Alpine Delights in Switzerland

 I’ve been calling Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland my alpine home for the past 15 years.  Tucked away and hidden from the mega-tourism of Switzerland,  Lauterbrunnen is a sleepy little jumping off point for savvy outdoor enthusiasts looking for a laid-back village with lots of outdoor recreation.

I’ve spent the day wandering around the alpine terrain and villages above Lauterbrunnen.  The entire region is connected by a series of railways, trams, lifts and funiculars making transportation a breeze.  One could effortlessly experience a lot of the countryside by taking public transportation, but for me, I want to get out for some exercise.  I’m visiting here in March and it appears the ski season is still going strong.  Unfortunately, I never tried snow skiing and I’m too old to begin now, so I’ll trust my adventures to my own two feet and get out for a good hike.

I began my day by taking the lift from Lauterbrunnen to Grüutschalp, a ten minute ride and elevation gain of more than 4000 feet.  From Grütschalp, I walked on a fairly easy trail for 1.5 hours to the resort village of Mürren.  It is loaded with swanky alpine hotels designed for skiers and outdoor enthusiasts.  Mürren is an alpine village with no vehicular traffic (except farm and service equipment) and requires a lift and a train to reach its hotels and chalets.  I believe it is a bit on the expensive side, but I enjoy the ambiance for lunch and poking around.

After touring the town, top to bottom, I decided to have lunch at an outdoor café with a view of the Alps.  I ordered raclette, which is a sinfully delicious mixture of melted Swiss cheese, boiled potatoes, pearl onions, Gherkin pickles and a few garnishes.  Wash this rich and gooey dish down with flask of the local brew and you’ve got a tasty meal.

From Mürren, I hiked downhill to the quaint farming village of Gimmelwald .  Up above town I found a comfy bench with a grand view of the glacial mountains where sat and I updated my journal and finally, laid down for a peacefully nap.  Later, I took the cable car back down to the valley floor and walked along the river to Lauterbrunnen. 

This was a `great day, but I’ve experienced many such days in the Lauterbrunnen Valley.  In the past hour I’ve enjoyed broad sweeping alpine vistas from my hotel balcony while putting the finishing touches on this blog entry.  Now, it is getting dark, and I am getting cold.  I believe we have the two Swiss favorites of fondue and rösti on the menu for dinner.  It’s days like this that reminds me of the wonders of exploring Europe!

About the Author
David McGuffin established David McGuffin's Exploring Europe, Inc. in 2001 to formally offer European tours. Since then, he has taken several thousand satisfied customers on memorable and educational tours to Europe.
  1. Susan McInarnay Reply

    I loved Murren when I visited it on a trip with David. The day I went he had taken a group of rather adventuresome hikers to the top of the mountain to hike/snow slide back down. I enjoyed my trip on the skylift and enjoyed the local flavor of the town.

  2. Laurie Jernigan Reply

    This was probably my favorite on the tour! The ride to the Schilthorn, and the walk from Murren to Gimmelwald was very enjoyable!
    The hotel was fabulous, one of my favorite!

  3. Carolyn Ward Reply

    I cannot wait until the June 2012 tour of Switzerland, Austria, France (Paris) and then returning to Germany. This will be amazing and I cannot wait to read more blogs about your trips and tours within these countries. Thanks so much for developing a tour that will enlighten us and also give us a new taste of Europe! We love traveling with you since you know all the best places to go and things to see. Can’t Wait!!! Vielen Dank Fur das Erfahrung!

    • admin Reply

      I’m am looking forward to the trip as well. It is always fun to plan a new and different itinerary.

  4. Lynn Porzig Reply

    I must say one does not know what fondue truly is, until you have experienced it in Switzerland! That alone it worth a trip there!

  5. Shy Reply

    I may have to become a McGuffin groupie!

  6. Nancy Reply

    Every trip I have been to Europe that has not included Switzerland has been missing something. Can’t wait to go next summer. When you slide down the snow on your poncho or whatever you have that will make you “Sail” remember to slow down because the the snow will end and the rocks hurt on your “bum” Spoken from experience when Charlotte and I did it. What an experience to slide/walk through the snow and get closer and closer to the flowers near the bottom but then turn around and see the magnificent mountains we just came from. I think we spent as much time looking back as we did forward.

  7. alex alfonso Reply

    Switzerland is one of my favorite countries to visit in Europe. One of my favorite spots is Celerina next to St Moritiz. Sleepy ski town with amazing veiws of the mountains.
    Love it love it

    • davidmcguffin Reply

      Alex, I don’t know if I’ve been to Celerina. Charlotte and I drove up to St. Moritz from Lake Como a few years ago. It was in November and I remember beginning the long switchback climb from the lake to what seemed the top of the World! About halfway up, we encountered lots of snow and a winter wonderland of sights. We stopped in a charming little village at the top of the climb that may have been Celerina.

  8. Katie Carter Reply

    If you should take the group to Leysin! They have a great Irish Pub… The best of both worlds!

  9. Jay Reply

    I have heard so many good things about Switzerland from other people that have been there! It looks like a postcard! Gorgeous mountains!

Leave a Reply