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Posts from the ‘Non classé’ Category

Bisses du Valais, an Easy Family Hike in Nendaz, Switzerland

The Bisses, the historic irrigation channels, are part of the culture in the Valais region in Switzerland. Their history sometimes even goes back to the 13th century. Many Bisses can be found in different villages and they offer a vast itinerary of walking trails by following the Bisses. Nendaz has several Bisses right in the village, which lead from Haute-Nendaz to Basse-Nendaz and which serve to water the pastures and raspberry fields in the village. Walking along the Bisses is definitely a good idea on a warm summer day, as the paths mostly lead you through forests in the shade. Along the Bisses walks in Nendaz, there are some spectacular viewpoints on the Alps which definitely remind you that you are in the mountains!

The Bisses walks in Nendaz are mainly flat, and so this is an easy and accessible family hike! Do check out the length of the hike you would like to do. If you did not choose a round loop, there are Postbus lines that can bring you back to Nendaz. A map of the Bisses trails can be found at the Tourism Office.

Bisse du Milieu and Bisse Vieux

We went on a 3,5 hour walk by combining 2 Bisses, the Bisse du Milieu, and the Bisse Vieux. This is a round loop, and there are some picknick tables along the way. Both Bisses are beautiful, but if we would choose only one, we would choose the Bisse Vieux.

The hike starts right in front of the Tourist Office in Nendaz, where you will see the yellow signs which will lead you to Bisse du Milieu. You follow the Bisse through the forest for a couple of kilometers until you get to Planchouet. Right where the walking path will shortly cross with the Bisse the Vex, you will see signs that can lead you to some of the mountain restaurants on Planchouet.

Your hike continues from Planchouet by following the signs to Bisse Vieux, which will lead you back down to Nendaz. At some areas along Bisse Vieux, you can see how well maintained and well thought of the Bisses system is, moving the water down, and showing a system of opening and closing little locks to make the water go into another direction if needed.

How to get to Nendaz

When you arrive in Nendaz, the tourism office is right on the little roundabout at the entrance of the village. This is where your hike starts!

To Nendaz by public transport

You can go to Sion by train and take a bus to Nendaz from the train station.

Bisses walk in Crans-Montana

Crans-Montana also has 5 Bisses walks. We did the walk along the Bisse du Tsittoret in Crans-Montana a long time ago. The starting point is in the area Vermala and it gets you along the Eco-museum Colombire where you can learn all about life in the valley and the traditional Mayens houses, and which has an on-site restaurant. You then continue your walk along the Bisse waterway towards a beautiful waterfall, la Tièche. You will find a little mountain restaurant right by the waterfall (Buvette du Sex, not our fault, that is what it is called…). You can choose to hike up the path next to the waterfall to get some more spectacular mountain views!

If you liked this article, you may also be interested in our article on Summer Holidays in Switzerland:

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If you would like to stay updated on our family travels as we go, then make sure to check out our Instagram or Facebook page.

 

Lac de Taney Hike, Valais, Switzerland

A steep, but short and very rewarding hike which will lead you to a beautiful turquoise mountain lake in the Chablais region in the Valais in Switzerland. The Lac de Taney is a mountain lake surrounded by the Jumelles mountains and the Grammont in Vouvry.

Once you are there, you can picnic by the lake, use one of the public barbecues, swim in the lake in summer, eat at one of the cute mountain restaurants by the lake, or even sleep in a Refuge. The color of the lake is the most beautiful when the sun shines; the water then gets a really beautiful turquoise color.

The hike towards Lac de Taney is a popular hike, and it can get busy on sunny days, so make sure you go early to get a parking spot at the start of the hike.

From the parking lot, you will have 2 choices, the steep hike, or the really steep hike. One goes through the forest and gets you up there quicker, the other one goes by the road and moves up gentler but is still only steep up. We chose that one, but you can still change your mind along the way as both paths cross each other on several occasions. The hike by the road will take you somewhere between 1 hour and 1h20 going up. Once you see the sign of the Col de Taney, the climbing stops and you arrive on a cute alpine meadow with typical Swiss houses and further on a cute alpine church called ‘Notre dame de la neige’. A beautiful postcard scenery! You then just continue to walk towards the lake which unfolds its beauty as you approach. If you would still like to continue to walk, you can also hike around the lake.

