The Bernese Oberland was our four day stop in our three week journey through Europe2013. We stayed three nights in Grindelwald at hotel Tschuggen, which gave us two full days for hiking. There are a couple of nice towns in the Jungfrau region so if you are finding it hard to find a hotel in Grindelwald, you may want to try Lauterbrunnen, Wilderswil or Interlaken.
This is the region of the famous Jungfraujoch-Top of Europe attraction and even though it is the most popular tourist attraction in this area, it is also the most expensive. After researching and reading many reviews on whether this was worth the ridiculously high cost (at $230CAD/person return ticket), we decided to opt out since there are enough amazing places to hike and see in the area for a lot cheaper. And even though it would be cool to see the glaciers and ice palace at the top, from the reviews it appears the Top of Europe attraction does not offer the picturesque views of the valley below. If you did visit this attraction, please share your thoughts with us. We decided to visit the area of the town of Murren.
Summary of the One Day Excursion:
Beginning from: Grindelwald or Interlaken
- Train to Lauterbrunnen (pay attention because you may have to change in Zweilutschinnen)
- In Lauterbrunnen catch Cable car to Grutschalp
- From Grutschalp you can hike about 1h to Murren or take 10min train. Both offer great views.
- Explore Murren and have lunch in one of the restaurants right on the edge of the cliff.
- Hike to Gimmelwald (This is the more rewarding hike than the one between Grutschalp and Murren)
- Cable car down to Stechelberg
- Hike or bus to Trummelbachfalle (large waterfall system inside the mountain)
- Hike or bus back to Lauterbrunnen
- Train back to Grindelwald or Interlaken
Grindelwald to Mürren
We started from Grindelwald and took a train to Lauterbrunnen (with changeover in Zweilutschinnen). Once in Lauterbrunnen, we proceeded to take the cable car up to Grutschalp. QUICK TIP the best view will be to your right when facing the back of the cable car. From Grutschalp you can either hike (good 1h, easy walking) or take the train (about 15min.) to Mürren. Both offer great views. Our first time around we hiked it but this time we chose to take the train. The train was a better option, in my opinion, as there was a better hike later on.
Mürren is situated on the edge of a cliff with some wonderful views. The town itself does not have any cars other than the occasional delivery vehicle. If the weather is warm enough and visibility is good, choose to take a break in one of the restaurants on the edge of the cliff. Enjoy a nice cold beer or a warm coffee and small lunch. If the weather permits, sit outside. Well worth it.
Whenever I looked at mountains in photos, for some reason I imagined their grandness would make some sort of sound. It is hard to explain, but what I found instead was that they are completely silent. While sitting and basking in the sun and beauty of the high alpine peaks I couldn’t stop being surprised how something so enormous could be so quiet. After all, what possible noise could they make? You will find you have to speak so low, you almost whisper because sound carries so well.
OUR SWISS TRIP FACTS:
Number of times visited Switzerland: 3 times starting in 2007 and every three years thereafter.
Time of year visited: Always in the area of the last two weeks of August and first week of September.
Weather we had: Two out of the three times we had beautiful sunny clear skies. The one time we went right after the volcano eruption made for hazy and cloudy weather.
Areas visited: Luzern area once and Jungfrau Region twice.
From Mürren we continued with a 45 minute hike down to Gimmelwald. If you hike quickly you can do it a lot faster but we stopped for photos since there were many great occasions along the way. That part of the adventure is in the Mürren to Gimmelwald to Stechelberg post.