This time we're looking at the settlement of Grindelwald, after which the valley of the same name was named. You are in Switzerland, between the peaks of the Alps, at an altitude of 1034 meters above sea level. Many attractions of the tourist region of the Bernese Oberland can be found here. You can discover such top-listed places as the First Cliff Walk lookout or the Gletscherschlucht gorge.
Grindelwald's name was already known among hikers, skiers and mountain climbers before the Harry Potter book series was even a thought. The alpine town with picturesque surroundings has been a popular winter and summer destination for many years.
|Country||Canton of Bern, Switzerland|
|Location||Bernese Oberland, Interlaken district, Jungfrau region|
|Interlaken distance||30 mins / 20 km|
|Getting around||Bahn (train), cogwheel, and cable cars|
|Top attractions||First Cliff Walk, Mannlichen, Jungfraujoch, Kleine Scheidegg, Gletscherschlucht|
Where is Grindelwald?
Grindelwald is in Switzerland's most popular tourist area, the Bernese Oberland. Located between the peaks of the Alps in the district of Interlaken in the canton of Bern. Together with the Lauterbrunnen valley, they form the Jungfrau region, which consists of the two valleys and the surrounding mountains.
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- Distance from Bern: 1 hour / 75 km
- Distance from Zurich: 2 hours / 140 km
- Distance from Interlaken: 30 minutes / 20 km
- Distance from Lauterbrunnen: 30 minutes / 25 km
To get to know the area better, it is worth getting to know the entire Jungfrau region:
- The "mouth" of the region is Interlaken, which lies between lakes Thun and Brienz.
- From here, you can reach the inner areas of the countryside: Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen valleys.
- Many attractions lie between the two valleys - such as the Kleine Scheidegg saddle and the Jungfarujoch pass - but these tend to belong to Grindelwald.
The railway construction made Grindelwald much more accessible towards the end of the 19th century, foreshadowing winter tourism's start. In 1908, the first cable car in the Alps was built on the Wetterhorn. In 1912, the railway to the Jungfrau via the Kleine Scheidegg was built.
- There are eight train stations in the valley and the surrounding area.
- Two railway lines pass through the village of Grindelwald. The Bernese Oberland Bahn connects it to Interlaken, while the Wengernalpbahn (WAB) line connects it to the Kleine Scheidegg pass, the Lauterbrunnen valley, and the town of Wengen. The last resort is the starting point of the Jungfrau Railway, which is the highest railway in Europe.
- In addition, there are also cable cars, one of which is the most popular one leading to Mannlichen. The line to the First mountain and the Eiger (3967 m) is also famous.
- You can also travel to Meiringen, and the Grosse Scheidegg pass by bus.
More about Grindelwald
Thanks to its magnificent view and the glacier that once reached the basin, Grindelwald attracted its first guests at the end of the 18th century. The breakthrough of alpinism occurred in the middle of the 19th century when British tourists discovered the countryside. The Eiger, the most demanding alpine mountain to climb, is also here.
- Grindelwald was first mentioned as Grindelwalt in 1146. Presumably, it was already inhabited in Roman times, as several coins from the Roman era were found in the settlement.
- It was already popular for mountain climbing and hiking in the 19th century.
- Its river is the Schwarze Lütschine (the Black Lütschine).
- Grindelwald is surrounded by the Faulhorn, Schwarzhorn, Wellhorn, Wetterhorn, Mettenberg, Schreckhorn, Lauteraarhorn, Agassizhorn, Fiescherhorn, Mönch, Eiger, Lauberhorn and Männlichen mountains. The highest peaks of the valley are part of the world heritage.
- It is separated from Lauterbrunnen by the Kleine Scheidegg and Grosse Scheidegg, "Lesser Watershed" and "Great Watershed" passes.
- Here you can find Europe's highest railway, the red train crossing the Jungfraujoch.
- The largest ski region in the area with a 160 km track system and two ski fields.
Two ski areas near the valley, First and Kleine Scheidegg – Männlichen – Wengen, offer 160 kilometres of pistes. Thirty lifts facilitate their approach. The slopes reach an average height of 2,500 meters.
- Ski touring enthusiasts have 80 kilometres of winter walking trails at their disposal. Among other things, the road network also climbs to four thousand-meter peaks.
- Those with a playful spirit can choose from 60 kilometres of toboggan runs.
The village does not hide attractions, so when we talk about the sights of Grindelwald, we mean the sights of the valley. Most of the attractions are located in the mountains above the valley.
#1 Grindelwald First Cliff Walk (2168 m)
At 2,184 meters, First is a smaller peak on the slopes of the Schwarzhorn above Grindelwald. The mountain itself is not as interesting as the tourist attractions on it. The best-known is the extended viewing platform Cliff Walk, which can be reached by cable car. From here, you reach Lake Bachalpsee with a 2-hour hike.