Height at departure point: 1030m

Height at the lake: 1408m

For the way back down towards the parking, with kids it is recommended to take the road and not the forest path as some points going down on that one can be tricky.

Legends of the lake

In history, Lac de Taney has its own monster legend: La Vouivre de Vouvry, which is about a flying dragon-snake like creature with only one eye which was a big diamond. A man from the village of Vouvry apparently was able to steel the diamond while the creature was bathing, and eventually capture the creature. One of the mountain huts on the lake is called La Vouivre.

Mountain huts at the Lac de Taney

There are some very inviting mountain restaurants right by the lake.

Auberge Refuge La Vouivre: beautiful location and nice terrace to eat. It also is a Refuge so you can sleep here as well: http://www.lactaney.com

Refuge du Grammont: seemed like a perfect place to spend the night as well, but we haven’t tried it out for ourselves yet. Prices seemed good and they include dinner and breakfast. http://www.le-grammont.ch/home_uk.php

Restaurant la Ptite Auberge: this restaurant is the first one you will pass towards the lake, but it was still closed when we were there: http://www.petite-auberge.ch

Lac de Taney

How to get there:

From Geneva to Vouvry is about 1h30 by car. Once in Vouvry, you will need to follow the road onwards to Miex. This is quite a narrow and winding mountain road which lasts for about 15 minutes. Just after passing the village Miex, you will see the Parking du Flon. This is where you park.

In case you want to go, but you don’t want to do the steep hike, there is a 4 wheel drive taxi service with a number to call from the parking lot.

By public transport: Vouvry is accessible by train, and the Swiss Postbus can take you to the start of the hike. Take bus until the last stop: Miex-Le Flon

If you liked this article, you may also be interested in our article on Summer Holidays in Switzerland:

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If you would like to stay updated on our family travels as we go, then make sure to check out our Instagram or Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Holiday in Switzerland

Switzerland is beautiful! In this crazy year, you may have had other plans… but if you live in Switzerland and now hope to at least enjoy a Swiss Summer Holiday, then we have plenty of suggestions for you! Whether you are looking for longer stays, short stays, or day trips. Here are our suggestions on how to spend your summer holiday in Switzerland!

Of course, there is no way to predict at this point to which extent we will be able to enjoy swimming, or other activities, but in case social distancing is still necessary this summer, there is no better place than in the Swiss mountains. There are plenty of hiking trails for everyone.

Berner Oberland

Green hills, hiking trails, and mysterious mountain lakes. We love the Berner Oberland region! We went to the Kander Valley, near Kandersteg, where you can visit the Instafamous lake Blausee, but also one of Switzerland’s hidden gems Lake Oeschinensee! You can either walk straight to the lake, and spend a lazy summer day grilling something on a fire by the lake side, or you can do a beautiful hike around the lake, which is quite a steep, and sometimes narrow hike, but takes you to beautiful meadows on the other side with some nice mountain restaurants. For all the information on this trip, check out our article on the Kander Valley: The Kander Valley in Bernese Oberland

Lake Oeschinen

Gstaad: hike and a fondue in a giant fondue pot!

How Swiss does it get?

We love the mountains around Gstaad, which is also in the Berner Oberland region! After picking up your Swiss Fondue backpack at one of the dairy shops, you can hike on one of the paths with a fondue pot to enjoy a Cheese Fondue in the outdoors with the best view in the world! We hiked towards Lake Lauenensee, which was really beautiful. To complete the total Swiss feeling, we took the yellow postbus back to Gstaad from the lake. Is the fondue pot occupied when you arrive? No problem, you can just basically sit anywhere in nature to enjoy your Fondue with a View.

We loved the village Saanen which is right next to Gstaad and has beautiful typical wooden chalet houses with lots of flowers.

