Interlaken

Overview

Introduction

The little town of Interlaken, Switzerland, 40 mi/65 km southeast of Bern, is the main tourism hub for the Bernese Oberland region. It makes an excellent base for day trips to nearby towns, lakes and mountains. As the name implies, Interlaken lies between two lakes, Brienzer See and Thuner See. Blessed with a fairly stable and mild climate, it's simply beautiful. The view of the Jungfrau (13,642 ft/4,158 m) from there is simply breathtaking. The only downside to Interlaken is that it attracts large numbers of tourists in the summer with concerts, equestrian events, tennis, hiking excursions and watersports.

The surrounding countryside of the Bernese Oberland is filled with stereotypical images of Switzerland: mountain chalets, ski lodges, hilly pastures, mountain peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, Alphorn blowers, yodelers and horse-drawn sleighs. A scenic way to get into the mountains of the nearby Jungfrau region is by train to Grindelwald, Kleine Scheidegg or to the top of Jungfraujoch (Europe's highest train station).

Good day trips include a visit to the village of Brienz to see Ballenberg, its outdoor living museum of old houses, where traditional crafts are demonstrated (summer only); a ride on the cable car from Stechelberg up to Murren; or a simple drive through the charming villages in the area.

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