Engelberg-Titlis (OW) | Swiss Tour 2020
Updated: Nov 12, 2020
We discovered the largest winter and summer holiday destination in central Switzerland.
Stay few days in Engelberg and you will remember it for the rest of your life for its unforgettable mountain experience.
On Friday morning over breakfast Jude asked me when we were going to Angry Bird and it took me a few minutes to understand that he meant Engelberg! :-)
He’s been very excited about this trip all week and once his last day of school was finished on Friday, he excitedly set about helping me pack the suitcase so that we were ready to leave the house at 7.30 on Saturday to arrive in Engelberg around 10.00.
For the first part of our trip, we were spending a night in Trübsee so we parked the car at the train station in Engelberg and took the free bus to the Titlis Xpress station and collect our tickets to take us up the mountain. You can buy these online which saves some queueing time and also works out a bit cheaper.
We managed to get ourselves, the children, Elio's pushchair and the luggage in a télécabine and set off for Trübsee. It’s impressive watching the ground fall away beneath us as we climbed into the mountains and we were excited to see Engelberg from above.
After a short while, we reached the stop for Trübsee and headed for the Trübsee Alpine Lodge hotel which was directly above the cable car station. The hotel is really lovely with a charming chalet style decor. We were a bit too early to check in so we left our luggage and had a drink on the huge terrace while the children enjoyed the play areas which include swings, trampolines, a bouncy castle and zip line. Not bad eh? Check our video on IGTV.
The hotel kindly prepared some sandwiches for us and we headed down to lake Trübsee for a picnic. This is one of the most child-friendly spots we have ever visited. The lake is beautiful and the first thing we saw was the Trübsee adventure playground for the children. This was no ordinary playground, it was huge with some really cool activities including a rope bridge, tunnels and caves, towers, slides and plenty to climb on. It was quite busy but we found a place to sit and eat our sandwiches before the children got stuck in.
It was a lovely warm afternoon and we sat for a while to enjoy the scenery before deciding we would take a walk around the lake to stretch our legs after the car journey. We had Elio in the pushchair and this was an easy walk with just a few hills and generally pretty easy terrain - it took us about an hour with lots of stopping. As we climbed the first hill, we were able to see the lake better and appreciate the view of this really special mountain location. The lake path is really cleverly designed with lots of play areas and activities for the children to keep them going, plus (surprisingly clean and odour-free) compost toilets along the route.
It’s a lovely spot and we saw a place where you can take a rowing boat out on the lake and even some people in canoes!
Back at the hotel and we were ready to check-in.
Our rooms were fantastic, arranged over three floors with a really snug area for the children on a mezzanine level, a big bed for Jean and I in the middle and a living area on the lower part with views across the mountains. We settled in and let the children play/snooze in the room for a while before getting everyone washed and ready for dinner. You can rediscover the video in our stories here. We decided to take advantage of the sunshine a little longer and took a drink on the terrace while Jude and Alba enjoyed the play area before dinner.
The hotel restaurant boasts lovely views out over the mountains and is in the same chalet-style which felt really cosy. Dinner was included in our stay with a good set menu and options for the children. The staff were really kind and helpful and were very tolerant in response to Alba’s attempts to help them clear plates etc 😱.
We all fell into bed and were asleep within minutes and woke up ready for the next part of our adventure.
After a good breakfast at the hotel we got dressed in our warmer clothing as we were preparing to go to the top of the Titlis mountain where we would try the Cliff Walk!
The cable car to get to the summit is again just below the hotel, so it's really practical. It was a strange feeling to ascend into the snow again after the warmer weather down below us. The special thing about the second cable car you take to get up to the summit is that it REVOLVES so you get an amazing 360 degree view of the scenery. It was amazing!
We were glad we had added some layers although we were lucky to have the sun, very little cloud and not much wind so it was relatively warm. You do need some good shoes though as there was quite a bit of snow and to get to the Cliff Walk it’s necessary to walk a little way uphill to reach the start. If you do forget your shoes, we saw that you can hire them from the souvenir shop inside. We had Elio in the baby carrier for this part as it would have been inaccessible with a pushchair.
