Where does one start when describing, quite possibly, the most beautiful place in all of Europe? Do I begin with the luxurious chalets that charmingly clutch verdant mountain slopes? Maybe I should start with a multitude of activities which create an exciting and enjoyable setting. Possibly the mountain-top pristine mirror-like lakes which reflect calm skies and snow-capped glacial peaks are preferred. Should I start with the scenic train ride that takes you up and through the Alps to the highest railway station in all of Europe? Frankly, it doesn’t matter where we begin because Grindelwald Switzerland is all of this and more wrapped into one of the most beautiful and fun-filled locations in the world.
Resting in the municipality of Interlaken-Oberhasli, this secluded village named Grindelwald waits for the myriads of “in the know” visitors who grace it grounds yearlong. The town supports the settlements of Grund, Burglauenen, Itramen, and Wargistal. According to lore and legend, Grindelwald is one of the oldest communities in the country. It covers an area of about 171 square kilometers and is hugely forested with wild animals in abundance. However, enough with the history and trifles of Grindelwald. Grindelwald is an attraction because of its exciting sceneries; it is a nature lover’s pictorial spectacle. Also, this Swiss town has a wealth of seasonal activities and fun excursions.
Switzerland and First Impressions of Grindelwald
On our trip to Switzerland, we flew into Zurich and spent a couple of days there. We felt that it was obligatory since Zurich is the most well-known Swiss city and happens to have a picturesque location with waterfront promenades. However, our real destination was Grindelwald. We left Zurich satisfied and then took a 45-minute drive south to Lucerne. After a short, but very pleasing, walkabout Lucerne, we got back in our car and completed our 2-hour scenic ride at Grindelwald. While the drive and landmarks along the way were unforgettable, nothing prepared us for the scenes of this beautiful village in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps.
The first thing you notice is that mountains surround Grindelwald; majestic, copiously green, and snowcapped mountains. Some of the favorite mountains that encompass the village include Eiger, Schwarzhorn, Wellhorn, Agassizhorn, and Schreckhorn. This mountainous region has a cool climate all year round, which creates the perfect destination for skiing, tobogganing, and other winter activities. Gletscherschlucht, a glacial gorge just outside Grindelwald, features paths, waterfalls and striated limestone walls. However, we ventured to Grindelwald in August when winter sports had taken their rest and had given birth to summer fun activities like mountain biking, hiking, trottibike scootering, mountain carting, ziplining, and more. It seemed as though we tried all of them and accessed them via the town’s gondola.
The Grindelwald–Männlichen Gondola Cableway ride, which originates from the epicenter of Grindelwald, is an activity that is not specific to a season. Its panoramic views of authentic nature and mountains are awe-inspiring. This cable car takes you to various stops with a final stop 7,110’ up at First; a minor summit on the slopes of the Schwarzhorn. One of the cool things about Grindelwald is that anyone can buy a day pass for these fun activities and then play, worry-free, all day. That’s what my wife and I did…a few days.
Seasonal Activities and Fun Excursions
One of our favorite “play days” included a cable car ride to First Cliff Walk. First Cliff Walk is a narrow and winding platform walkway, built alongside the cliff, rising 45 meters out into oblivion. This heart-pounding activity allowed us to view alpine pastures, forests, Grindelwald, waterfalls, and beautiful mountain landscapes from dizzying heights.
After that mesmerizing scenic spell wore off, we took a memorable hike to Bachalpsee Lake. Along the way, we had the privilege of conversing with inquisitive mountain goats and the world’s most content cattle who happily live among the clouds.
Remember, we were 7000+ feet up, how would we get back to Grindelwald? Sure, we could take the gondola back down, but we’ve already enjoyed that. Instead, we first took an 84 kilometer per hour zip line to the next stop. Hovering approximately 50 meters above the alpine meadows, the zip line provided a fun and scenic ride. From that stop, we boarded mountain carts and wheeled down the winding and semi-perilous pathway to the next stop. At this stop, we boarded scooters and made our long and final trek, among a Bernese Alps backdrop and fresh mountain air, to the village below. It was the perfect day full of fresh air, exercise, and stunning mountain views. Our sleep was excellent and long that night.
Grindelwald also plays host to the Jungfraubahn mountain railway. This once-in-a-lifetime train ride passes mountain streams, alpine meadows, mountainside chalets, and pine forests on its way to Klein Scheidegg, 6762 feet up. But it doesn’t end there. From there, the Jungfrau railway climbs to the Eiger Glacier station and then continues through the Eiger tunnel. In the middle of the tunnel expedition, the train stops so you can enjoy spectacular outlooks from within the mountain. You end 11,000 feet up at the Sphinx Observatory in Jungfraujoch; “the Top of Europe.” Because of its serene but remarkable Alpine-top setting, some films and documentaries including The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Krrish 3 have been filmed there. The panoramas from the Sphinx Observatory will be etched in your soul forever.
Yes, Grindelwald Switzerland the best and most beautiful place in all of Europe that we have visited thus far, and that’s 21 European countries and counting. If you know of another location that rivals or bests Grindelwald, please comment below so I can start planning my itinerary.