Interlaken, Switzerland is a place filled with adventures and activities around every corner. This magical town sits between two glacier lakes, Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, and is surrounded by towering mountains and thick forests. Interlaken is the type of place you extend your visit by a few extra days because of the overwhelming beauty and amount of things to do… that’s what happened to me anyways.
We stayed at the Lake Lodge, a hostel on the shore of Lake Brienz. The owners were absolutely amazing and even helped us schedule our paragliding adventure, provided kayaks, gave us maps and tips on trails, and simply provided service that went above and beyond all expectations.
8 of the Best Ways to Explore Interlaken:
- Kayak on the glacier lakes surrounding the town. Both Lake Brienz and Lake Thun offer great views and sparkling glacier water to cruise around on. We chose to explore Lake Brienz, since we were staying in a hostel on the shore. This lake had small islands to which you could paddle and explore on foot. Our hostel also supplied us with kayaks to use, which was a great addition to our already wonderful accommodations.
- Paraglide in the Swiss Alps. If you love exploring new areas through adventurous activities then this is a MUST DO for you. Paragliding is the perfect mixture of adrenaline and stillness. You begin by running off of the side of a mountain to catch wind spurts and the stillness comes as you float through the air enjoying the views. My guide showed me how to steer the parachute and created a roller coaster by doing flips in the air during the descent. This is one of my favorite experiences that I hope to do again.
- Take a cable car to the summit of Schilthorn (9,744 feet). This peak is located in the Bernese Alps of Switzerland and provides spectacular views of other peaks such as Jungfrau, Eiger, and Mönch. A quick ~30 minute cable car ride from Mürren is all it takes to be able to explore the summit and all it has to offer. The summit has amazing vistas, a restaurant, gift shop, and is filled with James Bond highlights (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was filmed here).
- Visit Jungfraujoch, the Top of Europe. The vastness of the snow and rock transports you to another world. Not only is the summit of this mountain unbelievable, but the train ride through Mönch and Eiger is unlike anything else.
- Hike the local trails and get lost (mentally, not physically) in the lush forests. There are trails near and around the glacier lakes filled with waterfalls and new perspectives. The Trail of the Three Waterfalls (Bönigen-Iseltwald-Brienz) is around ~6.5 hours or can be broken into three sections. There are many more hikes to explore in this area and this is just an example of one we were able to explore.
- Take a polar plunge in the glacier lakes. This is a great way to cool off after a long hike or to add some excitement into a relaxing day.
- Explore the area on two wheels. This can be done on your own, renting a bike, or utilizing a bike tour guide. These tours range from riding along the mountain tops to touring around the lakes in the valley. These trails are well maintained and biking provides an exciting but still intimate experience with the outdoors.
- Embrace the Swiss culture. Spend some time downtown and enjoy the cleanliness and beauty of this country. The town is sprinkled with green space, history, shopping, castles, great food, and beautiful architecture.
I can’t wait to visit Switzerland again, with the hope of learning more about the culture and experiencing all there is to offer.