Hiking Vacations & Ski Vacations in Switzerland

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Enjoy the Bernese Oberland the Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Swiss Alps

On your hiking vacations, visit the beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley, a heavily forested wonderland with orchards, alpine pastures, and sparkling clean rivers, streams and glacier waterfalls cascading off the sides of the stunning mountains.


The Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Interlaken district is ideal for your hiking vacations with the canton of Bern in Switzerland and the villages of Lauterbrunnen, Isenfluh, Mürren, Gimmelwald, Stechelberg on one side and Wengen and Grindelwald on the other side of the valley offering the most spectacular trails and views that one can imagine.

Hiking Vacations in Lauterbrunnen Valley
View the Lauterbrunnen Valley from Murren on your hiking vacations with the Gletscherhorn 3983m and Ebenefluh 3960m both around 13,000 feet


This valley, rarely wider than one kilometre, lies in one of the deepest Alpine gorges between extremely steep limestone cliffs and mountains rising directly on all sides and is excellent for hiking vacations.

Goethe often wrote poetry while staying at the parish house near the Staubbach Falls, the most spectacular waterfall in the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

The valley of Lauterbrunnen inspired J. R. R. Tolkien’s sketches and watercolours of the fictitious valley of Rivendell.

Hiking Vacations Murren Birg Cablecar
An Exhilarating Cable Car Ride from Murren to Birg and then to Mount Schilthorn

I first discovered Lauterbrunnen after watching one of the James Bond movies “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, which featured several scenes from Mount Schilthorn and Murren including a dramatic car chase.

That is when I planned to include Murren in my hiking vacations.

Hiking Vacations Murren Birg Schilthorn Cablecar
A Most Spectacular View of Birg from the Schilthorn Cable Car

The Swiss Alps along the Lauterbrunnen Valley offer great hiking vacations and spectacular scenery which will make you want to return.

TOP 10 IDEAS FOR YOUR HIKING VACATIONS

Mount Schilthorn Piz Gloria Restaurant A James Bond Movies Film Location

If you are a James Bond movies fan, then you will want to visit Mount Schilthorn and Piz Gloria.

Hiking Vacations James Bond Movies
The Famous Piz Gloria Revolving Restaurant on Schilthorn Mountain from the James Bond Movies

The cable car ride up the mountain from Murren takes 30 minutes and glides over mountain cabins, hiking trails and past cascading waterfalls and jagged cliffs and provides the stops you need for you hiking vacations.

Hiking Vacations on Mount Schilthorn
Hiking to Piz Gloria on Schilthorn with the Eiger and Monch in the Background

The 360 degrees panoramic views from the world famous Piz Gloria revolving restaurant are stunning.

While I was on one of my hiking vacations on Mount Schilthorn, I saw this sign and obviously there are good reasons why high-heels are not allowed.

Make sure to wear proper footwear like hiking boots or comfortable running shoes.

Mountain Vacations Do Not Wear High Heels
On Your Hiking Vacations Do Not Wear High Heels

Savour the Piz Gloria cuisine while gazing at the majestic Eiger (“the Ogre”), Monch (“the Monk”) and the Jungfrau (“Virgin” or “Maiden”) mountains.

Hiking Vacations on Schilthorn James Bond Movies
Standing on the Edge of Schilthorn at an Elevation of 2970 metres and nearly 10,000 feet with the Famous Eiger, Monch Jungfrau behind me

From the top of Mount Schilthorn, admire the breathtaking alpine panorama of over 200 mountain peaks from the Titlis along the Bernese Alps to the Mont Blanc and over to the lush Black Forest.

Hiking Vacations at Kleine Scheidegg and the Jungfrau Region the Eiger Trail

A major attraction in the Jungrau region is the Eiger Trail with close up views of the mountain face of the North Face of the Eiger (3,970 metres or 13,025 feet).

Kleine Scheidegg will be your starting point. To reach the Eiger Trail, go to the Eiger Glacier Station and take the Jungfrau Railway into the tunnel (the highest railway in Europe).

Mountain Vacations at Kleine Scheidegg
Kleine Scheidegg and the North Face of the Eiger This is where You Start Your Journey up to Jungfraujoch – the Uber Top of Europe

Shortly after the ascent, you will see a truly impressive view of the notorious North Face of the Eiger.

The hiking path leads past fascinating rock formations with views of the snow-filled cracks called the White Spider in the ice fields.

Take a Trip to Jungfraujoch – the Top of Europe

The ride up to Jungfraujoch will take you to the highest railway station in Europe.

The train ride from Kleine Scheidegg is 12 kilometres and most of it is through the tunnel in the Eiger Mountain.