In addition to the panoramic promenade, an 800-meter-long ropeway was also built, and you can also rent unique trottibikes and mountain carts. If you're going here, feel free to plan a whole day, you won't regret it.
#2 Lake Bachalpsee
At 2,265 meters above sea level, find the beautiful lake Bachalpsee. Due to its particular colour and shape (as the lake is cut in two by a natural dam), it is one of the region's highlights. It is located in a moorland habitat of national importance, framed by the snowy peaks of the Jungfrau Mountains. The "mirror" reflects the Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn, Finsteraarhorn and Grindelwald Glacier — a tiny gem in the heart of the Jungfrau region.
From early summer to autumn, when the snow has melted on the mountains, it can be reached by a 2-hour walk from the lookout point on First mountain. You can admire the surrounding mountains and the unique alpine vegetation on your way.
#3 Mannlichen (2343 m)
Männlichen is a 2343-meter mountain above Grindelwald valley - a winter ski slope and a popular summer hiking spot. A cable car on the mountainside takes only a 15-minute walk to reach the top.
A unique cable car runs between Männlichen and Wengen (a town in the neighbouring valley). In open cabins, everyone can decide whether to travel inside or on top of it.
You can even go on a trip to the Kleine Scheidegg pass, but many people stay here, as there are countless opportunities for walking and relaxing. Children will even find a playground.
#4 Wetterhorn (3692 m)
Above Grindelwald, there's the 3692-meter Wetterhorn. It is primarily popular among climbers and not hikers. It is popular because of its attractive shape, but it is mostly only photographed from the surrounding area.
#5 Eiger (3970 m)
The second best-known peak of the Jungfaru region is the 3,970-meter-high Eiger. The Kleine Scheidegg saddle is a popular hiking spot, and railway stop on its northern wall. It lies between the villages and valleys of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen.
Its northern side is 1,800 meters high, offering the area's wildest view. On its western side, you find the Eiger glacier. Climbing is only recommended for experienced climbers. On the other hand, the popular "Eiger trail" can be bravely undertaken by hikers and hikers.
#6 Kleine Scheidegg (2061 m)
Kleine Scheidegg Pass lies directly at the northern foot of the Eiger and the Jungfrau and Mönch mountains. It separates the Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald valleys. It is the starting point for many walks and hiking trails (even with skis on our feet in winter). It is the departure point for Jungfraujoch trains.
#7 Jungfraujoch Top of Europe (3454 m)
Jungfraujoch is a saddle named after the Jungfrau mountain (4158 m) above it. The Jungfraujoch Top of Europe station is at an altitude of 3,454 meters, the highest railway station in Europe.
There are four restaurants, an observatory (Sphinx) and a souvenir shop at the ever-snow-covered station. Although the observatory is closed to visitors, a fantastic panorama awaits us from its terrace.
It can be reached by taking the Wengernalp Railway via Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg and then transferring to the Jungfrau Railway to Jungfraujoch.
But you can also take the "Eiger Express" cable car from the Grindelwald terminal to the Eigergletscher station, then change to the Jungfrau railway to Jungfraujoch.
The Gletscherschlucht gorge is another attraction in the Grindelwald area. A popular and child-friendly program where you can admire the work of nature over 250 million years between 300-meter-high rock walls.
Its unique feature is that you can venture into the middle of the gorge with the help of a stretched rope net. And if you've walked through the gorge, you can also try the zipline track created in the canyon.
- Tickets cost about 20 CHF.
- Opening hours: end of May - November (daily 9:30 - 18:00)
#9 Pingstegg bobsleigh track
It's nothing new, as there are numerous bobsleigh tracks in the country, but who wouldn't be interested in a good bobsled between three thousand-meter mountains? You can reach up to 40 km/h on the 736-meter-long track. The track at Pfingstegg is open from May to October. Children can use it from the age of 6.
Popular hiking trails
There are many marked and maintained hiking trails in the area. The most popular can be found here:
|Grindelwald túraútvonalak||Kiinduló és végpont||Körtúra?||Túra hossza||Szint különbség||Időtartam||Nehézség|
|Kleine Scheidegg||Mannlichen felvonó - Kleine Scheidegg fogaskerekű||Nem||4 km||60 fel | 220 le||1 óra||Könnyű|
|Bachalpsee||First hegy - Bussalp||Nem||8,5 km||350 fel | 710 le||3 óra||Közepes|
|Eiger északi oldal||Grindelwald - Grindelwald (Eigergletscher)||Nem||5 km||100 fel | 800 le||2 óra||Közepes|
The village of Lauterbrunnen and the valley of the same name are only a few kilometres from Grindwald. The valley is famous for its 72 waterfalls - the most iconic of which is the Staubbachfall - an unmissable place to visit.
Lauterbrunnen - Things to do
The valley is one of the deepest in the Alpine chain compared to the surrounding mountains' height. Its width is not too wide either, as it reaches 1 kilometre here and there. An iconic place where endless waterfalls cross your path - wherever you go ...
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