To read al our tips on the Gstaad area: Gstaad in summer

Gruyères, with the Moléson mountains and the Gorges de la Jogne

Gruyères has always attracted lots of tourists. A stroll around the town is always nice, and the castle is a beautiful one to visit. What we love most is the area around Gruyères, the Moléson mountain with its cute cogwheel train up, the hiking paths, and the alpine restaurant where you can eat some delicious cheese specialties. Close by, you can enjoy beautiful thermal baths, and an adventurous hike along the Gorges the la Jogne where the hiking trail takes you through walking tunnels and over wooden bridges. Here is our full article on Gruyères: A visit to Gruyères in Switzerland

Valais, Wallis Region

The Wallis region (or Valais in French), is a perfect region for a holiday in nature! Many cute villages to choose from, with many family hiking possibilities! There are a lot of traditional wooden mountain huts, there are historical water runs called ‘bisses’ to follow, and the region is perfect for a Swiss Family Holiday. We went to several parts in the Wallis region, sometimes in winter to ski, and sometimes in Summer. We’ve hiked the bisses in Crans-Montana, and we have visited the beautiful World Nature Forum in Naters.

Viewpoint on the Aletsch Glacier

One very family friendly Swiss mountain holiday we could definitely recommend is the area around Blatten Belalp. You can read all about what to do in Blatten in our article here: Blatten – Belalp

Castles

On a day trip, or while on holiday in Switzerland, there are some beautiful castles to visit all over the country. We have made a selection of castles to visit in Switzerland together with several Swiss based families. So if your kids like knights and princesses, check out which castle to visit on a day trip!

Lucerne

Lucerne is often named one of the most beautiful cities of Switzerland! Ideally located on the lake, and with the impressive bridge Kappellbrücke. This wooden medieval bridge is covered with flowers in the summer season, and you can admire the old paintings on the bridge.

Lucerne is also home to one of the coolest Swiss Museums to visit with kids: the Swiss Museum of Transport, where you could easily spend a whole day!

Montreux, go up and enjoy the view! 

In Montreux you can combine the lake view, with a scenic mountain train ride up to Rochers-de-Naye. In Winter, this mountain top gets all Christmassy, because Santa installs his office here, but in summer, the marmots take over Rochers-de-Naye. You can combine the scenic train ride with a visit to Marmot Paradise: Montreux Riviere Marmot’s Paradise

Zermatt

Everyone should at least go once! The view from this town on the Swiss most iconic mountain just sparks happiness! During the Covid crisis, the famous mountain became even more the country’s symbol by the projection of country or regions flags to spark hope during difficult times. We went to Zermatt and all loved it and we definitely would like to go back for some summer hiking.

Ticino

The Ticino region comes closest to a Mediterranean holiday! The palm trees, the food, the relaxed atmosphere… Yes, this is Switzerland too! Difficult to tell how accessible the Ticino region will be this summer, but if it is, they will definitely need the support and love of local Swiss tourists as well. We have been to the Ticino on different vacations, once in the area of Lugano, and on another recent trip the beautiful area of Ascona, Locarno and the Valle Verzasca. Ticino has surprised us on every trip. Even though it may get busy at Valle Verzasca, we have also been to very lonely valleys with impressive waterfalls. We definitely recommend you to check that out: Ticino: Ascona – Locarno – Valle Verzasca

Bern

Taking you from nature, to a small city. The Swiss Capital of Bern is definitely worth a visit! Have you been already? We have been several times and love the atmosphere, the cafés under the porticoes, and the big cultural offer of the city. From Einstein to Paul Klee, and the cool Museum of Communications which is fun for adults and for kids.

Check out our: Things to do in Bern article for all our tips!

Wild Camping with Mountful Hikes

Yes, but want if I want real social distancing? Mountain guide Famke of Mountful Hikes and her dog Olle organize a wild camping trip this summer! So if you are ready to hike and plant your tent somewhere in nature, then check out Famke’s camping trip details on her website: Wild Camping in Wallis

Ticino camping with Basecamp Europe

Would you like to camp in the Ticino region, but not carry all the equipment? Check out Basecamp Europe who offers Zero Hassle Camping! They deliver your camping gear to the agreed spot, or, you can even ask them to set up the tent for you! Basecamp Europe also offers tours, and Hassle Free Picnic lunches in the Lugano area!

