Dream now, travel later! Ideas for the time after Corona. Idyllically located between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, the town of Interlaken is the starting point for visiting the world-famous summit trio of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. The local mountain Harder Kulm and tandem flights with the paraglider also guarantee great views
Those who come to Interlaken want to see the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau above all. And nowhere does the world’s most famous mountain triumvirate appear so perfectly shaped as from the Harder Kulm. Even the trip up is an experience: As reliable as a Swiss clockwork, the cable car has been climbing almost 800 meters vertically upwards in eight minutes since 1908. It feels a bit like flying.
Flying over Interlaken is heavenly!
The neighboring Beatenberg is completely weightless when you start with a paraglider. The flight area is one of the most beautiful in Switzerland. As is well known, they all come down, but when the thermals set in in the valley in the late morning, it even goes up, high above Lake Thun.
It seems that the ice sheets of the neighboring mountain giants are almost at eye level. Finally, it goes down in steep curves. You land at one of the best addresses in Switzerland, right in front of the posh “Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa”.
Wooden houses, waterfalls, mountain peaks
The cozy Brienz on the north-east bank of the lake of the same name looks like a perfect open-air museum: a village center with sun-tanned wooden houses, shingle roofs and geranium balconies. Also to see: cobblestones and pretty cottage gardens, through which colorful butterflies flutter even now in autumn.
Lake Brienz is not as big as its neighbor, Lake Thun a few kilometers further west. But at least it is 14 kilometers long and almost three wide – a real mountain lake, freshly supplied by glacier streams and spectacular waterfalls. The fact that it glows so jade green is thanks to the minerals that sand the ice masses of the four-thousand-meter peaks high up out of the summit rocks and give the meltwater on the way.
Brienzer Rothorn: Up with full steam
The lake is best experienced with sprightly senior women. The first one on this sunny morning is 90 years old, hisses and lets off steam: the locomotives of the Brienz-Rothorn-Bahn bring tears to eyes for railway fans from all over the world.
The smoke is not to blame, the train is rather a masterpiece of Swiss engineering: since 1892 the locomotives, reminiscent of the famous Emma from “Jim Knopf”, have been snorting and rattling the 1,678 meters of altitude up to the mountain station several times a day. This is just below the 2,351 meter high Brienzer Rothorn.
At the top, the foehn wind blows properly over the summit ridge, which gives a deep view of three cantons: Lucerne, Obwalden and Bern. And another trio presents itself from up here from an unfamiliar, but no less spectacular perspective: Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
Lake Brienz: time travel to the imperial era
Our second happy grandma that day is already 106 years old! For over a century the paddle wheels of the “Lötschberg” have been bracing themselves ironically against the waves of the lake. With the fantastically beautiful steamer we continue our journey through time and stop at the Giessbach. From there the old funicular rumbles up to a dream hotel in the forest: the “Grandhotel Giessbach”.
The Art Nouveau palace from 1875 was once a summer meeting place for the nobility and the chic. A Swiss environmental activist and a specially established foundation saved the building from demolition in the 1980s. Luckily! Today you can experience the hotel and the wide park as if the illustrious company of the imperial era were just out for a moment to lose yourself in the forest. The huge Giess bachfall rushes photogenic in the autumnal colorful forest, completely timeless!
Giessbach Falls: The falls rush over 14 steps at the village of the same name, 500 meters into Lake Brienz. At one point the show path goes under the waterfall. In the lobby bar or on the terrace of the grand hotel next door, you can enjoy a coffee break like Europe’s blue blood 100 years ago,
Boat trip on Lake Brienz: Sea trip with the historic steamer “Lötschberg”. Return ticket Interlaken – Ost-Brienz 50 euros. The combined ticket “Zeitreise Brienzersee” including a boat trip to the Giessbach Falls, ascent with the historic funicular to the “Grandhotel Giessbach” and lunch is particularly nice. 90 euros,
Harder Kulm: The route up to Interlaken’s local mountain is steep, with a spectacular view of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz as well as the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Return ticket 40 euros including food in the mountain restaurant,
Brienz-Rothornbahn: The spectacular steam cogwheel train overcomes 1,678 vertical meters with an incline of up to 25 percent. Return ticket 90 euros, half price with the Swiss Travel Pass,
Paragliding: Lake Thun below and at eye level with the giant mountains of the Bernese Alps – that’s paragliding over Interlaken. Tandem flight 140 euros,
The website of offers a lot of information about Adelboden-Lenk-Kandersteg, Gstaad, Interlaken, the Bern and Jungfrau region as well as the Jura & Three Lakes region
Out and about in the Bernese Oberland: The Swiss Travel Pass offers free travel by train, bus and boat and entry to 500 museums, plus up to 50 percent discount on mountain railways. From 185 euros (3 days),