Living in a concrete jungle, I constantly crave the sweet escape as soon as the warm winds of summer arrive. Although the usual European escape involve the sea and sun, this time I yearned to take a step in the other direction. Switzerland is a small country boasting clean, fresh air which offers the opportunity to hike up some of the tallest points in the continent to view captivating and wide-stretching landscapes. In particular, the area of Jungfrau offer numerous invigorating activities that will be sure to keep you busy during your holiday. Sure, a white sandy beach trip is always a good idea, but perhaps the only way to truly replenish the soul involves getting back to more verdant and high-altitude nature.
Getting in and around
Depending on what’s most convenient to you, you can fly in to either Zurich or Geneva airport. From there, it’s the same two hour journey by train to Interlaken train station. Another option is to drive your car/hire a car. The roads ensure an easy and smooth drive and will allow you the freedom to make detours and visit the spots hidden from the tourists along the way. Either way, your journey will be made in comfort; the train system in Switzerland is one of the best networks in the world. When arriving to the Jungfrau region, it is not necessary to have a car as most areas are only accessible by cable car, bus and train. Be sure to check out the Jungfrau tourist website before visiting so you can plan which travel passes are best suited for your trip (they’ll save you big money).
See & Do
There is so much to explore! Breathtaking scenery awaits…
First Cliff Walk By Tissot
If you’re lucky enough to have a perfectly clear day with good visibility, then be sure to visit First Cliff Walk. This spectacular construction has been been built alongside the cliff – be prepared for a narrow and winding walk thousands of meters above the valleys and pastures below. Although mildly frightening, this attraction offers a magnificent view of the Swiss alps.
One of the most photographs spots in the area. You have to see the colour of the glacier water for yourself to really believe it. The lake can be reached only by foot from ‘First’. Expect to be walking for about one hour, one way.
The mountain railway up to the mountain ridge known as the Schynige Platte is one of the highest in Switzerland. Not afraid of a little challenge? Try the hike up to the ridge where the view is amazing: Lake Brienz on one side, matched against the breathtaking backdrop of the Jungfrau mountain on the other.
A gorgeous small town sitting at an elevation of 1,274 m. Wengen is entirely car free and only accessible by the Wengernalp Railway. In the summer, enjoy a stroll around the town and admire the dedication the locals show in keeping their colourful front gardens flawless and pristine.
The Trümmelbach Falls in Switzerland are a series of ten glacier-waterfalls inside the mountain. On entering the falls you will hear an incredibly loud thundering and roaring; audile evidence of the powerful force raging through the tight spaces in-between the mountain and it’s rocks. These falls are the world’s only glacier waterfalls that are accessible underground and they alone carry the water (20,000 liters per second) which has melted off the glaciers from the Jungfrau.
Standing on the Jungfraujoch mountain 3,454 metres above sea level, you will feel down to your bones that you have your feet firmly planted on a very special part of the world. Fun fact: this is Europe’s highest train station! Be sure to check the weather forecast before you plan your day trip as there’s no point in going up if the Jungfraujoch is covered in clouds. Once at the top, check out the range of activities you can do such as the Ice palace, panorama, Lindt Swiss Chocolate tour, multiple hikes and the Sphinx Observation Deck.
The Alp of Pfingstegg provides a spectacular view of the charming town of Grindelwald. Take the cable car up and walk down through lush meadows and the icy glaciers. Try to follow the Marmorbruch trail as this will give you a magnificent view of the powerful gorge that flows through the valley. Once you reach the bottom, a visit into the Glacier Gorge is certainly worthwhile.
We chose to stay at the Landhotel Golf (Soon to be Salzano hotel) which is an excellent stay if you’re travelling by car. It’s a really special little oasis in the Interlaken area. The hotel is surrounded by spectacular views of the mountains and wide green fields. In the morning I watched from my bedroom balcony as a number of paragliders made their way down from the top of mountains. The hotel boasts a very unique concept in the spa which is housed in its own secluded oasis outside. One of the sauna rooms has a floor completely covered in fresh pine leaves, so upon entering you will immediately breathe in the delightful aroma of pine needles that will send you into a dreamlike state.
Most recently the hotel’s restaurant has undergone a massive transformation. Their talented head chef Stephan Koltes has produced a menu worthy of a Michelin Star with local favourites like the Grilled goats cheese on nut and flower granola with a trio of beetroot with a baked goats cheese souffle and Salmon on hot stone with citrus tea, fried cucumber, mint granita and grapefruit adorning the menu. All items on the menu are sourced from the local area and often the head chef goes foraging in the forest for special elements to add to his dishes that evening. It’s a very unique find among the countless lifeless restaurants taking advantage of tourists in the area. To add to this, the service is very professional, knowledgeable and personal. Don’t forget to book your table here for dinner one night!
Have you had the opportunity to visit Switzerland? Comment with your favourite places to visit below. I’d love to hear from you!
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About the author:
Hi, I’m Emily. Born in Sydney, made in the world. I’m addicted to traveling and love throwing myself into exciting and sometimes delicate situations and experiences to ensure I always come out with the best stories and make the most of my adventure. Currently I’m living in bustling Dusseldorf, Germany and can not wait to find out where the world will take me next! Follow my adventure on Instagram or Snapchat.