Jungfrau Region (Switzerland) – A Hiker’s Paradise (Part 2)

Most climbers aren’t in fact deranged, they’re just infected with a particularly virulent strain of the Human Condition.

– Jon Krakauer (Eiger Dreams)

Start here for Part 1 of my Hiker’s Paradise in Switzerland’s Jungfrau region. 


Fresh from my discovery of Lauterbrunnen and Gimmelwald just the day before, I set out to explore Switzerland’s famed mountain resort of Grindelwald. Located at the foot of the north face of Eiger, the village appeals not only to the mountaineering elite, but remains a drawcard for tourists, whom are attracted by its emerald-green alpine pastures and lakes, as well as its proximity to a myriad of hiking trails and mountain lookouts.

Whilst lacking an element of dramatic mystique often associated with Lauterbrunnen, the village of Grindelwald offers an idyllic ambience with colourful Swiss wooden chalets adorning the landscape.

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Alpine cows of Grindelwald

Grindelwald First

Ten minutes from Grindelwald station, the Grindelwald First cable car beckoned in the horizon. I have heard much about the dizzying heights of the Grindelwald First Cliff Walk, a suspended footbridge hugging the Grindelwald First summit. It is this I have come for. The cable car ride ascends over 1,000m in under half an hour and serves up picture-perfect vistas of Swiss alpine life set amongst rocky slopes and snow-capped peaks.

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Grindelwald First cable car, with Mt Eiger in the background

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Howling winds greeted me at the summit, doing their best to unravel my already tattered nerves. After a number of false starts and what seemed to be an interminable hour, I put one foot gingerly in front of the other on the death-defying walkway towards Eiger’s North Face.

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Grindelwald First Cliff Walk, with the infamous Mt Eiger beckoning amongst the clouds

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The placid Lake Thun offered welcoming relief after an adrenalin-infused day. The city of Thun, located at the lower end of Lake Thun and 30 minutes from Interlaken, is widely considered the gateway to the Bernese Oberland. With its distinct wooden bridges and cobbled streets, Thun’s historic Old Town is reminiscent of the Swiss city of Lucerne and boasts a 12th century castle as the city’s proud landmark.

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Mini-Lucerne – Thun’s Old Town

A cruise on Lake Thun would be one of the most tranquil ways to cap the day. For the die-hards amongst us, the hour-long walk along the shores of Lake Thun is highly memorable and culminates in the Oberhofen Castle, renowned for its medieval keep and distinctive lakeside turrets.

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Oberhofen Castle, Lake Thun

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21 Comments Add yours

  1. Forestwood says:

    I am trying my best to decide whether to visit or not based on your post. Is it for the adrenaline seekers or did you have bad weather at the time? It does look fantastic. And this was in summertime, right?

    1. Jolene says:

      Thanks for your note Amanda, please do make Interlaken the top of your list if you intend to visit Switzerland! It’s not just for the adrenaline junkies (I certainly found the mountains more peaceful than adventurous). I went in April, not quite the onset of summer and the weather can be a little temperamental. I would recommend going from May to Aug/Sep when the weather is perhaps more amenable. 😊

      1. Forestwood says:

        Okay. I will add Interlaken and Grindelwald to my wishlist.

  2. RahulYuvi says:

    Beautifully written..hey, I too visited Jungfraujoch very recently (June 2018) with my family , along with the 6 year old kiddo (who has by now become a permanent wanderer, thanks to his nomadic parents)and we just loved it..However, I wasn’t aware about cable car from Grindelwald..But I have in fact shared the entire Jungfrau experience including the incredible train journey from Interlaken Ost Station to Jungfraujoch yesterday only : https://insideoutwithrahulyuvi.com/2018/09/03/an-incredible-train-journey-to-the-top-of-the-europe-interlaken-ost-station-to-jungfraujoch/

    1. Jolene says:

      Thank you Rahul. The cable car was an amazing ride. Thanks for dropping by and glad to hear you enjoyed your trip as well. 😊

      1. RahulYuvi says:

        will surely go for cable
        rise whenever I visit there next time..thank you for the reply ! 🙂

  3. The pictures are breathtaking ♥️♥️ how good are you at photography?!
    The accompanying description took to this foreign land feeling the similar adrenaline rush you would have felt and the nail bitting fear of trudging through the scary narrow brigde over, as if walking through the clouds ♥️
    I missed your work. Looking forward to more my friend. Keep writing ♥️

    1. Jolene says:

      Thanks for your lovely words. They make my day 😉.
      The fear when taking that first step was indescribable. But there was a full grown man in front of me who looked like he was going to wet his pants and that gave me the courage to carry on. 😂😂

  4. Len Kagami says:

    Wow! The view from the cliff walk is truly breathtaking! I also like the castle in Thun. It recalls the beautiful Chillon Castle on the shore of Lake Geneva 🙂 Have you been there as well?

    1. Jolene says:

      Thanks Len, it was quite scary at the same time. I didn’t go Chillon, I was actually sick in Geneva so spent a day in the hotel … 🤢😂

      1. Len Kagami says:

        How unfortunate! 😦 I hate getting sick while travelling.

  5. Choi says:

    That cliff walk looks so scary 😭😭

    1. Jolene says:

      Haha, yea that’s no kidding. I had wobbly knees and stepped out there on my third attempt. It wasn’t the height, but the unimaginable gusts. But I wasn’t the worst one, there was a (adult) guy who was close to tears. Ironically that gave me the final boost I needed to step out 😂 Awesome place though!

      1. Choi says:

        Takes a lot of guts no doubt. Jealous!

  6. Raaj Ashok says:

    Been to Grindelwald some few years back and wondered why was God so partial to this place…Thun, Grund, Buchalpsee …the names evoke a special nostalgia…thanks for posting lovely pics…

    1. Jolene says:

      Thanks Raaj, you are absolutely right, the places bring back a wealth of nostalgia. I’m glad you enjoyed those places and the feelings they evoke. Thanks for visiting! 😊

  7. Lynn Blair says:

    Looks like fun.

    1. Jolene says:

      It was amazing fun Lynn!! Thanks for popping by. 😁

    1. Jolene says:

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed them! 😊

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