The deep blue Lake Thun in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region looks like a postcard: fairytale castles rise from the crystal-clear waters, their towers backdropped by mighty mountain peaks, whilst colourful ships circle lakes. With thousand-year-old churches, lively towns and hiking trails with great views, this region perfectly combines culture, nature and city life.
The Panorama Rundweg Thunersee (Lake Thun Panoramic Circular Trail) is an eventful, enjoyable multi-day hike that is suitable for long-distance beginners. Along the way, the views over Lake Thun and the surrounding mountains constantly change. Two spectacular suspension bridges, opened in 2012, let you test your nerve: one leads 180 metres (590 ft) above the Gummischlucht Gorge whilst another leads over the Spissibach stream. You hike 56 kilometres (34.8 mi) through Swiss villages and across colourful alpine meadows. You can jump into the lake whenever you fancy too!
The circular trail starts and finishes in the town of Thun. The first stage takes you through idyllic settlements like Allmend on the north shore of the lake and over the Gummischlucht suspension bridge to Sigriswil village. The second stage takes you to Interlaken and includes highlights such as St. Beatus caves, Alte Aarebucht Nature Reserve and Weissenau Castle ruins. The third stage’s route is the longest. It takes you to the Meielisalp and along the southern shore of Lake Thun to Spiez. On the last stage, you hike from the impressive Spiez Castle and follow the river almost continuously on your way back to Thun.
Thanks to its central location, the city of Thun is easily accessible by train from across Switzerland. From Bern, the journey takes only 20 minutes and less than one and a half hours from Zurich. In addition, the stage towns of Interlaken and Spiez also have rail connections, in case you don't want to hike the entire trail in one go. No previous experience is necessary for the hike, you just need enough stamina for the third stage which is just under 22 kilometres (13.6 mi) long. Otherwise, you can concentrate entirely on the impressive views along the gentle trail.
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Last updated: May 5, 2023
The beautiful Thun, which lies at the confluence of the Aare and Lake Thun, is the starting point of the panorama circular route. If you arrive by public transport, you start at the train station. The Aarefeldstrasse brings you straight to the bank of the river, which you cross on the historic Scherzlig…
After a night in Sigriswil, accompanied by fantastic views of Lake Thun, you will descend over several small streams to Merligen. In the small town you pass the church there and then follow the pilgrimage route towards Interlaken. At the foot of the Niederhorn you hike to Beatenbucht, where the valley…
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At just under 22 kilometers, the third stage is the longest of the Lake Thun Panorama Trail and awaits you with many highlights. First, the long-distance hiking trail leads you comfortably and flat from Interlaken to Därligen. You have now reached the southeastern shore of Lake Thun and from Därligen…
The fourth and last stage of the Panorama Rundweg Thunersee takes you relaxed back to Thun and thus closes the circle. You start at the mighty Spiez Castle and walk from there over the Katzenstein into the Spiezbergwald. Where the trees are thinning, you can enjoy wonderful views of the lake.
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