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Episode 77: 8 amazing experiences to include in your Switzerland vacation

July 26, 2023 Last Updated on July 28, 2023

In this episode of the podcast, I’m reflecting on my month-long visit to Switzerland in June 2023. We were blessed with beautiful weather, and amazing scenery and experiences everywhere we went. 

There was plenty of relaxation involved but the trip was also a great opportunity for me to visit new places, try out new experiences and refresh my knowledge of favourite places that we revisited.

For this episode, I thought I’d share with you 8 of the fantastic experiences that I enjoyed for the first time as part of my ‘grand train tour of Switzerland’. 

Later on in the episode, I’ll also give you my thoughts on the Swiss rail passes I used, apps that I found really useful and the new tips I picked up on my travels. Hopefully this will help you with your Switzerland trip planning.

[This post may contain compensated links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.]

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As always, I’d like to say a huge thanks to the folks from Switzerland Tourism for sponsoring the podcast.  For loads of inspiration and tips to help you plan your Swiss vacation, visit their website, myswitzerland.com.

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Show Notes

In this episode you’ll learn about:

  • Tamina Therme, a popular Thermal Spa and Wellness Centre
  • Rail journeys on the Landwasser and Brusio Viaducts
  • Exploring Lake Lucerne,  Mount Titlis and Mount Pilatus
  • Visiting Brienz, Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald
  • Exploring the Jungfrau Region
  • The Swiss rail passes Carolyn used on her recent trip
  • Apps that will help you during your Swiss vacation
  • Helpful Swiss travel tips 

Experiences mentioned in this episode

Tamina Therme – a thermal spa and wellness centre in Bad Ragaz in Eastern Switzerland. Water in the thermal spa pools comes directly from the springs of the Tamina Gorge, which is said to alleviate physical and rheumatic complaints. More info here >>

Landwasser Viaduct – this 136 metre-long, 65 metre-high viaduct with massive arched supports is located near Filisur on the Albula Railway line. It is even more impressive as it goes around a bend before entering a tunnel. The Landwasser Viaduct can be crossed the Glacier Express, the Bernina Express and on the regional trains operated by Rhaetian Railways. More info here >>

Brusio Viaduct – another impressive viaduct, the Brusio viaduct is a 360-degree spiral viaduct with 9 arches. It helps trains to gain 10 metres in elevation within a short distance. The Brusio viaduct can be crossed on the Bernina Express or regional trains operated by Rhaetian Railways. It is located at Brusio, close to the Italian border. More info here >>

Mt. Pilatus – the closest mountain to Lucerne, Mt. Pilatus is a popular day trip destination. A popular way to travel to and from Pilatus is via the Golden Round Trip route which includes transport by bus, cable car, cogwheel train and boat. We stayed overnight at Mt. Pilatus in one of the two hotels at the summit and enjoyed having the opportunity to witness the magnificent sunset and sunrise over Lake Lucerne. More info here >>

Tamina Therme at Bad Ragaz
Tamina Therme. Image courtesy Grand Hotel Bad Ragaz
Bernina Express crossing the Landwasser Viaduct
Bernina Express crossing the Landwasser Viaduct. Image courtesy Swiss Travel System

Mt. Titlis – the perfect destination for folks who would like to see and touch snow (at any time of year). Reached from Engelberg by a panorama gondola and the rotating TITLIS Rotair cable car, the journey to the summit is spectacular. There are plenty of activities to enjoy at Mt. Titlis including snow tubing, a glacier cave, the Titlis Cliff Walk suspension bridge. Also worth checking out is the intermediate station of Trübsee where you’ll find a beautiful lake, children’s playground and a zipline. More info here >>

Giessbach Falls – just above Lake Brienz in the Berner Oberland, the Giessbach stream plunges down from above in 14 steps, making an impressive site. The power of the water as is thunders down to Lake Brienz, especially after rain, is a sight to behold. Giessbach Falls can be reached from Interlaken by boat, bus or car. More info here >>

Panorama Trail from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg – this easy but picturesque hike has become my new favourite – so much so that I did it twice on my recent visit! Starting at Männlichen, a mountain above Wengen, the hike to Kleine Scheidegg takes around an hour and a half. We recommend walking towards Kleine Scheidegg, (rather than in the opposite direction) as that way, the North Face of the Eiger is almost always in view.

