Switzerland: Top 5 in the Juangfrau region

 

5 – Walk to Mürren

In the shadowy valley below the iconic Alp skyline of the Eiger, Monch and Jaungfrau lies Lauterbrunnen. This sleepy Swiss village is picture perfect and has amazing scenery whichever way you look. A great introduction to hiking in the Swiss Alps is the easy walk from Grütschalp to Mürren, which runs along the valley above Lauterbrunnen and with views of the Eiger & co. all the way along the route. Along the 90 minute walk you will meander through alpine forests, cross crystal clear streams and take in some of the freshest air you will ever experience, you will feel complete freedom. Upon completion of the hike you will arrive in the beautiful car free village of Mürren where you can reward yourself with a cheese fondue and a glühwein with one of the best backdrops you will ever have. The walk was ranked number 2 in the top winter walks by MySwitzerland.com.

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4 – Schilthorn

The peak of the Schilthorn sits at 2970m and is definitely worth a day trip. A pioneering group of engineers finally made the peak accessible in 1967. Not happy with the success of this, they decided to build the world’s first revolving restaurant on top of a mountain at nearly 3000m! Enter James Bond. After seeing this venue, 007 On her majesty’s service decided to shoot many scenes in the revolving building. Yes it can be slightly gimmicky with lots of Bond branding but what cannot be argued with is the 360º panoramic views at the vantage point. On a good day you can see as far as the Black forest and Mont Blanc in the other direction. One of the attractions on the Schilthorn is the thrill walk with glass floors, nets and tunnels which hug the side of the mountain. This definitely heightens your senses. If you do visit, then I would recommend splashing out a little on the James Bond brunch in the revolving restaurant (35CHF) which actually works out good value in Switzerland terms. All cable cars to the top are free if you purchase a Swiss travel pass.

3 – Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg

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There is a surreal and fulfilling feeling when you are standing on the peak of a mountain. You will know it if you have been on one. You feel a sense of achievement, and as is if you don’t have a care in the world. When you stand on the peak at Männlichen you will feel like you are on top of the world and you have jaw dropping views all around you. Perhaps the most dramatic is the view straight ahead of the notorious north face of the Eiger. The walk that follows criss crosses with the ski trails and you are walking towards the north face of the Eiger for the whole journey. As you approach the mountains ahead the scale of them becomes even more impressive. Upon arriving in Kleine Scheidegg there is a lively atmosphere as many skiers break for lunch and a few drinks so soak it up before heading off on another adventure for the afternoon.

2 – Lauterbrunnen

Lauterbrunnen is the quintessential alpine Swiss village. Wooden chalets, grazing cows, waterfalls and a mountain backdrop, Lauterbrunnen has it all. You can easily spend a day wandering through the village situated in the huge glacial valley. The sheer size of the cliffs each side of the valley are staggering and are littered with 72 waterfalls, the most spectacular being the Staubbach falls which looms over the village. One of the most tranquil spots is in front of the village church, next to the river, with the Staubbach falls cascading down the cliff in the background. The only sounds you will hear are birds tweeting, water flowing, church bells chiming and the odd swiss train trundle by. You could easily sit with a coffee watching the world go by, lost in your own thoughts as the time passes. If you are lucky you may even see a base jumper. Be sure to drop into the only pub in town, Horner bar, to try some swiss beers and sample some local swiss food such as rosti and raclette. This place is one of the most relaxing places I have been lucky enough to visit and I left a little piece of my heart there.

1 – Sledging at the foot of the Eiger

It just wouldn’t be a trip to the Swiss Alps if you didn’t take part in an adrenaline fuelled activity. So we took part in the renowned, terrifying activity of sledging. We were there for only a few days, wanted to fit in as much as possible and were travelling on a budget so this worked well for us as it lasted a couple of hours and gave us the adrenaline buzz we would have got from skiing but at a fraction of the cost (15CHF for the day). We planned our route to be practical as it was a way of getting down from Kleine Scheidegg to Grindelwald along the famed Eiger run. I cannot describe how enjoyable this was. The route is fantastic with some steady and steep declines and it is for sledging only so it is pretty clear. All of this literally at the foot of the Eiger. You can pick up some serious speed on some of the longer stretches and ‘steering’ by breaking with your feet can barely be called steering, which makes it all the more fun. Just be careful not to get too confident like I did and sledge straight into a snow wall and break the sledge!

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