4 mountain day trips in Switzerland

#Student Life

4 mountain day trips in Switzerland

This summer, take advantage of the weekends or your term break to explore some of Switzerland's most iconic mountain destinations.

3 min
Swiss mountains


As a student, sometimes it may feel like it’s all work and no play. However, it’s important to step off campus every so often and experience the beauty Switzerland has to offer. We talked to the Sports and Leisure coordinators on campus who shared some of their favorite mountain excursions to do in the summer. As an added bonus, they are all accessible via public transportation! Keep an eye out as well for excursions organized by the school so you can share the experience (and the cost) with others! 

1. Blausee, Switzerland’s most famous mountain lake


An aquamarine jewel set in the breathtaking Bernese Alps, Blausee is one of the best-known mountain lakes in Switzerland due to its unique color and crystal-clear water. After getting off the bus which stops right in front of the nature park, you will need to pay an entrance fee, which includes a free 10-minute boat ride on the lake. Set off on one of the pathways that wind through the forest within the park to reach the lake.

After you are done exploring, you can take advantage of the picnic areas equipped with fire pits for grilling, or head over to the Grand Hotel and enjoy some organic trout freshly fished from the onsite trout farm. As it is a popular destination, the best time to visit is in the off season so you can take full advantage of the peace and quiet of this magical place. Feel like you need more time? Spend a night at the hotel which is fully equipped with a spa.

2. Glacier 3000, don’t look down!

Glacier 3000 toboggan

Hop on a cable car and within 15 minutes of a steep, somewhat nerve-wracking climb up the side of a mountain, you will be transported to over 3000 meters above sea level to a breathtaking panorama of some of the Alp’s most famous peaks including the Matterhorn and even Mont Blanc.

After you have taken in some of the sights, brave the Peak Walk, a suspension bridge spanning two summits, which is not for the faint of heart! If it's thrills you are after, take a seat on the Alpine Coaster and slide down an outdoor toboggan track. If you prefer a more leisurely pace, walk across the glacier plateau and enjoy some traditional fare at a mountain lodge with an up-close-and-personal of the impressive Quille du Diable peak. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a bearded vulture, with a wingspan of over three meters, soaring over the craggy cliffs.

BONUS: as a student, you benefit from a special rate on the cable-car ticket.

3. Lauterbrunnen, the valley of many waterfalls


Experience the Switzerland of postcards in one of the country’s most picturesque valleys. Put on your hiking shoes and discover the 72 waterfalls, steep rock faces, and colorful alpine meadows that have inspired countless travelers and artists, from Goethe to J.R.R. Tolkien, whose visit to the valley inspired the landscapes of Middle-Earth.

The Staubbach Falls plunge almost 300 meters from the overhanging rock face, making them one of the highest free-falling waterfalls in Europe. A tunnel lift will take you to the Trümmelbach Falls, Europe’s largest subterranean waterfalls, where you will experience the deafening noise of up to 20'000 liters of glacial meltwater rushing down.

The village of Lauterbrunnen is an ideal starting point for beautiful hikes and excursions by train or cable car to the Schilthorn, where one of James Bond’s numerous intrigues was filmed, or the Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest railway station.

4. Grand-St.-Bernard pass, from elephants to dogs

Grand Saint Bernard
Photo by Baptiste Gousset on Unsplash

This scenic mountain excursion has something for everyone, from lovers of history to dog fanatics! Set off from the ancient village of Bourg-Saint-Pierre in the footsteps of Hannibal and his 37 elephants, countless Roman legions, Napoleon and his troops, and until this day, numerous pilgrims on their way to Rome.

Make your way up the mountain path all the way to the Great St. Bernard pass, the gateway into Italy. Stop for some refreshments at one of the restaurants or cafés (both on the Swiss or Italian side) and spend some time at the hospice, a shelter founded in the Middle Ages by monks who still offer hospitality to weary travelers today.

It was also here that the famous St-Bernard dogs were bred and used to carry loads and as avalanche search dogs. During the summer, you can meet a few of these furry icons at the hospice and even book a hike with one of them.