Switzerland is a fantastic country for walking breaks, long or short. The public transport system is so good that it is possible to be based almost anywhere using a combination of trains, buses and in some cases boats and lifts.
This series is intended to highlight some of the towns and villages we have found to make ideal bases. Some of these are less known than the more popular destinations, and can therefore be less crowded. We have based the selection on the following criteria:
- Convenient access by public transport – no car required
- Great places to stay and eat
- Excellent walking that is easily accessible either direct from your accommodation or by using local transport services such as buses and lifts
- Stunning surroundings (not difficult in Switzerland!)
For more information on travel passes in Switzerland, please see our page of Recommended Resources.
Engelberg has everything you need for a walking break. It is surrounded by simply stunning craggy mountains. There are all manner of exciting lifts to get you up there. There is a huge network of paths for all abilities. And the town itself is very picturesque with all the facilities you need. In other words, it’s perfect.
How to get to Engelberg
As usual in Switzerland, it is best to use the train. From Zurich airport it takes about 2.5 hours.
Wherever you are coming from, you need to get to Lucerne. You then take the Lucerne to Engelberg express, which takes just under an hour.
See Voyages-sncf for routes, timetables and tickets if you are coming from the UK or Europe, Rail Europe for routes, timetables and tickets if you are coming from the US or Canada, and Interrail for a wide range of European rail passes including multi-country passes.
Where to Stay
There is a great choice of hotels in Engelberg. Here are some suggestions:
Spannort Hotel and Restaurant – We stayed here – it is a little expensive but the restaurant is really good and we would highly recommend it.
For further options see the booking.com search box.
A free shuttle bus operates around Engelberg which stops at the train station and all the cable car stations. Click the link for timetables.
End der Welt
A good introductory walk starts at Engelberg’s impressive monastery (where you can take a guided tour). Just follow the sign near the monastery to End der Welt, and then return the same way. End der Welt is actually an impressive wall of rock. The round trip should take around 2 hours, and passes through the village of Horbis which has a restaurant. There are some great views.
A straightforward, fairly gentle walk heads through a scenic valley to a restaurant at Alpenrosli. You simply follow the signs to Alpenrosli from near the monastery.
The walk passes the tiny Furenalp cable car, and you can ride to the top station to enjoy the view if you wish.
As always, the views of the surrounding crags and pinnacles are superb.
After returning to the path, continue on the route to Alpenrossli. The path rises quite gently, and you are surrounded by fantastic scenery.
When you reach the Alpenrosli restaurant it is worth a visit. It is renowned for its rosti, and also has a terrace with a lovely view.
After enjoying the restaurant, simply return by the same route. The entire trip should take around 4 hours, and the views are equally as good on the way back.
Trip to Mount Titlis
An exciting trip involves taking a series of cableways to Mount Titlis, which is the highest viewpoint in Central Switzerland.
For this tour follow the signs in Engelberg for the Titlis Rotair. Purchase either a return ticket to the top station, or you can just return as far as Trubsee and walk back to Engelberg from there.
The journey involves three lifts, the final one being an innovative revolving cable car, and is quite an adventure. You remain in the first gondola to the top station at Trubsee, then change for Stand, and finally change again for the revolving cable car to Titlis top station. At the top there is a Glacier Grotto and the Panorama Restaurant.
Unfortunately the day we did this there was really thick fog, so the view was non-existent. The trip was exciting, though!
Here is a picture showing how the mountain looks on a clear day:
If you choose to walk down from Trubsee, first follow the path to Zum See. Walk around the lake’s left bank and pick up signs for Huehutte, and later signs for Untertrubsee and Engelberg. Be aware that part of the path is steep and rocky.
Trubsee to Jochpass
Another exciting trip involves first getting the gondola to Trubsee, as on the previous walk, and then walking past the lake to the Jochpass chairlift for a journey up to the pass. Fortunately the day we chose to do this was much clearer. Trubsee is a beautiful blue lake:
From the lake follow signs to Jochpass. You can then take the triple chairlift to the pass at 2207 m. The views are spectacular.
From the Jochpass you can walk down past the Engstlensee to Engstlenalp (follow the sign to Engstlenalp 1 hr). You then have options. You can walk back to Engstlensee where you can catch a chairlift back up to the Jochpass for the return route. Or you can get a bus to Meiringen, where you can get a train back to Engelberg (change in Hergiswil).
These are just a few suggestions. The possibilities for walks around Engelberg are almost limitless, and whichever you choose the stunning scenery will not disappoint.
Please remember that this site is based purely on our own experiences – therefore kindly note the Disclaimer.