Although a car is the best way to explore much of the Oberland and Valais, Switzerland boasts the world’s best public transport system. You can see a vast majority of its mountain landscapes by public transport. There are many suggested train tours in the guide. But where trains don’t go, buses will – even to remote valleys and hamlets.
Switzerland is a hiker’s paradise (you would expect nothing less of a country which has an article in its constitution regulating the responsibilities of those who maintain the thousands of kilometres of hiking paths!).
Mountain huts and comfortable hotels sit atop summits reached by spectacular train or cable car rides, but there is still plenty of space where you will hardly meet a soul.
The author, who lives in the area and has written several guides for walkers, caters for all abilities – from gentle strolls through the wine villages of the Valais to more strenuous hikes beside the north face of the Eiger or alongside the largest glacier in the Alps.
Information ‘boxes’ add interest to the book – whether describing grape varieties and harvesting methods or the engineering feats of the country’s dams and irrigation channels.
There are three main car tours, with dozens of side excursions. A map accompanies each car tour, but there are also two pull-out touring maps covering the whole of western Switzerland.) Of course, there are many suggestions for train, funicular and cable car rides, as well as 75 long and short walks (some of which are specially tailored to motorists). All the main walks are illustrated with 1:50,000 topo maps and free GPS tracks are available from this website.
Area covered: This guide covers all of the Bernese Oberland and Valais.
The best time for walking here is May to October (in the highest mountain areas July to September).
Essential handbook for touring western Switzerland. This is a marvellous guide for anyone walking, using Swiss trains or driving around Western Switzerland. The descriptions are informative and accurate, providing just the right amount of guidance while allowing the reader to form their own opinions. A pull-out map in the back is conveniently annotated with reference numbers to the main walking tours and car tours detailed in the book. One whole chapter is devoted to those who will be using the Swiss Railroad to get around the country. Photos and topographical maps abound, complementing the written text and making this an enjoyable book to browse through even when not out hiking. –(SV, Amazon, reviewing the author’s guide to all of western Switzerland)