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Swiss Alps Day Trips from Lucerne

By Viator, May 2014

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With its dramatic location surrounded by snowy peaks and shimmering lakes, you can’t visit Lucerne without taking a trip into the mountains. Hair-raisingly steep peaks and breathtaking glaciers are all within an easy train journey from the city center, so there are plenty of options for day trips from Lucerne into the Swiss Alps.

Take Europe’s oldest cogwheel railway or a panoramic aerial cable car to the top of Mount Rigi, the ‘Queen of the Swiss Mountains’, where the views from the 1,800-meter summit take in the region’s 13 lakes and there are numerous options for skiing, sledding and hiking. Nearby, the world’s steepest cog railway runs to the 2,132-meter peak of Mount Pilatus, where you can dine with a view at one of the mountaintop restaurants or, just south of Lake Lucerne, the 1,900-meter summit of Mount Stanserhorn is reached by the new CabriO cable car. The first of its kind in the world, the double-decker cable car includes an open-air top deck with standing room for 30 people, making the views en route equally as impressive as from the top.

If it’s the ultimate view you’re after, you can’t get higher than the ‘Top of Europe’ observation deck on Jungfraujoch, teetering at an incredible 3,454 meters. Climb the mountain to Europe’s highest railway station and gaze out over Europe's longest glacier, the majestic Aletsch Glacier, from the Sphinx Observation Terrace.

Of course you don’t have to soar to a dizzying altitude to enjoy the Swiss Alps. Hike along the steep limestone cliffs of the dramatic Aare Gorge; cross the notorious Devil’s Bridge in Schollenen Gorge; delve into the eerie ice tunnels carving into the Rhone Glacier; or relax in the picturesque alpine villages of Andermatt or Grindelwald (evocatively dubbed the ‘Glacier Village’).

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