Perfect 1 week Switzerland itinerary: Journey through the Swiss Alps

Schäfler mountain ridge, Appenzell Alps
  • Day 1: Driving from Belgium to Interlaken, visiting Lauterbrunnen
  • Day 2: Sunrise hike to Augstmatthorn + Blausee + GOMS bridge
  • Day 3: Aletsch Glacier + Rhone glacier (Furka pass)
  • Day 4: Lavertezzo (Valle Verzasca) + medieval town of Foroglio
  • Day 5: Limmernsee + staying the night in the Muttseehütte SAC
  • Day 6: Schäfler ridge in the Alpstein region
  • Day 7: Taking in the last views + driving back home to Belgium
  • Extra: Few other beautiful places to visit in the Swiss Alps such as Rosenlaui, Triftbrücke, Bachalpsee (Grindelwald), Saxer Lücke
Augstmatthorn sunrise hike

This itinerary is for people who love being out in nature and want to see the most epic sceneries that Switzerland has to offer. Maybe you’re a hiker, maybe you’re a landscape/nature photographer looking for the best views, maybe you just love being outdoors. I will share with you which places we visited on our 7 day trip from Belgium to Switzerland and where we stayed the night. This trip was without a doubt one of the most beautiful I have done until today and I’ll show you why in this blog. I’ll also share coördinates to some locations in the text so it’s easy for you to find the exact locations. What you will not find here is a summary of the most beautiful towns (except for a few gems) and cities in Switzerland. I’m sure the country has a lot to offer for citytrip enthusiasts as well but that’s not why we went to Switzerland.

Why Switzerland? Switzerland is located centrally in Europe and is not all too far from Belgium. A 7 hour drive takes you to the middle of this beautiful country and gets you surrounded by some of Europe’s most beautiful mountains. Switzerland is not too big so it doesn’t take you all too long to go from A to B. There’s so many beautiful places to fill your days easily. The only downside is that it’s a really expensive country and as we say in Belgium “you’ll feel this in your wallet”. We traveled on a budget during summer (we went in July) so we could cut costs by staying on campsites and sometimes cooking our own food.

Tips and need to know:

  • Get a Switzerland sim card once you arrive, data costs are crazy here (not part of the EU). We went to Swisscom in Interlaken, it cost us about 20 euros per sim card for unlimited data
  • Install maps.me. Great app for finding trails, way more accurate than Google Maps for example and it will show you the smaller hiking trails that Google Maps doesn’t show
  • Get yourself some headlights if you want to do sunrise hikes like we did
  • Take enough water when you’re out exploring
  • Just enjoy the view when driving around Switzerland, it’s gorgeous everywere
  • Cable cars are expensive, count at least 30 euros per person for a round trip, some were up to 60 euros per person. Get a Swiss half-card to get discounts if you plan on taking a lot of cable cars (you got to see for yourself if buying the card is worth it, will depend on how many cable cars you’re gonna take).
  • The best time to travel to Switzerland is june until september, during the summer months.

Day 1: Driving from Belgium to Interlaken.

Our first day we left around 5.30 AM in Belgium to drive to our first stay in Interlaken. The drive to Interlaken was not too far from Belgium (we wanted to have some exploring time on our first day already and not spend all day in the car), it’s well located to visit Lauterbrunnen and was the closest we could get to the start of our sunrise hike to the Augstmatthorn the next day.

The drive was around 7h30 minutes so in the early afternoon we arrived at the Jungfraucamp campsite. We quickly set up our tents, had lunch and went to explore Lauterbrunnen. Lauterbrunnen is not just a town, it’s a fairytale place. Fun fact: Tolkien got his inspiration for Rivendell when he visited Lauterbrunnen and fell in love with the scenery.  I can tell you one thing: it did not disappoint.

Another campsite tip: in September I went back with my girlfriend and we stayed at camping Jungfrau, right at the famous waterfall. The location was perfect and the campsite was great.

We just strolled around the place for a few hours, going up close to the waterfall, looking for some beautiful points of view to take some photos. Coördinates for the best photo spot in Lauterbrunnen (see photo below): 46.594856, 7.908370.

There are some other things to do in Lauterbrunnen, like taking the train or cable car up to Murren for a nice viewpoint over the valley, visiting Trümmelbach falls,… But after a few hours of strolling around, taking photos with camera and drone we decided to turn back to the campsite to have dinner, get a beer and go to bed early because the next day would be an exhausting one with a sunrise mission, which turned out to be the most beautiful sunrise we ever witnessed.

