I was walking into work one day when I got a text from my friend Emily. "Do you want to go to Switzerland?" she asked. I stared at my phone for 2 seconds before responding "YES!" The icing on the cake? We would fly there in SWISS Business with our friend Alex for a week of lady-powered adventures in the Lucerne region. I was stoked!
If I had to sum up our trip in just three words, they would be “nonstop, epic adventure” with a side of “more röschti, please!” If countries could be soulmates, Switzerland would be mine. The mountains are stunning and easily accessible, the people are warm and friendly, and the food is delicious. What more could one ask for? Rather than waxing poetic about every detail for pages and pages, I thought I would put together a list of my favorite activities and tips from our time there. Without further ado, here they are!
Take the train to Lucerne and immerse yourself in the city.
Lucerne is a picturesque city perched on the side of a massive lake that offers incredible access to the neighboring mountains. The best part? You can travel to them by boat and sip a glass of wine along the way! You’ll enjoy amazing views of the surrounding areas and if you’re lucky, some sunshine and fresh air on your skin! Take in towering views of nearby Mount Pilatus, then stroll along the river and grab a drink or dinner when you return. Wake up early one morning and catch sunrise over the Kapellbrücke, then eat your way through the surrounding markets, full of freshly baked goods and locally made cheese. Visit a local castle, eat soft ice every day, and soak it all in. You won’t regret it; it’s picture perfect!
Hop on a boat and explore the areas surrounding lucerne.
Remember what I said about boats? Well, one of them will take you to Klewenalp-Stockhütte where you can wind your way up into the mountains for views that will take your breath away. As an added bonus, you can hear the musical tones of the bell-bedecked cows and sheep as you walk. Bring a picnic and enjoy it with your friends, then bask in the sunshine on one of the many ridges! Just be mindful of the time or like us, you’ll have to sprint down the slopes to catch the last gondola ride home! Yet another boat will take you to Bürgenstock, home to the highest exterior elevator in Europe and a lovely mountaintop resort. Hike along the cliffside path for gorgeous foliage and views back down to the city, then grab dinner at Sharq. You won't be disappointed as you look out through the large glass windows to the sparkling cities below.
Swim in the icy, refreshing waters of Lake Trübsee.
Trübsee is an iconic, aquamarine lake nestled high in the Alps over the town of Engelberg. Surrounded by glaciated peaks, it’s a dreamboat of a lake, complete with communal rowboats and picnic spots! I highly recommend loading up on some local sausages and white wine, then grilling up a storm! When you’re feeling full and a little bit sassy, take a dive into the lake. The cold will take your breath away but you’ll emerge feeling 100% alive and ready for whatever else your day will bring!
Watch the sunset from atop Mount Titlis.
Take the gondola to the top of Mount Titlis, an amazing treat in and of itself. You’ll float over crevasses and be treated to panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. Stop and grab a glass of wine or some delicious ice cream in the lodge, then throw on your layers and head outside for the cliff walk. It offers 360 degree views of the Alps and there are more mountainy layers there than I can describe. Bonus points if you stay for a sunset that will leave your soul feeling shiny and new.
Paraglide in the Swiss Alps.
The instant you arrive in Engelberg you’ll see paragliders shooting over the mountains, bright spots of color above the dark stone. If you’re like me, the sight will instantly fill you with a sense of exhilaration and longing. Some people might think it’s crazy to run off of a perfectly good mountain, but I can guarantee you it’s 100% worth it and your pilot will make you feel safe and confident the entire time! The sensation is unlike anything else and you’ll experience a completely different view of Engelberg from the Brunni side. Bonus points if you biff the landing and give everyone a good chuckle when you burst into laughter!
Do a Via Ferrata, or four.
Via Fer-What-A? Roughly translated as the “iron road” a via ferrata is a great way to experience climbing some steeper or harder peaks with minimal equipment and decreased risk! Brunni offers 6 different courses that will test your skills! Slip on your harness, do a quick intro course to familiarize yourself with the equipment and technique, and away you go! With routes that appeal to any number of ages and skill sets, we saw kids as small as 5 and adults well into their 80s hitting the trail. It's a great way to take in the views and a whole lot of fun!
Take the Cogwheel train to Mount Pilatus and stay a while.
Mount Pilatus is home to a beautiful mountaintop resort that looks out over Lake Lucerne. You can reach the top by boarding the steepest cogwheel train in the world which takes you through a beautiful series of forest and open meadows before depositing you at the top of the mountain. Take in the views, then choose an adventure! With rope courses, hikes, climbing, toboggan races, paragliding, and more, Pilatus has an activity for everyone. Whatever you do, make sure you gather on a terrace for sunset. As the sun begins to set over Lake Lucerne, something magical happens. Alphorn players gather and begin to play, sending beautiful tones ringing out over the hills as the sun slowly sinks, setting the sky ablaze. It’s the kind of thing that makes you shiver in delight and want to pinch yourself. It’s an experience I won’t forget anytime soon.
Go with people you adore.
As amazing as all of these experiences are, they are best when shared. Plus, you’ll need someone to back you up when you come home with photos so beautiful people will think you doctored them up! Grab some of your favorite adventure buddies, and start planning the trip of a lifetime. I know my trip wouldn’t have been the same without Alex, Jill, Greg and Emily and I will always treasure all the belly laughs and ridiculous memories we made on this trip! I can’t wait to head back to Switzerland to share it with even more of my loved ones!
HUGE shoutout to SWISS for making this happen, and to all the amazing humans and tourism agencies that took care of us while we were there. You all make dreams come true!