We recently visited Switzerland with our kids ages 8 and 12. For me this was a great age to travel to Europe with them because we wanted to hike and do many outdoor activities and we knew they could keep up with our itinerary. If you are an active family whose kids are used to trekking around with you this is a great itinerary and gives you a chance to see two of the regions. Switzerland and Europe in general is very family focused and family friendly.
We were already in Munich, Germany, so we took an intercity bus from Munich to Zurich which was much nicer than I anticipated. It was a two story bus with a washroom on board and even had WiFi. After arriving in Zurich we made our way by train to Lugano in the Ticino region. The ease of getting from one place to the other without a car is one of my favourite things about Switzerland. From Zurich to Lugano it was just a 2 hour train ride.
Our first full day was at Monte Tamaro. We zoomed down the mountain on an alpine coaster, saw some stunning views while zip lining and our 7 year old played in one of the most beautifully situated playgrounds we’ve ever seen. Then the mountain cows came by for a visit and I’m a little surprised at how much fun it was to hear their music and watch the kids playing with them.
After an adrenaline fuelled morning we had lunch at Alpe Foppa, 5000 feet above sea level. The food was amazing! This region borders with Italy and the food is incredible – with my cows milk allergy I was worried I wouldn’t find much to eat. To my delight, I was wrong.
In the afternoon we made our way to Splash e Spa Tamaro and I have no photos because of their no photos rule so check out their website. It was the perfect way to relax. Most of the pools and water slides are inside and a great way to escape the heat. I did the free (with entrance fee) Hamman water ritual which was bliss!
Splash e Spa is the perfect blend of things for adults, things for kids, and things for the whole family. Because it’s right at the base of Monte Tamaro it’s a perfect way to relax after a busy morning.
We’ve been travelling by train from one city to the next and the train system here is a marvel in my opinion. Not just the ease and frequency but how smooth all the trains are. Our last day in Ticino region was spent in Melide and Bellinzona. In Melide we visited Swissminiatur where you can see over 100 models of different buildings, railways, boats… it’s very easy on the eyes with 1500 different types of flowers and over 1500 trees. It’s a great stop for the kids and also a nice relaxing activity for adults.
In Bellinzona, the capital city of Ticino, we toured Castelgrande one of the three UNESCO castles. You’ll want to climb to the top where you can get a bird’s eye view of the city. When we come back we want to spend a few days in Bellinzona – the vibe and energy is great for families with young kids. We couldn’t resist sitting the square and having gelato.
In the evening we made our way to the Aletsch Arena of Valais about four hours of connecting trains in which we went through a 15 KM tunnel. The views outside our window was like a movie. The journey didn’t feel long and I didn’t read a single page out of the book I had because I spent most of the time looking out the window.
We stayed in Bettmeralp in the Aletsch Arena at the Panorama hotel for a few nights and there is not a bad view anywhere in Bettmeralp. We hiked from one village to the other at around 7600 feet along the Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in the alps. It was only a 3.5 KM hike and should take about 1.5 hours but it took us 2 because we kept stopping to take in the view and take photos. It’s a relatively easy hike if you are an active family. You’ll need to dress in layers.
The mountain carts was a wild experience! We rolled down the mountain on a three wheel cart. Denys and Katelyn flew down, Ethan & I went at a more leisurely pace. The great thing about this activity is that you can control the speed.
In the afternoon we participated in some of the Switzerland National Day festivities. We visited the Alpine Museum and the kids got to see the process of churning butter and then try it.
A tour of the museum showed the progress from the very early days to more recent and how the families lived.
Switzerland and Canada share the same national colours of red & white. I love celebrations of all kinds so I was ready with my red & white.
Cable car down the mountain to the train to the bus to a new destination – Blatten!
Travelling from one destination to another has become seamless. The Sbb.ch site is always up to date and we have not experienced any delays or changes in the 7 days of using transit 3-4 times a day. When in between destinations with our luggage we’ve been able to use the lockers at the train station. One large locker was able to fit all our suitcases and bags and it only cost $8.
When we got to Blatten it was very cloudy and called for rain so we weren’t able to do our scheduled activity at the Adventure Park since it’s through the forest but no worries there are lots of other options. We opted to check out one of the many museum and visit to the waterpark and spa in Brigerbad
Switzerland offers just the right amount of adventure and relaxation which is great when travelling with kids. We’ve been doing the more strenuous activities in the mornings and then relaxing in the afternoons.
We had a gorgeous day full of sunshine for our last day in Switzerland. We decided to split up because Denys wanted to take the cable car to Belalp and chairlift to Hohbiel and then an uphill hike to view the glacier from the other direction about 45 minutes each way, longer if the kids joined. The kids really wanted to do the adventure park and I didn’t think they’d have the energy for the adventure park after a potential 2 hours at almost 10, 000+ feet. There is something about hiking at high elevation that seem to take more energy than usual.
We had an amazing time at the Seilpark!!! Thanks to me, who was not paying enough attention, we ended up on the hardest course but it was a lucky accident because we weren’t planning to do this one at all because I was worried it would be too hard. The views were incredible. You’ll have to take my word for it b/c I have no photos. It’s a great activity for the whole family.
Afterwards we played mini golf at a witches themed park. The kids thought it had a Harry Potter feel which made it more fun. Finally after lunch we made our way to Zurich for our last night in Switzerland.
We had an incredible 5 days in Switzerland! From hiking to spas and everything in between this was a bucket list trip for us and I’m so happy we got a chance to have this experience with the kids.
We partnered with Tourism Switzerland for a portion of the trip but as always all opinions are my own.