For more information, check out the Basecamp Europe Website.

CFF Day passes

Every Swiss resident can order Swiss Public Transport day passes from their commune at reduced price! You have to pick your day in advance and head over to your towns website to order them. With this day pass, you can hop on every train, Swiss boat, and get discounts for mountain lifts or cogwheel trains. With this pass you can basically do a long Swiss trip in one day, so remember to take full advantage of that! The price varies per town, but is around CHF 40 for an adult.

Other Family Day Trips in Switzerland

From Geneva, we once went to Papillorama near Bern once with the CFF day pass. The train stops right in front of this beautiful ‘butterfly and more’ parc.

Swiss Vapeur Parc in Bouveret, Zoo and swimming pool les Marécottes in Salvan, or thermal baths like Bains de Saillon are all very good trips for families in Switzerland. Of course, we do not know yet to which extent we can enjoy them this summer. Time will tell. Be patient, but add them to your families Swiss Trips List!

Geneva, and Family Hikes around Geneva

We love Geneva in summer! Unfortunately, the new Eaux-Vives beach will not open as planned this year, due to the delay in works. But we still have Bains des Paquis, and who knows if the beautiful French Rivièra style beach café on the lakeside will open again. In any case, there still is a lot to enjoy in Geneva in summer!

Have you done all the things in our Geneva article already? And how about our selection of hikes around Geneva? Family Hikes around Geneva

Swiss Bucket List

At Let’s Explore we also have ‘work to do’ this summer. We already had our Swiss Bucket List, which always keeps growing, but we also have ticked a few things off that list since we had published it! This summer, we definitely hope to do some more things on our list!

Swiss Food to try this summer

Ok, but you were dreaming of Spanish tapas, Italian Gelato, or Portuguese desserts? Do you know Swiss Food Culture is actually really interesting? It is very diverse and really changes per Canton. So how about you try some local dishes during your domestic travel over summer? We have written an article about Swiss Food, and it is by far not complete as even for Swiss it is difficult to know all the local dishes around the country. Our list is for the moment a bit oriented to the French speaking part, but we may add some new ones in the course of the summer: Swiss Food Article

Not convinced by the food: well, you can always cook dishes from over the world and enjoy them on a Swiss mountain top. After all, after all the weeks of lockdown, if we can travel domestically, we think we just all have to count our blessings.

What is your favorite part of Switzerland to travel to?

If you would like to stay updated on our family travels as we go, then make sure to check out our Instagram or Facebook page.

 

Stay At Home Yoga

In many parts of the world people are stuck in their homes. This is very important to flatten the curve in order to protect everyone, and ourselves. So #Stayathome, but while you do, this page will be filled with resources that could inspire you!

Stay At Home Yoga

Yoga or Pilates are easy daily exercises you can do at home which are not only good for your body, but also for your mind! At Let’s Explore, we do not practice Yoga normally, but it may just be one of the new skills we would like explore more, and it is a good activity for all the family members to do together, or something you can do for yourself during your little me-time!

But where to start if you have never practiced yoga before? We love this video that Sabine and Marco from Puricious made for us! Yoga for beginners with exercises you can just do here right in front of your screen! Enjoy!

If you liked this video, you may want to check out Sabine and Marco’s Puricious website:

https://puricious.com. They also have their own YouTube channel where you can find more of their videos!

Special Yoga for kids!

Clare from Raison d’hetre teaches yoga, and even ‘flying yoga’ to children from her space in a beautiful small village in Switzerland. She made a great Yoga in the woods video for your kids to enjoy:

To find out more about Clare’s yoga classes, and to participate in special Charity Children’s Yoga sessions for which all proceeds go to the HUG Foundation of the Geneva University Hospitals, check out her website: https://raisondhetre.ch!

Pilates

Lynn from One Pilates Studio shows us how your children could stretch and learn to sit better up right during confinement when a lot of children are probably more often on their screens…

To find out more about Lynn’s Pilates studio, and about the Kids colour coded cards which are even used at some schools in Geneva, check out her website: https://onepilatesstudio.ch

Check out our main Stay at Home Page for other videos on various subjects.