Rating of camping Jungfraucamp: don’t expect anything crazy here but the people were friendly, the campsite looked nice and the facilities were clean.

Day 2: Sunrise hike to Augstmatthorn + Blausee + GOMS bridge

On our second day we woke up really early around 3.15 AM. It was summer so the sun would rise around 5.30-5.45 which meant we had to be on top of the Augstmatthorn in time to watch the sun rise over the mountain peaks. We left the campsite early (tip: always check up front if the campsite has barriers that close during the night, if so make sure to park your car somewhere you can leave the campsite or you’re stuck till the barriers open which often is 7 or 8 AM. In this campsite that was not the case).

There are a few options to start the Augstmatthorn hike and after some research we decided the best for us would be to drive up to Jägerstübli Lombachalp (location: Lombachalp, 3804 Habkern, Zwitserland) where you can park the car and walk up to the Augstmatthorn viewpoint. This was a 30-40 minute drive. The trail leaves right in front of the parking lot. We used maps.me to guide us as the first part was just walking through a muddy field and it was not easy to find the trail in the dark (we had headlights but still it wasn’t easy). Coördinates for the viewpoint: 46.7423367328461, 7.92857570314724. The hike takes around 1h30, but we went crazy and did it in 1 hour. We were exhausted and it was cold at the top but we were there in time as the sun wasn’t up yet. On the top we found 3 people who spent the night there in sleeping bags which is also an option if you’re even more adventurous. Once the sun came up we did not believe our eyes and did not have enough time to take all the photos we wanted but here are some impressions.

We spent around 3 hours at the top walking the ridge, taking photos from all views possible before we went down again. While descending we came by quite a few hikers so we were lucky we beat the crowds by going early. The view was still beautiful but nothing could ever beat watching the sun rise at this spot.

We went back to the campsite, packed our stuff and drove off to our next stop, Blausee. While Blausee does have a nice walking trail and the lake itself is quite nice, it’s most definitely a tourist trap. Very small, way too busy. We spent only a short amount of time here.

After Blausee we drove off to the GOMS bridge, our last stop before taking the cable car at Fiesch to Fiescheralp.

Day 3: sunrise hike to Aletsch Glacier + Rhone glacier (Furka pass)

You have a few options to visit the Aletsch Glacier:

  • You can take the cable car from Fiesch to Eggishorn, the viewpoint over the glacier is located right outside the cable car stop.
  • We chose to spend the night in Alpenlodge Kühboden at Fiescheralp. The best way to get here is to take the cable car from Fiesch to Fiescheralp. The hotel is located in the same building as the stop of the cable car (tickets from Fiesch to Fiescheralp are included in the hotel price). We chose to stay here because the morning hike trail started right in front of the hotel and we really wanted to visit this place at sunrise as well to beat the crowds.

Review of Alpenlodge Kühboden: very friendly staff, the 3 person room we got was very basic but enough for us. Breakfast was decent. Cable car tickets from Fiesh to Fieshceralp are included in the price of the hotel so that’s a bonus.

We got up at 3.15 (again) to check the weather conditions. The night before, we arrived in the fog and couldn’t see more than 30 meters in front of us so we were scared our views would be limited the morning of our sunrise hike. We were lucky to find the sky had cleared so we got dressed and left for our hike. We used maps.me here as well which is really necessary as the road is not clearly marked and even with maps.me we were in doubt quite a few times which route to take. More than once it’s not clearly shown which ‘path’ you should take and a few times you’ll have to cross parts of ice. After 1hour 15 minutes we arrived at the top. We chose to do this on sunrise to enjoy the beautiful morning sun and because we wanted to be alone on the 2964m viewpoint over the glacier.

The view over the glacier was insane! This place is so majestic I have no words to describe it. The sunrise wasn’t great as the sun got covered by clouds but standing here with only the 3 of us like we were the only people on the planet was unforgettable. After a while clouds came rolling in and it was like we were standing on top of the world. We spent 2h30 here taking photos and flying the drone while waiting for the first cable car pod to come up. We took this one to get back down to Fiescheralp to get a shower and enjoy breakfast (we came back right before breakfast hour ended, we asked the day before if that would be an issue and they assured us they’d wait for us to make it back). Fun to know: from up the viewpoint we could see the top of the Matterhorn in the distance.

