A true highlight of a holiday in Switzerland
An extraordinary route across the Alps
From Lake Thun to Lake Geneva via the Bernese mountains
Spectacular lakes and mountain scenery
Gotthard Panorama Express
An enchanting cruise and rail journey between Lucerne and Lugano
An unforgettable journey through the Centovalli and the Valle Vigezzo
Extremely pretty journey across the Langwieser Viaduct to Arosa
Lötschberg Regio Express
A beautiful journey between the Bernese Oberland and the Valais region
Enjoy this historic Gotthard alpine route between Lucerne and Locarno
Unforgettably stunning mountain journeys
Winter scenic rail
Glorious winter holidays with scenic rail throughout Switzerland
Furka Line Steam Train
Nostalgic journey across the Furka Pass with spectacular views
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Swiss Holiday Brochures
Interlaken is one of the most requested holiday resorts in
Switzerland and to try and list everything there is to do there would be nigh
on impossible! However, we’ll do our very best to highlight some of the
excursions and activities that we enjoy while on holiday here and which we can happily recommend
Nestled in the heart of the scenic Bernese Oberland,
Interlaken is perfect if you want to make the most of both the lakes and the
mountains for which Switzerland is renowned. To one side of the town lies Lake
Brienz and to the other Lake Thun. Connecting the two is the River Aare, running
through the middle of the town. Look up and you can see the Bernese Alps
including the Eiger and the Jungfrau mountain. The lakes are ringed by
mountains as well, so you really are spoilt for choice! Read on and discover the best things to do in Interlaken...
Sit back, unwind and enjoy the view! Taking a lake cruise is
one of the most relaxing things you can do on a Swiss holiday. The elegant boats
glide ever so gently across the water, calling at villages and towns along the
way and offering passengers a 360° view of the scenery. There’s no
queasiness on these tranquil waters, which are fed by the meltwater from the
surrounding mountains. On a sunny day, with a light breeze on your skin and a
cool drink in your hand, there really is nothing better. If you upgrade to
first class, there is often cushioned seating, and of course, fewer people. If
the weather isn’t so clement, there’s indoor seating in both 2nd and
1st class, as well as a bar for drinks and ice creams. You can even
order lunch on board, prepared in the ship’s galley. The fleet of boats on
Lakes Thun and Brienz comprises modern motor ships and a number of lovingly
restored paddle steamers. Timetables show which sailings will be aboard a
steamer (‘dampfschiff’) so that you can plan your trip accordingly. On board you
can see the pristine engines turning and of course hear that distinctive steam
Harder Kulm, Interlaken
Interlaken’s ‘home mountain’, the Harder Kulm is a must do
while you are here. You can stroll to the funicular (just by Interlaken
Ost station) or take the bus, so it’s a trip you can make when you have a half
a day or even a couple of hours free. The historic funicular is over 100 years
old and transports you up the mountain to the summit at 1,322m in less than 10 minutes.
Enjoy the view as you gently ascend! (You can of course walk up the mountain;
the zig-zagging trail will take an experienced walker around 2 and a half hours).
At the top, what a reward! There are amazing views over the lake and the
mountains beyond from the Two Lakes Bridge which invites you to step onto the extended
viewing platform. Screw up your courage to walk to the edge
of the bridge and revel in the mountainscape; there’s even a glazed section of
floor if you are particularly brave! You’ll need a drink afterwards and the
restaurant with its outdoor terrace can help quench your thirst. A lovely
recommendation is to come up at sunset during the summer months and enjoy a
meal as the sun slowly dips down.
An oasis of peace in the heart of Interlaken, this is a
lovely spot for a picnic and soaking up the soaring views of the Jungfrau
mountains. You could pick a place to
watch the paragliders gently weaving
their way down to land, or find a quieter corner in which to unwind during your
holiday. Why not take an enchanting trip on a horse-drawn carriage around the
park and enjoy the alpine scenery above, and the vibrantly coloured flowerbeds
bedside you. You may also like to visit the charming Japanese garden known as
the ‘Garden of Friendship’, see the ornate Victoria Jungfrau hotel or take a
leisurely stroll along the bank of the icy River Aare. Höhematte is a
picturesque treasure in the heart of the town, beloved of residents and
If you visit during December, January or February, you’ll
find that the Höhematte is completely transformed into ‘Ice Magic’. This winter
wonderland complex of skating and curling rinks also features plenty of cosy
chalets in which to enjoy a glühwein or a hot meal.
Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe
Why ‘Top-of-Europe’? Well, the railway station at the Jungfraujoch summit is the highest in the continent at 3,454m, and when you stand
on the Sphinx viewing platform at 3,571m and look out over the vast glacier,
you really will feel as you could reach out and touch the sky! This excursion
can be enjoyed all year round and even in summer you will see snow on the
mountain tops (and enjoy a ride on an inflatable tube down the snowy slopes at
the fun park if you fancy it!). There’s also a restaurant with a magnificent
view, an ice sculpture palace, a suspension bridge over the glacier and an
exhibition on the history of the Jungfrau railway and alpine tourism. Indeed,
the railway is over 100 years old and a stupendous feat of engineering,
tunnelling through the mountain. The journey up from Interlaken also includes a
ride on the new Eiger Express cable car with glorious views as you glide
upwards and a close up view of the Eiger. The Jungfraujoch makes for a whole
day out during your holiday and can be booked in advance. It will certainly be
a trip to remember!
Brienzer Rothorn steam train
A nostalgic journey on a lovingly restored steam train. This
is another day out that will stay with you for a very long time! Make the short
journey from Interlaken along the lake to Brienz to join the steam train at the
foot of the Rothorn mountain. The little engine works hard to push the
carriages away from the station and up the mountain. As you climb, you’ll
delight in the views which passengers have been enjoying since 1892. Look
behind you for views of the sparkling lake and ahead for the soaring mountains.
At the 2,350m summit, you can stroll around and enjoy those views, take a break
in the alpine restaurant, or embark upon a scenic walking trail – there are
several recommended paths from the Rothorn which take around 2 hours. The train
operates from May to October and departs several times a day, but it is best to
pre-book to avoid disappointment as it is obviously a popular excursion for
people staying in the Bernese Oberland. If you’d like to experience something
really special, book for the Sausage Express, which departs on a Wednesday and
includes a mid journey stop for sausages cooked over the steam engine.
Waterfall at St. Beatus Caves
According to legend, in the 6th Century AD St.
Beatus defeated a fire-breathing dragon that dwelt in the caves above Lake
Thun. Visit today and we can’t guarantee any fantastic beasts - but you WILL be
treated to a natural wonder including vast underground halls, deep gorges and
bubbling waterfalls. Around 14km of the cave system has been mapped so far; as
a daytripper rather than a speleolgist, you can explore around 1km thanks to
the flooring and lighting which has been installed. You might still want to
wear sensible shoes and bring a jacket though! You’ll see amazing stalagmites
and stalactites which have grown steadily over millions of years, and other
limestone formations in various shapes and colours inside the grottos. There
are plenty of information boards in English but you might want to embark on a
guided tour of the caves to fully appreciate the rock and water phenomena. To
enhance your visit, you can browse around the museum, enjoy the restaurant with
great views over the lake and children will love the dragon themed playground!
Why not make this a full day out by combining your cave visit with a wander
around the village of Beatenberg or travelling up to the Niederhorn mountain
for amazing views.
Watching the paragliders, Interlaken can seem like a very
modern place. The Bernese Oberland is full of history however, and you don’t
have to go far to discover it. Just a few steps from the busy Höheweg is the
pretty Unterseen district of Interlaken. The square - Stadthauzplatz - is where
you will find historic buildings, houses and a church whose tower is depicted
in many photos and paintings of Interlaken. The Stadtkeller is a vaulted archaeological
cellar and you may enjoy the museum showcasing the history of Swiss tourism,
going back 500 years. There is a fine restaurant situated on the square and you
can stroll along the river Aare away from the bustle of the centre of town.
