With spectacular high peaks (the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau etc.), waterfalls, deep blue lakes, and picturesque rural villages, Bernese Oberland has become one of the favorite travel destinations in Europe. Backpackers throughout the world love to visit these regions of Switzerland, especially during Summer when the weather is pleasant. Bernese Oberland, Switzerland, with serene landscapes, might be the right place for you if you are thinking about spending a few carefree days in the lap of nature.

For an unparalleled Bernese Oberland trip, it is necessary to make a proper plan. Hence this Bernese Oberland, Switzerland travel guide to help you conduct research about what to see and what to do here. Your Bernese Oberland trip can be unforgettable with the amazing experience of walking through villages and meadows while hearing the cowbell sounds.

What to know about the Bernese Oberland

Bernese Oberland, the home of more than 800 lakes, countless mountain peaks and picturesque villages, never fails to cast a spell over travelers. Nature works at its best here. From adventurous hikers to holidaymakers who love to spend their days idly in Gstaad, Bernese Oberland has a lot to offer. Nothing could beat the beauty of quiet resorts, the grand glaciers and the stunning views of the Swiss Alps.  

It always feels lovely to spend quiet days in the Bernese Oberland, where the climate is cool and moist. Here the peaks are quite high (about 4,300m) while the valleys are low (approximately 500 to 1,000m). The Bernese Oberland region extends from Grimsel Pass (the Bernese south-east) to Gstaad (the Bernese south-west). Also, this region includes the Jungfrau Region, a popular holiday destination. That’s not all. It also covers Interlaken towns and the famous lakes – Thunersee and Brienzersee.

Besides trips to Mannlichen, Schilthorn, and Jungfraujoch, mountain excursions and hiking are pretty popular here. Summer is the best time for hiking in this region. Your trip to Bernese Oberland, Switzerland, might remain incomplete if you don’t visit Lake Thun, Lake Brienz, Lake Oeschinen and the Blue Lake.

Travel enthusiasts can visit almost any place in this region by availing public transport. Also, countless cable cars, cogwheel trains, funiculars etc., allow tourists to enjoy the breathtaking alpine scenery.

What not to miss in the Bernese Oberland

Well, it depends on what kind of trip you love. To hikers to passionate travelers, Bernese Oberland trips could be unforgettable for everyone. Being a travel enthusiast, if you ask us about the highlights, we would surely mention Jungfraujoch. It’s worth exploring the world of snow. Those who want to feed their eyes with scenic beauty will surely regret it if they miss the boat trip on Lake Brienz or Lake Thun. Also, exploring picture-perfect villages on foot would be a great thing to do. 

Traveling from Geneva to Bernese Oberland via the GoldenPass train can be a better choice than via Bern if you truly love to enjoy scenic views. On the other hand, Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, Grindelwald and Wengen are the heaven on the earth for hikers.

Gstaad, located in the west of the Bernese Oberland, is a famous resort town and a favorite spot of holidaymakers. All the Bernese Oberland regions are easy to access through Interlaken – a popular spot.

If you want to explore less popular valleys in these regions, don’t forget to add Simmen valley, Kander valley and Hasli valley to your list. All these valleys are famous for their scenic beauty and can be explored on foot on plenty of hiking trails.

Interlaken

Located between two lakes – Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, Interlaken allows travelers to access the central region of the Bernese Oberland easily. This small town is not far away from the Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch mountain peaks. To enjoy the eye catchy scenic beauty, board a train or a cable car to one of the many vantage points.

Jungfrau Region

A skiing and hiking center for adventurous souls. Located at the north of the Eiger, Grindelwald, a Swiss village, is easy to access by bus and car. From Grindelwald, tourists can board the train and go to Jungfraujoch, which is the highest railway station in Europe. Grindelwald has cable cars that can be taken up to reach long and short distance trails. One of the best places for skiing, Jungfrau Region also has some amazing places for non-skiers.

Tolkien, who created The Lord of the Rings, derived inspiration from the three mountain peaks near the Lauterbrunnen Valley. In this book, the author addressed the Silberhorn as Silvertine or Celebdil, the Jungfrau is called Fanuidhol or Cloudyhead, and finally, the Rottalhorn is referred to as Caradhras.

Lauterbrunnen Valley

According to a large number of travelers, no place in Europe can beat Lauterbrunnen Valley in respect of the scenic beauty. This U-shaped valley with more than 72 waterfalls looks stunning. Murren, the transfer point, connects the longest cable railway on the Schilthorn peak. This is a car-free region with some jaw-dropping travel destinations. Lauterbrunnen Valley also offers some of the best hiking and skiing spots. Apart from the mentioned, Bönigen and Iseltwald are some of the best spots for travelers.

Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings, set his foot here for the first time in 1911 and got immensely impressed by 72 waterfalls and sheer cliffs. Therefore, it is no wonder that the author used this experience as inspiration for the Elven village of Rivendell in the book The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Western Part of Bernese Oberland

The western part of Bernese Oberland attracts ski lovers throughout the world. Gstaad, a charming village, is famous for its beauty. If you are looking for a secluded place to relax your mind and body, a trip to Gstaad could be a great way to escape from the mundane world of reality. A favorite spot of the richest people in the world, Gstaad has everything to make your trip unforgettable.

The Lake Thun Area

Known as “Riviera of the Bernese Oberland”, The Lake Thun Area feels extremely calm. Blessed with the captivating lake and mountains, Thun is the perfect place to relax. Also, Lake Thun offers perfect wind conditions for different water activities like sailing. Of course, it’s a great place for rock climbers, mountain bikers, and mountaineers as well. 

How to Travel

Traveling by car is a common option for tourists in Bernese Oberland, Switzerland. Also, there are public transport options like buses, trains and cable cars for backpackers. Please have a look at the below section to find a comparison between different modes:

Train Passes

The Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland allows travelers to visit Bern, Interlaken, Saanen, Lucerne, and Brig. Also, there are nationwide passes. This Regional-Pass Bernese Oberland might be a good option for those who want to stay only in the Bernese Oberland, Switzerland.

Car-free Areas

You cannot use a car to reach the villages of Mürren, Gimmelwald and Wengen because these Jungfrau Region villages are car-free. Also, it is possible to reach all destinations in the Bernese Oberland by train or bus. Tourists with cars can reach almost all main towns and villages, except the car-free villages.

Final Thoughts

The silent, picturesque villages in the Bernese Oberland regions in Switzerland are the perfect place for backpackers who are in search of peace. Some places with no phone signals and wifi are perfect for a digital detox. A trip to Bernese Oberland, Switzerland, offers scopes to rediscover yourself in the tranquility of nature.