By Expedia Guest Author, on July 23, 2018

The Bernese summer – a time for friends and fun

With its infinite opportunities for active recreation, blissful hours and truly amazing landscapes, the Bern region in Switzerland is the summer sweet spot.

For nature lovers, sightseeing adventurers, bikers, hikers, climbers and tourists of all kinds, the Bern region offers an exciting and diverse range of things to see, do and taste—all waiting for you to discover in the great outdoors.

Blissful Pleasures

Explore Bern and experience nature in all its glory.

Alpine Authenticity in Gstaad

Despite its wealth of tourist facilities, the region of Gstaad retains its Alpine authenticity with its 200 farms, 80 working Alpine pastures and around 7,000 cows. Alpine traditions are lived and breathed, and the local produce and craftsmanship are quite popular.

The fresh alpine air is especially rejuvenating for bikers, paragliders and hikers. The hiking tour from the Wispile to Lake Lauenen is one of Gstaad’s classic activities. This enjoyable excursion promises scenic views and a highly memorable mountain experience. The three-hour hike is particularly suitable for families.

Summer in the Jungfrau Region

Certain places have always been thought to be inexplicably magical – or put in another way: an attraction which cannot be measured with biological means. Experience the charming mountain villages of Grindelwald, Wengen, Mürren, Lauterbrunnen and Haslital. In summer you can choose from over 500 km of marked walking, hiking and mountain paths. The crystal-blue mountain lakes and gushing waterfalls provide a welcome refreshment. Every holidaymaker in the Jungfrau Region gets the spectacular views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau thrown in for free. The landscape has also been awarded the status of a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Magnificent Waterfalls

At 2,612 feet above sea level, Lauterbrunnen lies in an impressive valley set between gigantic cliff faces and mountain peaks. This is where 72 of the highest and most spectacular waterfalls in Switzerland tumble down to the valley. With its 10 glacial waterfalls inside the mountain, illuminated and made accessible by tunnel-lift, the Trümmelbach Falls are quite a sight to behold.

Wildlife Watching at The Niederhorn

It’s the early bird that catches the worm, or so the saying goes. Take this special trip to Mount Niederhorn and you’ll be one of the first visitors of the day. Let a local wildlife expert guide you towards the Gemmenalphorn and its ibex colonies. With a little luck, you will also catch a glimpse of chamois, marmots and the king of the skies—the golden eagle.

Swimming in the Aare

Who needs the sea? The cool, deep-blue, clean water of the Aare river, which winds its way into the capital city from the Bernese Alps, offers the ideal refreshment on hot summer days. Whether it’s swimming, river surfing, rafting, stand-up paddling, tubing, walking or grilling that floats your boat, the Aare is the beating heart of summer life for the people of Bern. When the sun comes out, join the hundreds of Bern locals for a swim or river rafting while the impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site Old Town looks down from high above.

Thrilling Heights

Switzerland is a paradise for nature-lovers. Explore and seek inspiration on foot.

Peak Walk by Tissot

The Peak Walk by Tissot to Gstaad on Glacier 3000 promises to be a special experience: A suspension bridge connects two mountain peaks over a distance of 107 m. It’s the first and only suspension bridge in the world to do that. You’ll be rewarded with wonderful panoramic views onto Mont Blanc.

First – Top of Adventure Cliff Walk by Tissot

The First Cliff Walk is a walkway that stretches from the west side of the summit of First to the mountain restaurant. Those who circle the summit of the First, conquer its suspension bridge and dare to walk on its walkway, which stretches over 45 meters along the side of the mountain, will be richly rewarded. The view expands over rocks and pastures to the Eiger.

Schilthorn: Thrill Walk

The Thrill Walk on the Schilthorn—known as the James Bond mountain as featured in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’—does justice to its name. From the terrace of the bistro Birg, a walkway clings to the side of the rock. A hike below the viewing platform rewards you with spectacular panoramic views.

Männlichen: Royal Walk

In front of a majestic backdrop, the Royal Walk brings you to the summit of the Männlichen. On the way, you’ll pass “royal” information points to learn fascinating and amusing facts about the area. Once you reach the summit, a platform shaped like a crown offers views onto the legendary three mountains Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. You can also hop the new gondola for the Royal Ride to the top.

