The Lauterbrunnen Valley Circuit

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Ben the Grate on July 27, 2005

This is an excellent way to take in the glorious Lauterbrunnen Valley, one of the deepest glacial valleys on earth and one of the most spectacular places in all of Switzerland.

Begin at the railway station in Lauterbrunnen and take the cog railway up to Murren (included on your Jungfraurail pass). Stroll around this quaint, car-free village for awhile, then jump on the private railway to Birg (included in your $21 ticket to Schilthorn).

Take the nauseatingly steep tram up to the peak of Schilthorn and have a cheesy, pricey, but delicious, champagne James Bond breakfast in the rotating restaurant. Afterwards, stroll outside and take in the airy views.

Then head down the gondola to Gimmelwald. (Ticket down from Schilthorn to the bottom of the valley at Stechelberg costs around $29 and includes a stop in Gimmelwald.)

This once-sleepy farming village was discovered by Rick Steeves and is now as crowded as Interlaken. But it's still beautiful. Stroll the streets and meadows above the village and have some late-morning tea before heading down the tram to the head of the Lauterbrunnen Valley at Stechelberg.

Now, you can stroll or bike ($15) the valley back to Lauterbrunnen. There are dozens of places to stop and drink in the views of plummeting waterfalls and icy peaks.

Halfway back to Lauterbrunnen, take the obligatory tour of Trummelbach Falls, a spectacular slot canyon with thundering waterfalls. It'll cost you $7.

This is a great overview if you don't have much time. If you have lots of time, do this first and you'll know which spots you want to go back and visit in-depth.

Lauterbrunnen Valley/UNESCO Trail

Interlaken, Bern, Switzerland

© LP 2000-2009