Wheelchair Travel Around Interlaken, Switzerland

July 24, 2012 in Accessible Days Out, Switzerland, Wheelchair Walks

This is a wheelchair travel adventure we did before I started taking notes and really looking at access, so there is not as much detail as in other posts. I hope it can still give an idea of what’s possible in Switzerland.

There is no doubt that this is a beautiful area. The Bernese Alps and their turquoise blue lakes were more wheelchair accessible than I had expected. Switzerland is expensive though, but we did it in our usual budget style by camping, bringing some food with us from the uk and only buying the fresh produce we needed in the Swiss shops. With so many beautiful natural sights to see and ‘carer goes free’ on cable cars, we still had a fantastic and affordable trip.

Wheelchair Walk at Neuhaus

We stayed a few days at Neuhaus and from there did day trips by car to Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald.
At Neuhaus there is lakeside park on Lake Thunersee where you can get close to the water. We found a lovely nature wheelchair walk by the lake. At the end was an accessible footbridge spanning the river that joins the two lakes.

Wheelchair access to Lake Thunersee, Park at Neuhaus, Interlaken
Park at Neuhaus, Lake Thunersee
Wheelchair walk in nature, disabled access, Neuhaus, Interlaken, Swiss Alps
Wheelchair access nature walk, Neuhaus
Wheelchair walk in nature, disabled access, Neuhaus, Interlaken, Swiss Alps
Wheelchair access nature walk, Neuhaus, Interlaken
Sunset over the mountains on the way back
Wheelchair walk in nature at sunset, disabled travel, Neuhaus, Interlaken, Swiss Alps
Wheelchair access nature walk, Neuhaus, Interlaken
Lake Thunersee at sunset

 

Day Trip to Lauterbrunnen

We left the car in the main car park, it was on a slope and was a bit of a push to get out of the carpark onto level ground. As we were walking through the village we were passed by a parade of decorated cows, it was part of a cheese festival celebration. Not sure how the cows felt about it but they were wearing some pretty fancy headdresses. The wheelchair walk at Lauterbrunnen was beautiful, lush green grass and cute swiss farm houses. We walked past a small waterfall, the path continues up the valley, but we turned back after the waterfall.

Old Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg road 6km

Wheelchair walk in nature at Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Swiss Alps
Cheese festival parade at Lauterbrunnen
Disabled access, Wheelchair walk in nature at Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Swiss Alps
Wheelchair accessible walk at Lauterbrunnen

Wheelchair Travel To Car Free Murren


We camped at Stechelberg and went up to Murren for the day. We left the car at Stechelberg Cable Car station. I remember that the paths in Murren were surfaced and very smooth, although there are slopes. It is on levels and the main street is fairly long and flat, but if you want a longer walk you would need a strong pusher. Also I remember there being a short uphill slope as you come out of the station. Murren is car free and has fantastic mountain views, so even if you dont move around that much, it’s a beautiful place to hang out. If you forgot your picnic there are plenty of shops and the supermarket is quite reasonable.

Murren Village Tour Wheelchair Walk – 2km
Cable Car – carer goes free

Wheelchair access in car free Murren, Interlaken, Swiss Alps, disabled travel
Car free Murren – Swiss houses up in the
mountains
Wheelchair access in car free Murren, Interlaken, Swiss Alps, disabled travel
Up in the mountains at car free Murren
Wheelchair access in car free Murren, Interlaken, Swiss Alps, disabled travel
Wheelchair access in car free Murren = Smooth
Wheelchair travel in car free Murren, Interlaken, Swiss Alps, Mountain views
Mountain views from car free Murren

Accessible Camping In The Swiss Alps


We camped at Alpenblick, Seestrasse 130 at Neuhaus. There are disabled facilities in a new toilet block. Lovely campsite, level grounds although a bit of traffic noise as it is next to the road. Good location for Thunersee Lake and the wheelchair nature walk. It was16 euros per night plus tax (2adults+tent+car) with ACSI card.

At Stechelberg we stayed at Camping Rutti, a very peaceful campsite with only basic facilites. Snow capped mountain views from the tent though. And good location for the cable car station for trips to Murren. It was16 euros per night plus tax (2adults+tent+car) with ACSI card.

Wheelchair travel resource for Interlaken area on the following link
Interlaken-Tips for wheelchair users and people with impaired mobility

General tourist info www.jungfrau.ch/en/

For another easy access walk with stunning views, check out our next stop in the Swiss Alps ……………..Weggis, Lake Lucerne…….blog post coming soon!