Mountain Excursions

Explore Switzerland’s mighty mountains.

There’s nothing like the fresh mountain air and unspoiled nature on the most popular mountains—especially in summer: The region’s mountains offer a variety of exciting seasonal activities.

Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe

Icy air streams across your face, snow crunches under your feet, and the view nearly takes your breath away: on one side the view of the Mittelland up to the Vosges, on the other the Aletsch glacier, bordered by four thousand metre peaks. Standing on the Jungfraujoch 3,454 metres above sea level, you can feel it with your first step: this is a different world. It’s one you have to experience.

Harder Kulm – Top of Interlaken

At 1,322 metres, the Harder Kulm’s views are simply compelling. From the Two-Lake-Footbridge, you’re greeted with a 360-degree vista of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau as well as Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. If you don’t suffer from vertigo, you should peek through the glass floor of the viewing platform. After the 2-km hike along the panoramic trails, the Restaurant Harder Kulm is the perfect jolly place to refresh and to enjoy Swiss dishes and daily folk music.

The Harderbahn funicular is truly special—it takes a scenic route of almost 90 degrees around the mountain. The views are stunning—especially during sunsets. There are also plenty of ways to explore the local mountain on foot—including some steep extended paths that hug the narrow ridges and through a forest.

Schynige Platte – Top of Swiss Tradition

The rack railway up to the Schynige Platte oozes nostalgic 19th century charm. If you prefer an even more leisurely and more nostalgic ride, you should opt for the steam train which operates four times each summer.

The views surrounding Schynige Platte are an absolute feast for the eyes. A wide choice of hiking trails weave together incredible panoramic vistas across valleys and the surrounding alps—and the mountain lodge Männdlenen will welcome you with a variety of culinary delights. A visit to the Alpine Garden provides an overview of the region’s variety, displaying 650 plant species, primary rocks and limestone.

Alpen Tower – At the Top of the Haslital

The Hasliberg stretches from the Brünig Pass as far as Reuti – to where a cable car from Meiringen ascends, with the gondola railway continuing on to Bidmi, Mägisalp and Planplatten.

The panoramic Alpen Tower restaurant is the hallmark of this mountain, from where hikers set foot on attractive hikes on highland paths to the Käserstatt or Melchsee Frutt region, on to the Engstlenalp and up and over the Joch Pass to Engelberg.

The Niederhorn

Alpine orienteering, wildlife watching, rapid descents by Trottibike (half bike/half scooter) or enjoying excellent cuisine: the Niederhorn offers a variety of adventures. Located at 1,963 m above sea level, the Niederhorn offers spectacular views in all directions. There are activities for all ages, too, so it’s a perfect getaway for the whole family. You can whizz downhill on a Trottibike (half bike/half scooter), enjoy relaxing moments surrounded by nature, keep an eye out for ibexes, marmots and golden eagles or let off steam on the playground. You’re always guaranteed fun!

The Brienz Rothorn

The Brienz Rothorn is simply stunning—you not only get to admire views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, but also up to 690 other mountain peaks. Switzerland’s only steam rack railway has been climbing up to the Brienz Rothorn since 1892. Seven different hiking routes allow you to roam to your heart’s content. If you like a challenge, you should hike along the ridge to Harder and observe the colony of ibexes on your way. The mountain restaurant Rothorn Kulm, which has gained an excellent reputation, offers traditional, regional and fresh cuisine and allows you to recharge your energy.


The Niesen at Lake Thun is shaped like a pyramid. You can take a 30-minute ride by funicular from the valley station in Mülenen to the summit. Or, if you’re really ambitious, you can enter the annual Niesen Stairway Run event to tackle the world’s longest staircase—11,674 steps—when it opens for one day each year.

There are lots of family-friendly things to see and do. The Niesen is host to a wide selection of concerts, and the Berghaus restaurant has a fantastic sun terrace with spectacular views onto the High Alps and Lake Thun. The “Niesendörfli” is a miniature village family attraction and the Infopath provides interesting information about the mountain. There are lots of hiking trails to keep you active for up to 10 hours exploring everything the Niesen has to offer—and that includes a visit to the 360° viewing platform.