 

Stay At Home Meditation

In many parts of the world people are stuck in their homes. This is very important to flatten the curve in order to protect everyone, and ourselves. So #Stayathome, but while you do, this page will be filled with resources that could inspire you!

Stay At Home Meditation

Meditation can be a useful tool to maintain our Mental Health. At Let’s Explore, we usually maintain our mental health by our hikes, and by daydreaming on a quiet mountain top while enjoying the view. Now that everyone stays at home, it can be good to have some alternatives to get rid of anxiety and stress, or for families to create a happy place at home.

Here are two short videos that give you tools on meditation. The first video is from Maricela from the Meditation Fairy, and tells us about a Gratitude Technique that you can try with your children.

For more information on how to get your kids from Attitude to Gratitude, or from Moanville to HappyTown, check out the Meditation Fairy website which has more good tools to do this: https://meditationfairy.com

The second video is a short Mindfulness practice with Samantha from Sati House. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully aware and engage with the present moment.

To learn more about the Mindfulness trainings from Samantha, you can find more information on her website: www.satihouse.ch

For more videos on various subjects: check out our main Stay at Home Page

 

Stay at Home Coaching

In many parts of the world people are stuck in their homes. This is very important to flatten the curve in order to protect everyone, and ourselves. So #Stayathome, but while you do, this page will be filled with resources that could inspire you!

Stay at Home Coaching

When we are at home for so long, we may start to ask ourselves several questions, sometimes lead by emotions on the difficult situation, or by our fears. It may also make us get into deeper questions on what we actually want in life. What do you really dream of, and what do you really love to do?

Coach Denise Nickerson gives us a mini-coaching session in below video on our emotions and on the questions we may ask ourselves during this crisis:

Thank you Denise and Michelle from The Integrity System: www.theintegritysystem.com

More videos on several subjects to come soon, so please check out our main Stay at Home Page

Stay at Home Cooking

In many parts of the world people are stuck in their homes. This is very important to flatten the curve in order to protect everyone, and ourselves. So #Stayathome, but while you do, this page will be filled with resources that could inspire you!

Stay at Home Cooking

It is not always easy these days to find all the ingredients you need to create that dish you were craving for! Also, for some, cooking three meals a day may cause some lack of inspiration!

On this page we will share some recipe videos of dishes with few ingredients, or with ingredients most people do have in their pantry. And in case you don’t have that ingredient… it may still inspire you to cook a meal by replacing that ingredient with an ingredient you do have!

Salade Niçoise

We love the mouth watering photos that Frenchified wife puts on her Instagram feed! We have asked her to create a video with some pantry ingredients, and she came up with a delicious Salade Niçoise. Check out her step by step video, and make sure to have a peek on her Instagram feed: @frenchified_wife

 

Guilt Free Chocolate Mousse

Dana from Organilicious shares her own Guilt Free Chocolate Mousse recipe which is made with very few ingredients and therefore her perfect soul food for quarantine time:

For more health tips or recipes check out Dana’s website: https://organilicious.ch

Cinnamon Buns

Of course, at Let’s Explore, we also have a lot of recipes, from all over the world!

One of the recipes that requires few ingredients and that gets you a big treat to feed the whole family for dessert, or why not, at breakfast, is our Swedish recipe for delicious Cinnamon Buns. Check out that recipe in the article on: Cinnamon Buns, and see how it’s made in below video:

 

No Bake Quark Pie

Another recipe of our own, also with easy ingredients! You can never go wrong with this No Bake Quark Pie! Full recipe can be read in our article on What’s Cooking in the Netherlands.

 

More cooking videos and videos on other subjects will be added soon, so please check out our main Stay at Home Page, and in case your pantry is quite full, you can also check out our World Food series which has recipes cooked with locals from several countries in the world on it.

Stay at Home Organizing

In many parts of the world people are stuck in their homes. This is very important to flatten the curve in order to protect everyone, and ourselves. So #Stayathome, but while you do, this page will be filled with resources that could inspire you!

Home Organizing

When you are stuck at home, you may have some time to finally re-organize your precious space! And even when you don’t have a lot of time, because you are telecommuting and homeschooling your children at the same time, it could still be a good idea to create well organized spaces so that everyone can find what they are looking for, and will be able to concentrate on their work.

