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September 2020, Interlaken – Switzerland
It’s been almost 3 weeks of distance from social media, gadgets, people, news, worries or any thoughts whatsoever. That’s because we were HERE.
If you are looking for a full recharge, but also want to have plenty of options for hikes and day trips, Interlaken is a great base. Centered between two stunning turquoise lakes and surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the region is simply amazing. Here are our recommended 5 easy day trips from Interlaken.
One thing is certain: we will remember the escape to Switzerland for a long long time!
Days go by with no specific schedule. I wake up every morning when the golden touch of sun reaches the windows of our small wooden cottage. A fresh untouched world reveals itself little by little from the terrace.
Every sip of coffee is sweeter as the sun rises above the mountains. I look into the distance mesmerized, as if it’s a view I never saw before. Something feels different every morning. A new day has begun in paradise.
HARDER KULM + ALPINE WILDLIFE PARK
Unless you are scaling walls or paragliding, the activities in the region do not generally require any significant mountaineering skills. The trails in Switzerland are incredibly well marked so that you should have no issue with getting lost.
This being said, a step up the hiking difficulty is Harder Kulm. Just straight up the entire way. Luckily, there is an easy alternative: the funicular! 😀
No matter how you get there, the view from the top is worth all the effort. They have an incredible glass bottomed floor viewing point, with unlimited view of the majestic Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger mountains. If you’re up for more hiking, there are numerous trails starting from this point. Or just lay down on one of the sun chairs, with a refreshing beer in hand and a good book.
End the day with a Swiss dish at the cool restaurant which used to be an old Monastery. It’s the best possible view, and the perfect way to celebrate the first evening in this dreamy place.
Don’t forget to check out the small alpine wildlife park on your way back!
Easy hike and a spectacular view at the end? Say no more!
Little did we know that the most thrilling part was to reach this place by car. If you miss the arrow pointing to the parking lot, there is literally no way to turn your car around, that’s how narrow and steep the way up is. Let’s just say that we were very close to completely ruin the day.
If you do reach the right place…the walking itself is easy. You can hike up through forest paths, with some bridges taking you underneath the roaring falls up until its starting point. Wow feeling!
End the day in style with a delicious meal at Grandhotel Giessbach. Together with the historic funicular, it gives some Belle-epoque feeling to the whole experience.
WEISSENAU NATURE RESERVE
Crossing Interlaken by foot and just exploring the nice views up to Weissenau nature reserve is a charming trip by itself.
After an hour walk we were hardly waiting to reach the ruined fortress, sign that we finally entered the reserve.
Then, crossing the bridge over the turquoise lake led us to a relaxing and shady path just perfect for a sunny day.
Taking another route to town revealed picturesque grass fields and colorful houses, while following the water path.
The fun part was that we kept being greeted all the way back by people cruising on the lake. 🙂
Once you get down the train, you discover that Lauterbrunnen is distinctly unique compared to the rest of the alpine towns in the region. Just a few minutes walk into town you stumble upon the famous Staubbach waterfall cascading above wooden cottages.
As far as the hike goes, this is a really easy flat one that covers the valley of Lauterbrunnen. The German word Lauterbrunnen means “Many Springs” or more accurately “Loud Springs”. The name comes from 72 thundering waterfalls gushing down into the valley from the vertical cliffs.
Anywhere you go, you hear the hypnotizing sound of water rushing down the rocks. A look up is enough to remain staring in awe for minutes.
Here’s what we saw in a few hours:
Staubbach Fall is situated less than 1 km from the village of Lauterbrunnen. It is one of Europe’s highest free-falling waterfalls, as the height of the cascade is ~300 meters formed of a single unbroken fall.
Spissbachfall is fed with melted snow from the Bietenhorn/Schwarzbirg mountains and falls from a height of 280 meters.
Trümmelbach Falls, another spectacular natural phenomenon, is hidden behind a mountain. Consisting of a series of glacier-fed waterfalls, it carries thousands of liters of water per second through the narrow gorge. The sheer volume of water roars louder than you could imagine as it continues to carve the twisted walls while it pounds down!
Fun fact: You may come across little shelters outside farms, with locally made cheese, milk, eggs. These work with an honesty box, so you can help yourself and leave money in the boxes where the farmers will pick it up later.
Brace yourselves for this experience where you will be surrounded by the most glorious glacial valley in the Swiss Alps!
INTERLAKEN & GOLDSWIL
Even if you have your accomodation in Interlaken, it doesn’t mean the village itself should be excluded from a day trip itinerary.
At sunset there is nothing more rewarding than having the whole valley at your feet from the heights of the nearby village, Goldswil.
And luckily, guess where did we stay? 🙂
Switzerland was like a fresh breeze for us, in the middle of all the travel restrictions in 2020.
But instead of feeling sad for this whole year I take a second look at these photos. We’ve been there. We will go again. There is beauty in this world.