Viewing Platforms

What better place to find peace and serenity than the rooftops of the world—the mountain peaks between earth and sky. Throughout the region, viewing platforms offer the most beautiful panoramic vistas. Any of these sites will reward you with memories for a lifetime.

Harder Kulm – Two Lakes Bridge

If you appreciate both good food and nature’s beauty equally, you should visit the Harder Kulm. After delicious refreshments in the panoramic restaurant, visitors can admire the turquoise water of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz from the Two Lakes Bridge.

Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe Sphinx

108 metres in 25 seconds! A lift transports you at high speed to the summit of the Jungfrauchjoch. Here, the Sphinx Observatory platform offers unique 360° views onto the Swiss Mittelland, the Vosges, the Aletsch glacier and the surrounding 4000 m peaks.

Schilthorn Skyline View

The Skyline View platform on the Schilthorn boasts with views onto more than 200 mountain peaks. Alternatively, visitors can relax in the rotating restaurant Piz Gloria while enjoying the panoramic view that glides past.

First Cliff Walk

The walk up First Cliff stretches from the west side of the summit to the mountain restaurant. Those who circle the summit of the First, conquer its suspension bridge and dare to walk on its walkway which stretches over 45 meters along the side of the mountain will be richly rewarded. The view expands over rocks and pastures to the Eiger.

Niesen 360°

Talking about sphinx, the Niesen awakens memories of faraway Egypt. The 360° platform of the pyramid-shaped mountain gives you a constant view onto the Alps, Lake Brienz as well as Lake Thun.


Like a box at the theatre, The Stockhorn viewing platform stands out from the north wall of the Stockhorn and offers magnificent views across Lake Thun and the Jura foothills. On clear days, you can see the Alsace and the Black Forest in the distance.

Männlichen Royal Walk

In front of a majestic backdrop the Royal Walk leads you past “royal” information points to learn fascinating and amusing facts about the area. Once you reach the summit, a platform shaped like a crown looks out upon the legendary three mountains Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.

Shopping at its best

See all that the city of Berne has to offer.

The Canton of Bern is a real shopping paradise. Visitors and locals alike are spoiled for choice in the diverse boutiques, souvenir shops and stores—from the finest chocolate to the most exquisite jewellery. The car-free centre of Gstaad is perfect for a relaxing stroll. Interlaken and the Jungfrau Region also offers everything your heart desires: sporting goods, fashion, souvenirs, accessories and even Alpine Whisky.

Bern’s Old Town

The lower part of Bern’s Old Town is the perfect place to soak up the unique spirit with its delightful shops, original products, great cafes and friendly people. The famous Bernese arcades are home to many delightful boutiques with unique products and all in close proximity—everything from moustache combs to Swiss pastries.

Bern City

The Bernese love laid-back, hour-long shopping trips – and will do so in any weather. Thanks to the 6 km, 4-mile weather-protected stretch of shopping promenade, you can comfortably visit the multitude of shops and boutiques in any weather. The “Lauben”, as the Bernese call their arcades, are ideal for strolling among the historic city scenery.

Land of Lakes

Feel the rush of the water while white water rafting.

Lake Thun

Lake Thun looks like a gleaming treasure of emeralds and sapphires. In summer, it’s relaxing to breathe  the fresh air on sailing boats, daily cruises or nostalgic paddle steamers. The many bicycle and hiking trails around the lake wind past enchanting vineyards, castles, picturesque chalets and villages and imposing mountains. Five castles and numerous museums enhance the experience.

Lake Brienz

The cleanest lake in Switzerland is agem nestled between the Bernese Alps and the Emmental Alps

Lake Brienz offers a wide range of leisure activities. A favourite diversion is a leisurely paddle steamer cruise that passes by Giessbach Falls. On shore, you’ll find everything from a woodcarving village to a violin school. Enjoy a hot pot with a fondue and ease into a steaming thermal bath

Interlaken Holiday Region

By land, water or even air – it never gets boring in and around Interlaken. The region offers a variety of activities and adventures for the whole family.

You can opt for adrenaline-fueled activities like paragliding, white water rafting, canyoning, bungee jumping or heli-skiing. But relaxation, indulgence and shopping also play an important role at this holiday destination. You can escape the stress of everyday life and find moments of pure relaxation or a shopping tour in the picturesque Old Town of Thun.

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