visit mainly the area of the Bernese Alps, which is in my opinion (and according to maps), hearts of Switzerland. One can set out on a lot of trips here, that can enjoy both experienced mountaineers and families with small children who are just beginning to discover the beauty of hiking.
NOTE: don’t hesitate to click on the headlines. They are linked to the original posts with a detailed description of the trip.
The starting point is the town of Wilderswil south of Interlaken. From here the cogwheel will take you to the top in less than an hour, where you will be greeted by the sounds of the Alpine horns in the tourist season.
First Cliff Walk Grindelwald
A great experience for those, who are not afraid of heights. At first glance, it’s easy, only about 400 meters long trail. At first glance. At second glance, you will find out that it is a metal walkway clinging to and around the edge of the cliff at a dizzying height of 2,168 meters above sea level! So if you´re afraid of heights and you want to challenge yourself – Cliff Walk is the way to do it.
Lieselotteweg (Grindelwald – Männlichen)
The 3,7km long themed trail for children called Lieselotteweg with thirteen interactive stations along the trail on which you are accompanied by the cow Lieselotte and her friends. You start it by taking the cable car from Grindelwald to the summit of Männlichen. And from there you hike back down to the mid-statin Holenstein. Throughout the journey, the “Big Three” Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau look down at you. The trail is lined with a variety of disciplines for children, whether the chance to try milking (of course, only “like” :)), blow the Alpine horn (really :)) or search for treasure. On the trail, there is also a large picnic area where you can roast or grill sausages. While waiting for them to be done, you can cool off your feet in the crystal-clear mountain stream.
The trail is most suitable for the stroller, but in one short section needs to be a carried.
Royalwalk – Wengen
Before heading out on the trail I recommend you to take a little detour and the first walk the so-called Royal Walk. It’s a short 25-mins ascent from the lift station (2 222m.a.s.l.) to the top of Männlichen (2345 m.a.s.l.), where you get a beautiful panoramic view. From the platform in the shape of a crown, you can admire the majestic peaks of the trio of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. Then go back to the station Männlichen and then take a tour around the massif Kleine Scheidegg down to Wengen. This route is, among other things, the route of the famous Lauberhorn ski race, which runs here every January.
On the way, there is the descent of 800 meters and the hike is about thirteen kilometers long. If you think it is too much for your children, you can take the train (part of the Jungfraubahn) back down. Wengen is a car-free village, so then the train takes you to Lauterbrunnen.
The route is suitable for the stroller, but note that final descent is very steep so it can drag down a bit (if you have a stroller with a break, it is a big advantage).
Allmendhubel Flower Park – Mürren
The most beautiful playground we’ve ever been to. This children’s playground and the thematic trail of the same name is located above the famous ski resort of Mürren (from where the cable car leads to the more familiar Schilthorn).
For me, it’s a turquoise gem in the heart of the Bernese Alps. And can be reached by cable car and then you can easily walk even with a stroller. Here you can rent a boat and take a ride on the lake with your children (do not worry, lifejackets for them are included in the price!). Those who would like to make the hike down to the valley station, I don’t recommend it with a stroller, because in some parts, it is necessary to carry it over roots and rocks.
The northern wall of the Stockhorn with its typical shape overlooks the city of Thun and also gave the name to the local football stadium. The starting point for trips to the Stockhorn is Erlenbach im Simmental, where the valley station of the Stockhorn cable car is located. Adjacent parking has no extra large capacity, so maybe it is better to use a train connection directly to Erlenbach (because the timetable is coordinated with the timetable of the cableway) or simply try to get there as early as possible. This is good because the lift goes up to the Stockhorn only 2x per hour and can accommodate only 60 people. At the peak of the Stockhorn, you can enjoy (apart from nice restaurants) a beautiful panoramic view of the Alpine peaks stretching up into France on one side and Lake Thun and Central Switzerland (Mittelland) to the Jura Mountains on the other. Here you will find a viewing platform with a glass floor, which is reachable through a tunnel carved directly into the rock. The hike down to the mid-station Chrindi it is not too difficult, moreover, directly at the lake Hinterstockensee, you can find a playground and a place for barbecue. Part of the stony trail leads through the forest to the stones, but it’s nothing that a good buggy couldn’t manage.
Trümmelbachfälle – Lauterbrunnen
Very unique and impressive series of 10 glacier waterfalls hidden deep inside rock walls are worth a visit when you are in the area in the Lauterbrunnen valley. Very important note: Children under the age of 4 are not allowed for safety reasons (and probably due to the loud noise)!
The Heimwehfluh itself is a very idyllic place. A lovely vintage funicular takes you up the hill, where you can enjoy nice views over the town of Interlaken, the lake Thun and the nearby mountains Eiger, Mönch a Jungfrau.
Fascinating waterfalls near Interlaken. A restaurant in a fairytale hotel that is on the list of Swiss Historic hotels. Riding a historic cog railway. And the views of the turquoise blue Brienzersee. What do you want more?
A cruise on the Lake Thun
Comfort, relaxation, breathtaking views, turquoise blue water, natural swimming pools, and beautiful castles are the reasons to take a cruise the Lake Thun.
As you can see on the map below, all places are quite close to each other and are easily reachable, if you find your accommodation e.g. in Interlaken or Thun.
Tips, how to save money
Switzerland is generally a very expensive destination. Probably the most expensive is the cost of transportation, including mountain railways. But even here you can save a bit. If you set out into the mountains with small children up to six years, they usually do not pay at all. If there is a cable car route with several intermediate stations, one can choose which section you will ride and which you walk and according to it select the tariff. Or simply you can pay the way up and then hike down (if you are born mountain chamois, we can, of course, do it the other way around 🙂 ). Some cable cars offer a discount if you take an early morning ride (eg. Niederhorn, Jungfrau). Somewhere even offer that you ride for free if you or your child’s birthday that day (eg. Niesen, Niederhorn).
I hope this guide was helpful and in my next post, you can look forward to more tips where to go, if the weather is not suitable for the mountain hikes.
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