Monday, June 28, 2010

i heart // hiking in switzerland //

Before moving to Switzerland, I was never really a mountain-girl. I definitly preferred the beach whatsoever. But living so close to the Bernese Alps since almost three years now, my attitude towards mountains, hiking and snow& ice as changed radically! I am in love!

Spending your day in the middle of the stunning mountains, feeling the beauty of nature and smelling the always fresh air has become a part of my life that I do not want to miss again.

Since Switzerland offers so many opportunities for mountain-lovers, I have put together three of the nicest hikes I did last year. All breathtaking in their own special way - enjoy!

To heart:

Aletsch Glacier (Valais)

Being the largest glacier of the alps ( 23 km long) and listed as an UNESCO World Heritage sight, the Aletsch Glacier is by far not an of-the-beaten-track destination, but an oh-so-nice one. Stunned by the beauty of the glacier and its sheer majestic flow, it will be easy to forget the other tourist around you. Belive me.

For reaching the starting point of the Swiss glacier hiking trail, take the cable car from Betten via the Bettmeralp (ski resort) to the top of Bettmerhorn (2650 m): From there it is a 11km hike to Fiescheralp (2300 m), most of the time following the trail which runs right along the mighty glacier. I can promise you wonderful panoramas, breathtaking close-ups with the glacier and after all the work is done a typical swiss meal in one of the restaurants at Fiescheralp. From there you can take the cable car down to Fiesch.

One of the greatest trails I have done so far, especially the close-up with the glacier is amazing. Unfortuantely also this glacier is melting (you can hear the water rushing underneath it, it sounds like a huge river), so hurry up to see it in all its remaining grandeur.

Further infos on the trail can be found here.

Gelmer Lake

The radiant blue of the Gelmer Lake is only topped of by the blue of the sky on a sunny day. Located in the area of Handegg in the Bernese Alps and at an altitude of 1.860m, the lake offers a wonderful round-trip hiking trail around the lake. Critical passages are secured by fixed ropes, so also the faint-hearted must show not fear!

You can reach the lake either by hiking all the way up from the valley (what I did) or you can take Europes steepest cable car (106% gradient). But I can only warn you, this is definetly nothing for the faint-hearted!! We only took it down, which was absolutely great - you basically crawl down the mountain vertically! I saw the faces of other passangers become paler and paler... I thought it was great fun!

All in all a very nice high alpine hike to a beautiful lake, surrounded by waterfalls, soaring mountains and a trilling ride back to the valley.

Further infos on the trail can be found here

Snowshoehiking at Axalp

Even if my most favorite sport during winter season is snowboarding, you can also do some hiking during the winter. All you need is a pair of snowshoes and a avalanche-secure trail to hike along.

We did an amazing trail at Axalp close to the Brienzer Lake in January. Snowshoehiking is all about feeling the nature and the silence of snow only interrupted by the noises of your own walking.

Equipment can be rented basically in all major ski resorts for little costs. You should try it next winter, it is really magical.

Further infos on the trail can be found here.

To sleep:

The Swiss Alps offer evertyhing from camp ground to rustic mountain chalets to 5 star hotels. In the summer we mostly stick to camp grounds, which can be found everywhere and are really convenient (plus affordable). In the winter we mainly do day-trips to avoid expensive hotels - and with living 60 minutes away from the majos ski resorts, no problem.

To eat:

Try the traditional cheese fondue with bread. Mmh, so yummy. Especially nice to enjoy in winter. In summer we stick to local bread, cheese, vine, and chocolate. Pack yourself a picnic before you start your hike, you will be rewarded with a picnic with a view (sometimes looking at 32 mountains that top the 4.000m at the same time).

To cherish:

Picnics with local food at the shore of an icy mountain lake.

Yummy cheese fondues in original swiss mountain huts.

Drinking a hot chocolate after a breathtaking climb up to the top of the mountain.

Seeing the cute marmots run around and hide in their holes.

The fresh and cool air in the middle of summer.

All pictures by me.


  1. OMG...I am loving this post so much,sweetie...I am making notes on it and those photos are breathtaking...I adore hiking so this is perfect for me:)

  2. Wow - it all looks so stunning! You're so lucky!

  3. I see what you mean - I miss the mountains!

  4. Hallo Kristina
    Wow, tolle Bilder!
    Ja, schön ist es da... ;)
    Atemberaubend der Aletschgletscher ... klasse Bilder auch von der Schneeschuhwanderung ;-).

  5. I love this post! the Aletsch Glacier (Valais) hike looks especially amazing.


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