12-day Swiss trip (clockwise or anti-clockwise?)

12-day Swiss trip (clockwise or anti-clockwise?)

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Article19
Article19
5 posts
new member
Mar 19, 2018 - 2:31 AM

Greetings all!

This is my third trip to Switzerland and first post to the forum.

We have a 12-day trip coming up (June 29-July 10) starting and ending in Zurich. The initial itinerary (inspired by material I found on this site) is:

Zurich -> Wengen -> Zermatt -> Glacier Express -> St. Moritz -> Davos -> Zurich.

My first question (for now): Is it better to do this in the listed order, or the reverse?

We're planning on lots of hiking (this will be the primary daily activity), great eating & drinking, and catching the views at every turn.

I'll do a lot more research (here and elsewhere) wrt which activities to prioritize and how long to stay in each location.

Thanks!

r o b

rockoyster
rockoyster
3725 posts
expert
Mar 19, 2018 - 2:42 AM in reply to Article19

Hi Rob and Welcome to MySwissAlps,

Nice circuit. I can't see that clockwise or anti-colockwise would make much difference.

Article19
Article19
5 posts
new member
Mar 19, 2018 - 2:30 PM

Thanks rockoyster!

Mark
Mark
179 posts
active member
Mar 20, 2018 - 3:05 AM

Hi Rob

It is always risky to recommend hikes without knowing how long and how difficult you are comfortable with or desire. But here are some to consider

In Jungfrau

The Eiger Trail- rated 2:50hrs runs from Alpiglen to Eigergletscher. You can make it longer by starting from Grindelwald. Uphill direction fairly hard. Down hill much easier. See attached photo.

First to Bachalpsee to Waldspitz to Bort (or separate path from Waldspitz back to First). My personal favorite view and trail. rated 2:30 - 3:00 hrs. see photo

Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg to Eigletscher (train back to KS) then KS to Wengernalp. About 4:30 hrs.See photo

If your fit and adventuresome consider Schynige Platte to First Rated 6:30 hrs. Its little easier going in the opposite direction but be sure to arrive at SP before last train departs (about 6:15 PM). Most of the uphill is the ascent to Faulhorn. Alternately you can just take train to SP and do the clifftop trail loop, panaramaweg. rated 2:30 hrs. Most spectacular views in Jungfrau region in my opinion. see photo.

In Zermatt

I would highly recommend the hike from Riffelalp to Riffelsee. It climbs around the right side of the mountain toward Riffelberg. when you get to Riffelsee continue around the right side of the lake for another 10-15 minutes to a little used lookout to see a gorgeous view of the Gornergletscher. You can continue on around the back side of the Gornergrat for great views of Mt Liskamm and Mt Rosa (highest peak entirely in Switzerland) until you come to a series of switchbacks which climb to the top of Gornergrat. In total takes about 5 hrs.Last part is steep but doable for couple in mid 60s. see photo

We also hiked from Riffelalp to Fluhalp and Riffelalp to Zmutt. Both nice hikes.We did not have time to explore the Kleine Matterhorn area but it is a popular hiking area.

Hope this helps Mark

PS many of these hikes are described on this website and you can google them as well

Last modified on Mar 20, 2018 - 3:08 AM by Mark
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Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Mar 20, 2018 - 10:47 AM

Hi Article19,

More information about the hikes Mark is mentioning, can be find here: www.myswissalps.com/hi king.

Article19
Article19
5 posts
new member
Mar 20, 2018 - 2:05 PM

Thanks so much guys!

We're a fairly fit couple (I run marathons, my wife runs 10k's).

6 hours is probably on the high-side for how long we want to spend hiking on any particular day. 1-2 hours would be on the low side. 3-4 is probably the right range, without anything too 'technical' (she's a bit nervous about crossing narrow bridges or using ropes/ladders).

From Mark's pics the hikes appear quite straight-forward. Here in Quebec, Canada many hikes are in the forest - with very challenging footing and limited views until you reach a summit. This will be a nice change!

Mark
Mark
179 posts
active member
Mar 21, 2018 - 8:42 PM

Hi Article

None of the hikes I described are at all technical. All are well marked and no need for ropes or ladders except for a short side trip off the Schynige Platte hike to Oberberghorn ( a rocky overlook with a few ladders but with handrails)

Note that all the hiking times listed do not take into count any stops for pictures or breaks

My wife and I have done all these hikes and we are in our mid 60s so I don’t expect you would have any trouble doing any of them. Most all the hikes would fall in the 3-5 hr range if you take picture breaks and enjoy the scenery. The exception is of course Schynige Platte to First which is longer but very doable if you get an early start. It is not a steep hike except the fairly short section of ascent to Faulhorn and not technical

You can also make the hikes substantially easier or harder by choosing to go downhill vs uphill. This is especially true of the Eiger Trail. Mark

Article19
Article19
5 posts
new member
Mar 21, 2018 - 11:54 PM

Great to know Mark

I look forward to examining your suggestions in greater detail and getting our plans together. We're only in our 40s, so I'm hoping we'll be able to keep up with you. Very inspirational!

r o b

1960man
1960man
384 posts
top member
Mar 22, 2018 - 12:49 AM

There are various books on walking in the Swiss Alps, try looking up using some key words on well know internet book sites...

You can also buy maps with all the Swiss walking routes marked in them.

Or, this website tell you all you need to know:

www.schweizmobil.ch/en /hiking-in-switzerland.html

Or, just go to any Swiss railway station and look for the 'Wanderkarte' stuck on the wall or just look for the famous yellow signs, and follow one which suits the time you have available. For example outside Filisur station:

schweiz-schweizer-gruppe-zu-fuss-wandern-filisur-albula-tal-blick-wegweiser-route-wanderweg-kanton-graubunden-graubunden-bundnerland-bnnn0x.jpg

One trick in Switzerland is to follow the route of the railways and if you decide you've had enough, just get on the train at the next available station. Much of the length of the Glacier Express route can be walked in this way.

And, as it's me I'd better add my usual comment about the over-hyped Glacier Express. You can cover the same route on ordinary trains and it is cheaper and a more 'real' experience.

Article19
Article19
5 posts
new member
Mar 22, 2018 - 5:35 PM

Thanks so much 1960man! Great tip about following the rail lines...

r o b

Mark
Mark
179 posts
active member
Mar 22, 2018 - 10:41 PM

Walking alongside rail lines works in some cases but not so much on the classic hikes I suggested above. There are railroad stops( or cable car stops ) at the beginning and end of the hikes but not in between. The exception is the hike I suggested from Männlichen to KS to Eigergletcher. We then rode the train back down to KS then hiked downhill to Wengeralp. There are train or cable car stops at all these points and because we wanted to hike a little more we just kept going until we reached Wengeralp. But we could have quit at any of the stops if we had wanted to. Mark

1960man
1960man
384 posts
top member
Mar 23, 2018 - 1:38 AM

Clearly walking parallel (ish) to railways is usually not the same as high altitude mountain ridge top hikes, however some of the routes paralleling railways are in high altitude valleys, and can be just as demanding as mountain top hikes.

Also, it is not just parallel but perpendicular that you can walk. For example, you can take the train to the top of Rochers de Naye and walk across the mountains to one of the stations on the MOB railway.

There are good high altitude walks paralleling the MGB, for example in the Oberalp area.

Another parallel to railway walk that is far from easy is Filisur - Bergün Bravuogn

Last modified on Mar 23, 2018 - 1:39 AM by 1960man
Mark
Mark
179 posts
active member
Mar 23, 2018 - 2:25 AM

Well that’s interesting except he’s staying in Wengen and Zermatt

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