The stops along the way include the Eiger North Face, the Eiger Glacier and the Sea of Ice where you can experience breathtaking vistas of the valleys below from the huge observation windows.

Hiking Vacations Jungfrau Train
On Your Hiking Vacations Take a Ride up to the Jungfraujoch Sphinx Observatory See it on the Top Right Hand of the Photo

From the Jungfraujoch Sphinx Observatory, there are amazing views of the Aletsch Glacier, the longest ice stream in the Alps at 24 kilometres in length, and on a clear day you can see the Vosges mountain range in France and the Black Forest in Germany.

Enjoy Ski Vacations and Educational Adventures at Jungfraujoch Sphinx

Ski Vacations at Jungfraujoch Sphinx
Activities up high at the Jungfraujoch include the Ice Palace with ice sculptures of wildlife and other exhibits.

Another activity to consider up here is the husky sledge riding.

The highlight of the train ride is going up to the Sphinx Observation Building on Jungfraujoch and enjoying a most spectacular 360-degree panoramic breathtaking alpine view.

This is an excellent location for research projects for a wide range of scientific work, as the easy access by rail, high altitude, and clear air make this a great place for astronomers, geologists, physicist, meteorologists and hydrologists to conduct their environmental studies.

This is also a great place for visitors to explore the environmental marvels of the Swiss Alps.

Hiking Vacations on the Top of Europe
The Famous Research Station at the Jungfraujoch Sphinx

Here at the uber Top of Europe, you can hike, ski or snowboard, and whatever the season, you can visit the exhibits, Research Station, or Sphinx Viewpoint or relax in one of the many restaurants or coffee Bar.

Hiking Vacations from Grindelwald to the Peak of First

What is fascinating about the journey from Grindelwald to the mountain resort called First is that instead of a funicular taking you up the mountain, a six-seater aerial 20 minute gondola whisks you up on a quiet and serene ride while you enjoy the views of farmhouses, cattle, pigs, and of course, spectacular mountain views.

You have a choice of stopping at a restaurant halfway up the mountain, or relax indoors at the retreat at the top of First, or catch a few rays of sun while lounging on the outdoor patio with a stein of beer.

After the gondola ride from Grindelwald to First, try a tandem paragliding flight with a qualified pilot for a unique alpine adventure.

Mountain Vacations Gondola Ride at First Switzerland
On Your Hiking Vacations take a Gondola Ride up to Resort First in Switzerland

Another adventure is to take the gondola from Grindelwald to Bort and pick up a scooter for a trendy transportation experience.

The Bussalp, First and Grosse Scheidegg area is a marvellous hiking Mecca with over 100 km of fantastic hiking paths which range from easy to strenuous and some are suitable for physically challenged individuals.

There are paths which lead hikers through flower-carpeted mountain meadows, fields of alpine roses, blueberry bushes and over a 100 species of flowers which blossom along the Botanical Trail from First to Bachalpsee to Waldspitz and Bort.

Hiking Vacations from the Resort First to the Alpine Paradise of Schynige Platte

This region is a treasure trove of adventures for your mountain vacations.

The colourful and romantic cogwheel railway train chugs along and brings you to Schynige Platte to some of the world’s most spectacular scenery.

The high alpine paradise is renowned for its picturesque Botanical Alpine Garden, spectacular hiking paths and breathtaking views of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains.

Hiking Vacations Jungfrau Monch Eiger
The Majestic Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau Mountain Views from Schilthorn Switzerland

A ride up to Schynige Platte includes a free train ride for two children under 15 years with each adult.

You can take your children, grandchildren or your friends’ children and enjoy a visit to Teddyland on your hiking vacations.

The flora which grows at the treeline in the Alpine Garden displays over 560 species and is located near the summit station of the Schynige Platte Mountain Railway.
Plant growth at Schynige Platte begins in mid-June and the date depends upon the weather. In July the summer has long arrived down in the valleys, but up in the mountain meadows, the Alpine flowers are blooming in their full splendour.

In August come the magnificent herbaceous perennials and the popular Edelweiss is still in bloom.
With September comes the first night of frosts and a few late flowers are in bloom, but as you are hiking you can see interesting seeds and ripe fruits and berries.

Another adventure is a trip up to Europe’s oldest mountain hotel on Faulhorn on your hiking vacations. The exhilarating summit experience of Europe’s highest tavern.

Mountain Vacations Jungfrau
View of the Eiger and Monch Mountains from the Train near Kleine Scheidegg

To get there, take the aerial gondola from Grindelwald to First. When you arrive at First, you will find a wide path which leads to the shores of Lake Bachalpsee.