We’ve teamed up with two Home Organizers, Home in Balance, and Simply Serene. Home in Balance will show you how to organize your kids’ school desk, and Simply Serene will briefly show you how you can fold your clothes.

How to Organize your Kids’ school desk at home:

Please check out Home in Balance on Instagram: @homeinbalance

Home in Balance also organizes personal virtual organizing sessions, so if you have other spaces in your home to organize, she can help you!

How to fold your clothes to organize your cupboards!

For those with a bit of extra time at hand, Simply Serene shows us a way to fold and organize our clothes!

Make sure you check out Simply Serene on Instagram to get more ideas for a serene home: @simplyserenezurich

More videos on other subjects will be added soon, please check out our main Stay at Home Page

Skiing in Aletsch Arena, Switzerland

Bettmeralp, a beautiful Swiss ski resort!

We have been to quite a few Swiss ski resorts already, and this year, we spent a week in Bettmeralp which is in the Aletsch Arena ski area and offers beautiful views over the Aletsch Glacier from above. Bettmeralp, Riederalp and Fiescheralp are connected, and you can easily ski from one area to another. We stayed in Bettmeralp and loved the fact that this is a completely car-free village, which has kept its authentic charm with the cute wooden mountain huts which are so typical in the Valais/Wallis region of Switzerland. Also, since Bettmeralp is so high up, you are often treated to snow in the whole village, which allows you to gently ski on the main road, or go back on a sledge.

The Alpine Chapel ‘Mary of the Snow’

Mary of the Snow is the most known and an iconic image of Bettmeralp. In winter children will sledge from the hill next to the Chapel, and the real little ones will have their beginner Snowli ski classes on the flatter part next to the church.

Kids area for little ones

The center of the village Bettmeralp

Bettmeralp has grown from an alpine meadow where local families used to live in summer, to a ski resort where you can find everything you need! On the main road, you will find sports shops, souvenir shops, a supermarket, a butcher, a baker, restaurants and hotels. But Bettmeralp has kept its authenticity and you will still see the beautiful traditional barns the farmers used to use.

The ski lifts

Bettmeralp has very modern ski lifts, which are accessible even for people with a slight fear of lifts, as they are quite close to the ground and have orange covers you can close, and some close automatically. Complete comfort and safety on your ride up! There is also a very long magic carpet which takes you to the area with beginner slopes. We had never seen such a long one!

The Moosfluh gondola takes you to where you can see the Aletsch Glacier covered in snow in winter. Of course, no need to be a skier to go up. A lot of people walk up there on the winter walking trail!

Other activities in Bettmeralp

If not everyone is a skier, or when the weather is no good, there are plenty of options on things to do in Bettmeralp.

  • There is a Swimming pool with a slide and Jacuzzi’s in the Sports Center. The pool is at about 28 degrees Celcius, and the Jacuzzi’s at a comfortable 34 degrees. You can also rent an indoor soccer field, play table tennis and more.
  • The Aletsch promenade connects Bettmeralp to Riederalp and is a nice, almost flat, winter walk.
  • There are snowshoeing paths in Bettmeralp. The starting point is a bit out of the center though.
  • There also is a cross country skiing track, also a bit further away.
  • Our kids liked sledging next to the chapel, and some sledges that belong to the resort can be found there and used. Our kids like sleding, even during bad weather 😊.
  • Other activities are also organized in Bettmeralp by the tourism office. You will find all the info on the information boards on the main street.

Restaurants in Bettmeralp

There are quite a few restaurants in Bettmeralp, but we would like to recommend you to reserve in advance, as we had a bit of a hard time finding a restaurant taking us without a too long wait.

One of the local specialties from Wallis we tasted here, is called Cholera… This completely inoffensive Swiss dish consists of a vegetable pie with potatoes, onions and apple. Very nice!

The Aletsch Glacier

The Aletsch Glacier is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Swiss Jungfrau-Aletsch and is the largest and longest glacier of the Alps, surrounded by impressive peaks.

