A Weekend in Interlaken
Nestled in at the bottom of the Swiss Alps, Interlaken has been a top
holiday resort for 300 years. With breathtaking mountain and lakeside
scenery, quaint villages and spectacular winter and water sports, Interlaken
is perfect for an active weekend away.
With offbeat outdoor pursuits like bungee-jumping and skydiving available,
Interlaken attracts adrenaline junkies. This has led to a growing backpacker
party scene, with thrill-seekers packing out cozy Alpine bars and pubs.
A Budget Break
Interlaken is a year-round resort, with excellent skiing in the winter,
and hiking, cycling and water sports on the lakes of Thun and Brienz in
the summer. This, and the fact the town is a low-lying resort (not right
up in the Alps), means that Interlaken is far cheaper than traditional
Swiss destinations. With cheap flights to Berne available with most budget
airlines, and loads of Interlaken Hostels in town, the resort is perfect
for a student budget.
A Winter Wonderland
Winter travellers will be rewarded with the fairytale setting of the
Swiss Alps – all snow-capped mountains, frozen lakes and perfect
ski-slopes. Take a cable-car up to the top of the mountain, or ride on
the mountain train to the major ski-resorts. The giddy peaks of Schilthorn
and the downhill Lauberhorn ski-run are great for experienced skiers,
and beginners can try their hand at the never-ending runs at Jungfrau.
There’s also plenty to do off-piste, from hiking along frozen
rivers and through Kleine Rugen forest, to tucking in to the famous Swiss
Fondue. Pick a lively hostel in Interlaken and you may find a swimming
pool, climbing wall, or even a Guinness bar on site!
A Summer Holiday
The beautiful lakes and alpine forests are equally enjoyable when the
weather heats up, and there are even more activities to get stuck into,
from rafting and paragliding to a quiet round of mini-golf. For a traditional
taste of Switzerland and amazing views, take the funicular railway up
to Harderkuhm on a Friday, where you’ll find folk-dancing and music
performed for visitors.
If you’re not that sporty, or just need to unwind after an action-packed
first day, there’s still plenty to do in Interlaken. Take a Lake-Steamer
cruise to Brienz, a picturesque woodcarvers' town, or visit Thun for its
medieval castle. The capital Bern, with its pretty arcaded passages full
of shops, is a great place to pick up a souvenir.