Summer Adventure Planning for Family Vacation

Summer Adventure Planning for Family Vacation

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Summer15
Summer15
4 posts
new member
Dec 10, 2014 - 1:33 AM

Greetings! my husband and I , plus our two teenage children, will be traveling to Europe for our 2015 summer vacation! We will have a rental car and will be driving from Chamonix on June 28th to Fiesch. Not sure where we should stay for the night...we want to hike around the glacier and who knows what else (would love to hear your ideas!). Should we stay in Eggishorn, or another town in the mountains, or in Fiesch?

From there we plan to head toward Trift bridge and walk across (as a test to see if I can do the via ferrata hike from Murren) then make our way to Wengen,where we stay 3 nights. We want to see the ice palace & JF, ride trotti bikes, do the via ferrata hike from Murren, hike, pet cows, whatever else we can find that puts a smile on our faces

From there, it is less certain. We have one night before heading to Oberammergau Germany. I thought a stop in Bern and a night in Lucerne may be enjoyable. Also maybe renting bikes and riding across Liechtenstein the following day? Any tips or suggestions?

We love old castle ruins, adventure, photography, soaking up the local culture and people...

One thing I am puzzled about is the least expensive option for riding gondolas for the four of us during these 5 days:

  • From Fiesche to Eggishorn or other towns
  • To Wengen
  • From Wengen to JF and back down
  • Any other travels around Wengen to hike

What are the best/most economical tickets to buy?

Kind regards,

Summer 15

Annika
Annika
4417 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 11, 2014 - 6:35 AM
Hi Summer 15!

Since you'll be having a rental car most of your other traveling will be short train rides and cable car trips. A Swiss Half Fare Card saves you 50% on the tickets. You need one for each adult, and children up to 15 travel along for free. See the pass page for all details please.

Eggishorn is a peak without an hotel, so you can't stay there, but you can stay in Riederalp, Bettmeralp or possibly (a lot smaller) Fiescheralp. These are wonderful car free villages half way up the mountain, to be reached by cable car only. More about the region can be found here.

The Trift bridge is a good test to see if you're afraid of heights, but other than that it's a totally different experience from the Via Ferrata in Mürren. One can just walk across the bridge, but the Via Ferrata is more like climbing than hiking, and you're secured to cables all the time.

If you only have a few days left, I would not go to Bern, Lucerne and Liechtenstein, but rather pick one of these places. Lucerne would be my suggestion, as it's surrounded by mountains and offers a lot to see and do. Many picturesque places too. A day trip to Bern can easily be done from here. Since you have a car you can best avoid the hotels in the town center because of parking fees. You don't need a car in town anyway. Actually the Swiss part of your trip can easily (or even better) be done without a car. Wengen and the region around it is car free. So are the villages I mentioned earlier. In larger cities a car is not convenient, so you'll probably park it a lot of the time (paid) and only use it for town to town transfers, which can be done by train too. See here for all modes of transport please.

I noticed you're looking forward to petting the cows, but it's really best to not do that, unless there's a fence between you and the cow and it seeks your company. Otherwise, you'd better avoid them. They're large animals and harmless most of the time, but enthusiastic people can feel like a threat to them. People get hurt (or worse) because of that regularly. See here for more information.

I hope this was useful!
mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Dec 11, 2014 - 9:50 PM in reply to Summer15
Hi Summer 15,

If you are thinking of going on the trotti bikes from Bort to Grindelwald and you like adventure and thrills, why not go one step further and book the whole 'family fun package' at Grindelwald? This includes the gondola from Grindelwald to First high above Grindelwald, the long zip wire from First to Shreckfeld, from where you walk or take a short gondola ride to Bort followed by the trotti bikes back to Grindelwald...an exciting, fabulous and memorable experience! I did this with my adult and young teenage daughter this summer - but watch out for the weather, as the first day we tried the zip wire was closed due to poor visibility.

The next day, however, we were able to fit in a visit to Jungfraujoch in the morning, returning via Grindelwald in time to complete the fun package in the afternoon (with plenty of time to get back to Wengen). We caught the earliest morning train up to Jungfraujoch and this also had the advantage of being less crowded on the way and on arrival...I'm not sure everyone could board straightaway at Kleine Scheidegg later in the day. We saw the ice palace and went outside on the snow to enjoy the view, and had a meal in the restaurant. I believe there are also some activities in the snow, like sledging perhaps, which we did not see or do, so if you wanted to maximise your opportunities you probably wouldn't want to do the fun package on the same day, but what we did worked really well for us; in fact, if we hadn't used the restaurant, we could have returned early enough to have used the cheaper 'early bird' ticket (although from memory I don't think this is any help if you have a Swiss Card or Pass!)

Just try and avoid days with poor visibility for Jungfraujoch and First...plan activities for the days of your stay, but be prepared to move the days around. Bear in mind too there are some lovely hikes in the area e.g. based around Mannlichen (a short cable car ride from Wengen and a magical place in fine weather, so tranquil, with expansive views, and with the company of the beautiful cows you mention and their melodic bells unspoilt by urban noise or traffic hum in the clear mountain air) but if you are not used to hiking and not well equipped you can end up quite stiff on longer walks up and down mountain paths!
Summer15
Summer15
4 posts
new member
Dec 12, 2014 - 9:22 PM in reply to Annika

Thank you both for your replies!

Since there are no accommodations in Eggishorn, would you suggest to stay in Riederalp, Bettmeralp or possibly Fiescheralp? I will take a look at the site you provided, thanks. We were going to simply stop in Bern on our way to Lucerne to see the town... would you suggest to just focus on Lucerne if we are only spending one night there and skip Bern all together?

Thanks again, your reply was very helpful!

Summer15
Summer15
4 posts
new member
Dec 12, 2014 - 9:27 PM in reply to mikesc60

Great tip about the family fun pack, we will definitely look into it. We all hike frequently, so plan to see as much as we can... thanks for some of the ideas on hiking and the comments about flexibility for the weather.

We plan to also ski in Hintertux, Austria on the Glacier. Ever done such a thing in the summer? I am trying to find out if they rent ski clothing...

We can't wait for our trip. Thanks for your help!

mikesc60
mikesc60
74 posts
active member
Dec 13, 2014 - 12:21 AM in reply to Summer15

Here are some of the walks in the area

http://www.maennlichen.ch/en/hiking.html

No doubt these and others are well documented on this site too. You can enjoy peace and tranquility, magnificient scenery, alpine meadows, pine forest...at least I experienced all these with my late wife on the 'Romantic' Trail in 2012!

Last modified on Dec 13, 2014 - 12:24 AM by mikesc60
Arno
Arno
7716 posts
expert &
moderator
Dec 13, 2014 - 12:38 PM

Good suggestions from mikesc60 here (thanks Mike!). Fiescheralp is quite small. I would recommend Riederalp or Bettmeralp if you prefer a car free village on the mountain with good views and a bit of choice regarding restaurants and hotels. If the views and quietness are not important to you, you can also stay in the valley in Fiesch or Mörel and go up for a day trip only.

With just a one night stay in Lucerne I would focus on Lucerne and not include Bern as well. There's plenty to see there, see the Lucerne page Annika linked to. For hiking in the Jungfrau region you can check this page: www.myswissalps.com/jungfrauregion/activities.

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