Monday, September 20, 2010

Visiting Murren

I am just back from a fact finding tour of Switzerland, and thought I would report back on some of the great places to visit in the Jungfrau region. During our stay (along with my wife and two daughters aged 12 and 14) our first chosen destination in the Swiss Alps was Murren.

Murren is a small ‘chocolate box pretty’ village, perched high up in the mountains on the western edge of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Accessed via cable car, and a stunning scenic small railway, Murren is a car free environment which was a pleasure. Of course being in Switzerland, the public transport is great - clean, punctual, well connected and well thought out. Leaving the car in Lauterbrunnen station is a simple task, and the cable car is just the start of the fun. As you would expect in Switzerland the cable car connects to the awaiting train in a simple and efficient manner - even taking your luggage from the cable car to the train efficiently, using probably the most expensive and exquisitely engineered piece of baggage handling equipment in the world (see pic!).

The small railway taking you from the top of the cable car into Murren, offers stunning views over the Swiss alps, including the snowy peaks of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau (NB - it was a sunny 31 degrees, at the end of August when we visited).

We stayed in the Hotel Eiger, a great hotel right opposite the station allowing you to step out of the train and into the hotel. They collect your luggage with an electric buggy. And while on the subject of the hotel I would thoroughly recommend the Hotel Eiger for a number of reasons (1) its great staff which were ever cheerful and willing to help (for example when your teenage daughter empties all her ear rings down the sink!) (2) it’s well equipped, clean and modern rooms (3) it’s location right opposite the station with stunning views out over the Lauterbrunnen Valley to the snow capped Swiss Alps (4) it’s great food - the high quality four and five course meals each evening make the hiking a necessity!, and last but not least (5) the facilities – pool, etc. Highly recommended. Look them up on facebook, visit and don’t forget to have a go on the Alp Horn!

Once you have arrived in Murren what is there to do? Well obviously as we have visited, YouGoDo includes a great selection of ‘things to do in Murren’.

Bear in mind we were there in mid summer – in winter the stunning scenery and snows ensure skiing and snowboarding are the key attraction. Here’s a few of our personal summer recommendations:

The trip up to the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant at the top of the Schilthorn. Once you have had you food and drink while watching the world go round (actually it’s you that is going round!) and watched the Bond film (the restaur ant was one of the key locations for the Bond movie ‘On her majesty’s secret service’) there are numerous well marked hiking trails back down to Murren and other locations.

For the more adventurous (read brave with no fear of heights) the Via Ferrata from Murren to Gimmelwald looks stunning. Climb and hike along the cliff faces along a set of ladders, zip wires and rope bridges attached to the mountain walls.

Down in the Lauterbrunnen Valley the Trummelbach Falls are very impressive. Take a lift up into the cliff face and watch over 20,000 litres of water per second power through the mountains.

And a helicopter flight over the Swiss Alps from Lauterbrunnen, along the North face of the Eiger is a trip of a lifetime.

The mountain railway up to Allmedhubel, with its great restaurant and kids adventure trail back to Murren also looked great - but we sadly ran out of time in Murren!

A trip to the Top of Europe on the amazing Jungfrau Mountain Railway (from Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald) gives you the opportunity to ski, sledge and snowboard in the middle of summer. An amazing railway day trip to the highest station in Europe.

And of course visits into the villages and towns of Murren, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen and Interlaken to shop, taste the local chocolate, fondues, etc all have great charm.

Murren – a great place to stay - well worth a visit.

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