“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” – John Muir

When I think of the beauty of Mother Nature’s masterpieces, Switzerland has always been a top contender (with New Zealand a close rival). Even if you’re not a “nature enthusiast”, you can appreciate the vibrant colors, the clean air, the grandeur!

5 Lakes 5

With over 1500 lakes, countless forests, dozens of rivers and plenty of rainfall to keep everything green, Switzerland is truly a hiker’s paradise. And even better yet, dogs are allowed just about everywhere so bring your 4-legged friends along for an adventure they’ll love. With thousands of Wanderweg(e) or hiking trails, we’ve barely scratched the surface in our 2 years here!

The gradual cooling of fall reminds me to take every advantage of sunny days – I thought I’d share a few of my favorite hikes in Switzerland so far. Perhaps there’s still time to squeeze in a few more before the arrival of winter 🙂

The 5 Lakes

After a gondola ride and 2 chair lifts up, the trail head of this 5-hour stunning hike in eastern Switzerland begins at the Pizolhütte and ends in Gaffia. The trail takes you through impressive rock formations, 5 crystal-blue exquisite mountain lakes and breathtaking panoramic views. Just amazing!

Note: Take care and check the weather before you go as it can get unpredictable. The best time for this hike is May to October.

5 Lakes

Starting off the hike through somewhat rugged terrain!

 

5 Lakes 3

Panoramic view of the Wildsee, one of the 5 Lakes

 

5 Lakes

Dunkin and I enjoying the view of the Schottensee, another one of the 5 Lakes

Lake Derborence

This gorgeous lake in the Valais region was a result of 2 massive landslides in the 18th century (1714 and 1749). The lake is surrounded by mountains and there are many hikes you can pursue. Start at the lake and find a Wanderweg that suits your ability and duration. We began at trail 82 but got misled along the way and well 4 hours later, ended up in more paradise. Win/win!

One word about the trails in Switzerland – sometimes it takes a bit of sleuthing to find the right direction of your Wanderweg. Destinations will at times drop off from signs so it’s always helpful to have an area map or Google maps handy just in case you lose your way.

Lake Derborence

The magnificent Lake Derborence at mid-day, truly exceptional

Lake Derborence Hike

Not sure which trail we continued onto but it was beautiful

Lake Derborence Hike

Founds some walking sticks to help with the ascent!

Lake Derborence Hike

Mike and Dunkin striking a pose

Interlaken

For you nature-loving folks, there are endless hiking adventures in one of Switzerland’s most renown destinations, Interlaken. This town, sitting between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz (hence Interlaken), is truly one of the country’s gems. Pick one of the dozens of trails and be ready to have your socks knocked off 😉 Here were a few of my favorites!

1. Valley of the 72 Waterfalls

Most recently, we ventured on the Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg route, known as the Valley of the 72 Waterfalls. This hike is more of a long walk and though we were ready for something more challenging, we were not disappointed by these striking views!

Lauterbrunnen

The Staubbach Falls, Lauterbrunnen’s most famous landmark. You can see the Swiss flag near the top (just a tiny speck from this view).

Lauterbrunnen

View of the tiny Swiss town of Lauterbrunnen

Lauterbrunnen

My favorite boys, both so happy to be out in nature

Lauterbrunnen

Well, no hike in Switzerland is complete until you pass alongside some happy cows

Lauterbrunnen

Ice cold glacier water running through this region

2. Grindelwald Männlichen – Kleine Scheidegg

This is a pretty easy 1.5 hour hike with limited ascent and descent. Take the cable car up to Männlichen and make your way to Kleine Scheidegg. This trail includes stunning views of the Grindelwald valley and the Swiss Alps.

Mike and Dunkin enjoying the view and the sheep from the gondola

Top of Männlichen

View of Grindelwald Valley

3. Around Lake Brienz

The area around Lake Brienz also makes for a relaxing and easy walk. On this trip, Mike was recovering from an injured knee so we took it easy. Dunkin sure found ways to have fun though!

Lake Brienz

Dunkin enjoying a swim in Lake Brienz

Lake Brienz

Walking around Lake Brienz