There are few moments in life more memorable than standing on an alpine peak with the whole of Switzerland spread out before you. Anyone who has spent time on our Swiss Heartland or Oberland Untours can attest to that.
Lucky for us, the Swiss have created an amazing network of funiculars, cable cars, gondolas, and lifts to give visitors easy access to the summits of the Alps.
Here is a guide to some of the best known and loved Swiss peaks within easy reach of the Swiss Untours.
Titlis 10,000 feet
As central Switzerland’s highest mountain, Titlis offers superb views of alpine Switzerland from a region of permanent ice and snow. You can see a slide show, get a quick tan lounging on the spacious summer terrace, or cool off in the large glacial ice palace. The unique rotating gondola on the last lift section offers ever changing views down into deep glacier crevasses as you ride safely over them.
Get your thrills and walk along the “Cliff Walk” on Mount Titlis. This glacier suspension bridge is the ultimate highlight, and it’s free! You’ll find the Cliff Walk next to the Ice Flyer Chairlift. On the return trip, walkers can hike a special alpine geological path between the midstation and Trübsee, descending almost 2,000 feet, in about 90 minutes.
Jungfrau 11,333 feet
The Jungfrau is among the highest of the Bernese Oberland peaks, and ii sits nearly in the center of them. The southern exposure is starkly white, showing the arctic environs of the largest glacier in Europe, contrasting with the lush green shadowed landscape of the northern view. You may also enjoy a visit inside the glacier in the rooms of the “ice palace,” or go skiing (or sledding with huskies) on the glacier, or the very good video show. Naturally, a restaurant is included in the Jungfraujoch complex. Avoid weekends, dress warmly, and don’t forget your sunglasses!
Rigi 5,895 feet
Historic and beautiful, Rigi is known as the “Queen of the Mountains.” The 360-degree view from Rigi reveals a substantial portion of Switzerland over several hundred miles, complete with walking trails (some very easy and level), covered picnic areas, a playground, and other amenities. It’s within easy reach from two starting points, both of which have a cog-wheel train to the top. Either take the boat to Vitznau on Lake Luzern and rail to Rigi Kulm from there, or start at Arth-Goldau and take the cog train to Rigi Kulm. Ascend by one route and come down by the other!
Pilatus 6,800 feet
This rugged summit sits just south of Luzern. The cog train up from Alpnachstadis is the steepest in the world. Pilatus stands apart from neighboring peaks, affording a broad view of Switzerland, and promising wide-ranging leisure and recreation amenities such as outdoor cafes, the longest summer toboggan run, Switzerland’s largest rope park, a tubing slide, playgrounds, and much more. Its close proximity to Luzern draws many tourists to its summit for a quick view of the land, so expect crowds at the summit on clear days. A free exhibition is always on display at the Hotel Bellevue.
Stanserhorn 6,110 feet
Across the valley from the Pilatus train ride is the Stanserhorn. From it, you get a good bird’s-eye view of Lake Luzern and the Swiss Heartland Untour area. The lake landscape appears like a broken picture puzzle which was once tightly connected. There is a nicely maintained footpath around the top of this summit with many quiet lookout points and inviting picnic spots. The Stanserhorn also offers a large patio restaurant. With a grand view and smaller crowds, we feel that the Stanserhorn has an edge on its neighbor, Pilatus.
Plan your mountain trips for clear days, and be sure to get an early start. And when purchasing your lift ticket, be sure to show your Swiss Pass for a possible discount.
See you in Switzerland!