Once you are past the lake, the path gets steeper and winds around the narrow curves up to the Hotel Falulhorn. Start early in the morning as the trek from First takes around 2 ½ hours.

If you are starting from Schynige Platte, the hiking time is 5 – 6 hours. Whether you are planning a trip to First or the Faulhorn Hotel, check the schedule for the aerial gondola if you plan to descend from First to Grindelwald as the gondola closes early.

If you are trekking to Faulhorn, book an overnight stay so you can relax and enjoy the hike, dinner and drinks and the mountain views.

Hiking Vacations and Cable Rides to the Top of Mannlichen

On the top of Mannlichen Mountain you will discover the most magnificent views in the heart o the Jungfrau Region.

From Wengen it’s only a 5 minute soar up to Mannlichen but the view is so spectacular with young golden eagles in the rocky eyrie and marmots on the summit.

On Mannlichen you will hear the alphorn players blow away daily. Another way to reach Mannlichen is by taking Europe’s longest aerial gondola cable car from Grindelwald.

A cable car for wheelchairs is also available.

An Easy Walking Route in the Swiss Alps between Grutschalp – Winteregg – Murren

For a lovely, leisurely walk high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley, consider a trek from Grutschalp to Winteregg and over to the mountain village of Murren.

Hiking Vacations Murren Swiztzerland
Take a Peaceful Romantic Stroll Along the Streets of the Quiet Village of Murren

Tale a break at the Winteregg Mountain Restaurant, located in a scenic setting right next the the railway station.
This restaurant is renowned for its alpine breakfasts and evening fondues and also for its beautiful panoramic views and hospitality.

This is a perfect spot to relax on your hiking vacations.

Views of Interlaken from Harder Klum

Most of the photographs that you will see of Interlaken are taken from Harder Klum.

Mountain Vacations Near Interlaken Switzerland
Beautiful Gardens and Boardwalk in Interlaken

From Harder Klum you can see the Jungfrau valley between the lakes of Thun and Brienz and the 4000 metre high peaks of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains.

From the valley station of the Harder Klum funicular, across the river from central Interlaken and the Interlaken Ost railway station, a dreamlike small red cable car takes you up through the mountain woods to the wonderful romantic Harder Klum restaurant.

Ski Vacations and Winter Hiking Vacations in the Jungfrau Region

The Eiger, Monch Jungfrau Mountains

You will find pure snow-sport pleasure at the Eiger, Monch Jungfrau Mountains.

There is a staggering choice of snow fun in this spectacular sporting area with an extensive network of over 44 mountain railways, cable cars and ski lifts which speed you safely up to captivating superb slopes.

But this sports arena is great for non-skiers too, offering more than 100 kilometres (60 miles) of beautiful hiking trails which are maintained year round and always new routs are being added.

This is a winter paradise for both skiers and non-skiers alike.

If you are spending a few days in the Jungfrau Region and hold a Sports Pass, check to see if you are eligible for a half-price railway pass up to Jungfraujoch, the highest railway in Europe which takes you to the scientific Sphinx lookout.

Kleine Scheidegg and the Mountains of Mannlichen and First

At the resort First, you will find a snowboarders’ haven at a super trend-sports Snowpark near the Oberjoch chairlift.

The park provides a variety of kickers, rails, steep bank jumps, waves and dips to test you snowboarding skills to your heart’s content.
There is a great winter walk to lovely Lake Bachalpsee which begins at the First summit station and continues all the way up to the Faulhorn.

If you are planning to hike all the way to the top, consider doing a sledge/toboggan slide down 15 kilometres from Faulhorn to Grindelwald, which is the longest toboggan run in the world.

You can also experience wonderful winter walking from the sunny Mannlichen down the gentle slopes to Arvengarten and up again to Kleine Scheidegg.

This is a 1 ½ to 2 hour hike and if you are feeling tired, take the Arven chairlift uphill to Kleine Scheidegg.

Visit Murren – Schilthorn Piz Gloria on Your Hiking Vacations

In the Murren – Schilthorn region, you can find super snow conditions.

This is the point where the Bernese Oberland’s highest altitude winter sports are held. The breathtaking views add to the thrill of the winter sports offered here.

Hiking Vacations Schilthorn Cable Car
Stunning Views from the Piz Gloria Cable Car Station featured in one of the James Bond Movies – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

The short waiting times, well-prepared runs and a multitude of paths are favourites with the winter skiing, walking and sledging fans.

Hiking Vacations Schilthorn Jungfrau Eiger
The Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains from the Piz Gloria Terrace on Schilthorn

To get warmed up, the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant provides tasty snacks and sunny terraces which are ideal for rest and relaxation with exhilarating views of spectacular mountain vistas.

