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Guidebook for Interlaken

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Guidebook for Interlaken

Drinks & Nightlife
An Aussie owned bar with great staff, delicious drinks, and beer, live music nights.
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Barracuda Cafe & Bar
16 Hauptstrasse
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An Aussie owned bar with great staff, delicious drinks, and beer, live music nights.
This place is the best place in town for food drinks and just having a good night, it plays all sport and the food is by far the best in town. this is one place in interlaken not to miss if your looking for foor and a good night.
BLISS CAFE BAR & SPORTS BAR
4 Marktgasse
This place is the best place in town for food drinks and just having a good night, it plays all sport and the food is by far the best in town. this is one place in interlaken not to miss if your looking for foor and a good night.
Food Scene
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Café de Paris
14 Marktgasse
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Here you can make your own chocolate or buy hand made chocolate treats; don't forget to drink the delicious hot chocolate!
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Funky Chocolate Club Switzerland
35 Jungfraustrasse
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Here you can make your own chocolate or buy hand made chocolate treats; don't forget to drink the delicious hot chocolate!
Parks & Nature
You can hike up or take the train (runs only through summer season); great view of whole of Interlaken and the surrounding mountains (including Jungrau).
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Harder Kulm
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You can hike up or take the train (runs only through summer season); great view of whole of Interlaken and the surrounding mountains (including Jungrau).
Beautiful waterfall, with a castle that makes it look like Rivendell from Lord of the Rings, free of charge. If you want to see the caves, tickets are sold there.
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St. Beatus Caves
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Beautiful waterfall, with a castle that makes it look like Rivendell from Lord of the Rings, free of charge. If you want to see the caves, tickets are sold there.
The hike up is easy and short, but there's also a train.
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Heimwehfluh
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The hike up is easy and short, but there's also a train.
Grass beach on Thunersee-lake that has a restaurant and bar; there's a charge to stay at the grass area.
Golf- und Strandhotel neuhaus zum see
121 Seestrasse
Grass beach on Thunersee-lake that has a restaurant and bar; there's a charge to stay at the grass area.
Essentials
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Migros
1 Rugenparkstrasse
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Entertainment & Activities
Lot of outdoor activities from rafting to snowboarding.
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Outdoor Interlaken
15 Hauptstrasse
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Lot of outdoor activities from rafting to snowboarding.
Lot of activities from bungee jump to rafting.
Outdoor Interlaken Rafting Base
7 Hauptstrasse
Lot of activities from bungee jump to rafting.
Getting Around
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Interlaken-West
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Sightseeing
The name Kulm (or Culm) is a German language toponym which is derived from the Latin culmen, meaning hill. At an altitude of 1,322 m, the Harder Kulm offers the best view of Interlaken, Eiger Mönch and Jungfrau as well as the Thun and Lake Brienz. The palatial restaurant and the Two Lakes Bridge viewing platform are an enticing place to spend time. The cable car, not far from the Interlaken Ost train station on the Harder, has been operational for more than 100 years. The Talstation building has remained without major alterations to the original design as it was in the early years after the turn of the century, and is one of Interlaken's listed buildings. For connoisseurs and those in search of a view, the Harder railway takes just ten minutes to reach the Interlaken Hausberg. The 1,449-metre mountain journey largely goes through the forest, surmounting 731 metres in altitude at an incline of 64%.
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Harder Kulm
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The name Kulm (or Culm) is a German language toponym which is derived from the Latin culmen, meaning hill. At an altitude of 1,322 m, the Harder Kulm offers the best view of Interlaken, Eiger Mönch and Jungfrau as well as the Thun and Lake Brienz. The palatial restaurant and the Two Lakes Bridge viewing platform are an enticing place to spend time. The cable car, not far from the Interlaken Ost train station on the Harder, has been operational for more than 100 years. The Talstation building has remained without major alterations to the original design as it was in the early years after the turn of the century, and is one of Interlaken's listed buildings. For connoisseurs and those in search of a view, the Harder railway takes just ten minutes to reach the Interlaken Hausberg. The 1,449-metre mountain journey largely goes through the forest, surmounting 731 metres in altitude at an incline of 64%.