To get to the Cliff Walk, head over to the left of the big antenna when you get to the top of the mountain rather than the right like we did. We walked around a bit to take in the view then headed down to the beginning of the Cliff Walk. The walk is a long suspended bridge 3,041 metres above sea level and 500 metres from the ground. It currently holds the record for being the highest suspended bridge in Europe and it’s certainly an impressive sight.
The first couple of steps were fine and then we started to notice that the bridge was swaying quite a bit. It took us a few moments to adapt to the sensation as our tummies did somersaults but we quickly got the hang of it and continued. As usual Alba and Jude trotted across without a backward glance and were standing at the end shouting “come on mummy”’as I made my way across.
At the other end of the bridge, you can go straight down to the glacier cave or head back the way we came.
We went back across the bridge as we wanted to get one of the official photographs and explore a bit further outside before going to see the Glacier cave. The picture costs CHF12 for a small one but it's the perfect angle for the best photo.
Back inside, we collected our photograph and began the trip through the ice cave. The temperature inside was obviously quite chilly and I was glad again that we had put everyone in trousers, fleeces and jackets. Alba, convinced it was Elsa’s ice palace, loved this place which was nicely lit and impressively created. We had Elio in the baby carrier again for this part and Jean had to duck in a few places but it was all manageable.
Back down in the cable car and it was time to say goodbye to Trübsee as we left the hotel and headed back down to Engelberg.
We had a few hours until we could check-in at our next accommodation so we went for a bite to eat in the town and had a nice walk around in the sunshine. The town is really beautiful and there are plenty of play areas for the children including the Robinsons play ground which has plenty for them to do.
From there, we walked over to see the Monastery. This is a really beautiful building set in lovely grounds in the centre of town. We strolled through the garden then walked over the the little cafe area where you can watch the cheese being produced. You can see the cheese being made between 10 and 3pm every day. I love this kind of thing and found the process mesmerising. The cafe is a peaceful spot where you can also buy some local products to take away with you.
We walked around a bit more before collecting the car from the train station and heading to our accommodation.
Home for the next couple of nights was the Titlis Resort in the centre of Engelberg. This is really well organised residence split into separate buildings with communal facilities including things like ski room, bike room, play area, little shop and a spa.
We met with Marion at reception who was lovely and really helpful, explaining a bit about the area and making sure we had everything we needed. Our apartment was another big “wow!” for us as we explored the large living space, two bedrooms, large bathroom and two terraces!! The children’s bedroom was something I would have absolutely loved as a child with two sets of cosy bunk beds and lots of storage space and plenty of places to play hide and seek. You can rediscover the video in our stories here.
The apartment is really well appointed with high end appliances and included a washing machine which I was happy to see! (Sad, I know!). We unpacked a bit and Jean and I sat on the sun loungers for a while as Elio had a little sleep and Jude and Alba started on the puzzles that Marion had given them.
The resort is so comfortable that you could easily spend a week or longer here.
That evening we headed into town for an early dinner at the Alpenclub which serves really good food with a great view, then we settled in for a comfortable first night at the Titlis Resort.
There is no restaurant at the Titlis Resort but you can order breakfast the day before and have it delivered to your door early the next morning so when we woke up, breakfast was already waiting for us on the doorstep. It was such a treat not to have to think about preparing breakfast for everyone and meant we could start the day peacefully in the apartment.
Our destination for Monday was Mount Brunni. I had seen that the weather up there looked a bit misty and cooler so we put some trousers and layers on again and set off for the cable car. You can park at the base of the mountain but you need to remember to take a chf5 coin to pay for it on exit. We collected our tickets and were soon on our way up the mountain.
