The Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau – peaks that hold as much allure, history, and legend as any in the Alps, are the emblems of the Bernese Oberland. Whether you see them at a distance from the capital city of Bern, or closer still from the city between the lakes of Interlaken, or up close in one of the postcard-perfect villages like Wengen, Mürren, Grindelwald, or the Lauterbrunnen Valley, they are equally impressive. Home to adventure-seekers for 150 years, the Jungfrau region is a great launching-point for active travelers of all ages.
The focal point is the town of Interlaken ("between two lakes"), a major tourist point for over a century. Our primary reason for a visit to the city would be to stay at the classic Belle-Époque 5* Victoria-Jungfrau Palace, one of the leading hotels of the world. But a cruise on the lake in a vintage steam-paddleship at sunset, or a view from the Harder Kulm funicular above town is hard to beat.
During ski season, the Jungfrau Region is home to 3 diverse resorts, all inter-connected by Wengernalpbahn trains and cablecars. Mürren, a car-free “eagle’s nest” village high on a sunny plateau has a subdued charm, and is ideal for families. Wengen, home to the famous Lauberhorn World Cup ski races, is also a pedestrian-only village with classic Belle-Epoque hotels. And Grindelwald features a wide array of slopes under the shadow of the imposing Eiger.
But in summer, the region really shines, with hundreds of kilometers of hiking trails, dozens of waterfalls, and the ubiquitous chime of cowbells as the soundtrack to the season. The striking contrast of cobalt-blue skies, white glaciers, and emerald-green hills and mountains are the quintessence of the Swiss landscape. A train ride up the Jungfraujoch to 3466m, is a feat of Swiss engineering, with tunnels cut though the Eiger back in 1912.