The most famous and the most photographed mountain in Switzerland is, of course, Matterhorn. Although it is not the tallest peak in Alps, its unique shape and detachment from other tall mountains nearby make up a really pretty landscape =)…
To be honest, I was not a great fan of this trail: the place is not wild enough for me (in fact, not wild at all). On the other hand, this hike might be a nice option for people that stay in Zurich and want to get a glimpse on the main Swiss stereotypes (mountains, lakes, cows, you know). The trail is super easy – no need to climb, and only very little altitude change. Most of the path is even accessible for wheelchairs!
What: a hike next to Lucerne: Rigi Kulm to Rigi Scheidegg cable car station.
Why: great view on three lakes and on the Alps, clean Swiss air (with a scent of cows :D).
How long: 2-3 hours (the hike itself) + 3.5 hours (commute from Zurich and back).
How to get here: train, cable car.
Ascent: 243 m.
Descent: 369 m.
How much it costs: ~65 CHF by public transport from Zurich.
There are three categories of hiking routes in Switzerland:
- yellow – the shortest and easiest, with little to no altitude difference; suitable for even small children; often asphalted or go along a forest road;
- red – “mountain trails”, usually imply noticeable elevation, but generally not dangerous; you can just walk them and do not need to climb;
- blue – “alpine trails”; to do those, you will need decent physical shape and a certain degree of craziness: steep cliffs, absence of an actual trail, glacier crossings are usual on such routes.
This post is about my first “blue” hike with an overnight in a mountain cabin.
It all started when I learned about Europaweg – a 2-day hiking trail along the Mattertal valley. On the way you have a chance to cross the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Europe (you did not seriously think that Switzerland does not have everything of the most?) as well as gorgeous views on Matterhorn and other 4K summits.…
Swiss are proud people, they have a lot of “the most”, for example, the steepest cable car or the highest railroad station in Europe.
This pride, amplified by the desire to attract tourists, is very present in one of the most popular regions of Switzerland – in the area of the Interlaken town.
One thing I really love about Switzerland is how easy it is to organize a nature getaway here. Here is my algorithm:
- Open a map.
- Pick a village next to the mountains and a forest that has a train station or at least a bus stop. A lake nearby would be a bonus.
- Open the website of the village or the nearest cable car. It will almost for sure contain a description of hike trails including elevation/descent numbers and the map of all trails.
- Pick a trail, buy a ticket and go!
A serious advantage of the approach is that like this one can find wonderful and not very famous places which means no tourists and healthier nature. One of such Alpine gems is Wasserauen in the canton of Appenzell.
Last time I wrote that we have no snow in Zurich, and now we finally found out where is all that snow that is meant for us =)
To learn that, we had to travel 4 hours by train from Zurich to the very border of Italy, to an area containing a large number of 4000-meter high Alpine peaks. Our goal was Matterhorn – this perfect Swiss mountain. If you have ever had Toblerone – this is exactly the peak printed on the pack! It has also inspired Toblerone’s triangle shape. Check out the similarity:
Living in Zurich has its pros and cons. Zurich is a vivid and fast-growing city, which makes living here exciting, but at the same time the constant noise of cars and endless construction sites makes you feel a bit down from time to time.
Fortunately, apart from cities, Switzerland also has mountains, forests and lakes to offer =) Even if you pick a new hiking place every weekend, it will take a few years until you have to repeat some of them. Mountains and cliffs reflected in a lake’s still water, green forests and ringing of cow bells in otherwise absolute silence – that all is exactly what one needs to stay away from the city for a day.
This time we headed to Walensee which is situated south-west from Zurich, in the Lichtenstein direction, to bring some authentic Swiss impressions: