Ice cool: Mount Titlis Day Tour from Zurich Review
I’ve spent the good part of the week trying to book a tour for my upcoming trip to Morocco, so that had me thinking about the last one I embarked on. Reviews online really help people like me to make a decision. The Mount Titlis Day Tour with Best of Switzerland Tours was actually almost a year ago now. Here’s a short review of my experience. But long story short: it’s fast paced but extremely well run and a great way to tick off some amazing sights in Switzerland. Watch our for the fellow tourists.
Experiences with TopDeck have partially scarred me for life, so I tend not to do so many group tour-type activities. At least any that are longer than a week. Tours in general can be a bit more expensive, the crowd can vary and the schedule is a hell of a lot more restricted. In this instance, heading out to Mount Titlis would have been too difficult on my own. Also, lazy.
The tour also covers off Lucerne, which I was keen to see. A lot of travellers do feel they can spend a lot more time in this particular town and you can get to it easily enough on the train as well. I booked this tour via Viator for £130 with the local provider being Best of Switzerland Tours. Revealed upon booking, how mysterious.
Like everything in Switzerland, this tour is run efficiently and properly. We had a fantastic tour guide, he was fact-filled and with a wicked sense of humour and charm. So that was definitely one of the highlights. The tour boasted two key destinations: Lucerne for the morning before spending the rest of the day at Mount Titlis.
The tour has a manageable start time of 9:30am so I managed to spend my morning enjoying the city. With all guests commencing from Sihlquai Bus Terminal it wasn’t too long before we made our way out. The terminal itself is boring but centrally located with maybe one Starbucks nearby. It’s 200m from Zurich Main Railway Station.
I’d say the tour was about three quarters full, so twenty-ish people? A good mix of backgrounds although it wasn’t the type of tour to allow for much inter-mingling. One family was particularly annoying (e.g. shoving in line, being rude) but this was only a sign of things to come once we were at Mount Titlis.
There’s only a tiny bit of driving, it’s less than an hour before the morning stop of Lucerne. One of the most prettiest countrysides I’ve seen. Well worth the tour if only to get out of Zurich for a bit. And the weather was amazing for us, plenty of sun and 28 degrees.
Our first stop was the Lion of Lucerne, an impressive rock relief with a tragic story. After that the bus dropped us off at Harry’s tourist empire (I kid) with an hour or so of free time. It’s actually a very very short amount of time. Lucerne features such gorgeous scenery so it’s barely enough to grab a lunch. Instead, I entered mad tourist mode and did a sprint of the city surroundings. I made sure to pick up some snacks locally so at least I didn’t faint afterwards.
To the mountain
Mount Titlis is part of the Uri Alps, and it is at the highest summit of the range north of the Susten Pass. Most of the time the mountain is accessed via Engelberg, and that was the case for us. It’s also the site of the world’s very first rotating cable car, which is included in the ticket (and tour) price.
It’s less than an hour before leaving Lucerne and arriving at Mount Titlis. Our guide organises the tickets before we break up into groups for the cable car ride. I had the company of a lovely couple from Washington for this part of the afternoon, we had some good chats. I couldn’t say that about the rest of the people on the mountain, in a word: feral. Without specifying nationalities, the fellow and numerous tourists I came across were some of the rudest I’ve seen. Shoving, no manners, shouting at staff, it did make me feel sorry for the people who worked there.
The mountain itself is fabulous, fabulous stuff. You get enough time to tick off all the attractions in the time allocated by Best of Switzerland and there’s no extra costs (other than for a cheesy photo thing). Despite the fact that it’s sunny, there’s plenty of snow. I can’t say there’s any other times I’ve managed to be in shorts in the snow! Outside you can take copious selfies, play in the snow, ride a toboggan or a tube at the Glacier Park. A short walk for the Titlis Cliff Walk and more pics. Everyone’s here for the pics.
Titlis Rotair is the rotating cable car, thankfully the rotating helps a lot as people shove for optimal position like no-one’s business. Maybe I was really unlucky with the day? But it was chaos.
Ice Flyer is a chairlift with some amazing views of the landscape. But make sure to sit on the left side, otherwise you’ll end up getting rock in the background like me.
Glacier Cover is a freezing walk through an illuminated glacier. Ice ice baby! -1 degrees means I ain’t sticking around too long with my exposed legs.
Inside there are places to warm up and some decent food options actually. The most popular being the curry-focused cafe Spice Bistro, and others with sitdown service and more traditional meals. Also, a Movenpick! I had enough time for two meals and a call back home to drive some jealousy back home. The tour has an option for renting some snow gear but for only one hour it won’t be enough time for proper adventuring.
Eventually your time comes up and then you head down back to the bus. A few people were very late, so please be courteous and be on time! That goes for the whole day. But otherwise you get back to Sihlquai Bus Terminal in the evening without any dramas. I had advised the guide my flight was out that same night so thankful everything ran to time. Except for the flight itself, eep!
So that’s my little wrap up of the Mount Titlis Day Tour from Best of Switzerland Tours. In retrospect, I appreciated how organised and well run the whole day was by our guide. We were lucky to have such a personable host that complemented the unmissable scenery. Whilst I wasn’t a fan of the behaviour exhibited by some of the fellow travellers, there’s some magic at Mount Titlis that I won’t forget.