Where is Interlaken?
Interlaken is a town located in the heart of Switzerland, in the canton of Bern. It is situated in the Bernese Oberland region, at the foot of the Jungfrau mountain range and between two lakes, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. Interlaken is known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and paragliding, making it a popular tourist destination in Switzerland.
Interlaken scenaries are so beautiful that they look straight out of a postcard, the town itself breathes peace and the quality of life. It is worth stopping by and dazzle with a unique view of the Swiss Alpine enveloped the glacier lakes.
How to get to Interlaken?
Interlaken is located in central Switzerland and is well connected by various modes of transportation. Here are some ways to get to Interlaken:
1. By air: The nearest major airport to Interlaken is the Zurich Airport (ZRH), which is about 120 km away. From Zurich Airport, you can take a train or drive to Interlaken.
2. By train: Interlaken is easily accessible by train. It has two train stations: Interlaken West and Interlaken Ost. You can take a direct train from major Swiss cities such as Zurich, Geneva, and Bern to Interlaken. There are also international train connections to Interlaken from cities such as Milan, Paris, and Munich.
3. By car: If you are driving to Interlaken, the town is located about 2.5 hours from Zurich, 1.5 hours from Bern, and 3.5 hours from Geneva.
4. By bus: There are also bus services that run to Interlaken from major Swiss cities such as Zurich, Bern, and Lucerne.
Once you arrive in Interlaken, you can easily get around the town on foot, by bike, or by using public transportation such as buses and trains.
Things to do in and around Interlaken, Switzerland
Interlaken is a beautiful town surrounded by stunning mountains and crystal-clear lakes. Here are some of the top things to do there:
1. Harder Kulm
Harder Kulm is a mountain peak of Interlaken; it offers breathtaking views of the town, Lake Thun, Lake Brienz, and the surrounding mountains.
To reach the top of Harder Kulm, you can take the funicular railway; the journey takes just ten minutes; The Harder Kulm trail, approximately 7.6 kilometers (4.7 miles) long, is a popular hiking trail that can also lead you to the summit of Harder Kulm. The trail is well-marked and suitable for most hikers, although it does involve a steady uphill climb. Once at the top, you can enjoy the 360-degree panorama views from the observation deck. There is a restaurant at the top of Harder Kulm where you can enjoy a meal or a drink while taking in the views.
Stop by Harder Alpine Wildlife Park, a five-minute walk from the base station of the Harder Kulm cable car; the park is home to some of the sought-after local wildlife: mountain goats, ibex, marmots, chamois etc.
2. Schynige Platte
Schynige Platte is a mountain ridge in the Swiss Alps. To reach it, you can take a historic cogwheel train from Wilderswil, a small town near Interlaken. The train ride takes around 50 minutes and offers magnificent views of the surrounding landscape.
Once at Schynige Platte, you can enjoy various activities, including mountain biking and paragliding. There is also a botanical garden that showcases the Alpine flora of the region, as well as a mountain restaurant where visitors can enjoy a meal or a drink while taking in the views. However, the most popular activity is hiking. The mountain ridge offers a range of hiking trails that are suitable for all skill levels, from leisurely walks to challenging alpine hikes. Along the trails, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and discover the local flora and fauna.
3. Lake Brienz & Lake Thun
Lake Brienz, also known as the “Turquoise Lake,” stretches over 14 kilometers between the towns of Brienz and Interlaken. The lake is renowned for its crystal-clear water, which is a bright blue-green color that is caused by the reflection of sunlight off the glacial sediments at the bottom of the lake.
Lake Thun, also known as the “Blue Lake,” is located a few kilometers west of Lake Brienz and stretches for over 17 kilometers between the towns of Thun and Interlaken. The lake is also renowned for its romantic scenery, with picturesque villages, castles, and snow-capped mountains visible from its shores.
Both lakes attract visitors from all over the world; you can take a cruise or participate in a wide range of water sports in the summer, such as swimming, sailing, and windsurfing.
