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Experience The Thrill Of A Lifetime At The Jungfrau Region

Snow fun in Jungfraujoch Top Of Europe, © Jungfraubahnen

Snow fun in Jungfraujoch Top Of Europe, © Jungfraubahnen

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Ultimate Guide To Top 5 Family-Friendly Holiday Ideas In Jungfrau. Centred around the lakeside city of Interlaken, the Jungfrau region is among Switzerland’s most scenic territories, packed with a rich array of things to do and see. From indoor rope parks to Europe’s longest glacier, this area promises something for all ages, and in all seasons.

360° Panoramic Views of Switzerland and its Glaciers at Jungfraujoch

The highlight of any trip to this country of inspiring topography, Jungfraujoch is a land of rock, snow and ice year-round, with the highest railway station in Europe, set 3454 metres above sea level and playfully known as the ‘Top of Europe’.

The train ride up here from Kleine Scheidegg is an adventure, venturing through a tunnel under the north face of the Eiger mountain, the track completed in 1912. Passengers marvel at the stop en-route at Eismeer station (the name means Sea of Ice, giving travellers an idea of what to expect) where they can take photos through giant windows at the dedicated indoor viewing area.

A short walk from the final station of Jungfraujoch, the Plateau is a section of flat terrain that supplies breathtaking vistas. On one side, the Mittelland unfurls and provides views as far as Germany’s Black Forest. At the same time, on the other Europe’s largest glacier, the Aletsch Glacier (part of a protected area that is the first UNESCO World Heritage Natural Site in the Alps), is visible, flanked by 4000-metre peaks.

Amazing views are also served up at the Sphinx, an observatory and international research station, © Jungfraubahnen

This is scenery that is the stuff of legends, an interaction with nature on a truly higher plane. Amazing views are also served up at the Sphinx, an observatory and international research station accessible by an ultra-fast lift that rockets 108 metres in 25 seconds. From the Sphinx terrace, the view of the glacier as it spreads out toward France, Germany, and Italy is unforgettable, while at the nearby Ice Palace, artwork includes sculptures of animals carved from mirror-clear ice.

A trip to Jungfraujoch is a welcome contrast from the summer heat in the lowlands — take a walk along the glacier or try winter sports at the Snow Fun Park, open from mid-May to mid-October. And when it’s time to refuel, Jungfraujoch has the highest Lindt store in the world as well as restaurants and coffee shops presenting local and international classics and warm or cold beverages to pick you up.

Snow Fun Park at Jungfraujoch Top of Europe, © Jungfraubahnen

Experience the thrill of a lifetime at Grindelwald First

A perfect mountain for adventure for all the family, Grindelwald First is easily accessible from Interlaken. Steeped in fresh air, and with towering peaks in every direction, the experience of just being here is as exciting as the thrills in store.

First Glider is a cross between a zip line and a paraglider — with four passengers harnessed under an eagle-shaped canopy that flies 800 metres through the air at speeds of up to 80km/h. First Flyer is a seated-style zip-line that rushes down an 800-metre cable with similar speeds, and in some places riders find themselves 50 metres above alpine meadows, free and almost weightless.

Grindelwald First – the four passenger First Glider, © Jungfraubahnen

That sense of freedom is also evident at First Cliff Walk by Tissot — a platform that juts out 45 metres into the void and looks onto alpine pastures, forests, waterfalls and the beautiful mountainside with its angular niches and terraced layers populated by the jet-black Alpine chough birds.

Back on terra firma, riders can experience the altitude of the mountain from four wheels. The First Mountain Cart marries the disciplines of a go-kart and a sled, with the ability to safely travel down any terrain in comfort, thanks to a low centre of gravity, wheels set wide apart for stability, and responsive hydraulic brakes.

Grindelwald First – Mountain Cart, © Jungfraubahnen

Suited for adults and children above 135cm, the cart ride at Grindelwald First traces a three-kilometre natural road from Schreckfeld to Bort, and comes with views of rolling verdant hills and jagged snow-capped peaks.

Grindelwald First – Mountain Cart, © Jungfraubahnen

Using two wheels, the Trottibike scooters are a hybrid of a bicycle and scooter, with a wide footboard, large tyres, and forgiving suspension that makes rolling along even on bumpy surfaces a pleasant experience. Riding from Bort to Grindewald, travellers will take in the lovely rural landscapes of green meadows and quaint farmhouses. For smaller guests, Mini-Trottibikes can accommodate individuals from 125cm in height, ensuring everyone can join in the fun.

Back on two feet, groups can wander the two-hour Marmot trail from First to Schilt and listen out for the whistles of the elusive marmot, a lively squirrel that resides in the alpine meadows. While spotting a live is difficult, visitors can learn about marmot life on information tables along the trail, and take a selfie with a large wooden statue of the inquisitive creature.

For more child-friendly activity, the Bort Alpine playground is a 700-square-metre arena of exploration and adventure. Here, kids can dam a mountain stream, play on marmot or squirrel rockers, and work on their balance on nets and ropes, all sound preparation for future hikes around this alpine wonderland.