We had already seen the Aletsch Glacier from the Belalp mountain on the other side while on holiday in Blatten in Summer. We would love to go to this region in summer once more to go hiking in Bettmeralp.

World Nature Forum, learning all about the Aletsch Glacier, and more

When you go back down, or before you go up to Bettmeralp or Blatten, make sure to stop in the village Naters, close to Bettmeralp. The World Nature Forum is located here, and we loved this modern museum where you can learn all about the UNESCO World Heritage in the Swiss Alps. The museum is very interactive. You can play with sand and watch by looking at colors where water would go while you reshape the sand, you can watch the VR experience and see the glacier change in time and learn about its history. The wide screen movie was very beautiful as well. Highly recommended to visit the World Nature Forum!

Their website for more information: https://www.jungfraualetsch.ch/en/worldnatureforum-en/

Right in front of the World Nature Forum is a cute café with very cool cupcakes!

Brigerbad

Another option to prolonge the holiday feeling is a visit to the close-by thermal baths Brigerbad, which has indoor and outdoor pools. In case you go, always check on their website, as sometimes there is a discount you can download just before you go.

Their website: https://thermalbad-wallis.ch/en/

How to get to Bettmeralp

By car: you will need to leave your car in the big parking lot by the Gondola. You can then put your luggage on a special trolley and take that up in the cable car with you.

By train: the train stops right in front of the gondola, so this couldn’t be made more easy! From Brig, you will take the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn to the stop ‘Betten Talstation’.

Once you are up on Bettmeralp and your place for the night is still a bit far away, then there are snowscooter taxis at the gondola on arrival. Sometimes a bit expensive, but depending on how far you are, sometimes very welcome as well.

Where to stay in Bettmeralp

Most hotels and apartments in Bettmeralp are centrally located and have ski in ski out, or sledge in and sledge out 😊. This hotel was centrally located near the main road!

Visiting the Aletsch Glacier in Summer

If you liked this article and would like to visit the region in summer, then this article on Blatten and the Belalp mountain could also be of interest to you!

If you would like to stay updated on our family travels as we go, then make sure to check out our Instagram or Facebook page.

Things to do in Bern

Bern, the Capital of Switzerland, is a lovely town for a city trip! We’ve been to Bern on several occasions, but every time we walk the beautiful streets of Bern, we say to each other that we should really come more often! Bern has nice historical buildings, a picturesque old town with medieval fountains, tower clocks, and covered streets with little cute cafés. From several spots in the city you can overlook the Aare river, which becomes a highlight in summer months when people float down the river on rubber boats, or on inflatable unicorns.

While walking through Bern, you will see that most buildings all have the same greenish color. This is because a large part of the city burnt down in 1405 and was rebuilt using the same sandstone.

Here are some things we like to do when we visit Bern!

Wandering around the Old Town of Bern

The Old Town of Bern lies partly along the Aare river. The Old Town is very walkable, so we usually just park right at the Bärengraben, or at the Rathaus parking. Of course, Bern is also very well accessible by train. If you go to Bern from Geneva, there are also special trains with a playground in it for kids!

Bärengraben, the Bear Park

The bear is the symbol of the city of Bern, and the animal can be found represented all over the city on the fountains or buildings facades, and on the city’s flag. Bern has had bear pits for a long time in history. The bears used to live in quite small bear pits, but now have a sort of park along the Aare river. A lift makes it possible to go down to the footpath along the river with a stroller to try to spot the bears. There is a café at the Bärengraben, so you could have a drink, or lunch here.

Covered streets of Bern

From the Bärengraben, you can cross the bridge over the Aare river and you will walk straight into the Old Town. If you take a left on the Junkerngasse, this will take you through this quiet street with a building with beautiful paintings on it on your left-hand side, and it will take you to the Cathedral, of Bern, the Berner Münster. Behind the Berner Münster is a small park overlooking the Aare, the Münsterplattform, which is a peaceful place to have drinks or a coffee.

Zytglogge, and Einsteins House

We then usually continue to the main street of Bern, the Kramgasse, with its archways with cute small shops, cafés, and art galleries, towards the famous Clock Tower of Bern, the Zytglogge.