After this, we went back down and got in the car to drive to the Ticino region with a stop at the Rhone Glacier. We saw some awesome photos from the Rhone Glacier on Instagram where you could walk on a made path inside the glacier but in reality most of the ice had melted and it just looked really crappy (they cover the glacier in cloths and they were hanging in the glacier tunnels which looked really bad). The entrance fee is not much and it’s a cool experience but I think you’ll have to go sooner in the year to find it more intact (we went in July).

The views when driving to the rhone glacier are so gorgeous so make sure to enjoy the scenery. You’ll be driving the Furka Pass which is incredibly beautiful. We drove on to our campsite for the next 2 nights, being the TCS Camping Gordevio Valle Maggia. We arrived and did nothing much but set up the tent, enjoy a fun evening because we were exhausted and got to bed early.

Day 4:  Lavertezzo & Foroglio in the Ticino region

We slept a little longer today and left around 8.30 AM to visit Lavertezzo. We arrived early but soon after a lot of tourists came in to climb the rocks at the river and to go swimming. We stayed a while to take some shots and left for our next stop.

Afterwards we went on our way to visit Foroglio, a medieval cute little town located near a big waterfall, the Cascata di Foroglio. On our way we had a very good pizza at Hotel Al Lago (coordinates: 46.215182178215194, 8.860402730151277).

On the way to Foroglio, make sure to make a stop at Cascata Di Salto. It’s on the way, the walk up isn’t that long and it’s definitely worth it. Location: 46.25107028866804, 8.706567966695843. Great for taking a dip in the water as well.

After visiting Cascata di Salto, we continued our way to Foroglio and enjoyed the small road and great views. We stopped by the river to get a drink and to fly the drone for a while before we drove on. When we arrived in Foroglio it was about 3PM or something and there was no one but us. Even though it’s really small we wandered around for more than an hour finding good photo spots with the waterfall in the background. Afterwards we went to visit Cascata di Foroglio, the waterfall near the village. Foroglio itself is gorgeous and a real hidden gem.

After exploring the old town, we drove back to the campsite and went to sit by the river which seemed to be a gorgeous place as well. Some people were making a fire on the rocks near the river which seemed really cosy.

Day 5: Limmernsee + staying the night in the Muttseehütte SAC

We left the campsite in the morning to drive to the cable car stop to reach our place for the night. Parking location: Luftseilbahn Tierfehd – Kalktrittli. On our way there we made a short stop at the beautiful and lesser known Berglistüber waterfall. You can park very close, it’s not even a 10 minute walk from the side of the road to the waterfall.

Once arrived at the cable car parking, you take your ticket and wait for the cable car to come down. It’s a very steep one and the views are crazy. Once you arrived with the cable car, you can take 2 routes to the Muttseehütte SAC (coordinates of the hut: 46.85823576002044, 9.021043779716585).

  • The first option is to turn left once you step out of the cable car. This route will take you along the mountain trail. The hike to the hut is indicated by signposts so you can’t miss it. We took this route on our way up. It provided us with really nice views (see pictures down below).
  • The second option when stepping out of the cable car is going straight and taking the door that leads into the tunnel. You’ll have to walk 3 km in this tunnel (it seems endless) and then you arrive at Limmernsee. From there you have to do the last incline to the Mütttseehütte SAC. We took this way down.

In total this hike will take you 2-3 hours. A little longer if you stop every few minutes to take photos like we did.

Once arrived, we took some photos of Limmernsee but it started raining really heavily so we went inside to get dinner. Besides us there were only a few other people staying the night. The owners cook one meal for everyone and it was really good. We had a few beers and went to bed. Even though we had bad weather, I would really recommend this place to get away from everything for a night.

Day 6: Schäfler ridge in the Alpstein region

We put the alarm early for sunrise but it was still raining and it was so cloudy we could barely see anything so we decided to stay in bed and sleep a little longer. After breakfast we took the route down to Limmernsee and then via the tunnel. Before reaching the tunnel we enjoyed some of the views in the rain. We were lucky to encounter a wild group of ibex.

We arrived at the car soaking wet from the rain, put on some dry clothes and left for our final 2 nights at Berggasthaus Schäfler in the Alpstein region. We drove to the Talstation Luftseilbahn Wasserauen-Ebenalp AG (Coördinates: 47.286719098218875, 9.428787098903964) and took the cable car up. The rain stopped for a while so we quickly made our way up to Berggasthaus Schäfler whil enjoying the views around us. The walk to the inn is about 1h30 and you stay right at the Schäfler mountain ridge. Next photo is taken with the drone of the view on Seealpsee.

