Day 1 – Making our way to Interlaken
I have done this trip in the Jungfrau Region before, and wanted to mention it because the time of year and the weather are two factors you need to consider when looking to do these trails, read up on the region here. I went first end of April beginning of May, I got some great deals on flights, trains and hotels, so it is a good time to go, but as I found out the trains to the top of the mountains only run for a certain number of months.
Before I start on what we did on ‘Day 1’, below are the trains and cable cars we wanted to use and you can use if you didn’t fancy the big climbs, so have a look at their websites and you can then work out if this route works for you. I didn’t check on the first trip and I got caught out, but it didn’t matter in the end, I just went a different way.
The Trains – think about these before you book the trip
1. The Schynige Platte train is in Wilderswil, which is a short walk from Interlaken, and this is a train we did take when we started walking on ‘Day 2’, we had planned to walk further up to the Faulhorn mountain peak and then down, but it snowed the night before which stopped us doing that, but after speaking to the guy in the ticket office he gave us advice to follow a path down which I’ll explain in ‘Day 2’ and so it turned out a great walk, but check the dates for this train.
2. The other train you can jump on is for the Kleine Scheidegg, which will take you almost to the top of the Eiger, the mountain itself is in touching distance, and is possibly the most incredible place you will ever go. The Eiger trail which we hiked will allow you to come face to face with the world famous Eiger North Face! We decided to walk up to it on ‘Day 3’ from Grindelwald, it’s a very big walk up to 7000 feet, and we all had 10kg rucksacks too, so have a think. But this blog post isn’t just about hiking, you can have the same experience we did by catching these trains and then enjoying the views the same as everyone else.
3. The last cable we used went to Piz Gloria on the Schilthorn mountain, this building perched almost at the top of Europe is where they filmed ‘On Her Majestys Secret Service’, the bond film from 1969. We walked from Lauterbrunnen on ‘Day 4’ to the cable car, through Waterfalls Valley, and then the same day we walked back to Interlaken. My advice will be to check the webcams before going up, because if the cloud is there it’ll spoil the reason for going up.
Getting to Interlaken – Jungfrau Region, Description & Pics
We left Bristol Airport for Geneva early in the morning on the Friday, it’s only 1h 30mins which meant we could have a look around Geneva and then make our way to Interlaken, what our options where I’ll explain a bit further down, but I have done it 2 ways and both are excellent options.
Geneva airport is very good, you can easily get a taxi, bus or train into Geneva centre, we took a taxi for the 5 of us, and within 10 mins we were in the bay area right next to some of the big watch makers shops, and then we headed over to the lake, as at 10am, the famous Jet d’Eau Fountain (water jet) starts up, and we got as close as we could, which in fairness is very close.
It’s an awesome site, and you don’t really appreciate the height it gets too until you’re standing underneath it. Something you have to do when in Geneva, I’ve added the video below.
We then walked through the streets, had a coffee break in a cafe and headed back to the airport via the main train station to pick up our hire car from Hertz. I mentioned the 2 ways of getting to Interlaken, this time as it was the 5 of us, we hired a car which we picked up from the airport and arranged it by shopping around online before we came out, the other way which I did on my own was to take the train from the airport to Interlaken, changing very quickly in Bern. The car takes about 2.15, on the train it’s 3 hours, not much in it, but both where the cheapest way of getting to Interlaken at the time.
We arrived in Interlaken, the main town in the Jungfrau Region around 4, dropped the car off at Hertz, and then walked to where we stayed for the first night which was at the famous ‘Balmers Hostel’. This is one of the most famous hostels in the world, and is a really warm, friendly, clean and cosy hostel with everything you will need.
We are going to stay here on the first and last nights, and I have put a post together for Balmers here. It has excellent facilities, is really well located and again has the option of different room sizes.
We unpacked, had a look around, and then went to look for something to eat and a few beers, we found a really good pub called Hüsi Bierhaus, that was lively, fun and served really good food and beer. I have created a post about it here, take a look, it’s a fantastic place.
We then we headed back to get a decent sleep before an early start on the Saturday, where we leave Interlaken behind and head to Grindelwald, the second town we visit in the Jungfrau Region for the big hike!
Top Tips from Matthias
‘Matty’ is my mountain goat guide
drawn by ThatOneStereotype x
- Take walking poles if you’re comfortable with them. Steep going up and steep going down, save your toes.
- Use the free travel cards from hotels/hostels, for free bus travel & discounts on Jungfrau Region mountain trains in area.
- Pack binoculars, the views are spectacular, and seeing the peaks close up is another level.
- Goes without saying, pack light but pack for all weathers as best as you can.
- Food & drink is very expensive, supermarket shops & cook yourself to save money.
- Check mountain trains (listed above) are running for the month you’re going, it’s very busy peak summer, so buy your tickets ahead of time.
Hope you enjoy this walk I have put together, and I’d love it if you could share this post either with the social media buttons that follow you down the screen on your left, or below you in the footer. Also, comments are very welcome, I love meeting new people and talking and you never know we could meet up on one of our walks.