Interlaken is a fantastic base for seeing the best of central Switzerland's magnificent scenery while enjoying the comforts of a chic lakeside resort. Tourist attractions are all around it, with boat tours on Lakes Thun and Brienz at either side of the town and thrilling train and funicular rides to the spectacular surrounding mountain peaks. Interlaken is one of the oldest, best known, and most popular summer holiday resorts in Switzerland. The first visitors arrived in the 17th century, and as transport facilities improved with the coming of the railroad, boat services on the lakes, and most recently the expressway, Interlaken became the major tourist center of the Bernese Oberland. Day or night, you'll find plenty of things to do in and around Interlaken. Along with the almost endless variety of walks, climbs, and outdoor excursions, there are many other sports available for active travelers. On the right bank of the Aare, opposite the Kursaal, is a swimming pool, and visitors will find a golf course in Unterseen, as well as sailing and windsurfing on the lakes, parasailing, horseback riding, and tennis.
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Interlaken
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Interlaken is a fantastic base for seeing the best of central Switzerland's magnificent scenery while enjoying the comforts of a chic lakeside resort. Tourist attractions are all around it, with boat tours on Lakes Thun and Brienz at either side of the town and thrilling train and funicular rides to the spectacular surrounding mountain peaks. Interlaken is one of the oldest, best known, and most popular summer holiday resorts in Switzerland. The first visitors arrived in the 17th century, and as transport facilities improved with the coming of the railroad, boat services on the lakes, and most recently the expressway, Interlaken became the major tourist center of the Bernese Oberland. Day or night, you'll find plenty of things to do in and around Interlaken. Along with the almost endless variety of walks, climbs, and outdoor excursions, there are many other sports available for active travelers. On the right bank of the Aare, opposite the Kursaal, is a swimming pool, and visitors will find a golf course in Unterseen, as well as sailing and windsurfing on the lakes, parasailing, horseback riding, and tennis.
From Wilderswil, a five-minute walk from the Interlaken Ost railway station, you can take a rack-railroad that has been carrying sightseers up to the Schynige Platte since it opened in 1893. The hour-long ride is a series of ever-changing Alpine panoramas, and at the top, you'll find one of the finest panoramic views of the Alps, encompassing the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks as well as Lake Thun. You can enjoy these from a 45-minute panoramic walk along an easy trail, which also leads to an excellent alpine garden with 600 species of flowers and high-altitude plants. If you're lucky there may be locals playing traditional Swiss Alphorns at the Schynige Platte station.
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Schynige Platte
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From Wilderswil, a five-minute walk from the Interlaken Ost railway station, you can take a rack-railroad that has been carrying sightseers up to the Schynige Platte since it opened in 1893. The hour-long ride is a series of ever-changing Alpine panoramas, and at the top, you'll find one of the finest panoramic views of the Alps, encompassing the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks as well as Lake Thun. You can enjoy these from a 45-minute panoramic walk along an easy trail, which also leads to an excellent alpine garden with 600 species of flowers and high-altitude plants. If you're lucky there may be locals playing traditional Swiss Alphorns at the Schynige Platte station.
The Marktgasse runs northwest from the Interlaken post office and across the Spielmatten islands and the river to the little hamlet of Unterseen, at the foot of Mt. Harder. This is one of several villages that form Interlaken, and in this old part of town is the 1471 parish church, with a Late Gothic tower. Here, you'll find some beautiful wooden chalets of the kind you'd expect to see in tiny mountain villages, not in a busy resort center like Interlaken. Set in green gardens, these may even have farm animals grazing on the lawns. Small restaurants around the pretty Stadthausplatz serve traditional Swiss dishes.
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Unterseen
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The Marktgasse runs northwest from the Interlaken post office and across the Spielmatten islands and the river to the little hamlet of Unterseen, at the foot of Mt. Harder. This is one of several villages that form Interlaken, and in this old part of town is the 1471 parish church, with a Late Gothic tower. Here, you'll find some beautiful wooden chalets of the kind you'd expect to see in tiny mountain villages, not in a busy resort center like Interlaken. Set in green gardens, these may even have farm animals grazing on the lawns. Small restaurants around the pretty Stadthausplatz serve traditional Swiss dishes.
