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There is no better way to experience the pure beauty of nature than by hiking and biking through it. And in the Jungfrau Region, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
The Jungfrau Region is home to Switzerland’s most stunning mountain vistas, making it the perfect place to hike. In summer, the weather is best suited for days spent outdoors with a host of activities that can be combined with hiking. The wait is over. Lace up your hiking boots or grab a mountain e-bike and hit the trails that wind through the Jungfrau Region!
Easy hike (2.9km) from First to Lake Bachalp, a tranquil alpine lake, fondly called the ‘Blue Jewel’
When surveying for a picturesque place to start your Jungfrau Region hiking adventure, opt for Lake Bachalp. Nestled amongst the soaring peaks of the Jungfrau Region, the Bachalp is an alpine lake located 2,265m above sea level, offering breathtaking views from a tranquil setting. Surrounded by pastures, wildflowers and mountain peaks of Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn and Finsteraarhorn, the lake is accessible via a short hike from First.
With a round trip of just under 6km, this easy mountain trail is well-suited for all experience levels, with benches spread out along the path for a quintessential alpine picnic. So float above the clouds, dip your toes in the mirror-smooth waters of the alpine lake and take in the peaks of the Alps while time passes by unnoticed – a perfect zen moment. A near-perfect day here requires just one thing – your presence.
The 25-minute cable car ride up to First from Grindelwald is one of the most scenic ways to start a hike in the Jungfrau Region. The gondola like cable cars take you past Bort and Schreckfeld mid-stations, offering cinematic views in all directions. The cable cars run throughout the day, thus spending a few hours exploring the area is easy.
The First Cliff Walk by Tissot is an incredible experience that everyone should try when at First. The views from up high are simply enchanting, and the walkway gives you a real sense of triumph. Situated at over 2,000m above sea level, the First Cliff Walk by Tissot is perched to the side of the mountain, offering breathtaking panoramas. The elevated metal walkway wraps around the cliffs like a catwalk, and the single rope hanging bridge is absolutely exhilaration.
Adventure, fun and entertainment from First to Grindelwald
Marmot Trail is an excellent place to mix outdoor sports and adventure with rest and recreation. The path leads from First to Schilt and continues on to the barbecue area in Oberläger, making it an ideal spot for a picnic lunch. Along the way, you can enjoy panoramic views of the mountains and forests, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a marmot or two. The trail is well-marked and suited for all fitness levels, thus perfect for a family hike. And when you’re ready to rest, the barbecue area offers plenty of seating and stunning views of the valley below. So whether you’re looking for an adventurous hike or a peaceful picnic spot, the Marmot trail is sure to satisfy.
After hiking and picnicking, you may be ready to try your hand at some fast-paced family fun. Riding the cable car back to the village after a day of hiking in the Jungfrau Region is a pretty tame way to end your adventure. Why not take your family on the ultimate thrill ride by flying down to Schreckfeld on one of the Alpine ziplines?
First Flyer and First Glider are some of the safest ways to experience the rush of zipping down 800m at top speeds of up to 84 km/h. The views of the pastures below are stunning, and there are moments when you’re ziplining literally 50 meters above the ground. You’ll be back for more once you’ve had a taste of the rush.
Life is all about views, wheels and thrills as you continue down the 3km stretch from Schreckfeld to Bort. Get introduced to First Mountain Cart, a hybrid between a go-kart and sledge, equipped with wide-set wheels, hydraulic brakes and a guarantee of summer-long merriment for children and adults.
The day is still young, and there’s much to explore. Adventure awaits on the countryside paths of the Swiss Alps, just waiting to be discovered. Continue the exploration and scooter down to Grindelwald from Bort on a Trottibike. These hybrids between scooters and bicycles are great fun, and you’ll get to enjoy the crisp Alpine air and up-close views of meadows and farmhouses along the way.
