Matt and I had never been to Switzerland before, and we had heard such good things about it. We booked in 4 days between Tour de France locations. 4 days in a brand new country. How could we possibly decide what to do? Let me show you what we did! I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Day 1: Explore Lauterbrunnen & See Trummelbach Falls
Land of 72 waterfalls. Need I say more? Lauterbrunnen is basically a one street village in a large valley, surrounded by waterfalls. It’s the the most picturesque place I’ve ever been in my whole life. Arriving on your first day, spend your time checking out what the locals have to offer, and stop into the information center – they’re helpful and a wealth of information. Grab a map of Lauterbrunnen and off you go!
If you keep following the main road you’ll hit the most famous of the waterfalls – Staubbach Falls. This 300m waterfall towers over Lauterbrunnen. If you don’t mind getting a bit moist, you can climb the stairs and take in the views of the valley from behind the waterfall!
If you keep walking along that main road, it’ll take you along rolling green fields and meadows, bringing you closer and closer to the next stop… Trummelbach Falls.
Trummelback Falls flows from the melting Jungfrau glacier, pounding through the side of the valley at 20,000 liters of water a second. At a cost of 12 Francs you can climb the stairs and go inside the tunnels which follow the subterranean waterfall through the rock face.
Day 2: Drive Susten Pass and see Rhone Glacier
Our mate of ours that we met on our Sail Croatia trip suggested we hire a car and drive through Susten Pass. It was a bit of a miserable morning weather wise, so we decided to go for it… and we’re so glad we did! The views of the mountains and valleys just kept getting better and better, and the supply of waterfalls was endless.
Matt spotted a side street towards some snow, and never having seen snow before, quickly veered of to try and get closer. And closer we got! We got right up close to Stein Glacier, and then a little bit further up the road… patches of snow! Matt was stoked!
I’m not sure how it happened, but we ended up on Furka Pass. The roads were small, thin and winds around the mountain side. Apparently there was a famous James Bond car chase in Goldfinger that took place on this road. Shrug? It was pretty.
We also happened on Rhone Glacier, which was HUGE. You could also go INSIDE the glacier. It was a bit freaking chilly.
We zoomed pass Interlaken on the way back to our hotel in Lauterbrunnen to grab a delicious dinner and watch a fantastic sunset.
Day 3: Jungfrau – top of Europe
Holy moly. Switzerland is expensive. I mean we were already paying 4 Francs for an espresso coffee and 6 Francs for a 600ml bottle of water… A round ticket to the top of Jungfrau by the cog wheel train is about 450 Francs for 2 people. That’s $610 Australian dollary-doos. Here’s where you can buy tickets online, otherwise, just get them from the Lauterbrunnen info center. There is an option to buy a travel pass to get transport discounts if you think you’ll use it lots. We weren’t going to, so it wasn’t worth it.
It’s best to book in your trip to Jungfrau, so you’re not stuck at Klein Scheidegg station (halfway up the mountain), waiting for a free spot on the cogwheel to Jungfrau. Make sure that you try to book on a clear day. Check your weather forecast. Unfortunately we didn’t have that luxury, and we turned up to this…
Oh noes. $610 for fog. We hung about inside and looked at the Ice Palace (pretty cool) and Lindt chocolate shop (delicious) for an hour or so, but then decided to take it on. Thank jeebus we did. We took the short 45min (I mean it took us an hour) hike up to a small hut, past the Snow Fun station, and about 30 mins into the hike we rose above the clouds and got clear views of the Swiss alps.
I highly recommend the hike. I also highly recommend some sunscreen, because we got burnt as fuck. At the hut we warmed up with some soup and celebrated our success with a pint of beer. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Day 4: Hike Lauterbrunnen
You can’t visit Switzerland and not do some hiking. Matt and I decided to do an “easy hike”. We caught the gondola and train up to Murren for 11 Francs each, had a look at the small village (super dooper cute) and hiked back down.
The hike begun easily enough – a reasonably flat trail next to the train tracks. After passing through a cow pasture, things took a turn. A downwards turn. Talk about steep! But the views made it all worth it.
Reckon we were a bit obsessed with the cows? Haha.
Lauterbrunnen gets a 9.5 out of 10 from me. I swear it was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen – a lot of it reminded me of New Zealand! The only problem was the price. There was no way we could’ve stayed longer than 4 days… what a budget breaker!
Have you every experienced a really expensive location? Share your stories with me!