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Can anyone recommend an area of Switzerland to go to?

(28 Posts)

About 9 years ago me and DH had a fab camping trip to Zermatt. We want to go somewhere similar but maybe not back to Zermatt. We have a 8yo DD now as well.

We want to stay somewhere where there's gorgeous scenery, typical Swiss mountains. Ideally where there is a cable car so we can get some height without too much effort and then have nice walks. Also somewhere where there is a nice town/shops/things for DD to do/touristy stuff as we don't want to be walking every day.


LIZS Thu 06-Aug-09 16:07:48

Are you camping or using a b and b/hotel ?Saas Fee , just along from Zermatt, has lots going on and a kids programme in the peak summer holidays (roughly 2nd week of July to mid August)or the Bernese Oberland - you can camp in the valley at Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald to access the mountains by train/cable car and visit Interlaken quite easily or stay up in Wengen and have direct access to meadows and peaks.

We'd be campervanning! We like the sound of Wengen but can't take the van there so would have to stay at Lauterbrunnen down the valley. It looks like the trains run frequently though.

UnquietDad Thu 06-Aug-09 16:29:31

The Bernese Oberland, around Grindelwald, is lovely, although Grindelwald the town itself is pretty touristified and FULL of trinkety shops.

It has a good sports centre with an ice-rink (I assume it's still there) and is the starting point for lots of climbs, cable-car rides and train rides.

It's not exactly cheap, although camping/self-catering might be the way to go.

Just been googling Saas Fee, it looks very nice and a lot of activities/things to do.

UnquietDad Thu 06-Aug-09 16:39:13

There are some Grindelwald/Lauterbrunnen videos on YouTube if you can cope with the American narration!

LIZS Thu 06-Aug-09 16:42:03

Trains run about 3 times an hour during the day and evening iirc , sometimes more frequently. From Lauterbrunnen you can also go up to Muerren where there is a lovely indoor pool and cable car to the revolving restaurant featured in a James Bond film. At Saas Fee you would park your campervan at the entrance to the village and have spectacular views over the gorge and up to the peaks. There is also a lovely pool complex there, various levels of climbing (includign a Go Ape type one) all year toboggan slide and so on.

UnquietDad Thu 06-Aug-09 16:44:53

The ride up to the "Blofeld's HQ" on the Schilthorn is spectacular, especially the last bit from Brig, which is basically a rocky outcrop.

I've walked/ climbed it [smug]

Ther edoesn't seem to be a campsite at Saas Fee, but there is at Saas Grund. How far apart are these and is there public transport between them?

UnquietDad Thu 06-Aug-09 16:45:48

Birg, not Brig


LIZS Thu 06-Aug-09 16:51:10

Definitely have seen camper vans parked behind the car park ! Saas Grund is less than 10 mins by postbus down the valley , not as spectacular though.

LIZS Thu 06-Aug-09 16:51:19

Definitely have seen camper vans parked behind the car park ! Saas Grund is less than 10 mins by postbus down the valley , not as spectacular though.

LIZS Thu 06-Aug-09 16:56:58

Info here sorry it is in German and no English translation! Basically you pay for a water and electricity hook up 25chf per day. Discounted rates available with a guest card available from the tourist office (opposite the post office/bus garage, around the corner)

Lilymaid Thu 06-Aug-09 17:10:21

I'd recommend the Bernese Oberland too (going back there next week). DH says it is much better than Zermatt. Once you are there you don't need to use the campervan as you can get a train pass and travel up all the mountain railways/cable cars.
Grindelwald would be ideal if you are campervanning as you are right by the mountains (Eiger faces on to the town). Lauterbrunnen also a possibility though not sure the mountain views are so good being at the bottom of the classic glaciated valley. Grindelwald campsite - I've seen this one and it looks fine. Other Grindelwald campsite.
Couple of campsites in Lauterbrunnen.
Alternatively you could stay in Interlaken itself, though I would prefer to stay more in the mountains and visit the town for touristy stuff.

SuiGeneris Thu 06-Aug-09 17:18:48

If you are looking for a quiet mountain village where your daughter can roam and with lots of walks on your doorstep, how about Bettmeralp, in the Rhone Valley? The village is car-free, reached by cable car only and very family-friendly. The Aletsch Glacier (from which the Rhone is born) is nearby and definitely worth a visit.

RustyBear Thu 06-Aug-09 17:36:35

Also near Interlaken, by Lake Thun, this was the site at Aeschi DH & I stayed at with PIL in their campervan - it was a very nice site, though this was 25 years ago, so it may not still be run by the same people.

It was right next to the Niesen mountain, which has a funicular railway up to the top.
We also took a cable car from Kandersteg up to the Oeschinensee which is absolutely beautiful.

How long does it take to drive from Interlaken to Grindlewald? It doesn't look far on the map but I know what the winding Alps roads can be like.

Thanks for all the suggestions, loads of great ideas.

LIZS Thu 06-Aug-09 18:08:12

Allow at least 25 minutes. Road doesn't climb much though as Grindelwald is in the valley. A pretty drive but personally we prefer the Wengen side.

LIZS Thu 06-Aug-09 18:11:22

Having said that Grindelwald is much nicer than Lauterbrunnen as a place to stay.

Maybe we will have to have a week in Lauterbrunnen and a week in Grindlewald. 'Cos I can't decide between them.

LIZS Thu 06-Aug-09 18:20:48

lol. If you have 2 weeks it is perfectly possible to do Bernese Oberland and Saas ! Go through the Lotschberg tunnel, via Kandersteg mentioned by RustyBear.

Lilymaid Thu 06-Aug-09 18:22:04

It would take around half an hour to drive from Grindelwald to Interlaken on a good road along the valley. It would take about the same time by train.

IsItMeOr Thu 06-Aug-09 18:26:28

Wengen and that whole area is beautiful. I think there are campsites in the valley, as dsis and family camped there I think. We went once and loved it (no dcs then). Dsis and her family (3 dcs) have been loads of times and love it. They are big walkers.

We loved going on all the little trains and chairlifts - you can buy a pass for all of them, but it is a bit pricey.

Hope you find somewhere lovely to go. I think Switzerland is pretty nice all over tbh.

I'm just a bit put off Saas Fee now as I don't want to have to camp behind a car park. It doesn't sound like a proper campsite.

I guess we could stay in the Saas Grund place down the valley.

LIZS Thu 06-Aug-09 18:44:22

True, but I suppose that is the nature of traffic free resorts. It is a separate area to the car park but no facilities as such iirc. Zermatt is no different, you would camp at the base of the railway in Taesch.

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