On the west side of Interlaken is Lake Thun, a long, narrow lake surrounded by mountains. The best way to explore the lake is on one of the cruise boats that operate from Interlaken year-round or in the summer on the beautifully restored historic paddle steamer. At the western end of the lake, you can stop in Thun with its medieval Old Town and lakeside castle with a striking keep that overlooks the lake. It was built in 1191 and enlarged in 1492, and today houses a historical museum with 14th-century arms and armor, tapestries, furniture, and prehistoric and Roman artifacts. Other castles and several Romanesque churches are in villages that dot the shore of Lake Thun. Schloss Shadau, easy to spot right on the water, is a smaller replica of Chateau Azay-le-Rideau, on the Loire in France.
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Lake Thun
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On the west side of Interlaken is Lake Thun, a long, narrow lake surrounded by mountains. The best way to explore the lake is on one of the cruise boats that operate from Interlaken year-round or in the summer on the beautifully restored historic paddle steamer. At the western end of the lake, you can stop in Thun with its medieval Old Town and lakeside castle with a striking keep that overlooks the lake. It was built in 1191 and enlarged in 1492, and today houses a historical museum with 14th-century arms and armor, tapestries, furniture, and prehistoric and Roman artifacts. Other castles and several Romanesque churches are in villages that dot the shore of Lake Thun. Schloss Shadau, easy to spot right on the water, is a smaller replica of Chateau Azay-le-Rideau, on the Loire in France.
On Interlaken's east side is Lake Brienz, a narrow body of water that's really an enlargement of the valley of the River Aare. Lying between the limestone ridge of the Brienzer Grat and the Faulhorn mountains, it is seven meters higher than Lake Thun, on Interlaken's west side. Like Lake Thun, it is best seen from one of the five boats that connect Interlaken to towns around its wooded shores. The most atmospheric of these boats is the restored steamer the Lötschberg, built in 1914; other boats offer special dining cruises with Swiss food specialties. Like Lake Thun, Brienz is popular with boaters of all sorts and you can rent kayaks, row boats, and pedalos to explore the lakes on your own.
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Lake Brienz
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On Interlaken's east side is Lake Brienz, a narrow body of water that's really an enlargement of the valley of the River Aare. Lying between the limestone ridge of the Brienzer Grat and the Faulhorn mountains, it is seven meters higher than Lake Thun, on Interlaken's west side. Like Lake Thun, it is best seen from one of the five boats that connect Interlaken to towns around its wooded shores. The most atmospheric of these boats is the restored steamer the Lötschberg, built in 1914; other boats offer special dining cruises with Swiss food specialties. Like Lake Thun, Brienz is popular with boaters of all sorts and you can rent kayaks, row boats, and pedalos to explore the lakes on your own.
The history of tourism in the Jungfrau Region is shown here in three floors of exhibits that cover everything from early transport and hotels to travel clothing and skiing. Housed in a lovely restored 17th-century timbered house, the museum includes models of early postal coaches, rack railway locomotives, bicycles and lake steamers, as well as actual historical carriages and vehicles. Exhibits also use historic photos and art to show how tiny, often remote villages were able to develop and thrive by attracting tourists to experience their landscapes, folk traditions, geological wonders, and even local flora and fauna. Many of the exhibits are labeled in English. Address: Obere Gasse 28, Unterseen, Interlaken
