New hiking keener looking for advice

New hiking keener looking for advice

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1 post
new member
Jun 30, 2012 - 10:13 PM
Hi everyone!

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend. Just a little about me: I just created an account, I'm from Toronto, ON, Canada and I'm in university studying math. I will spending about seven days in Switzerland at the end of August, during which I hope that I get to do some serious hiking. I hope that I can get an introduction this summer, albeit a brief one, and then do a much longer trip next summer. I also hope that I could learn enough over time to run maybe some cheap group hiking trips from Toronto when I graduate for a couple years before I head to graduate school.

Anyways! I was just wondering if you could give me some advice on how to plan my trip. I'm quite nervous because hostels and hotels are filling up for weekends in late August already. I looked at the Swiss website listing all the routes. They all look so beautiful, so I picked ViaAlpina for no particular reason. I obviously can't cover much of it, but I'm hoping to use a Swiss pass - which I already got! - to take the train or bus through the more "monotonous" areas and hike through the more interesting landscapes.

The website makes everything sound so absolutely stunning that I have a hard time figuring where to start. The routes around Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen and Engelberg sound particularly stunning. I was wondering if you could help me with my selection of routes to hike. As well, I'm hoping to spend as little as possible on accommodations to be able spend lots on cultural experiences, food, etc, so how could I plan my trip to meet such an objective? Which sections on the webpage underneath are not to be missed? I'm also wondering what are some of the little treasures, e.g. Blausee, along the way and in the vicinity of the towns that I should look into. I like to avoid crowds of tourists.

Any advice is deeply appreciated! I figured the website tends to market everything quite equally so that veteran hikers' perspective would be more helpful in making a decision.

4377 posts
expert &
Jul 3, 2012 - 3:18 PM
Hello ArashL, and welcome to the forum! Great that you're doing such good planning your first hiking holidays in Switzerland. I'm not quite sure whether you're an experienced hiker. If not, take care to pick doable legs each day and start with some easy routes. Prepare well, check weather forecasts thoroughly, don't go hiking on your own, and so on. These general hiking tips may be of help too. The Via Alpina is great indeed. True highlights can especially be found on the sections between Lenk and Meiringen/Engelberg. You'll be able to find accommodation in most small towns along the way. Wanderland Schweiz lists accommodation options along the route; that may help you pick the right ones.

There's quite a lot you can do to minimize travel costs. Saving on public transportation is an important one, but you took care of that. Look for youth hostels, buy your food in relatively cheap supermarkets, and so on. We've listed tips for cheap holidays on these budget pages.

If you find it difficult to estimate how to such a long route, there is an alternative. Just base yourself in one or two towns during your stay. Consider Interlaken, Lucerne and Engelberg or nearby towns and just make several (longer) day trips and hikes from there. Tips for the Bernese Oberland can be found here. This allows you to pick a route each day that matches your energy level, weather circumstances and so on, without being dependent on (pre-booked) accommodation somewhere else along the route.

Does that help you out a bit? Kind regards,


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