Every family goes on holiday together, and it is a time for the whole family to reconnect and unwind. Many times, these holidays mean that several generations are together in one location. There have been countless films dedicated to how difficult it can be to achieve a fun holiday for the whole family. While a camping holiday throughout the Alps is a dream for many, it can be hard to get the young ones excited about a trip with the whole family away from the things they are used to.
Sometimes the right frame of mind can help make something even better than it already was. Getting the kids excited about their holiday is easy when they realize that they will be frolicking around in the same spots as their favourite super-spies or Jedi Knights.
Here are a few destinations throughout the Alps that, quite honestly, have something for everyone. You can bask in the glorious vistas, hiking trails, and all the things the Alps have to offer. Meanwhile, the children or grandchildren will be excited to know that these spots were featured in popular television shows and films.
Grindelwald is a very charming area in the Bernese Alps that acts as a perfect base location for lots of fabulous sightseeing and activities. Its ideal location right up against the Eiger Glacier makes it a gateway to different sites and activities.
One of the highlights is the Jungfraujoch, otherwise known as the Top of Europe. This is Europe's longest glacier, and because of this, it is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area boasts that you can experience snow in this area 365 days a year. You can walk through glacier tunnels and enjoy views as far away as the Black Forest.
The Jungfraujoch is accessible from Grindelwald, and there are a few ways to get up to the top. The Eiger Express is now one of the fastest gondolas in the Alp region. This brand-new cableway opened in December 2020 and takes you from Grindelwald up to the Eiger Glacier in no time. From the Eigergletcher station, you can decide if you want to hike many of the walking trails in the area or if you would like to take the train up to the Jungfraujoch Railway Station, which is the highest train station in all of Europe.
The Star Wars Connection
Because of the jaw-dropping scenery in this region, it is no surprise that it has been the inspiration of several Star Wars films. These films famously used locations that were seemed other-worldly, and it isn't an accident that Grindelwald inspired the franchise more than once. Most famously, the glaciers that can be seen in this region have been edited using plate photography to represent Princess Leia's home planet of Alderaan in the original film Star Wars: A New Hope.
Meiringen Switzerland: The Reichenbach Falls
Meiringen has a lot to offer in terms of sites and things to do. The area boasts stunning vistas, easy access to a variety of locations to see. A particular highlight is the Aare Gorge, an impressive narrow valley carved by the Aare River, and it is a true wonder to experience. There is no shortage of beautiful vistas in this town, but it is impossible to miss the crowning glory: The Reichenbach Falls.
One of the most fun ways to get up to the top of the waterfall is to use the Reichenbach Falls Funicular. Built in 1899, the cars have been beautifully and lovingly restored with wooden carriages, heightening the ambience. It is these little touches that add to the fun and nostalgia of this particular region.
Once you have reached the top, three terraces nearby provide gorgeous views of the waterfall and the Haslital valley. Several hiking trails can be taken from this spot. Some tracks pass through the Aare Gorge or head to the Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge.
Sherlock Holmes and the Reichenbach Falls
The Reichenbach Falls is one of the most famous locations mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes books outside of London. This 120-metre-high waterfall is where Sherlock stages his death against Professor Moriarty. It is a famous scene in the short story "The Final Problem" from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.
It is a memorable moment interpreted into all the modern iterations of Sherlock Holmes in film and television. From the smaller productions in the 60s and 70s to the blockbuster movies starring Robert Downey, Jr., and the top-rated BBC series Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
Sherlock Holmes Museum
The quaint Sherlock Holmes Museum can only hold about 5- 6 visitors at a time, and the central part of the museum is fittingly reached by walking down a spiral staircase. The museum opened on the 100th anniversary of Holmes' supposed death. It was founded by the Sherlock Holmes Society of London and Dame Jean Conan Doyle, daughter of the author himself.
The museum itself has activities and exhibits and a recreation of Holmes' famous living room of the house on Baker Street. There are quite a few artefacts and replicas to look through as well. The popularity of Sherlock in this area also extends to other activities throughout the town. There is a Sherlock Holmes statue, hotel and bar, and there are lots of Sherlock related souvenirs made by companies throughout the town, such as teas and even a special fondue made in the region dedicated to the super sleuth.
Having everything you need
A holiday such as this will provide something memorable for the whole family. And to make sure that the holiday goes smoothly, it is handy to know in advance what is required to ensure that there aren't any hiccups along the way. For example, if travelling with a family pet, it is essential to know if they need any special paperwork ahead of time.
Knowing what is required for Travelling to Switzerland and preparing in advance is the first step to making sure that you can enter the country easily and efficiently. Ensuring you have everything in order, such as proper health insurance documents and coverage for the entire family, will provide some peace of mind to start the holiday off right.
Either in the alps or anywhere in the world, make sure you know if you need a visa to travel to a particular destination. If your destination does require a visa, be sure to read up on the waiting periods for the visa to know if you are well in time or if you must order one urgently.