Above Engelberg
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The monastery aside, Engelberg’s attractions are all in the hills. The main excursion, well worthwhile if the weather’s clear, is the four-stage journey to the Titlis (www.titlis.ch). The first ascent crests a plateau to Gerschnialp, from where walking routes depart on both sides around back to the village and another lift brings you to the ridge above the small picturesque Trübsee. From the Trübsee station, you can detour on an easy stroll around the lake to the base station of a different cable-car serving the Jochpass and Engstlen, a little-frequented corner – except in winter, when the whole lake area and slopes above hold the main cross-country and downhill skiing pistes (mostly red). Back at Trübsee, a gondola rises on a breathtakingly exposed journey over the lake to Stand, perched way above the valley at 2428m, with its own sun terrace and restaurant. From here, you switch onto the Rotair, the world’s first revolving gondola; the broad cabin begins to rotate shortly after starting the ascent, and on the five-minute journey to the top station turns completely round once, giving you a 360° panorama of the ride over the vast and impressive Titlis Glacier. On top, you’ll find the standard circus of souvenir shops, ice grottos and the highest karaoke bar in Europe, but the views beyond the Bernese Alps to the Pennine Alps of Valais and north as far as the Jura, more than compensate. The hike up to the very crest of the ice-bound Titlis itself takes a painstaking 45 minutes.

The full return fare Engelberg–Titlis is Fr.73, but as usual, walking some sections – notably from the Trübsee back down to the village (2hr) – can save plenty. The regional Tellpass brings a 50 percent discount, while Swiss Pass holders get 25 percent off. InterRailers and Eurailers get a 20 percent discount between May and mid-November only.

On the other side of the valley, a cable-car rises in two stages to Brunni, with a cat’s cradle of idyllic walks along the hillside meadows and down through forests to the village. In winter, a handful of blue ski runs swish you down easily to the valley floor.

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