We begin by transferring to a region less known to international tourist, yet awaiting discovery. Here you will explore the unusual beauty etched out by glaciers and learn about the tradition, flora and fauna of this Alpen region.
You then bike into the Interlaken vicinity, spending two days exploring the most pristine lakes in the country, Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, before we make the car-free mountain hamlet of Wengen our home.
This region is world renowned for its beauty, most notably the nearby looming peaks of Eiger, Moench and Jungfrau. You get to know them by sight very quickly as we enjoy the leisurely bike rides that enjoy the regions spectacular beauty. The last day we take you have the option to embark on what we consider the most beautiful hike in the Swiss Alps…
Day 1: Meet & Greet
After your arrival in Gstaad, we bicycle to a 3-star lodge in nearby Lauenen, a small unspoiled mountain village displaying many fine examples of the wooden architecture typical of the Bernese Oberland, such as the early 16th century St Petrus church noted for its traditionally shingled steeple.
Lauenen is known as an area with substantial danger of landslides and avalanches, which is the origin of its name (German Lawine "landslide," from Latin labina "slide"). Lauenen was first mentioned historically in 1296 as “an der lowinon” and known for its notable glaciers and lakes, including the Tungel Glacier, the Gelten Glacier, and Lake Lauenen. You’ll enjoy soaking up the Swiss mountain charm of this virtually undiscovered village.
Lodgings are at a small family run hotel outside the village, built in the old Bernese farmhouse style with a chalet-look where the triangle roof almost touches the ground. The balconies are a geranium heaven.
Day 2: Thunersee & Medieval Center
We pedal through sleepy mountain villages down the Simmen Valley, along a quiet bike path. From the green pastures above Spiez marvel at Switzerland’s most beautiful lake, Thuner See. We visit Schloss Spiez, taste their wine and then boat or bike to Thun. This lake is fed by water from Lake Brienz to the south east, which lies 6 meters higher than Lake Thun and from various streams in the Oberland. Lake Thun was created after the last ice age and was originally part of Lake Brienz. Frequently there is local flooding after heavy rainfalls. This occurs because River Aare, which drains Lake Thun, has only limited capacity to handle the excess runoff. The city of Thun is located on the north side of the lake and gives the lake its name.
We explore Thun’s medieval historic center and castle; enjoy the lively street cafes along the Aare River or a swim in the pristine water of the lake. Fishing is important enough to keep handfuls of professional fishers employed. In 2001 the total catch was 53,000 kg. Since 1835 passenger ships have operated on the lake. There are ten passenger ships in total, operated by the local railway company.
Lodgings in the historic center.
Day 3: Sherlock Holmes
Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau rise above the turquoise waters of Lake Thun. Pedal along its shores to well-preserved impressive medieval castle Oberhofen, and then continue past the Beatus caves to Interlaken. After lunch and a visit of Interlaken, we skirt the shores of Lake Brienz, to the wood carving village it derives its name. Here you’ll have the option for a side trip to the famous Reichenbach Falls in Meiringen (the site where Sherlock Holmes met his doom to his adversary Moriarty) before we arrive at the historic Inn at the Giessbach waterfall. Here is also the site of the Giessbach-Bahn, the oldest Funicular in Europe. A funicular, inclined railway, inclined plane, or, in the United Kingdom, a cliff railway, is a type of self-contained cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a very steep slope, utilizing one ascending and one descending tram cabin to counterbalance each other.
Lodgings: in the historic Inn at the Giessbach waterfalls on Lake Brienz.
Day 4: Glaciated Valley Floors
Along Lake Brienz we ride to Matten and into the Lauterbrunnen Valley, enclosed on three sides by massive Alpen summits, glaciers, waterfalls and vertical granite walls. For J.R.R. Tolkien fans Lauterbrunnen Valley also provided the pictorial model sketches and watercolors of the fictitious Valley of Rivendell, and possibly also the name of the Bruinen river (meaning 'Loudwater') which flowed through it. Our afternoon ride takes us through green pastures of dairy farming and past the quaint chalets as we head to the glacial waterfalls of this incredible valley. On our return we visit the Truemmelbach Falls that erupt within the mountain. That is right, inside the mountain the rare sight of the world famous falls conclude a perfect day of exploration.
Afterwards, we ride up to Wengen on a little yellow cog-train and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding hanging valleys. Settled in at our lodge within the car-free mountain resort village of Wengen, we may wish to enjoy an aperitif before dinner and watch the Jungfrau’s glacial face change color.
Lodgings for 2 nights we stay in a wonderful 3 star lodge in the center of the car free village of Wengen.
Day 5-6: Towering Falls & Magestic Peaks
None of our guest has been able to resist not reaching for their cameras during our cog rail transfer to the starting point of our hike or putting it away during the stunning walk along the recently opened “Eiger trail”. You are able to touch the north face of this mountain that represents the ultimate challenge to climbers throughout the world. The beauty is so astounding that one of our guests followed the tradition of kissing the local cow’s nose to ensure that he would one day return.
Simply an unforgettable day of walking that embraces the nature, which has defined Switzerland. Your recollection of this day of extraordinary scenery is sure to be the topic of conversation at your dinner table for years to come.
The following is a list of train schedules for transportation to and from the tour start and end locations. Train departure times and tracks are subject to change, so verify before boarding.
Trains from Zurich to Gstaad (tour start): ~3 hours
Departure Track Arrival
Zürich HB 10:00 15 Gstaad 12:55
Trains from Luzern to Gstaad (tour start): ~3 hours
Departure Track Arrival
Luzern 09:55 5 Gstaad 12:55
Trains from Geneva to Gstaad (tour start): ~2.5 hours
Departure Track Arrival 09:36 Gstaad 12:12
Departing your tour:
From Interlaken to Zurich: ~2 hours (departures hourly)
From Interlaken to Geneva: ~3 hours (departures hourly)