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Thread: Switzerland

  1. #1


    I have about 10 days available to me in either September or October and would like some ideas of locations in Switzerland. I am mainly interested in mountain landscapes. I will be on my own but will have a car available. I have not been to Switzerland for over 20 years and am sure that things have changed rather dramatically. All advice welcome. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: Switzerland

    I forgot to include advice as to which month would be better for scenery and access. Thanks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Bielefeld and Hamburg, Germany

    Re: Switzerland

    A few suggestions from a native Swiss (though I live in Germany now).

    First of all, it is quite difficult to find places in Switzerland without mountain landscapes.

    If you travel by car I would suggest to visit one of the three following regions - they have some of the most spectacular sceneries. Find a place in the middle of one of the regions to stay and take daytrips from there.

    1) The Wallis - you will find the Matterhorn, the Aletsch glacier, the Rhone glacier and of course much more. A central place to stay may be Brig or Fiesch.

    2) The Berner Oberland (Bern Highland). Stay in Interlaken and you can do trips to the Jungfraujoch, the Schilthorn, to Grindelwald and Wengen, to the Brienzer Rothorn or take spectacular steamboat rides on the Lake Thun or Lake Brienz. I have a few pictures from that area on my website (

    3) The Engadin around St. Moritz, with the Bernina area and the Engadin lakes.

    All these areas attract many tourists and the infrastructure for tourists is excellent. Of course there are many other places that will be spectacular, some of them less traveled than three regions mentioned here. For instance, the Glarus area, the area around Disentis, the southern Italian-speaking part (the Tessin) or the Saentis region (one of my favourites).

    September and October are both good months for traveling. The air is often very clear and you will have an excellent view at high altitudes, much better than earlier in the year. There are often long periods of high-pressure weather in Sept and Oct, which means warm weather at high altitudes but fog in lower regions. October can be quite chilly and you may encounter snow at higher altitudes (which is an interesting subject for photography). This is particularly true for the Engadin which is at 6000 ft altitude.

    If you are a flexible traveler: check the weather forecast when you get there before you decide where to go. The Alps are a weather barrier, so the weather north of the Alps is often the opposite of the weather south of the Alps. It may be sunny in the south and rainy in the north or vice versa. And Switzerland is fairly small so you can get from north to south in a few hours.

    Even if you have a car: Switzerland has an excellent public transportation system with connected trains, buses, mountain railways and boats. So you may take a boat ride first, then use a cable railway to get up on a mountain, hike down the other side and get back by bus or railway. This will give you some more flexibility if you plan to hike. You can check the options locally, or check on the website of the Swiss railway (

    Greetings, Thomas

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2001

    Re: Switzerland

    Some very good suggestions you already have from Thomas and I still live in Switzerland. I recomand not to do it in Oktober weather is saver in September many streets over mountains like San Gotthard can be closed and are also wonderfull!
    Wallis and Berneroberland and of course I recomand Lucerne and the Vierwaldstättersee region inkluding mount Pilatus and Engelberg with Titlis.I find the mountains in the Engadin not so interesting the lakes are okay!
    Zermatt with the Matterhorn is almost a must, even A.Adams was there!
    If you need further assistents just tell me, Armin

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Re: Switzerland

    Something to rev your engine:
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Austin TX

    Re: Switzerland

    I would recommend studying an overview of Switzerland on Google Earth. The resolution is quite excellent and you can fly the valleys and glaciers with enough detail to actually set up your prospective views ahead of time. You can get some dandy views of the areas mentioned above.

    Nate Potter

  7. #7
    Convert to LF
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Re: Switzerland

    You are welcome to Switzerland.
    Be warned though that you will be permitted to set your tripod almost everywhere!
    I may be around to "largeformat" the autumn colors in October (In Valais, wrongly named "Wallis" by the Swiss German here in the LF ). Yes the Cervin (wrongly named "Matterhorn" by the same ) is a good place to shoot, but you have to walk a bit outside the city, or to take the Gornergrat Bahn (costly) to face the Cervin.
    Every lateral valleys of the Valais is worth the detour (Illiez, Derborence, Evolene, Saastal, etc.). Lot of lakes and dams on which mountains reflect...
    When you are ready to fly, send me a pm.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    New Zealand

    Re: Switzerland

    I'd also take a look around Ticino (La Svizzera). Some stunning scenery there. Oh, and proper (Italian) food

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Sunny Italy :)

    Re: Switzerland

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I'd also take a look around Ticino (La Svizzera). Some stunning scenery there. Oh, and proper (Italian) food

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Besançon, France

    Re: Switzerland

    As a French native & citizen living close to the border I'll place another vote for Le Valais - Wallis where I often go for mountaineering if I had to choose a single location. Berner Oberland would of course comme second but the climate is not as nice as in le Valais as explained by Thomas G.

    And yes, Switzerland has magnificent glacier views to offer, the Great Aletsch Glacier being the biggest in continental Europe (to find bigger glaciers you have to go to Svalbard or Iceland)
    The famous view of this glacier is accessible from Wallis-Le Valais, the place to put your tripod is named : Bettmeralp and is a favourite of classical Swiss calendars

    However I would recommend for autumn shots not to overlook smaller mountain ranges with no glaciers like the Fribourg area and the Jura, both areas with limestones cliffs & peaks with a nice forestry environment. Superb autumn views.

    From the Jura range you get magnificent vistas over the north side of the Alps
    Just above Geneva (actually, the point of view is located in France) you get a superb view over the Mont Blanc and the Wallis Alps
    Above Neuchâtel at Le Chasseral peak (accessible by a paved road) you get the maximum number of alpine peaks over 4000m to count ;-)

    Depending from where you start in Switzerland, the Jura offers many nice photographic opportunites. For example if you start from Geneva, the Jura is worth a stop on your route to Wallis.
    However if you start from the Zürich airport, the Berner Alps on one side or Säntis, Glarus on the other side make a logical choice. In 10 days you'll have to make a (cruel) choice according to where you start, this will allow you to prepare for a second travel later

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