Tourist Museum of the Jungfrau region
28 Obere G.
The history of tourism in the Jungfrau Region is shown here in three floors of exhibits that cover everything from early transport and hotels to travel clothing and skiing. Housed in a lovely restored 17th-century timbered house, the museum includes models of early postal coaches, rack railway locomotives, bicycles and lake steamers, as well as actual historical carriages and vehicles. Exhibits also use historic photos and art to show how tiny, often remote villages were able to develop and thrive by attracting tourists to experience their landscapes, folk traditions, geological wonders, and even local flora and fauna. Many of the exhibits are labeled in English. Address: Obere Gasse 28, Unterseen, Interlaken
From the town of Beatenberg, a short bus ride from Interlaken, you can reach one of the most spectacular viewpoints in the Bernese Oberland (which has plenty of them to offer). A cable car takes you up to a halfway station, where a funicular continues up the Niederhorn to a restaurant and view across Lake Thun and the Alps. Along with its scenery, the Niederhorn is known especially for its nature and wildlife. It's home to ibex, marmots, mountain goats, golden eagles, deer, and even the rare cuckoo. Weekly wildlife tours guided by a local wild animal specialist include visiting wild ibex colonies. You can rent unique stand-up scooter-type bicycles for the descent, and the Niederhorn is a favorite place for hang gliding, as well. Official site: www.niederhorn.ch/en
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Niederhorn
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From the town of Beatenberg, a short bus ride from Interlaken, you can reach one of the most spectacular viewpoints in the Bernese Oberland (which has plenty of them to offer). A cable car takes you up to a halfway station, where a funicular continues up the Niederhorn to a restaurant and view across Lake Thun and the Alps. Along with its scenery, the Niederhorn is known especially for its nature and wildlife. It's home to ibex, marmots, mountain goats, golden eagles, deer, and even the rare cuckoo. Weekly wildlife tours guided by a local wild animal specialist include visiting wild ibex colonies. You can rent unique stand-up scooter-type bicycles for the descent, and the Niederhorn is a favorite place for hang gliding, as well. Official site: www.niederhorn.ch/en
More than one kilometer of walkways lead through the chambers and passageways of these hillside caves, where legend holds that a dragon took shelter when hunted by the monk, Beatus, whose hermitage was nearby. But the geology is no legend, and you can tour these underground caverns to see mirror lakes, underground waterfalls, stalactites, and stalagmites accompanied by a guide or at your own speed using a descriptive app. The entire area is quite beautiful, with a series of waterfalls cascading down the cliffs. You can get here by bus from Interlaken (it's about a 10-minute walk from the bus stop) or by boat from Interlaken West station, but it's quite a steep climb from the lake to the caves. Address: Sundlauenen, Interlaken Official site: www.beatushoehlen.swiss/en
St. Beatus Cave Parking
More than one kilometer of walkways lead through the chambers and passageways of these hillside caves, where legend holds that a dragon took shelter when hunted by the monk, Beatus, whose hermitage was nearby. But the geology is no legend, and you can tour these underground caverns to see mirror lakes, underground waterfalls, stalactites, and stalagmites accompanied by a guide or at your own speed using a descriptive app. The entire area is quite beautiful, with a series of waterfalls cascading down the cliffs. You can get here by bus from Interlaken (it's about a 10-minute walk from the bus stop) or by boat from Interlaken West station, but it's quite a steep climb from the lake to the caves. Address: Sundlauenen, Interlaken Official site: www.beatushoehlen.swiss/en
An easy walk of about 1.5 kilometers from Wilderswil train station, and only about three kilometers from central Interlaken, is the romantic ruin of Unspunnen Castle. Its history is recorded back to the early 1200s, and although its builder is unknown, it was the center of a baronial fief in the 13th and 14th centuries. Along with the nearby Rothenfluh, Unspunnen guarded the medieval Lütschinenbrücke bridge at Gsteig. Some sources hold that these ruins inspired Lord Byron to write his poem Manfred, and it is true that much of it was written during his travels through the Bernese Alps in September of 1816. You can walk on to Rothenfluh Castle, which was built into the side of a cliff. There is very little left of it, but signboards explaining its history are in English.
Unspunnen Castle
An easy walk of about 1.5 kilometers from Wilderswil train station, and only about three kilometers from central Interlaken, is the romantic ruin of Unspunnen Castle. Its history is recorded back to the early 1200s, and although its builder is unknown, it was the center of a baronial fief in the 13th and 14th centuries. Along with the nearby Rothenfluh, Unspunnen guarded the medieval Lütschinenbrücke bridge at Gsteig. Some sources hold that these ruins inspired Lord Byron to write his poem Manfred, and it is true that much of it was written during his travels through the Bernese Alps in September of 1816. You can walk on to Rothenfluh Castle, which was built into the side of a cliff. There is very little left of it, but signboards explaining its history are in English.
One of Europe's finest living history museums, Ballenberg spreads across 124 acres of alpine countryside in a series of village and farmstead groups representing different Swiss regions and their traditional ways of life. Historic houses, barns, shops, and other buildings were brought here from their original sites, with their furniture, decorations, utensils, and implements. Old crafts and traditional customs are revived here, and in the course of a visit, you may see everything from woodcarving and cooperage to lace- and cheese-making demonstrations. The homes represent all styles from the most modest cabins and rustic farmhouses to elegant homes of the well-to-do, but the focus is on how people lived, how they produced their own goods, and how they traded and shared within their communities. Special exhibits may examine one facet of life in detail, such as child labor on farms or a particular craft and its evolution. You could easily spend an entire day seeing all the buildings and exhibits in this fascinating look back in time. Ask at the Interlaken Tourist Office for information on packages that include boat and bus travel from Interlaken to Ballenberg. Address: Museumsstrasse 131, Hofstetten bei Brienz Official site: www.ballenberg.ch
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Ballenberg, Swiss Open-Air Museum
131 Museumsstrasse
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One of Europe's finest living history museums, Ballenberg spreads across 124 acres of alpine countryside in a series of village and farmstead groups representing different Swiss regions and their traditional ways of life. Historic houses, barns, shops, and other buildings were brought here from their original sites, with their furniture, decorations, utensils, and implements. Old crafts and traditional customs are revived here, and in the course of a visit, you may see everything from woodcarving and cooperage to lace- and cheese-making demonstrations. The homes represent all styles from the most modest cabins and rustic farmhouses to elegant homes of the well-to-do, but the focus is on how people lived, how they produced their own goods, and how they traded and shared within their communities. Special exhibits may examine one facet of life in detail, such as child labor on farms or a particular craft and its evolution. You could easily spend an entire day seeing all the buildings and exhibits in this fascinating look back in time. Ask at the Interlaken Tourist Office for information on packages that include boat and bus travel from Interlaken to Ballenberg. Address: Museumsstrasse 131, Hofstetten bei Brienz Official site: www.ballenberg.ch
To reach Giessbach Falls, take the Lake Brienz boat to the Giessbach See landing-stage and either climb about 20 minutes or take the oldest funicular railway in Europe. The Giessbach tumbles down the beautifully wooded hillside to the lake from a height of 500 meters, in a series of 14 falls over successive rock ridges. The best view is from the terrace in front of the historic Grand Hotel Giessbach, about 100 meters above the lake. There are footpaths up both banks to the highest of the three bridges, where the stream emerges from a narrow gorge and plunges into a rock basin 60 meters deep. Report this ad
Giessbach
To reach Giessbach Falls, take the Lake Brienz boat to the Giessbach See landing-stage and either climb about 20 minutes or take the oldest funicular railway in Europe. The Giessbach tumbles down the beautifully wooded hillside to the lake from a height of 500 meters, in a series of 14 falls over successive rock ridges. The best view is from the terrace in front of the historic Grand Hotel Giessbach, about 100 meters above the lake. There are footpaths up both banks to the highest of the three bridges, where the stream emerges from a narrow gorge and plunges into a rock basin 60 meters deep. Report this ad
The lakeside town of Brienz is the center of the Oberland craft of woodcarving, examples of which you can see in shops and studios and on houses with beautifully carved friezes on the facades. Above the town rises the 2,350-meter Brienzer Rothorn, reached in about an hour via Switzerland's oldest steam rack railway, the Brienz-Rothorn Railway. From the top are views of the Appenzell, Uri, Engelberg, Berne, and Valais Alps extending from Säntis to the Diablerets. Wear hiking boots, and you can take a four-hour hike to the Brünig Pass, returning to Brienz by the Brünigbahn. Built in 1888, this is the smallest rack-and-pinion railroad of the Swiss network.
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Brienzer Rothorn
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The lakeside town of Brienz is the center of the Oberland craft of woodcarving, examples of which you can see in shops and studios and on houses with beautifully carved friezes on the facades. Above the town rises the 2,350-meter Brienzer Rothorn, reached in about an hour via Switzerland's oldest steam rack railway, the Brienz-Rothorn Railway. From the top are views of the Appenzell, Uri, Engelberg, Berne, and Valais Alps extending from Säntis to the Diablerets. Wear hiking boots, and you can take a four-hour hike to the Brünig Pass, returning to Brienz by the Brünigbahn. Built in 1888, this is the smallest rack-and-pinion railroad of the Swiss network.