4. Panoramabrücke Sigriswil
The Panoramabrücke Sigriswil is a pedestrian suspension bridge that spans over the Gunten Bay of Lake Thun, connecting the towns of Sigriswil and Aeschlen. The bridge is accessible to pedestrians and cyclists and is open year-round.
The bridge is 340 meters long and 182 meters above the water, making it one of the longest pedestrian suspension bridges in Switzerland. It offers panoramic views of Lake Thun and the surrounding mountains, including the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks.
In addition to the bridge, there is a nearby restaurant, a playground, and a variety of hiking trails that you can explore. The bridge is easily accessible by car or public transportation and is located just a short drive from the town of Interlaken.
Spiez is a charming small town located on the shore of Lake Thun. It is known for its natural beauty, with a scenic setting of mountains, forests, and vineyards.
The town, home to a medieval castle, overlooks the lake that dates back to the 15th century. The castle is now a museum which is open to the public, and features exhibits on the history of the region and the castle itself.
Spiez is also known for its beautiful waterfront promenade, where you can take a leisurely stroll or enjoy a picnic. In addition to its natural beauty and historical attractions, Spiez is also known for its wine production. The town is located in the heart of the Swiss wine region. Visitors can take a tour of the local vineyards and wineries, and taste some of the region’s best wines.
Unterseen is a charming small town that is located just west of Interlaken. It is often considered to be a suburb of Interlaken, and the two towns are connected by a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Aare River.
Unterseen is known for its historic architecture, including a number of well-preserved medieval buildings. One of the main attractions in Unterseen is the Castle of Untereesee, which dates back to the 13th century and offers tours to visitors. The town is also home to a number of parks and green spaces, including the scenic Schadau Park, which features a 19th-century castle and beautiful gardens.
The town is also home to a range of restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it a popular destination for visitors to Interlaken who would like to explore the quieter side of the region.
7. Weissenau Nature Reserve
The Weissenau Nature Reserve is a protected area that is situated on the southern shore of Lake Brienz—Unterseen. The reserve covers an area of approximately 80 hectares (197 acres), and is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species.
Visitors to the Weissenau Nature Reserve can explore the area on foot, following well-marked hiking trails that wind through the forest and along the lake shore. The reserve is particularly known for its diverse birdlife, with more than 200 species of birds identified in the area, including ospreys, kingfishers, and herons.
The Weissenau Nature Reserve is a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts; it offers a peaceful and scenic escape from the busy towns and cities of Switzerland.
Höheweg is a famous street and promenade in the Swiss resort town of Interlaken. It is one of the main tourist attractions in the area, and is a popular destination for visitors from all over the world.
Höheweg is located in the center of Interlaken, and is lined with hotels, restaurants, cafes, and shops. It stretches for about a kilometer from the Interlaken West railway station to the Interlaken Ost railway station. You can enjoy a casual stroll along the street, stop for a coffee or a meal, browse the shops for souvenirs and gifts, or simply relax and take in the positive energy of Interlaken.
Hohematte is a large park located in the center of Interlaken, along the Hoheweg mentioned above. The park covers an area of approximately 14 hectares, and is perfect for picnics, sunbathing, and outdoor games; it also has a playground for children.
Throughout the year, Hohematte hosts a variety of events and festivals, including a Christmas market, a hot air balloon festival, and a variety of concerts and performances. The park is also a popular spot for outdoor sports and activities, including cycling, jogging, and skating.
Interlaken is one of the best places in the world for paragliding, with its breathtaking scenery and ideal weather conditions. There are several locations in Interlaken where you can go paragliding, but one of the most popular spots is in the town of Beatenberg, located just a few kilometers from Interlaken.
The take-off point in Beatenberg is located at an altitude of over 1,200 meters above sea level, offering incredible views of Lake Thun and the surrounding mountains. The flight usually lasts around 10–20 minutes, depending on the wind conditions, and the landing spot is located near the center of Interlaken.
Several companies in Interlaken offer paragliding tours, including tandem flights with experienced instructors. Some of the most popular companies include Paragliding Interlaken and Skywings Paragliding.
