Switzerland is simply one of the most beautiful places in the world! We never received so many direct messages on social media as we did on Elke’s last trip to the Swiss Bern region. So here it is, the Switzerland Guide 2019 with all those amazing places you so loved on Instagram.
If you live in Europe, Switzerland is perfectly set in the middle and pretty easy to get to. We decided to make it a car roadtrip because of the many places we wanted to visit, plus it’s a better option for the environment too! Tip: get yourself a Swiss vignette for on your car window so you can use the toll roads. It will cost you about €35,- and it will be valid for 1 year. Notably, Diesel in Switzerland is more expensive compared to normal fuel so keep that in mind. Also, speeding tickets are extremely high, so keep your foot off the gas a little and watch out for those speeding camera’s.
I started my trip in Meiringen / Hasliberg, where you will find mountains and cute villages.If you can, try to bring your GoPro camera to film your driving route because it is really amazing. This route is also very popular with motorcyclist because of the many corners and pretty surroundings. I checked in at Hotel Wetterhorn, just 40 minutes from Luzerne. Waking up here is a dream. The hotel used to be a lush holiday home back in 1907 and was recently turned into a modern style Swiss hotel.
The hotel has a large garden area where you can relax on the wooden swing, or enjoy an Apérol Spritze on the terrace which is connected to the Wetterhorn restaurant. The restaurant serves a great buffet breakfast (appreciated by those who love healthy food), and a 4-course set dinner which is ever changing. Nice to know: Underneath the restaurant you will find a club where concerts and performances are held during special occasions. I stayed in a Wetterhorn Suite which has a balcony, equipped kitchen and lounge area. Great for families!
If you have a fear of heights, I would normally tell you not to even think about doing this, but having experienced this myself, I highly recommend the Gelmerbahn to anyone! So what is it? It’s basically a cable train which takes you all the way up Handegg mountain and Gelmersee lake. With an incline of 106%, it’s the 2nd steepest train ride in Europe! Tickets are 32CHF and you need to book a time as the train only has space for 24 people. At the top you can wander around the Gelmersee (lake) and wait for the train to come up again.
Off the Beaten Track
When you drive back, you must stop by the Rosenlaui Glacier. The drive there is impressive enough if you decide not to climb up the 5-km glacier after all. The walk up the glacier takes about 1 hour (back and forth). Nearby the entrance is a nice restaurant that serves soup, salads and decent coffee. Notably, getting here by car is possible but quite narrow. We did it with our Peugeot 508 and it worked fine. (plus you can stop where ever you want to take photo’s!) I was there during high season and it wasn’t busy at all!
From the Rosenlaui Glacier it’s only an hour drive to your next stop; Lauterbrunnen. Oh yes, this picturesque Swiss town is not to be missed. First of all, you are welcomed by massive mountains as you drive through the valley. Secondly, the waterfalls! fairytales really do exist and you’ll realize it here. Read more here about the fairytale guide to Lauterbrunnen. On the contrary, it is not the cheapest of places. We stayed in a fantastic Airbnb, but you can also opt for a day trip.
Mänlichen / Junfraujong
From Lauterbrunnen you can go up the mountain by train. This is a must do because the train ride itself is super nice! Buy your tickets at the train station which is located near the COOP supermarket. You can park your car for 24 hours or less which will cost you a maximum of €17,-. The train passes Wengen for nice photo opportunities but we continued all the way up to Kleine Scheidegg. There you can have lunch in one of the café’s on the hill and enjoy the sunshine before heading back down.
Our next stop was Kandersteg. This time I stayed in a traditional Swiss hotel named Hotel Alfa Soleil which is family owned. The hotel has been around for years but a located at a great spot for those that want to hike the next day. Secondly, our room had the best balcony view! The hotel’s restaurant Nico’s, is known for their great set courses and wonderful outside seating area. Most of their veggies and herbs come from the Hotel’s garden and you can taste that!
But the main reason people stay in this hotel is because from here you can easily visit the famous and beautiful Oeschinnen lake. Nice to know: The hotel includes a free gondola ride up to Oeschinen valley, together with many discounts around the area. The village of Kandersteg is nice to walk around with a view shops and café’s, plus there is a public pool to cool off during summer.
One of Switzerland’s most famous lakes, yet I needed to see it. From our hotel, it was only a 10 minute walk to the gondola that takes you up in about 7 minutes. Upon arrival you will see a Swiss Rodelnbahn that you must try! For just €4,- you can enjoy a ride overlooking the Swiss Alps. If you do this before 11am, it’s not so busy.
To begin with, the walk to Oeschinen Lake is beautiful. Tip: wear a pair of good walking shoes and bring enough water! If you are traveling with kids, make sure you take the easy route. Not all paths are suitable for strollers. At the lake itself you can relax in the shade and enjoy a picnic. Many people bring their own food and make a controlled fire which is allowed. At the same time, there are about 3 restaurants nearby, but prices are very high due to the popularity of this spot.
Another popular lake is Blausee. It is stunning but very touristic which made it less enjoyable for me though. For example, hurdles of people trying to take a good photo and “influencers” that see the lake through their screen instead of enjoying the nature around them. However, if you are near, you could take a peek as the entrance is only 8CHF. There is a restaurant located overlooking the lake and playground for kids. If you do decide to go, walk around the forest area just behind the lake. Not many people go there, so it’s quiet and serene.
For the last part of my Switzerland trip, we decided to treat ourselves to some luxury. From Kandersteg we drove to Adelboden, located on the other side of the mountain which is about a 35 minutes drive. The best hotel in Adelboden is definitely The Cambrian. This boutique modern style hotel is high class and offers wonderful rooms with comfortable beds and stunning views. Their pool is so popular on Instagram, that they have restricted photo times so other guests won’t be bothered. Good on them! With this in mind, I also made the cheesy pool shot when I was allowed of course.
The restaurant and breakfast area is wonderful with great service from the staff. I was surprised to see such a diversity of guests at the hotel. From the Chinese tourists to young couples and families. Our little guy enjoyed the large playroom that offers games, toys and Disney movies. From The Cambrian you walk straight into Adelboden’s town center and the gondola that takes you up the mountain. You can buy return tickets for 24CHF at the tourist office which is located across the gondola.
One reason to go up is restaurant Tschentenalp. If you are here on a Sunday, you must check out this restaurant. They offer a special Sunday lunch with unlimited salad, grilled meat and veggies. The views, again, are stunning. We relaxed here for a bit before walking around and checking out the newest edition to Adelboden; The Giant Swing. This brand new summer attraction just opened a few weeks ago and its already such a hit, that travelers take a de-tour just to try it.
On the whole, it was the perfect ending to a wonderful week in Switzerland, and I highly recommend that everybody should go. Grab your car in order to be mobile enough, and don’t hesitate to bring your kid(s).
Switzerland is for anyone that loves stunning nature, great food and is willing to trade the beach for some mountains. This beach girl didn’t miss the beach at all this summer.