Find indoor & outdoor family fun in the Jungfrau Region

Elsewhere in the Jungfrau region, there are opportunities for indoor and outdoor family fun in the villages of Grindelwald and Wengen. The first indoor rope park in Switzerland, Grindelwald’s Indoor Rope Park offers adventurers five routes, from the easy Eiger West Ridge to the difficult Eiger North Face, traversing wooden platforms, wire ropes, knotted nets and encountering materials that reflect the area’s natural terrain.

Also at Grindelwald, the 18-hole Minigolf is centrally located on the town’s main street, open from April to October, perfect for children and older visitors. Laughter at Lauberhorn Crazy Golf in Wengen is guaranteed and contagious: The fun 18-hole mini-golf course recounts the Lauberhorn Downhill Race, the longest downhill course in the world, and allows players to try the Kernen-S, the Austrian hole, or throw the ball out of the snow cannon.

Lauberhorn Crazy Golf, copyright Wengen Tourismus

Many tourists come to these two villages in the winter, especially Grindelwald, the village of the Eiger and its glaciers, but they are just as enticing in the summer. Hiking enthusiasts will witness spectacular panoramic views from 300 kilometres of well-marked footpaths, and the more active can ride 160 kilometres of mountain bike trails.

The car-free resort of Wengen, image by Wengen Tourismus

The car-free resort of Wengen is situated on a sunny plateau and offers breathtaking alpine views; the Jungfrau Marathon at the beginning of September is one of the most exciting events held annually in Wengen.

Hug the mountains and watch them change with the seasons at Schynige Platte

A mountain close to Interlaken, Schynige Platte exemplifies Swiss tradition. Walking here is a treat for the senses, from the fresh mountain air to the beautiful umbels and bells blooming on the meadows to the mouth-watering panoramas and the whispering sound of the fir trees in the breeze.

At the Botanical Alpine Garden, visitors can see the indigenous Edelweiss (a type of daisy) as well as the black lobelia, the paradise lily and 650 other species in an easily accessible environment. On a one-kilometre walk, travellers will see two-thirds of the entire alpine flora.

Fans of the Schynige Platte panoramic hike claim that the views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau are unrivalled, with different flowers seasonally in bloom, from crocuses in June to alpine roses in July, and more.

Schynige Platte’s Nature Trails, © Jungfraubahnen

Close by, a circular walking route 2000 metres above sea level, open June to October, features wooden columns with spy-hole frames to let hikers get a different perspective of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, while two giant picture frames allow photographers to get a perfect framed shot of the triumvirate. Think of it as nature’s very own cinema.

For something uniquely Swiss, alphorn players stage a free concert every day, showcasing the techniques needed to master this four-metre horn that has no slide, flaps or valves. In addition, families can snap a picture of themselves alongside the horn after the concert, a photographic memory for all to cherish.

Alphorn players stage a free concert every day at Schynige Platte, © Jungfraubahnen

For youngsters, the new playground next to the mountain hotel is packed with iconic Swiss characters such as the wooden cow Lily and her cat and chicken friends, part of the set from the Children’s Dream Factory, a series of wooden toys created by Switzerland’s Trauffer toy company. Children can also collect the Lily booklet at Wilderswil or Schynige Platte stations, search for the stations and puzzles in the clues, deduce the key word, and collect a treasure chest at the Schynige Platte restaurant.

The Panorama Restaurant is a perfect spot to unwind for lunch or at the end of the day, with stunning mountain views, hearty, regional dishes, and local delicacies like chamois or wild boar warmed by the in-house high-smokehouse.

Harder Kulm – The perfect place to take in the beauty of Interlaken

Right by Interlaken, and reached in only ten minutes by funicular railway from the centre of town, Harder Kulm is a throne fit for royalty. From the Two Lakes Bridge set 1322 metres above sea level, the vista takes in Lake Brienz and Lake Thun below, Interlaken sandwiched between them, the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau in the distance, the kind of stirring panorama that must be seen to be believed.

The same vantage is visible from the Panorama Restaurant, a structure reminiscent of an old European castle, where the meals are at appetising as the scenery, a landscape that will live on in your memory long after you leave this piece of Swiss bliss.

Right by Interlaken, and reached in only ten minutes by funicular railway from the centre of town, Harder Kulm is a throne fit for royalty, © Jungfraubahnen

Jungfrau Region is the perfect place for a family vacation. With its stunning natural beauty and variety of activities, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy. From 360° panoramic views of Switzerland and its glaciers at Jungfraujoch to thrilling adventures at Grindelwald First and Schynige Platte, the Jungfrau Region offers unforgettable experiences for families of all ages. So hug the mountains and watch them change with seasons – experience everything that the Jungfrau Region has to offer!

Best Places to Stay when in the Jungfrau Region

Schynige Platte – Mountain Hotel Schynige Platte.

Grindelwald – Romantik Hotel Schweizerhof, Aspen Alpine Lifestyle Hotel, Boutique Hotel & Restaurant Glacier and Hotel Bergwelt Grindelwald.

Interlaken – Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Hotel Royal St Georges Interlaken MGallery Hotel Collection*, Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage and Carlton-Europe Hotel Vintage Adults Hotel.

Wengen – Beausite Park Hotel Wengen. ◼

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© This article was first published online in May 2022 – World Travel Magazine.


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