There are 1206 named mountains in the Swiss Prealps. The range stretches from the eastern tip of Lake Geneva to Liechtenstein and Swiss-Austrian border all way long through central Switzerland. Due to the close proximity of the largest Swiss city of Zurich, Swiss capital Bern and a dense network of highways the area is exceptionally popular among tourists.
At an elevation of 2,973m Schilthorn is the highest mountain in the Swiss Prealps. Overlooking the valley of Lauterbrunnen and featuring spectacular views over the famous Alpine Trinity: Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, it was a filming location for one of James Bond series. But Schilthorn isn’t the most prominent mountain. This title belongs to the Ultra prominent Säntis Peak. There are just 8 Ultra mountains in Switzerland. Interestingly, Säntis is the most prominent summit in Europe with an observation deck on top. The panorama from the summit is spectacular. In good weather one could see six countries from one place: Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France, and Italy.
Major Trails and Hiking Areas
With a broad range of scenic landscapes, nature parks, and mountain views, the Swiss Prealps might easily win a competition for the most Alpine region. When thinking about the Alps, the first association that comes to mind is those postcard quality photos with snow-capped mountains and bedazzling green meadows with grazing spotty cows. All the parts of this area are popular hiking destinations. You can follow the footsteps of the grand and famous, these trails were frequented by Marc Twain, Queen Victoria and many others.
- Gantrisch Nature Park area is rich with hiking trails, including the panoramic ones. One of the most spectacular is the Stockhorn trail.
- Diemtigtal Nature Park. The summits of Männliflue and Seehore are the highlights.
- Entlebuch Biosphere is the second UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Switzerland, the first being the Swiss National Park. Within the worldwide network of biosphere reserves, Entlebuch represents pre-Alpine moorland and karst landscapes.
Cable Cars and Cog Railways
The Swiss Prealps are an exceptionally well-developed area with convenient infrastructure and easy access. Here are some of the most popular funiculars in the area:
- Cable cars from Leysin transport you to the summit of Berneuse with the revolving restaurant Kuklos at the top. Another cable car direction is to the trailheads of Tour de Mayen and Tour d’Ai treks. Tour de Mayen is a rock tower a little bit to the East from Lake Geneva. It requires a demanding hike to reach the summit. Breathtaking views are the ultimate reward. Another prominent rock tower is the adjacent Tour d’Ai which also has a trail to the summit and no less spectacular views.
- Barboleuse - Les Chaux gondola is a starting point for numerous panoramic trails. Chaux Ronde is a short hike away from the top station and offers an epic mountain panorama.
- Harder Kulm - a cable car to the top of Interlaken with a view of Lake Brienz, Lake Thun, and the well-known Eiger, Moench, and Jungfrau. Also Harder Kulm is a trailhead for a panoramic ridge trail high above Lake Brienz through the summits of Wannichnubel, Suggiturm, Augstmatthorn and culminating at Brienzer Rothorn.
- Schynigge Platte is reachable by a railway from Interlaken. It is a high altitude plateau with a botanic garden and a dense network of hiking trails. The summit of Daube is a mere 30-minute walk from the top railway station. There you can admire an epic ridge walk from Harder Kulm to Brienzer Rothorn. A popular half day long walk could be to the summit of Faulhorn with an optional extension to the Bachalpsee and ending at Grindelwald First (yes, Harry Potter fans are welcome). The reflection of knife blade edge Shreckhorn in Bachalpsee is the view not to be missed.
- Niederhorn high above St. Beatus Caves welcomes to have a cave visit and a ridge walk at the same day. The sunset could be met at the Pier 17 cafe with a view of a Swiss postcard, Oberhofen Castle.
- The Pilatus is a legendary mountain massif in Switzerland with a cable car and a railway reaching the summit. The highest peak of the Pilatus is Tomlishorn. There are two hotels at the top and unbeatable views over Lake Lucerne and hundreds of peaks.
- Stanserhorn and its long time one of a kind cabrio cable car is a worthy family destination.
- Mount Rigi is known as the Queen of the mountains. It offers an authentic Swiss mountain experience, with unforgettable views of over 13 lakes and the spectacular snow-capped Swiss Alps.
- Holzegg is a starting point to the Grosser Mythen summit trail.
- Hoch-Ybrig is a heaven of green meadows, secluded forests and down-to-earth alpine farms. The hiking trails stretch over 100km, they are a good walking network for the whole family.
- With a prominence of 2.020m Säntis is among the most prominent summits in the Alps and in Europe as well with an observation deck on the top. Säntis Cable Car.
- Chäserrugg with a cable car arriving at the summit is a starting point for many themed trails. A short trail from Chäserrugg to the high altitude plateau Rosenböden is a panoramic feat.
Major Cities and Resorts
There are many touristic cities in the area, here are just a few of them:
- Zurich - the biggest city in Switzerland
- Bern - the capital of Switzerland
- Lucerne - at the edge of the Alps, Lucerne is located at the very center of Switzerland. Rich cultural heritage, a famous lake, and picturesque peaks a stone throw away from the town centre make it a perfect hub for any Swiss vacation.
- Interlaken is significantly smaller than the previous suggestions yet the proximity to the nature, the lake of unearthly beauty, and dozens of sights to explore around make it a good option.