Other Activities on Your Hiking Vacations in the Swiss Alps

Trummelbach Glacier-Waterfalls – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Near Lauterbrunnen are 10 glacier-waterfalls inside a mountain which can be accessed by a tunnel-lift.

The roaring waterfalls in the gigantic caves are illuminated. The Trummelbach waterfall alone drains the glacier debris of the Jungfrau, Monk and Eiger.

Take a tour of this natural wonder and explore the tunnels and paths inside the mountain.

Staubbach Falls

The Lauterbrunnen Valley is famous for its many springs and waterfalls (“brunnen” translates into waters or fountains).

Swiss Alps Staubbach Falls Lauterbrunnen
The famous Staubbach Falls is Strikingly Beautiful and Can be Seen from Many Points in the Lauterbrunnen Valley and from Cliffs on the opposite side of the Mountain Range

The most famous of the 72 waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley is Staubbach Falls which cascades at nearly 300 metres (800 – 900 feet) without a single break in its fall.

Staubbach Falls is spectacular and can be seen from a great distance.

UNESCO World Heritage Theme Trails in Stechelberg

On your hiking vacations, go on a hike to one of the UNESCO World Heritage trails in Stechelberg in the back end of the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

If you feel like hiking up in Murren or Gimmelwald, there is a cable car from Stechelberg that will take you up to that level and then continues to the peak of Mount Schilthorn.

JungfrauPark Interlaken (Mystery Park)

Need a break from hiking?

Do a side trip to the JungfrauPark located just on the outskirts of Interlaken.

This is not a typical amusement park with wild rides, but it is a wonderful theme park with re-creations of international inspirations housed within seven pavilions, such as Stonehenge, an Egyptian pyramid, a Mayan temple, an Indian Vimana (mythical flying machine) and a unique Sphere in the center of the park visible from far away.

Hiking Vacations at JungfrauPark and Mystery Park
The JungfrauPark (Mystery Park) is on the Outskirts of Interlaken. The Park is located way out in the middle of Beautiful Countryside.

The themes are educational and designed to inspire you to think about the unsolved mysteries of the Earth.

These exhibits are great for all ages. Check the schedule with your hotel or chalet, as the Park has been closed at times for updating.

Towns to Visit on Your Hiking Vacations in Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen Regions of the Swiss Alps

Interlaken

Interlaken is located in a beautiful region between the Thun and Brienz lakes, at the foot of the majestic Jungfrau, Monk and Eiger mountains.

Discover elegant shopping on Hoheweg, a 700 metre long boulevard with fine hotels, quality boutiques, exquisite jewellery stores, restaurants and cafes, great for strolling and people watching.

Beatenberg

This is Europe’s longest village which stretches along a sunny terrace 600 metres above Interlaken and Lake Thun.

The charming village of Beatenberg has spectacular views of the Jungfrau, Monk and Eiger mountains.

Wilderswil

Nestled in unspoiled beauty and captivating countryside, Wilderswil and the neighbouring village of Gsteigwiler offer a variety of hiking and biking activities.

The tiny mountain village of Saxeten provides guests with wonderful rustic romantic accommodations.

From these villages you can take cogwheel railway excursions to Schynige Platte.

Bonigen am See

A walker’s paradise, Bonigen is a lovely lakeside village with a postcard promenade and beautiful paths for daytime walking and evening strolls along the River Aare.

There is a tiny harbour with a steam boat, boat rental, and the lakeside lido with a heated swimming pool.

Enjoy the flower-filled lanes, traditional Swiss chalets, lovely hotels, and excellent restaurants featuring local cuisine.

Ringgenbefg – Goldswil

These are two charming chalet villages, perfect for rest and relaxation with Lake Burgseeli tucked between them.

What is special about Lake Burgseeli is that its waters can reach a comfortable 25 Celsius (77 Fahrenheit) sometimes even in early summer.

Some of the sites to visit in this region are the castle ruins of the former barons of Ringgenberg, the Schadburg fortress ruins and the ancient castle church ruins of Goldswil.

Iseltwald

Iseltwald is a picture-perfect idyllic fishing village on Lake Brienz and can easily be reached by car, bus or boat (in the summer).

Swiss Alps Iseltwald on Lke Brienz
The Idyllic Fishing Village of Iseltwald on Lake Brienz

This lakeside resort is endowed with splendid restaurants, lovely shade gardens and sunny terraces for hanging out.

Grindelwald

In a most stunning setting for this mountain village, Grindelwald is considered to be hikers and skiers heaven with a view of the snow-covered summits of the Jungfrau, Monch, Eiger, Schrekhorn and Wetterhorn mountains.