If history is your thing - or you would just like to revisit
childhood memories of Heidi – visit Ballenberg. This is an open air museum,
where you can explore traditional wooden houses from all over Switzerland which
have been painstakingly reconstructed to give you a flavour of alpine life. The
gardens have been planted with ancient vegetable varieties and medicinal herbs
and in the pastures you will find grazing cattle with their tinkling alpine
bells. Check out the traditional handicrafts such as basket weaving and cheese
making, or watch the blacksmiths at work.
Paragliding over Interlaken
Surrounded by mountains and with rushing rivers and gorges
nearby, Interlaken has naturally developed as one of Europe’s top centres for adventure
sports. Specialist companies in the town can arrange all manner of activities,
whether you fancy adventures in the air, on the water or on the ground. If
skydiving and bungee jumping are a step too far for you, then a 15 minute
tandem paragliding session with a professional pilot could be just right. There
are unforgettable views over the mountains and lakes as you gradually drift
down from 1,350m towards Interlaken before a gentle landing in the Höhematte
Canyoning includes climbing, sliding, abseiling and diving
and can be done at a beginner or more advance level depending on which gorge
you visit! River rafting is also popular on the rapids, or you might prefer the
calmer waters of the lake, where canoeing and sailing are on offer. If dry land
is more enticing, you could head for the high ropes park or try mountain biking
– in the mountains! While there are plenty of gentle panoramic walks in the alpine
terrain above around Interlaken, serious hikers have a choice of tough alpine
trails – and may be rewarded with the best views.
Interlaken lies at 586m above sea
level (relatively low lying - for Switzerland!) and is forever connected with
water thanks to the river and those two stunning lakes. If you are gazing
upwards to the incredible mountains however, we can recommend a day trip to 1,274m
where you will discover idyllic Wengen. This is the epitome of a cosy alpine
resort – traditional wooden chalets, gorgeous views and a holiday atmosphere.
Wengen is well known as a fantastic ski resort, but it is absolutely charming
in the summer too, with its wide ranging views over the lush green valley and the
snowcapped highest mountains. This is a sunny plateau where you will definitely
take pleasure in relaxing on a café terrace and watching the world go by. If
you enjoy walking, this is a good place to start! How about a gentle 45 minute
forest trail from Wengen to Allmend? On arrival you’ll find a mountain
restaurant and then head to the station to take the train back to Interlaken.
Alternatively, there are slightly more challenging trails which zig zag down from
Wengen to Lauterbrunnen (around 1 hour) and here you will find delightful
scenery including an icy waterfall cascading vertically down the mountain.
Sigriswil near Interlaken
High above the Gummischluct
gorge stretches the amazing Sigriswil suspension bridge. This 340m bridge
offers magnificent views of the famous Bernese Oberland mountains and Lake
Thun. While you are midway across, you can peer straight down - if you dare - to
the abyss 182m below you. It will take your breath away! Visitors cross the bridge
from either side as it connects the villages of Sigriswil and Aeschlen. Both
are set in picture-perfect locations on the shore of Lake Thun. We recommend stopping
off at Sigriswil’s lovely farm shop which offers fresh regional produce and
snacks. ‘Bridge rangers’ are on hand to give you information about the impressive
engineering of the bridge and the wonderful nature which thrives around it. The
bridge does have a slight sway, but don’t worry, it is capable of safely holding
102 tonnes (which would be over 1300 people).
Sigriswil is just one of 3
suspension bridges which you can find in the area. All 3 are linked by the
popular Lake Thun Panoramic Circular Trail. The trail covers 56km so you would
need to walk it over a few days - or you could just choose your favourite
sections and use the local bus network in between.
Our holidays include a Half Fare Card, an amazing benefit
which gives 50% discount on trains, buses and boats as well as discounts on
mountain railways and cable cars. You can also pre-book a Swiss Travel Pass or
a Bernese Oberland Regional Pass which give further benefits.
We have a wide choice of hotels in Interlaken all of whom
we have worked with for a number of years. Our specialist team will help you
find the best fit for your requirements – please call 0800 619 1200. Below are guide prices including
flights, transfers, bed & breakfast accommodation and the Half Fare Card.
Free night offers and further discounts may apply on certain dates.
4 nights from £576pp
4 nights from £660pp
4 nts from £751pp
Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage
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