Switzerland trip report so far: Back from Europe! First Impressions and Takeaways, How We Accidentally Saw the Tour de France Live, Switzerland Part 1: Murren, Schilthorn, Allmendhubel and Paragliding, Wengen, our car-free Swiss Alps home base, and Switzerland Part 2: Jungraujoch, Top of Europe
Another installment on our adventures in Switzerland!
Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg Hike
In his book on Switzerland, Rick Steves highly recommends hiking from Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg. After completing the hike, I have to agree wholeheartedly with his recommendation. This hike follows a fairly flat trail along a mountain ridge with spectacular views!
My three kids decided to skip this hike and just “chill” in our chalet. Our niece accompanied us.
To start the hike, we took a cable car from our home base of Wengen to Mannlichen. If you’re staying in Grindelwald, there is also a cable car from there to Mannlichen. Note: You can pay extra to ride in a balcony on top of the cable car. No, thanks, for me!
The top is another beautiful Swiss mountain peak!
There is a playground and scenic restaurant.
We passed on the short Royal Walk because the forecast called for rain in a few hours, and we wanted to make sure we had time to complete the Panorama Trail.
The Panorama Trail is a bit under 3 miles long, but it takes 1-2 hours to hike depending on how often you stop to admire the views. And we stopped quite often! Note: This trail is only open in the summer starting in mid-June.
There is a porta-potty about halfway through the hike. Bring your own water.
We reached Kleine Scheidegg in about 90 minutes. Of course, we rewarded ourselves with another lunch with a spectacular view.
I’m so glad we did this hike! I would do it again, too, if we return to the area. It’s easy enough for kids and almost anyone to hike. If we had another day in the area, I would have taken my daughter up there just for the playground.
After the hike, we made it back to our chalet with just a few minutes to spare before it started to rain. Our kids were itching to get out of the house, so we decided to take the train to Interlaken.
I loved passing through Lauterbrunnen at the bottom of the valley each and every time.
Lauterbrunnen, on another day when it wasn’t raining
We took the train to the Interlaken West stop because it’s close to the McDonalds. Yes, we ate at McDonalds.
Interlaken has a lot of gift shops and chocolate shops.
The river that flows through Interlaken is green and swift.
Just when we thought we had enough time to go to Harder Klum, it started pouring. So, we will have to save that and the open-air museum for the next trip.
On the day the rest of my family started their train journey to Zurich to fly home, my daughter and I had one more day to enjoy in the area. Originally, I planned to head back to Interlaken. However, some enticing billboards and a recommendation from another family convinced me to change our plans to visit Schynige Platte instead.
Schynige Platte is a yet another train to another mountain peak with a restaurant and hiking trails. With our Swiss Rail Passes, it was only $30 total.
The train leaves from Wilderswil (close to Interlaken) and is open-air.
Train to Schynige Platte
In case I haven’t mentioned this in my earlier posts, we saw a lot of dogs on all our train and cable car rides. It seems there are no restrictions. All of them that we encountered were very well-behaved. My dogs would not be so good, I’m afraid.
Dog next to us on train
The train ride to the top took around 45 minutes. And of course, the scenery along the way was spectacular.
The unique thing about Schynige Platte is that there are alphorn players at the top. They greeted us at the train station and played in a few different locations throughout our time there.
The first thing we did was sit on the patio for lunch with a view.
There is a playground at the top with a super fast slide. Like seriously, I’m not sure this slide would be allowed in the U.S. Zoom!
The top has all sorts of trails. I overheard people saying they were going to hike for 2-3 hours before returning on the train. We just hiked on the short flower trail.
It had plenty of good views:
Plus, some insta-worthy props:
Unlike Schilthorn and Jungfraujoch, Schynige Platte doesn’t have any bells and whistles (like the James Bond museum or the ice tunnels). We noticed that, unlike those other destinations, there were only a handful of other Americans up top at Schynige Platte. The majority of visitors seemed to be local families.
My older teen boys would not have loved this peak as much, but the excursion was perfect for me and my daughter.
Up next: Montreux and Barryland
How does my family travel so much? We use miles and points from credit card bonuses. See my Travel Hacking 101 post as well as current credit card offers here.