11. St. Beatus Caves
The St. Beatus Caves are a network of limestone caves near the village of Beatenberg. The caves are named after Saint Beatus, a Christian hermit who fought against a dragon that lived in a nearby lake in the 6th century.
The St. Beatus Caves are believed to have formed over millions of years through the erosion of limestone by water. The caves contain a number of impressive formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, and underground lakes. You can explore the caves on guided tours, which typically take around an hour and cover a distance of about one kilometer.
In addition to their natural beauty, the St. Beatus Caves are also known for their historical and cultural significance. Archaeological evidence suggests that the caves were inhabited by humans as far back as the Bronze Age, and they were also used as a hiding place by Swiss soldiers during World War II.
Grindelwald is a charming alpine village located at an altitude of 1,034 meters (3,392 feet) above sea level and is surrounded by towering mountains, including the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau.
Grindelwald is a high-demand destination for outdoor enthusiasts. In the summer, you can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and paragliding, while in the winter, the village becomes a popular ski resort with over 200 kilometers (124 miles) of slopes and trails.
The village itself has an alpine character, with traditional Swiss chalets and shops selling local crafts and products. There are also several restaurants and cafes serving regional cuisine, as well as a variety of accommodations, ranging from cozy guesthouses to luxury hotels.
The Eiger Trail is a hiking trail that follows a scenic route along the base of the famous Eiger North Face, near the village of Grindelwald. The trail starts at Eigergletscher station and ends at Alpiglen station, which is also accessible via cogwheel train from Grindelwald. The trail is approximately 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) long and takes around 2-3 hours to complete, depending on your pace and how often you stop to take in the views. The Eiger Trail is considered a moderate hike and involves some uphill sections, but the scenery and views are worth the effort.
Jungfraujoch is a saddle between the Mönch and Jungfrau peaks in the Swiss Alps, also known as the “Top of Europe.” Located at an elevation of 3,466 meters (11,371 feet), Jungfraujoch is one of the highest points accessible by train in Europe and offers spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding mountain landscape.
You can reach the summit of Jungfraujoch by taking a train to Kleine Scheidegg, where you will transfer to the Jungfrau Railway, which will take you up to the summit of Jungfraujoch.
In addition to the breathtaking views, Jungfraujoch also offers attractions and activities that make it a popular destination for visitors. These include:
- The Ice Palace, an interesting underground palace made entirely of ice and snow.
- The Sphinx Observatory, which is situated on the summit and offers a fascinating look at the history and science of the region.
- The Alpine Sensation, an exhibition that takes visitors on a journey through the construction of the Jungfrau Railway and the history of the region.
- The Lindt Swiss Chocolate Heaven, where visitors can learn about the history of Swiss chocolate and sample a variety of delicious chocolate treats.
Lauterbrunnen is a fairytale-like village located in a valley near Interlaken, known for its waterfalls and charming scenery. The village is situated in a narrow valley that is surrounded by steep cliffs and waterfalls.
Lauterbrunnen is home to 72 waterfalls, some of which are among the highest in Europe, and are easily accessible via hiking trails and cable cars. The most famous of these waterfalls is the Staubbach Falls, plunging more than 300 meters (984 feet) from the cliffs above the village.
Lauterbrunnen is also a transportation hub, with train connections to other towns and attractions in the region, including the nearby ski resort of Wengen and the summit of Jungfraujoch.
Schilthorn is a mountain in the Bernese Swiss Alps. It is part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is one of the most iconic peaks in the region. Visitors can reach the summit of Schilthorn in 30 minutes by taking a series of cable cars and gondolas from the village of Stechelberg, which is located in the Lauterbrunnen Valley.
At the summit of Schilthorn, an altitude of 2,970 meters (9,744 feet), there is a panoramic revolving restaurant called the Piz Gloria. The restaurant offers breathtaking views of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau mountains. The location was featured in the 1969 James Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”.
In addition to the Piz Gloria restaurant, the summit of Schilthorn is also home to a visitor center, a Bond World exhibit, and a viewing platform. There are also hiking trails in the area, ranging from easy walks to more challenging climbs.
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