The Matterhorn, Switzerland's iconic pointed peak is one of the highest mountains in the Alps. On the border with Italy, this legendary peak rises to 4,478 meters, and its four steep faces lie in the direction of the compass points. The first summiting in 1865 ended tragically when four climbers fell to their death during the descent. Today, thousands of experienced climbers come here each summer. At the foot of this mighty peak, lies the charming village of Zermatt, a top international resort with horse-drawn carriage rides, quaint chalets, and world-class restaurants and hotels. To preserve the air quality and peaceful ambiance, motorized vehicles are banned in the village. In the winter, skiers can schuss down more than 300 kilometers of slopes. In the summer, swimming and tennis are popular pursuits as well as hiking, biking, and climbing in the surrounding mountains. Summer glacier skiing is also available.
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Matterhorn
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The Matterhorn, Switzerland's iconic pointed peak is one of the highest mountains in the Alps. On the border with Italy, this legendary peak rises to 4,478 meters, and its four steep faces lie in the direction of the compass points. The first summiting in 1865 ended tragically when four climbers fell to their death during the descent. Today, thousands of experienced climbers come here each summer. At the foot of this mighty peak, lies the charming village of Zermatt, a top international resort with horse-drawn carriage rides, quaint chalets, and world-class restaurants and hotels. To preserve the air quality and peaceful ambiance, motorized vehicles are banned in the village. In the winter, skiers can schuss down more than 300 kilometers of slopes. In the summer, swimming and tennis are popular pursuits as well as hiking, biking, and climbing in the surrounding mountains. Summer glacier skiing is also available.
One of the most popular things to do in the beautiful Bernese Oberland is the train journey to Jungfraujoch, the "Top of Europe," with an observation terrace and scientific observatory perched at 3,454 meters. The longest glacier in Europe, the Great Aletsch Glacier begins at Jungfraujoch, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The famous Eiger Trail from the Eiger glacier station to Alpiglen clings to the rocks at the foot of the north face. Other popular walks include Panorama Way to the sunny, south-facing First slope; the Gletscherschlucht (Glacier Gorge); and Öpfelchüechliwäg, the high-altitude trail from Holenstein to Brandegg through fields of flowers, alpine pastures, and woodlands. The less active can ride gondolas and cable cars to scenic viewpoints over the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Picturesque Grindelwald is a glacier village in the Jungfrau region, which makes a great base for adventures into the surrounding mountains. It nestles at the base of snow-cloaked mountains and is one of Switzerland's oldest and most popular resorts. Towering above this alpine valley is the tiara-shaped Wetterhorn and the sheer north face of the Eiger, one of the planet's most dramatic and difficult climbs. Between the mountains lie Grindelwald's two glinting glaciers. For the best views, Faulhorn, at 2,681 meters, offers breathtaking panoramas of the giant peaks.
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Jungfraujoch
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One of the most popular things to do in the beautiful Bernese Oberland is the train journey to Jungfraujoch, the "Top of Europe," with an observation terrace and scientific observatory perched at 3,454 meters. The longest glacier in Europe, the Great Aletsch Glacier begins at Jungfraujoch, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The famous Eiger Trail from the Eiger glacier station to Alpiglen clings to the rocks at the foot of the north face. Other popular walks include Panorama Way to the sunny, south-facing First slope; the Gletscherschlucht (Glacier Gorge); and Öpfelchüechliwäg, the high-altitude trail from Holenstein to Brandegg through fields of flowers, alpine pastures, and woodlands. The less active can ride gondolas and cable cars to scenic viewpoints over the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Picturesque Grindelwald is a glacier village in the Jungfrau region, which makes a great base for adventures into the surrounding mountains. It nestles at the base of snow-cloaked mountains and is one of Switzerland's oldest and most popular resorts. Towering above this alpine valley is the tiara-shaped Wetterhorn and the sheer north face of the Eiger, one of the planet's most dramatic and difficult climbs. Between the mountains lie Grindelwald's two glinting glaciers. For the best views, Faulhorn, at 2,681 meters, offers breathtaking panoramas of the giant peaks.