Don’t forget that as of July 2020 it’s mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport in a Switzerland which includes cable cars. We got off the cable car at Ristis and walked a little way to the chair lift which would take us up to the top of Mont Brunni. We had got this far with Elio in the pushchair but at this point we transferred him to the baby carrier and left the pushchair in a designated pushchair park (it's free) to get on the chair lift. We are getting better at managing chair lifts with the children and I managed to scoop Jude and Alba up while Jean managed Elio who seemed to enjoy the ride and was giggling on the way up.
Once we were back on the ground again we went up to the Tickle path where you remove your shoes and socks and follow the sensory path around the lake. Jude and Alba needed no encouragement to unburden themselves of their shoes and Jean decided to join them. The path takes you through water of varying temperatures, rocks, pebbles, and wood chips before reaching a foot bath at the end. There is a place for you to properly wash and dry your feet as well as storage for belongings and a toilet so it’s well equipped and the children really loved this unusual experience.
We wandered around the summit for a while but it was quite misty and we couldn’t see much of the views so we decided to take the chair lift down again and explore the playground at Ristis.
Elio actually fell asleep on the chair lift on the way down and was in good spirits when we put him back into his pushchair.
The first thing the children wanted to try was the summer toboggan. It’s a long run and takes you through the playground area which is perched on the side of the mountain. This is such a fun activity for children and in fact the whole playground area is really great with plenty to keep little ones busy.
After that we went up to the terrace for lunch and Jude and Alba spent a bit more time playing before we went back down to Engelberg.
We had a couple of spare hours and the children were tired so we went back to the resort so that they could rest. At the end of the afternoon we went into town to meet Nadia from the tourism office to say hello. It was lovely to meet her after she had put together such a brilliant program for us and it gave us the chance to find out a bit more about the area.
We decided to eat at the resort on the last night so we collected takeaway food and went home for a nice family evening in the apartment.
Our last morning in Engelberg arrived all too quickly and we woke up on Tuesday feeling reluctant to leave. We had a fun morning planned for the children and after another great breakfast in the apartment, we headed to the Fürenalp cable car station where we left the car and headed into the forest on foot to find the mountain school group.
This is a really great idea for children and each day there is a different activity including things like mountain biking, a farm experience, cheese dairy, tobogganing, fishing etc. The morning we went it was a rope park experience and we had registered Alba and Jude for this online. Alba was just at the minimum height limit and said she would like to try but having put on all the equipment and climbed a few steps, she changed her mind and decided to stay with Jean, Elio and I on the ground.
Jude on the other hand, was fearless and happily buckled up to begin the trail. He has done this kind of rope course a couple of times now and has really found his confidence. He did three different routes without too much difficulty. We were a bit worried about whether we would be able to follow him with Elio in the pushchair but in fact it was fine and we were able to watch him from the ground as he swung through the trees. The forest was beautiful in the morning light and we all really enjoyed the experience.
There are lots of beautiful places to walk around here and we stopped by the river to discover the amazing view of the waterfall and the mountains.
The last stop of our trip was to take the cable car up to Fürenalp. The cabin was quite small but we managed to get Elio in with the pushchair and off we went. I think this is one of the steepest cable cars we have tried and it was really incredible to suddenly find ourselves so high in the air.
We got off at the top and discovered one of my favourites views of the whole trip. It was such a beautiful, unspoilt spot with lots of hiking paths and lakes to explore all around. We stopped at the restaurant Bergrestaurant Fürenalp which has a wonderful terrace to enjoy the view. After a good lunch, we strolled around and soaked up our last moments of Engelberg before we headed back to the hotel to pack up and head home.
Engelberg translates to Angel Mountain in English and we can really see why it was so named. It’s an extraordinarily beautiful area with so much to do and see. There are so many playgrounds and things to keep the children occupied, it was really easy for us to relax and enjoy the break.
The thing we loved is that it felt like a multi-destination holiday with each mountain visit offering different attractions and unique spirit which kept things interesting for us all.
A fabulous family destination!