Hotel Spinne in Grindelwald – our usual style of accommodation whilst in the Jungfrau Region is a self-catering apartment so this time we decided to mix it up and spend the last three nights in a hotel. But not just any hotel – one with an infinity pool! Hotel Spinne was a great choice. It’s a very comfortable hotel, conveniently located in the centre of Grindelwald. The heated infinity pool – with wonderful views to the Eiger North Face – was a real treat, too. More info here >>

Bernina Express on Brusio Viaduct
Brusio Circular Viaduct
Dragon Ride cable car at Mt. Pilatus
Dragon Ride cable car at Mt. Pilatus

Carolyn’s itinerary

Bad Ragaz – 1 night

Stayed: Hotel Sorell Tamina

Sightseeing/excursions:

  • Tamina Therme

Pontresina – 3 nights

Stayed: Hotel Rosatsch

Sightseeing/excursions:

  • Travelled from Chur to Samedan on Glacier Express
  • Visit Celerina and St. Moritz
  • Excursion on Bernina Express from Pontresina to Tirano, returned by regional train

Chur – 1 night

Stayed: ABC Swiss Quality Hotel

Sightseeing/excursions:

  • Old Town

Mt. Pilatus – 1 night

Stayed: Pilatus Kulm Hotel

Sightseeing/excursions:

  • Dragon Glider and toboggan run at Fräkmüntegg
  • 4-course dinner, sunset and sunrise at Pilatus Kulm
  • Golden Round Trip – bus, cable car, cogwheel train, boat
Titlis Cliff Walk
Titlis Cliff Walk
Giessbach Falls on Lake Brienz Switzerland
Giessbach Falls

Beckenried – 4 nights

Stayed: Hotel Nidwaldnerhof

Sightseeing/excursions:

  • Boat trip to Gersau and Brunnen
  • Excursion to Mt. Titlis
  • Boat trip to Lucerne

Beatenberg – 3 nights

Stayed: Hotel Gloria

Sightseeing/excursions:

  • Afternoon tea at Brienz on the way
  • Excursion to Niederhorn
  • Visit to Oberhofen Castle and Thun and Lake Thun cruise

Lauterbrunnen – 7 nights

Stayed: Apartment

Sightseeing/excursions:

  • Lake Brienz cruise and Giessbach Falls
  • Trümmelbach Falls and Staubbach Falls
  • Excursion to Schilthorn and Allmendhubel
  • Hike from Mürren to Grütschalp
  • Excursion to Männlichen and Panorama Trail hike (twice)
  • Excursion to Kandersteg and Oeschinensee
  • Visit to Wengen

Grindelwald – 3 nights

Stayed: Hotel Spinne

Sightseeing/excursions:

  • Excursion to Grindelwald First
  • Excursion to Pfingstegg
  • Visit to Interlaken and Harder Kulm excursion

Zurich – 3 nights

Stayed: Sorell Hotel Seefeld

Sightseeing/excursions:

  • Old Town
  • Lake Zurich dinner cruise
Panorama hike between Mannlichen and Kleine Scheidegg
Panorama hike between Mannlichen and Kleine Scheidegg
Infinity pool ta Hotel Spinne in Grindelwald
Infinity pool at Hotel Spinne in Grindelwald

Other topics discussed in this episode

Swiss Travel Pass – an all-in-one ticket for the entire Swiss public transport system. Learn more about the pass in our comprehensive Swiss Travel Pass guide or in this podcast episode.

Berner Oberland Pass – a transport pass for the Berner Oberland which includes free travel on public transport and more than 25 mountain railways. We’ve written a detailed guide to the Berner Oberland Pass and we also featured it in this podcast episode.

SBB Mobile app – the official app of the Swiss Federal Railways, this is a must-have travel companion for Switzerland. The app shows timetables and fares (and more) for all public transport in the country.

MeteoSwiss app – our go-to app for checking weather forecasts and current weather conditions.

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This episode is sponsored by Switzerland Tourism


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