Riederalp

Located on a sunny high plateau at 2000 m above sea level, Riederalp is a pleasant little village near Europe’s largest glacier, the Aletsch glacier.  Although it is fairly spread out over a wide area, Riederalp, along with nearby Belalp and Bettmeralp, is pleasantly car-free, and is reached by cable car from the valley below.  It’s south-facing orientation gives it a nice climate and offers up nice long-distant views to the big mountains along the Swiss-Italian border in Valais, including the iconic pyramid of the Matterhorn.

But the main attraction to Riederalp is definitely the Aletsch glacier.  With the extremely popular Jungfraujoch train at one end, a visit to Riederalp gives you a much more off-the-beaten-path route to the Aletsch.  Once you hike up to the ridge above town (or take a chairlift), you’re treated to some of the most awe-inspiring glacier views in the Alps.  The Aletschwald forest is also notable, with many of the oldest larch and pine trees in Switzerland, along with abundant wildlife and blueberry bushes.

Riederalp is a nice family destination for a couple days.  The car-free village makes it safe to walk around town, and walks along the top of the ridge are easy and memorable.  There are plenty of playgrounds for younger kids, and it’s a pleasant place to spend a couple of days.