Explore the Jungfrau Region on an e-mountain bike with over 30 charging locations
The Jungfrau Region is ideally suited for an e-mountain bike adventure with numerous trails winding through the mountains, offering incredible scenic sights along the way. Combine the beauty of the mountain panorama with outdoor action and adventure. Whether a beginner or an seasoned rider, it is easy to find trails that suit your experience level.
Electric-assist mountain bikes have now become the norm for leisure riders. Their tiny motors amplify your pedalling power so you can go farther and faster on the mountain trail. With the assistance of these e-mountain bikes, explore more of the great Swiss outdoors and make challenging climbs less daunting.
There is an added comfort when biking in Grindelwald. Recharge the batteries free of charge at any of the 30 BOSCH e-bike charging stations in the Jungfrau Region. So if you find the e-bike running low on power, there’s no need to worry. Just stop by one of the stations and give the bike a boost.
Take on the challenge of the Grindelwald-First mountain bike trail over asphalt and gravel road. With sweeping views of the Swiss Alps, this thrilling ride is not to be missed. The trail’s difficulty level, marked as ‘moderate’, covers a distance of 26.47km, making it achievable for most cyclists. Furthermore, the trail’s short duration of 3hrs 30 mins means you can enjoy additional activities along the way from Grindelwald to First, including the First Cliff Walk by Tissot.
And when you’re ready for a break, there’s no better place to quench the thirst than Berggasthaus First. Located 2,167m above sea level at First cableway station, this mountain inn offers both indoor and outdoor panoramic terrace seating. With spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, it’s a superb place to enjoy a summer day. And since mountain biking can work up quite an appetite, you’ll be glad to know that Berggasthaus First serves Swiss cuisine, including refreshing drinks.
After a rejuvenating break, it’s time to change track and opt for the longer, dramatic route back to Grindelwald via the signposted mountain bike trail at Lake Bachalp. 13km of downhill riding awaits, with a mix of rock slabs, stepped passages, meadows and woods proffering plenty of interest along the way. The trail is mainly smooth to ride, making for an enjoyable descent of 1,200 metres to Grindelwald.
Downhill on the Eiger Trail (6km) with sweeping views of Grindelwald
After a few days of biking around Grindelwald, it’s time to switch gears and go for a hike. There’s something about being in the mountains that makes you want to slow down and take it all in. Maybe it’s the fresh alpine air, or the gradual incline of the trail. Either way, hiking is a great way to appreciate the natural beauty of Grindelwald.
The Eiger Trail is one of the preferred hikes in the region for a good reason. It’s an easy 6.1 km downhill hike that starts at an elevation of 2,322 m and ends at 1,615 m. The trail offers magnificent panoramic views of the Lauterbrunnen valley, Murren, Grindelwald, and the Eiger North Face. It’s also a great way to get close to the majestic Mount Eiger.
Along this trail, you’ll appreciate wild streams, waterfalls and steep alpine meadows; pristine nature at its best. Hikers can also relish the fresh mountain air and get some exercise while enjoying the incredible views in the process. The Eiger Trail starts above the Eiger Glacier Station (Eigergletscher) and ends at the Alpiglen station, with the Wengernalpbahn Railway taking you comfortably back to Grindelwald for your next Swiss adventure.
Panorama Trail hike (4.6km) from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg
The Panorama Trail from Männlichen to Kleine Scheidegg lives up to its name, with million-dollar views on all sides. This comfortable, one-hour hike is suitable for all ages and ability levels, gives you jaw-dropping views of both the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the towering mountain peaks of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
To reach the trailhead, take the 19-minute cable car ride from Grindelwald to Männlichen. Then simply follow the well-marked 4.6km trail as it winds its way to Kleine Scheidegg. As the journey takes shape, you’ll be rewarded with endless panoramic views that will leave you speechless.
