(Click above to listen to the podcast. See below for information and pictures.)
Engelberg and Mount Titlis, Switzerland
Engelberg is a small town in the Alps of Switzerland less than an hour from Lucerne and less than two hours from Zurich by train. It is surrounded by Alps, including Mount Titlis, the home of year-round snow due to the glacier on its peak. The Engelberg-Mount Titlis area is the largest winter and summer holiday destination in central Switzerland.
Getting to Engelberg and Mount Titlis:
From Lucerne, it is less than one hour to reach Engelberg via train. There are frequent trains throughout the day. From Zurich, frequent trains take about one hour to reach Lucerne and then, after the required change of trains in Lucerne, it will be just under one hour to Engelberg. Trains are included if you have purchased a Swiss Pass. See below for more information. An individual round trip ticket in second class on the train from Zurich is about 80 CHF if you do not have a pass.
Be sure to check the weather at Mount Titlis before you go. You can check the latest forecast for both Engelberg and the top of Mount Titlis here:
When you reach Engelberg via train, if the weather is nice it is best to begin your journey up the 3,000+ meters to the top of Mount Titlis for the best weather and to try to beat the crowds.
When you get off the train at Engelberg, you can take a free shuttle bus from the train station to the base of Mount Titlis. However, it is a short walk and probably not necessary to ride the crowded shuttle. Instead, walk to your right away from the little town as you exit the train. Walk toward the river and to your right after you cross the road over the river. You will see the ticket station for Mount Titlis on your right.
Round trip tickets to ride the cable car up to the new large Rotair rotating cable car are $92 per adult, but tickets are ½ off with the Swiss Pass. You can also include a ticket to ride the Ice Flyer at $12 per adult (no Swiss Pass discount). For the current ticket and pricing information, visit here:
So, to get to Mount Titlis, you will buy your tickets at the Mount Titlis cable car station. You will first take an 8-seater cable car up to the Rotair revolving cable car. Keep your ticket handy for each stop, for the Ice Flyer, and for the return. Do not get off at the Trubsee stop on the way up or back unless you want to visit this small alpine lake and/or the restaurant there. If you do get off, you will need to wait on a cable car that is not full in order to continue your journey. This can be quite a while if it is crowded on top of Mount Titlis.
The eight-seater cable car will take you to the Rotair rotating cable car. These cars hold about 30 people. Try not to get in the middle so you can see out. Any location is great if you are not in the middle of everyone, because the cable car rotates on the way up and back.
When you get to the top, immediately take the Ice Flyer to the Glacier Park for sledding (or watching the sledding). Then, take the Ice Flyer back to the main area to walk across the cliff walk suspension bridge and to go inside the glacier cave.
There is also a restaurant, gift shop and an ice cream shop here. After spending about 3 hours on Mount Titlis, take the Rotair and the cable car back down to Engelberg.
To explore the town of Engelberg, return to the train station and then walk away from the river on Bahnhofstrasse and turn right on Dorfstrasse. Stay on Dorfstrasse as it forks to the left at Klosterstrasse, especially if you want to visit any shops, restaurants, or take a peak in some of the hotels.
At the end of Dorfstrasse, you will see the Benedictine Monastery in front of you. Since its founding in 1120 A.D. the monastery has influenced the history and culture of Engelberg. The existing structure was rebuilt between the years 1735 and 1740. The monastery runs a middle and high school boarding school attended by students from all over the world. The monastery’s baroque church houses the largest pipe organ in Switzerland. There are guided tours of the monastery on Wednesdays through Saturdaya at 4 p.m. and from mid-June to mid-October also at 10 a.m. (needs more than 5 people).
This is the only cheese factory in Switzerland within the walls of a monastery, where you can watch cheese being produced by hand. You can watch how four large vats of milk get transformed into the famous Engelberger Klosterglocke, a mild cheese pressed into the shape of a monastery bell. The cheese factory includes a restaurant where visitors can enjoy a variety of cheese platters, fondues and several desserts. Seating is available inside, as well as outside on picnic tables. The shop sells souvenirs and regional food specialties. The cheese factory/shop/restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 7.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
It is free to enter and watch the cheese being made.
Winter information from My Switzerland:
My Switzerland is a great website for learning more about all of Switzerland. Here is some information from their website about visiting Engelberg and Mount Titlis in winter. At the link below, you can also find more information.
“Engelberg: the largest – and as the locals like to boast – probably also the most beautiful ski area in central Switzerland. Spread over an altitude of 2000 meters, there is room for snowboarding, skiing and sledding, a varied winter program to make your holiday exciting. The long, snowy winter begins as early as October and lasts into May. The 35 km of cross-country ski trails meandering through the lovely Engelberg area make cross-country skiing a fantastic experience! Fresh wind in your hair, glistening snow and sunshine – this is what you expect from sledding fun in Engelberg. Try one – or all – of the three different sledding runs with a total length of 7 km. On Fridays and Saturdays between Christmas and early March the sledding runs are also open at night for a fast downhill run. If you prefer a more quite pace, explore the area around Engelberg on 53 km sign-posted winter hiking trails.”
The Swiss Travel Pass, available only to non-residents of Switzerland or Liechtenstein, includes unlimited access on the network of Swiss Travel System, including trains, boats, and buses throughout Switzerland as well as over 480 museums and exhibitions. It is quite the bargain, and also allows you not to have to worry about correct change or making reservations. The Swiss Travel Pass is sold for 3, 4, 8 and 15 days. Some special scenic trains and/or dinner cruise boats are offered at a 50% discount instead of no charge, but the regular trains and boats offer great views for free!
For prices, an up-to-date list of what is included in the Swiss Pass or to purchase a Swiss Pass, visit here:
Check out my other posts and podcasts about Switzerland here:
If you have any questions or for a free consultation to see if you would like me to help customize a trip for you to Engelberg or most anywhere else, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Until then, I hope all your travel days are just perfect!
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