The village of Wilderswil perches between the green Bödeli plain to the north and the mountains of the Bernese Oberland behind. The train station marks the start of the famed railway that zigzags through mountain meadows to the Alpine gardens and mountaintop trails of the Schynige Platte, home to one of the highest railway stations in Switzerland. Plus, Interlaken and the turquoise lakes of Brienz and Thun are just a few minutes’ train journey away. The wooden chalets and flower-bedecked inns of Wilderswil are a great place to return to after a day’s walking.
The Alpine beauty of the Schynige Platte
See that splash of scarlet against the emerald foothills? That’s the 19th-Century cog railway that creeps up to the Schynige Platte mountain ridge in just under an hour, all the while offering some of the best views across the mountains of Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch. At Schynige Platte, you can wander rocky paths to the chime of cowbells and meander around the petite plants of the high-altitude botanical garden. There’s also a restaurant, where you can settle down on the suntrap terrace with a strudel or glass of Riesling. If you fancy a longer hike, the route from Schynige Platte to the top of the First gondola in Grindelwald is one of the best - catch the gondola down into Grindelwald and then return by train.
For most people visiting Wilderswil, it’s a case of all eyes on the railway – but stay here, and you’ll realise why this sleepy village makes a great alternative to neighbouring Interlaken. Wooden chalets date back to the 17th century and old stübli restaurants serve mountain fare in cosy surroundings. Walking trails head in all directions from the village, wander to the edge of town to explore the ruins of the once-grand Unspunnun Castle, which peeks out from between the trees or head to the edge of Lake Brienz and follow the water-line to Iseltwald - here you can hop on a ferry back to Bönigen, or in the other direction to Giessbach where there's an impressive waterfall walk.
Interlaken: the city between two lakes
Interlaken lies just north of Wilderswil, between the luminous turquoise lakes of Lakes Thun and Brienz. It spreads itself over two sides of the glacier-cold river, with the old town square of Unterseen on one side and parks, railway stations and ferry jetties on the other. This is where you can hop on cruises that smooth past vertiginous vineyards, mountains and shoreline castles. Adrenalin activities like rafting, canyoning and paragliding are Interlaken’s speciality; it’s a rare day that you don’t see paragliders surfing the air currents above.
Sky-high rail routes
You could spend weeks exploring the rail routes of this region, and luckily, Wilderswil's location makes this really easy. Trains run between remote mountaintops, valleys, lakes and to cities like the riverside university city of Basel. We recommend putting the alpine villages of Grindelwald, Wengen and Mürren at the top of your to-visit list, which connect you to some of the most scenic railways in the world, including the sky-high Jungfraujoch. The Brienzer Rothorn is a good one too – especially for the chance to try the sausages cooked on the steam engine.
Why book a summer holiday in Wilderswil with Inghams?
At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of the Bernese Oberland's best walking routes and activities at your own pace.
With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to Wilderswil include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team overseas can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.