Hike the Lauberhorn Trail from Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen
The easy hike to Wengen from Kleine Scheidegg provides plenty of opportunities to explore the outdoors and take in the pristine Swiss countryside. The hike is also a great way to get into the rhythm of relaxation, as the car-free village of Wengen is a profoundly peaceful place where the only sounds you’ll hear are those of church bells or cow bells. It’s an ideal place to muse over life’s greater meaning as you savour the views down to the Lauterbrunnen Valley. This hike from Kleine Scheidegg takes just under 3 hours and covers a distance of 8.16km, with a descent of 1,045m.
Hike on the Glacier, Chill in an Ice Palace and Relax at the Top of Europe
Hiking mountain trails is one thing, trekking across gentle glaciers is another. No visit to the Swiss Alps would be complete without taking a walk on one of the many glaciers. These slowly moving rivers of ice are an awe-inspiring sight, and hiking on them is an experience that you’ll never forget.
Take a breather from hiking & biking for at least one day, if not two and head to Jungfraujoch. Top of Europe at Jungfraujoch is one of Switzerland’s most popular tourist destinations, and it’s easy to see why. At 3,454 metres, it is the highest point in Europe, and the views from the summit are simply dazzling.
On one side, you can see the Swiss Mittelland stretched out towards the Vosges mountains, while on the other side is the magnificent Aletsch Glacier, Europe’s longest glacier. The high alpine wonderland of ice and snow, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an unforgettable break from the summer days spent exploring the Swiss villages in the valleys below.
The Ice Palace at Jungfraujoch is a unique attraction that needs to be on your Swiss itinerary. Within the mirror-smooth passages of this ethereal place, you’ll find delicate sculptures of animals and everyday objects, all formed from ice as a fantasy. It’s as if they’ve been frozen in time! The Eagles, penguins, and bears look so natural that you’ll think they have been frozen during a moment of play.
Is hiking across a glacier with the family on your bucket list? This is an out of the world experience possible in Switzerland. The Mönchsjochhütte, a mountain hut at 2,650m standing at the origins of the Great Aletsch Glacier, is an epic place to start your adventure, offering grand views of the Swiss Alps.
The snow-covered trail leading from Jungfraujoch to the hut is marked and prepared by a snowcat, making it easy to follow. The Mönchsjochhütte is a terrific way to experience the alpine glacier world in the midst of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch. As a treat, reserve in advance and book an opportunity to stay overnight in the dormitory within the hut! The hut is open from March to October, and your stay includes sunrise and sunsets from the Top of Europe! So whether you’re looking for an exhilarating hike or a relaxing snowshoe walk, this is the place for you.
It’s the middle of summer, and why shouldn’t you be out playing in the snow! The Snow Fun Park at Jungfraujoch is the perfect place to frolic in the snow all through summer. With a Tyrolienne zipline, sledging, tubing, skiing, and boarding, there’s an adventure sports activity for every inclination. The views are incredible, and the temperatures are consistently around zero degrees. You’re guaranteed to have a blast 3,500 meters above sea level.
Explore a 250 million year gorge carved by glaciers
After spending time on mountain tops, hiking on glaciers and biking across trails, head to the Glacier Canyon Grindelwald and experience a natural work of art that has been in the making for 250million years.
The glacier that carved this 1km long, 300m deep gorge is now gone. However, the canyon is a fantastic sight to behold, with the rushing water of the Lütschine below adding to the spectacle of this dramatic landscape. The 1km long trail takes you through various sections, each with its own theme, such as geology, glaciers, water, and myths – making it an exciting experience for all ages. And because it’s all undercover, you can enjoy it no matter what the weather is like outside.
The young at heart will enjoy the 170m2 Spiderweb, a unique walkable net that has been stretched out 7 meters above the rushing water. This net structure lets visitors walk between the gorge as the water flows safely below the feet.
When looking for an outdoor adventure, the Jungfrau Region has plenty of activities to keep you busy, including world renowned trails for hiking and biking. With its stunning mountain views and variety of trails to explore, it’s no wonder the Jungfrau Region is a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to the Jungfrau Region for some unforgettable outdoor fun!
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 July 2022 – World Travel Magazine.