The Zytglogge, which dates from the 13th century is probably Bern’s most known landmark and has a beautiful astronomical clock.  When you pass the Zytglogge and go to the right, you will see a very known fountain in Bern of an ogre eating a baby (uhm, yes, scary but interesting).

More decorated fountains can be found on the Kramgasse street, and if you walk back on that same street, you will also pass the house where Albert Einstein used to live. Albert Einstein lived on Kramgasse no 49 for several years and it is possible to visit his small house and learn a bit more about his life and his settlement in Switzerland.

Paliament Building, Bundeshaus

The federal palace where the Swiss Government seats, is located on the Bundesplatz in Bern. The building can be visited when there are no meetings, and they also organize special Family visits on a few days of the year. To learn more about when the next Family visit to the parliament takes place, and in which language, check out their website: https://www.parlament.ch/fr/services/visite-du-palais-federal/visites-guidees-pour-les-familles

An English version of this part of the site is not available, probably because the visits are organized in local languages.

On the Bundesplatz in front of the parliament, you will find fountains where kids run around in summer, and an ice-skating rink in winter.

What to eat in Bern

Bern lies on the good side of what is called the ‘Röstigraben’, the Rösti border in Switzerland, referring to the cultural border between the French and German speaking parts of the country. Yes, Rösti is a Swiss national dish, but is more eaten in the German speaking part, than in the French or Italian speaking parts. In some restaurants you even have a separate Rösti menu. Of course, we tried the Bernese style rösti, which was delicious.

When in Bern, we always buy a local pie at the Beeler bakery. It is a delicious hazelnut pie with the image of a bear on it. Yum! Address of Beeler bakery: Spitalgasse 36, close to the train station.

Would you like to know more on Swiss Food? Then this article could also be of interest to you:Museums in Bern

Bern has a large offer of good museums! We have been to some of them, and others are still on our list and make for more good reasons to come back.

Museum of Communications in Bern

The Museum of Communications is a very interactive and family friendly museum where you can learn on all forms of communication, be an actor yourself or have a fake dinner with digital characters. You can take a selfie in an old-fashioned way, but then add yourself to the bigger picture by adding your photo to a big mosaic on the wall. You will see old Swiss Post busses and mailboxes, ask yourself questions about the information you give by using a shops membership card, and many more. Totally approved for families!

Website of the museum: https://www.mfk.ch/en/home-en/

Paul Klee Museum

This museum is still on our list. Our youngest son has been there on a school trip and loved it, but the rest of us still need to check this out. They have special activities for kids. Check out the museum’s website for more information: https://www.zpk.org/en/

Other museums in Bern, and some water fun

Other museums which seem interesting to us are: the Einstein Museum and the Swiss Alpine Museum, but there are many others still to be discovered!

If you are not into museums, a fun place worth noting is Bernaqua, a water park with slides for kids! More information on Bernaqua: https://www.bernaqua.ch/fr-CH/ParcAquatique

But what about that floating on the Aare river?

Ah, another thing on our list of things we still want to do in Bern… 😊 Sounds like a very cool experience, but requires good swimmers of course, safety first. If you truly want to experience Bern in Summer, it seems like the best way to do it is the way the locals do, by floating on the Aare river. Bern tourism has explanations and their favorite routes on their website: https://www.bern.com/en/aare-river/floating-favorite-routes

Another local thing, Bern’s traditional onion market

The Zibelemärit is held every year on the fourth Monday of November, and is a long traditional happening in Bern where farmers come to sell onions and garlic, onion pies, and onion soup. Unfortunately, since it is always held on a weekday, it is quite difficult for people with kids from other parts of Switzerland to attend this festival on a school day.

From Geneva to Bern by train:

If you are going to Bern by train with young children, it could be a good idea to take the special Swiss train with a carriage that has a playground in it! You can search for your train in the time table and check if they are marked with FA in the timetable.

More information on the family coaches on Swiss trains and on which routes they run can be found here: https://www.sbb.ch/en/station-services/on-the-train/on-board-service.html

If you would like to stay updated on our family travels as we go, then make sure to check out our Instagram or Facebook page.