I hope you found this wheelchair travel information helpful. Please feel welcome to comment or add your own accessible travel tips. Thanks for reading and have a great trip :-)

 

 

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Wheelchair Travel in the Ardeche – My Experience of the Route Des Gorges

June 10, 2012 in Accessible Days Out, France, Wheelchair Walks

Scenic Drive On Route Des Gorges, Ardeche, France (Wheelchair Access = Overall its very good)

 

Pont d’Arc by the river is a no go for wheelchair users – The path is very steep, then rocky and very steep, then sandy. All is not lost, there is a viewing layby on the road a bit further on. Go early if you want to stop there as its small and gets busy. There is a step up to the viewing area, I could still enjoy the view by looking through the railings athough the barrier wall doesn’t seem designed for wheelchair user viewing. Still worth a look though.

Ardeche Gorges, Pont D’Arc viewing layby
wheelchair access = 1 step

The rest of the Route Des Gorges has excellent wheelchair access lookouts or viewing areas, about 11 of them over an approx 30km stretch. With disabled parking bays, flat walkways, fantastic views of scenery and if lucky friendly goats.

Ardeche Gorges Scenic Drive 30km – fantastic viewing areas
wheelchair access & disabled parking = great
Ardeche Gorges Scenic Drive 30km – beautiful views from the
lookout areas, wheelchair access & disabled parking = great
Ardeche Gorges Scenic Drive 30km – beautiful views from the
lookout areas, wheelchair access & disabled parking = great

www.gorges-de-lardeche.com

Below are the attractions we visited on the Route Des Gorges.

Llama Park (Wheelchair Access = Dodgy, but we did it – Rock N Roll!! more Rocky than Roll actually)
They only charged me for one adult at 6 euros (carer goes free)  There are 2 steps at the entrance (these people need a ramp) and a bit of uphill rocky ground on the way to the enclosure which is also a quite a challenge. The good news is that its not very far to the enclosure and its well worth getting there. Loads of llamas and you’re right in there with them. The leaflet says petting guaranteed and it wasnt wrong.

Ardeche Gorges Llama Park
wheelchair access = dodgy but doable with help

Inside the enclosure the ground is very rocky so we didn’t move around much. The owner was very friendly and the llamas wonderful and so many of them. The wheelchair access is very dodgy but doable with a strong carer and some help at the steps.
www.ardeche-lamas.com

Lavender Museum (Wheelchair Access = Good, Disabled Parking =Good)

Ardeche Gorges Lavender Museum is wheelchair friendly

This place is very accessible, flat and easy. Most of it is indoors so it can be an interesting thing to do if its raining. There’s also a gift shop and they have their own lavender fields outside which must look wonderful in summer when in flower (end of june to august.)
www.ardechelavandes.com

Vallon Pont d’Arc  (Wheelchair Access = Ok, Disabled Parking = Good)
This is the small town near the start of the Route Des Gorges. There are plenty of disabled parking bays right in the centre of town giving close access to the main square and shopping streets. The pavements can be narrow but the main area is pedestrians only so its not too bad.

Wheelchair access = okay & disabled parking = good in
Ardeche Gorges town of Vallon Pont d’Arc tourist area

Camping

We camped off season for 16 euros a night for 2 adults, tent and car at Camping Beau Rivage, Les Mazes, Vallon Pont d’ArcThe campsite is 2km from Vallon Pont d’Arc. It’s by the river (lovely views from the tent) and away from the main road (very peaceful.) The paths around site are good, the reception, bar, shop, swimming pool are all accessible. The disabled toilet and shower are in the mens section of the toilet block (key at reception) but this didnt cause any problems, it was clean and available. The beach area by the river doesn’t have ideal wheelchair access but its doable with a strong carer. It’s probably not the most perfect site for accessibility but what I loved about this site were the natural surroundings, birdsong, relaxing under the trees with views of the river, feeding the onsite goats and the friendly and helpful owners. Will definately go back. www.beaurivage-camping.com
Ardeche Gorges Beau Rivage Camping, beautiful campsite
wheelchair friendly except for beach area

More campsites (that I havent visited) in the area with wheelchair accessible facilities include:
mondial-camping
campsite-arc-en-ciel
domaine-de-chadeyron
camping-nature-parc
campsite-des-gorges

For general tourist information check out www.ardeche-guide.com

I hope you found this wheelchair travel information helpful. Please feel welcome to comment or add your own accessible travel tips. Thanks for reading and have a great trip :-)