Seealpsee in the Alpstein region

We arrived in the early afternoon but because it was raining non stop we decided to stay in, have some beers and enjoy a good meal. When we finished the meal we saw it stopped raining for a while and went out to see what was the most epic sunset we ever saw. The sun came though just for 5 minutes before it started pouring again but the sights we had, we will never forget.

Schäfler ridge

The day after, it was still raining but we decided to go for a hike and visit the famous Aescher restaurant. Since the weather was so bad there was no one there when apparently sometimes in the tourist season you have to wait in a long line to take a photo. Location: 47.283609, 9.414945

Since the weather was really bad and there was a thunderstorm going on, we decided to turn back to the hut and spend the rest of the afternoon indoors.

Review of Berggasthaus Schäfler: great place to stay, friendly staff. Views are crazy. I hope you have better weather than we had. Would definitely recommend but then for 1 night only. We booked 2 nights in the hope to have perfect sunrise/sunset conditions. Schäfler dorm rooms are around 50 euros per person for a night. Surely worth it for the views you have here. The best thing I haven’t even mentioned yet: the Schäfler ridge viewpoint is literally 3 minutes from the Berggasthaus. Perfect, right?

Schäfler mountain ridge

Day 7: Walk back down and drive back to Belgium

Since the weather was really bad we just went back home but our original plan was to explore Saxer Lücke, which is close and then drive home. I’ll explain how to get there down below.

Important note:

As you may or may not notice, we did not visit all the most touristic spots in the country. We skipped the Matterhorn for example as it was too far a detour for us and we did not want to do the most touristic spot either. For many this would be a must visit, we were okay not to go there and see some lesser visited places and we definitely do not regret it.

If we would do the trip again with the knowledge we had now, would we do it again? 3 times YES but with 2 slight alterations to the itinerary: first of all we would skip Blausee and take the time to explore Oeschinesee and the mighty viewpoint it has (look it up on Google it’s really cool). Second, if we could we’d add some more days to visit even more spots but our time was limited.

Extra:

In september, 2 months after this trip, my girlfriend and I visited Switzerland again for 5 days and visited some other places. I really recommend taking a look at these as well:

  • Triftbrücke: start at the Triftbahn, hike up to the bridge for very impressive views. Coördinates Triftbahn: 46.70424885441222, 8.336207277482341. Total is around 6km, 3hour hike.
  • Rosenlaui: easily accessible by car, no hiking required but you can go to the Rosenlaui glacier closeby. Coördinates: 46.68885974974545, 8.161514235503049
Rosenlaui
  • Saxer Lücke hike: there’s different ways to access this place, what we did was arrive in the afternoon at Brulisau and take the cable car up to Hoher Kasten. Walk around here and enjoy the crazy view you have.
VIew from the Hoher Kasten viewpoint. You can see Saxer Lücke in the distance

Then walk to Berggasthaus Staubern and stay the night there.

The next morning we walked from Berggasthaus Staubern to Hoher Kasten, then down to Fälensee where we had the craziest reflections ever. We stayed here for a short while to take some photos and then continued walking back to the car in Brulisau. We stopped at a local bakery with some delicious bread rolls (Bäckerei-Konditorei Fässler).

You can also do this in 1 day, we just wanted to stay the night on top of the mountain. Total is about 17 km, which will take around 5 hours. It’s mostly downhill and flat but in the beginning you’ll also have to climb a little bit.
Another option to visit Saxer Lücke and Fälensee if you don’t want to hike too much, is taking the cable car from Frümsen straight to Berggasthaus Staubern, from there it’s not a long walk to Saxer Lücke and you can take the same road back.

  • Last but definitely not least: Bachalpsee. To get to Bachalpsee, be ready to pay up on cable car tickets (we did not have a reduction card so we paid 120 euros for 2 persons up and down). Take the firstbahn in Grindelwald up to the last stop. From there it’s only a 1h30 hike to Bachalpsee.

Equipment used:

  • Camera: Sony A7 III
  • Lenses: Sony 24-105mm f4 & Tamron 70-180 f2.8
  • Drone: Mavic 2 Pro with Polarpro filters 8,16,32

You can leave your Email adress down below if you want to get notified whenever I publish a new blog article.

Drone video with footage from our Switzerland trip

2 thoughts on “Perfect 1 week Switzerland itinerary: Journey through the Swiss Alps

  1. Jouw verhaal bij de fantastische foto’s maakt het compleet. Zo interessant voor wie even avontuurlijk en ‘early birdig’ wil zijn!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: