Magnificent Bernese Oberland – Hiking around Interlaken
© Tourismus Organisation Interlaken
The two long deep blue lakes are framed by steep mountains and high peaks showcasing the beauty of the Interlaken region. The mountains around Interlaken are a paradise for hikers and nature lovers. These 13 unique hiking routes will help you to discover Bernese Oberland’s nature around Lake Brienz and Lake Thun on your own. Whether you prefer a leisurely family hike, an informative themed trail in through the nature park, a hike in the mountains with panoramic views or an exciting ridge trail — you will find what you are looking for here.
Various hikes will guide you through the mountainous landscape and lake shores, small villages and old towns, dense forests and magnificent alpine pastures. Interlaken is nestled between the turquoise lakes of Brienz and Thun. With its central location in the middle of breathtaking alpine nature, the city is the perfect starting point for your hiking tours in the surrounding mountains.
Here in the mountains between Bern and Mönch, Eiger and Jungfrau, all hikers can look forward to their personal dream hike. Stroll along the shores of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and jump into the clear water. Discover hidden waterfalls between Interlaken and Brienz. Climb up the Brienzer Rothorn, Niederhorn, and Augstmatthorn and gaze at breathtaking panoramas. Alternatively, you can take the multi-day “Panoramarundweg” tour around the entire Lake Thun — there is something for everyone in Interlaken.
The panoramic circular route around Lake Thun offers a variety of hiking trails, exciting natural highlights and countless views of the peaks and lakes of the Bernese Oberland. Since 2012, two impressive suspension bridges have been part of the Panorama Trail, which will take you up high above the Gummischlucht gorge and over the Spissibachs valley - so a little thrill is guaranteed. The trail is designed as a four-day stage hike and can be completed by enduring hikers but also in two or three days. The length of each stage depends entirely on your decision. Thanks to the bus and train and the ships on Lake Thun, you can easily plan individual sections as a day hike.The tour starts at the station in Thun. From there you hike along the banks of the Aare and then climb through Hünibach to the mountain slopes north of Lake Thun. Here you can walk through forests and sometimes with beautiful views over open meadows. After crossing the suspension bridge over the rubber gorge, you will reach Sigriswil, where you can finish your first stage well. Afterwards it goes downhill and close to the lakeshore to Interlaken. Shortly before Interlaken, the second stage destination, the St. Beatus Caves are worth a detour.From Interlaken, the panoramic circular route climbs a bit and takes you to the bridge over the Spissibach valley. From the bridge you can enjoy a magnificent view of the opposite lake. First through mountain forests and then across meadows and through small villages you walk down to Spiez, the destination of the third stage. The fourth stage stays close to the shore again and spoils you with beautiful views of the mountains of the Bernese Oberland before you reach the starting point of the hike in Thun.
The hike on the summit ridge to the Augstmatthorn is one of the most exciting and challenging tours around Interlaken. Despite the cable car ride to the Harder Kulm are still over 800 vertical meters in the climb on the program. Experienced and persevering mountain hikers will be pampered on the narrow summit ridge with breathtaking views over the dramatic mountain landscape of the Bernese Oberland. If you start early and are attentive, you also have a good chance to observe ibex - on the steep slopes of the Augstmatthorn lives a large stag-colony. The best time for your hike to Augstmatthorn is from June to September.The starting point of the hike can be reached by the Harderbahn from Interlaken. After a short detour to the viewing platform Hader Kulm, the tour leads you up to the summit ridge. On a narrow, partially exposed ridge, it goes steadily uphill to Augstmatthorn. Here are the narrowest points additionally insured with wire ropes in the summit area. After you have looked at the panorama, you walk down the Lombachalp to Habkern. From there, take the PostBus back to Interlaken. Alternatively, the Ruftaxi Bus Alpin will take you from Lombachalp to Habkern.
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The steep mountain slopes around Lake Brienz are a paradise for waterfall lovers. The signposted "Path of the three waterfalls" leads you along the south bank and to the most beautiful and famous waterfalls. The hiking trail can be divided into two stages. The small village of Iseltwald or the Grand Hotel Giessbach are suitable as a stopover. Since ships go back to Interlaken from here, you can easily plan the individual stages as a short day tour for the whole family.The starting point is Bönigen, a small neighboring town of Interlaken on the shores of Lake Brienz. First it goes a bit along the shore and then uphill into the rustic forests. After a short time you will reach the enchanted disappearance case. In constant up and down it goes on to the Mülibach waterfall. From here you can also descend to Iseltwald if you want to split the tour into two stages or if you want to take the boat back to Interlaken. Otherwise it goes on to Giessbachfall, where you can also change to the ship. Most of the time you hike through shady forests, but you can always look forward to beautiful views of the dramatic mountain backdrop. After the last waterfall, the hiking trail leads you down to the lake shore and to the Brienz tour destination. Then take the train or the ship back to Interlaken.
The Morgenberghorn forms the southern end of a striking summit ridge high above the southern shore of Lake Thun. The impressive summit pyramid offers enduring mountain hikers a breathtaking view and since there is no lift to the summit, it is usually wonderfully lonely here. The way is quite long - you should plan around four to five hours for the ascent. The descent through the Suldtal will make things easier again and the Pochtfall restaurant will tempt you to take a well-deserved rest.From Aeschiried, which is approached by the PostBus, the signposted hiking path leads you first over alpine meadows and then through rustic mountain forest. You reach the tree line at the Brunnihütte, which is open on weekends in summer. Now it goes on a partially cable-secured path up to the summit - surefootedness and a head for heights are absolutely necessary here. For this you will be spoiled with a unique view above. Afterwards it goes less steeply down to the Suldtal via the south ridge. On a beautiful hiking trail you follow the route gently downhill to the starting point Aeschiried.
This hike is a mountain tour for real connoisseurs and also for families. The funicular and the gondola lift take you comfortably up to the promising summit of the Niederhorn and then downhill along beautiful hiking trails to the Beatenberg cable car station. On the way, a stop in the Bärgrestaurant Vorsass is worthwhile, where you can take a break with a wonderful view.The tour starts at the Niederhornbahn mountain station. To do this, take the funicular from Beatenbucht station to the middle station and change here to the gondola. At the summit you can first enjoy the wonderful panorama and then set off. First across wide mountain meadows and then through dense forests, the hiking trail leads you to the view at Restaurant Vorsass. Now it goes parallel to the cable car down to the middle station Beatenberg.If you fancy a change of pace, you can also rent a scooter from the chairman and roll casually to Beatenberg station.
The Unterseener Uferweg leads you from Interlaken first on the Aare and then along the shores of Lake Thun to Neuhaus. On the way you can discover the impressive castle ruins Weissenau and the nature reserve of the same name. Arriving at the destination, you will end up with a lido and several cozy restaurants where you can enjoy the panoramic view over the lake. Also nice: a boat trip on Lake Thun.Starting point of the tour is the train station Interlaken West. Here you briefly cross the Aare, which you then follow in the direction of Lake Thun. Soon you have left the city behind you and wander under trees along the riverbank. At the confluence with the lake, the castle ruins await you for a little discovery tour. Afterwards you follow the route on beautiful paths and boardwalks through the nature reserve Weissenau, where you can observe many birds. From the goal of the tour, the Unterseener district Neuhaus, you can either take the PostBus or the same way back to the starting point.
The Lombachalp on the outskirts of Habkern is characterized by a mystical moor landscape that is of national importance. Large areas of the raised bog are under nature protection and are a dream destination for smaller and larger hikes. Young and old can explore the unspoilt landscape on the observation path and also enjoy wonderful panoramic views of the Bernese Oberland.Your hike begins at the hiking car park in Lombachalp. If you are traveling without your own car, take the Postbus to Habkern and change to the Ruftaxi Bus Alpin, which takes you to Lombachalp. From here you follow the signposted path over the gentle hills, which are covered by wide bogs, primeval spruces and gnarled mountain pines. The well-developed path must not be left here for reasons of nature conservation. After about two kilometers, the observation path branches off to the left onto a narrow hiking path and leads you back to the starting point of the hike over the flat, but promising summit of the winter beauty. Here you can eat and relax in the Jägerstube.
The Spiez circular hiking trail allows you to explore the diverse nature and beautiful landscape around Spiez. The path is excellently developed and also suitable for families with prams. Since the path leads past bus stops again and again, you can shorten the tour as you wish. As befits a circular route, the Spiezer circular route can of course also be hiked in the opposite direction.The circular hiking trail begins at the Schlosspark in Spiez and is divided into four parts. The first part, the Strandweg, leads you from the castle park along the bank to the Faulensee pier. Along the beach path you can discover various sculptures on the subject of “Miracles of Bern”. Because the German national soccer team stayed in Spiez in 1954.Then the high path begins, which leads you from the bank up into the Seeholzwald and then with a great view to Spiezwil. The Spiezwilerweg, the third section, runs through small forest areas and brings you back to the lake shore. This is where the fourth and last part of the tour begins, the vine path. Wine has been grown on the sun-drenched slopes of the Spiezer Rebberg for centuries. The process of growing wine over the course of the year is also told on several information boards. More information can be found at spiez.ch/de/gemeinde/tourismus-freizeit/Erlebnispfad-Spiezer-Rebberg.php.
The hiking trail from Brienz up to the Brienzer Rothorn is especially suitable for very fit mountain hikers. The varied routes are sometimes steep, but otherwise good to commit - with more than 1,700 meters in altitude ascent yet a real challenge. The Brienz-Rothorn-Bahn offers a shortcut that will take you up to the middle station Planalp. Here you only have half of the tour ahead of you. From the summit, the steam cogwheel train takes you back to the valley.Starting point of the hike is Brienz-West station. On the bank of the Milibach you climb steadily uphill on a narrow hiking trail. Soon the signposted route leaves the stream and meanders in countless hairpin bends through the mountain forest to Planalp. Here the forest opens and over wide alpine pastures it goes on upwards. With a wonderful view, you finally climb the summit and are rewarded here with a magnificent panorama over the Bernese Oberland. Satisfied, you can finally drive from the historic Brienz-Rothorn-Bahn back to Brienz.
The avalanche winter 1998/1999 and the hurricane Lothar left a lot of devastation in the mountain forests of the Bernese Oberland. At the Axalp, regional wood sculptors came up with something very special. They carved innumerable wooden sculptures from the stumps that remained, which you can discover today on the Schnitzlerweg. At the end of the tour, the romantically located Hinterburgseeli awaits you.The starting point of the hike is the mountain village of Axalp, which you can reach by post bus or your own car. The signposted Schnitzlerweg begins here - but even without signs you can hardly miss the wooden figures. The hiking path leads you through the mountain forest and on the edge of open alpine meadows to the Hinterburgseeli, where you can jump into the clear water on hot summer days. Freshly cooled, the way back to the starting point is the same.More demanding variant: If you want a little more variety, you hike from Hinterburgseeli via Alp Hinterburg to the Uf der Flue huts. From here it goes west below the steep rock faces of the Oltschiburg and up to the Hilten mountain inn. From here it is only a few meters downhill until you meet the Schnitzlerweg, which leads you back to the Axalp.
The Güggisgrat stands for pure mountain enjoyment. At lofty heights and on quite good mountain hiking trails you can hike from the Niederhorn with breathtaking views over the entire ridge and finally descend to Habkern. Only a few places are exposed and therefore require surefootedness. In addition to the view lures on the Güggisgrat yet another highlight: namely, on the steep slopes, many, quite curious ibex.From Beatenbucht station, take the funicular railway to Beatenberg, where you change to the gondola lift to Niederhorn. Arrived at the Niederhorn, the ridge path begins immediately. With every step, the view accompanies you to the Justistal below you, to the parallel running Sigriswilergrat and to the mountains of the Bernese Oberland. At the Gemmenalphorn begins the descent towards Habkern. First, you follow the ridge a bit, but then a trail branches off to the right into the valley. Over barren mountain meadows, through sparse forests and over wide alpine pastures, you descend to the tour destination. From here you take the postbus back to the starting point of the hike or just after Interlaken.
The bird walk takes you on a leisurely stroll through the romantic cultural landscape of the Diemtigtal nature park. You will cross the habitats of many native species of birds in a variety of ways. Attentive observers can spot circling red kites, curious chaffinches, swift-swifts, chirping wrens, and the rare dipper. In addition, there are several stations where you can inform yourself about the bird life.The signposted bird walk starts at Oey-Diemtigen station and leads you first through the village of Oey up to wide alpine meadows. On a barely traveled road you walk along pastures and individual farms, until the bird path branches off shortly after Bächlen into Chireltal. Now it goes through the natural river valley gently downhill to the starting point of the hike.
The Niesen, also known as the Swiss Pyramid, is a fantastic panoramic mountain on the southern shore of Lake Thun. You can easily reach the striking pyramid-shaped summit with the Niesenbahn. The funicular takes you from Mülenen with a great view up to the mountain. From there you can make beautiful walks around the summit. This tour takes you from the Niesen through beautiful landscape downhill to the cable car middle station Schwandegg. If you like a summit panorama with a proper ascent, you can of course also run the reverse.After you have taken the cable car up to the rocky summit and here you have admired the panorama in peace and quiet, you can hike down the Nordgrat on a good mountain hiking trail. Soon a hiking trail branches off to the left, which leads you across open mountain meadows evenly down towards Schwandegg. There you climb again in the cable car, which drives you comfortably down into the valley.