Hi everyone! While in Switzerland this past summer, we were able to take a day trip from Interlaken to the small town of Lauterbrunnen in order to get some more time in the Swiss Alps. Three famous snow-capped mountains in particular tower over this area: Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau. We spent a lot of time admiring these legends.
There are lots of ways to spend your time here (even if you don’t like hiking or skiing). We loved it so much, we actually came back a second day! (Not originally part of our plan).
Our first day in this region, we spent the morning visiting Trümmelbach Falls: a series of 10 waterfalls inside a mountain. These drain the glaciers on top of the three famous mountains I mentioned at an incredible rate of 20,000 litres (over 5,000 gallons) per second! If you’re afraid of heights, this adventure is not for the faint of heart. I had a great deal of difficulty trying to view the waterfalls that were higher up. It was spectacular to see the way they had carved the mountain as they poured through. It only costs 11 CHF per person to visit. For more information, check out this link.
After spending some time visiting the waterfalls and village of Lauterbrunnen, it was time to make a journey up into the Alps. The first step of this is to take the cable car to the town of Mürren. If you have a Swiss rail pass, this will cover your ride all the way to the top! If you don’t, you can purchase your tickets ahead of time online here. It costs 105 CHF round trip for an adult.
This may seem like a hefty price, but it’s actually reasonable compared to going to the top of the larger Jungfrau. Our original plan was to visit the peak of this famous mountain but the woman working at our hostel actually recommended Schilthorn instead. When we realized our Swiss Rail pass would cover the cable car, we were sold. It’s actually much better (not as touristy) and more reasonably priced. You are also able to admire the view of Jungfrau and the other two big mountains from here.
Mürren is a great stop to grab a bite to eat and stroll the streets, while admiring the mountains towering above. This Alpine village is actually car-free, which adds to the traditional feel of the wooden chalet homes. We recommend grabbing a drink at the terrace of Hotel Alpenruh for an incredible view.
Flower Trail in Allmendhubel
On our second day ascending Schilthorn, we decided to walk the Flower Trail in Allmendhubel. Below sits a large playground and meal area for families but above, the path is filled with beautiful mountain flowers–including the famous edelweiss! It’s a great spot to have a picnic.
After visiting Mürren and the flower tail in Allmendhubel, Birg is the next stop along the journey up the mountain. It is most famous for being home to a thrill walk (no thank you) but it also has some of the most incredible views of Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau! The first day we visited Birg, it was so cloudy you couldn’t see anything. It felt like we were stuck in fog.
Disappointed, we decided not to continue on to the top since we knew we wouldn’t be able to see much. A woman working at the cafe in Birg recommended to us that we come back early in the morning. It’s usually always clear but the afternoon brings quite a bit of clouds. That’s when we decided we needed a second day to ascend the mountain!
On our second day back to Schilthorn, we were there bright and early, ready to catch the very first cable car all the way up to the top! (We were also dressed more appropriately–since it is very cold in the mountains, compared to the balmy 80 degree below).
By the time we got to the top, it was a bright, crystal-clear day! And my, were the views worth it. It actually felt like we were on another planet. Everywhere you turned was a majestic mountain or green valley. The peak viewing area is 9,744 feet above sea level so you can see for miles when there aren’t any clouds!
Now that you’ve heard about Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau, I thought I should share the short legend behind these mighty mountains. Jungfrau means virgin in German. Mönch (the middle mountain) is protecting Jungfrau from the evil Eiger. It’s not the most riveting story but fun to share nonetheless.
Piz Gloria is also famous for being the film location for the 1969 James Bond movie, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. They have a walk of fame and Bond experience you can check out while up there!
For someone who is normally afraid of heights, Schilthorn took my breath away, quite literally (the altitude) but in a good way. The best tip I have for this sort of trip (up any of the mountains in the Alps) is to go early in the morning! There are less people and less clouds. We felt like we had the whole top of the mountain to ourselves.
Check out our last video blog about our time spent in Southern Switzerland (including Thun, Interlaken & Schilthorn) and stay tuned for our last post about Mark’s adventure paragliding above Interlaken!