Grindelwald enjoys unspoiled natural beauty and is a famous and magnificent mountain world.

Lauterbrunnen (and Isenfluh)

The Lauterbrunnen Valley is the entrance to Europe’s most spectacular mountain railways.

Here you will find the famous Trummelbach glacier-waterfalls and the stunning spray-streams of Staubbach Falls which inspired Goethe.

Hiking Vacations in Lauterbrunnen and Isenfluh
Breathtaking Views of Isenfluh in the Lauterbrunnen Valley

Tucked away in this valley is Isenfluh, a starting point for hikes and mountain tours in the scenic Saustal valley and the Lobhorn peaks.

Murren

Perched on a cliff 1650 metres high on the side of a mountain, Murren is generally a car-free town except for a few local small electric vehicles.

Swiss Alps Murren
The Cozy Mountain Village of Murren with Glorious Views of the Eiger, Monch Jungfrau…You Can Almost Touch Them

There are no roads to Murren and the only way to access it is by cogwheel rail or cable car.

Hiking Vacations Murren at Sunrise
Captivating Sunrise Views of the Eiger, Monch Jungfrau from Murren

That makes this town a tranquil resort of picturesque chalets and mountain vistas.

Getting to Murren is a wonderful adventure, a fantasy escape to a mountain wonderland with gorgeous scenery.

Murren lies on the opposite side of the Lauterbrunnen Valley across from the town of Wengen and the Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger mountains.

Swiss Alps Murren Cogwheel Train
Have an Exciting Ride on the Funiculars up to Murren and Allmendhubel

Stroll through the mountain village of Murren over to the valley station of the Allmendhubel Funicular.

Take the funicular from Murren to the 1910 metre high Allmendhubel Mountain and enjoy the unforgetable vistas of your hiking vacations in the Swiss Alps.

Swiss Alps Funicular in Murren
Beautiful Swiss Alps Chalet in Murren and the Funicular to Allmendhubel

Discover the most spectacular view of the Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger mountains (UNESCO World Heritage Site) from this vantage point at the panorama restaurant and bar, or on the large sun terrace.

Hiking Vacations Chess in Murren Switzerland
A Great Way to Rest Relax – Outdoor Chess in Murren, Switzerland

There is a wonderful playground for children to enjoy.

Wengen

Wengen is a wind-protected, sunny terraced town located in the center and best point for all excursions to the many fantastic destinations of the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

The famous views of the Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger mountains from Wengen are sometimes featured on Swiss Chocolate bars.

Hiking Vacations in Wengen Switzerland
A View of Wengen, Switzerland taken from my Cogwheel Train Ride

Wengen is perfect for family vacations with excellent resorts, and spectacular hiking and skiing options.

Transportation on Your Hiking Vacations in the Lauterbrunnen Region

Vineyards and Lush Orchard between Geneva and Swiss Alps
Lush Vineyards, Gardens and Orchards between Geneva and Interlaken

Transportation tips to help you find your around the Bernese Oberland the Lauterbrunnen Valley:

  • The Berner Oberland Bahn (BOB) train runs from Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen.
  • The cable car and connecting train, both operated by the Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen Murren (BLM), provide service to Mürren.
  • You can take the BLM from Interlaken to Murren.
  • Another option is to take the Berner-Oberland-Bahn train (BOB) from Interlaken Ost station to Lauterbrunnen and change to postal bus #5 to Stechelberg, the valley station of the Schilthornbahn and then take the Luftseilbahn Stechelberg-Murren-Schilthorn (LSMS) up to Murren.
  • You can drive or take a bus from Interlaken to Stechelberg to the Schilthornbahn car park and take the LSMS cable car up to Murren.

Swiss Alps Cable Car to Murren
The Funicular near the Eiger Hotel in Murren, Switzerland

  • Wengen is unaccessable by car so you must take the train. Cars have to be left at the Lauterbrunnen car park.
  • The Wengernalpbahn (WAB) train goes from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg and on to Grindelwald.
  • If you are trekking around the mountains far from your hotel or chalet, check the schedules of the trains, as they do not run 24 hours, in case you do not want to miss your train back.

Getting Around the Bernese Oberland on Your Hiking Vacations

Map of the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland

Map of the Jungfrau and Grindelwald Villages, Rail and Cableways

Guide to Jungfraujoch – The Top of Europe

Swiss Rail Booking and Route Planner

Swiss Alps Murren Flowers
A Gorgeous Alpine Flower Garden and Chalet in Murren, Switzerland

I hope you will find this information helpful in planning your hiking vacations and your ski vacations to the captivating Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland.


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