The resort village of Engelberg in Uri Alps, central Switzerland, was built around a medieval monastery. Despite a cruel past, Engelberg Abbey still has monks, and lives in the heart of the community, hosting capitals on summer nights.
Stop for a 3,200-meter peak south of Engelberg for high-speed downhill skiing and a one-time adventure look. At the summit, you can walk into a glacier and cross the highest suspension bridge of Europe.
In the other direction is Brunni, whose south side is dipped in the sloping sun and promises fun for kids in both the season (winter & summer). Whether you’re climbing, hiking, skiing off-piste or mountain biking, there are areas in Engelberg that will inspire you to go a little further.
Let’s see the best things in Engelberg:
Winter or summer, you may find yourself returning to Mount Titlis, which rises to more than 3,200 south of Engelberg. There are some visitor attractions near the mountain, which we will visit in the next part. But travelling by gondola and the cable car is part of the adventure and offers you stunning views. Mt. Titlis is also the best place to visit from Grindelwald. It is easily accessible from there too.
None more than the new Titlis Rottier gondola, the world’s first fully revolving gondola, showing all its power to the Uri Alps. At the top is the panoramic restaurant and other eateries as well as the ice flyer, an intersection that takes you to the surface of the glacier, where you can see its cracks.
Titlis Glacier Cave
The attraction at the top of Titlis may have been the mountain’s free glacier cave, where the ice goes back even before prehistoric humans set fire. The entrance is close to the cliff walk, and there are 150 meters of walkways that give you 20 meters from the central part of the glacier.
The walls scatter a strange and beautiful turquoise-blue light, which is caused by sunlight, and if you inspect the walls, which you are free to touch, you will see millions of tiny crystals.
The temperature in the cave is constant -1.5˚C throughout the year.
You may have to face some apprehensions to cross this 100-meter long bridge over Mount Titlis, which started in 2012. It is the highest suspension bridge in Europe, at an altitude of about 3,000 meters and designed to withstand whatever nature could throw at it. This is also a romantic spot for honeymooners who visit Switzerland.
To make something more thrilled, the bridge crosses the 500-meter trench and moves with the wind. The best time to shuffle along the cliff walk is a bright day in summer when the views under the Tittelis Glacier are mesmerizing.
The Benedictine monastery still has a community of monks and goes back to 1120. Much has changed in that time, particularly in the 18th century when the monastery burned down and later sacked by Napoleon’s army. So the architecture of the church and monastery complex is all late-baroque.
You can sign up for yourself to see the plasterboard and fresco on Abbey’s barrel vault, or for a German-language tour for additional depth about the monastery. Abby’s organ is one of the largest in Switzerland, and you can listen to it for free in summer evenings.
Inside the monastery, there is a free attraction where you can come to make paneer. The cheese factory only includes a small dairy and restaurant but is especially worthwhile if you really like the taste of cheese. The production area is surrounded by glass panels and it consists of four stainless steel vats where the milk is poured curd and then pressed into moulds that have the shape of a bell of a monastery.
This cheese is called “Engelberger’s Closterkircher”, and it’s very soft and mild in flavour. The factory is of a restaurant serving buffs and rackets, and you can buy one of its handmade items as a gift from the shop.
The sublime Bruni Mountains area, along with the Sunny, rises to the north of Engelberg, sloping south. You can take a car-car to the Ristis and then another chairlift for the last few hundred meters of climbing, where the view is even more majestic. Summer or winter you can enjoy a lot of activities here.
When the weather is warm, children can burn some energy at the large adventure playground and ride the Summer Toboggan Run.
There are also many walking routes, including a touch route that you want to walk barefoot. And the smooth slopes in winter are perfect for beginners and intermediates, while the 2.5-kilometre sledging run takes you back to the Ristis.
Ski and Snowboard
Engelberg has more than 80 kilometres of downhill skiing and snowboarding. Pistes have set between 1,050 and 3,020 meters: good snow cover for high elevations and a long season that does not wrap until April.
The resort has access to four different ski areas: Titlis-Jochpas, Bruni, Bannalp and Gershinlap, all connected to the village with gondolas and elevators. However, at times connections can be patchy. If you are an expert skier, then the most challenging runs can be found at the stand station in Titlis.
There are plenty of places to dine on the slopes, most notably in Titlis and Brunni, and four ski and snowboard schools can teach you the basics or help you brush up on your skills.
You can land at this unfinished intermediate station before you go to the top of Titlis. In front of Engelberg is a substantial small lake, situated at an altitude of 1,788 meters and formed by pasture.
The lake maintained by the Trübseebach, which flows through the Titlis glacier, and when it flows in the sun, the water reflects the jagged hills in the background. In summer Trüebsee, one of the “Four Lakes Hike” lakes, crosses Jokpas at its highest point, a few hundred meters from this lake.
Trüebsee is also on some walking routes that you can pick up from the village if you prefer to travel on foot.
FIS Ski Jumping World Cup Engelberg
In mid-December, Leap in Gross-Titlis-Schanz hosts a stage at the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup. The event is big news and attracts thousands of spectators to a 20,000-capacity arena for the largest annual winter sports event in Central Europe. This jump is the toughest on the World Cup tour and has renewed at great expense.
There is a new Floodlight system so that the competition can continue long into the evening, while the landing area is optimized for long jumps. As soon as the ramp reopened in 2016, young Slovak jumper Domaine Prevac broke the track record with a leap of 144 meters.
Via Ferrata Climbing
Since you have your eye on the mountains of Engelberg, you may know of the sheer walls above the village, and many of these have been adapted for climbing.
Engelberg has six Via Ferratas within minutes, and they vary in difficulty from K2 to K5. The ideal introduction is Brunnstöckli, a short 200-meter climb that, if you’re a beginner, will take about 45 minutes. Only those that know how to handle themselves on a wall will be tempted by the challenging Fürenwand, which is certainly not for newbies.
This K3-K5 climb requires three hours, and there is a difference in elevation of over 760 meters.
The list of things gets longer when you are visiting Engelberg, Switzerland. It would be best if you don’t have to worry about anything other than packing warm clothes for yourself and buying a map of Engelberg Switzerland.