Explore the village
When it comes to quintessential alpine villages in Switzerland, Lauterbrunnen really hits the mark. Dotted with chalet-style houses and surrounded by green fields and towering, snow-capped mountains there is surely no village in Switzerland that is more picturesque.
On arrival in the village, one of the first things you will notice are the huge rock faces surrounding the town. Nestled in a valley, the village sits surrounded by these huge cliff faces from which 72 waterfalls spill over, and each morning you wake to the soothing sounds of water rushing over the rocks.
The Lauterbrunnen waterfalls are a real feature of the town and are a tourist attraction in their own right.
The village’s main street is lined with hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops selling outdoor gear, souvenir shops and a supermarket and it’s easy enough to spend an hour or two browsing. (Read on for further details of the town’s shops and services.)
Other trails, including Panoramaweg, take you up onto the hillsides past chalets and farms where the views are just as impressive.
After a stroll in the crisp mountain air, there’s nothing better than rewarding yourself with a typical Swiss meal or a coffee at a sunny outdoor café looking out at the massive mountain peaks.
Another of the famous Lauterbrunnen waterfalls is Trummelbach Falls whichare inside Europe’s largest subterranean caves. You can reach them via an easy 30-minute stroll from town or catch a bus from the railway station towards Stechelberg. Consisting of a series of ten glacier waterfalls, these thunderous waterfalls have carved corkscrew channels through the valley walls over millions of years.
Discover the hamlet of Isenfluh
The quaint and quiet village of Isenfluh sits on a plateau 400 metres above Lauterbrunnen. It’s not on the regular tourist trail but is definitely worth a visit. Just getting to Isenfluh is exciting! After turning off the main road two kilometres from Lauterbrunnen, the twisty mountain road passes through a 1.2 kilometre loop tunnel and then winds its way up the hillside.
The village, which has a population of around 350, is quite spread out and boasts a few hotels, eateries, souvenir shops, a small supermarket – and stunning views! To get the best views of the Alps, take the funicular (mountain train) to Allmendhubel (1907m). Here you can take in the gorgeous alpine scenery from the Skyline Chill relaxation zone, walk the Flower Trail amongst over 150 different species of mountain flowers, and enjoy refreshments on the sunny terrace of the Panorama Restaurant.
Take an excursion to the Schilthorn
At 2960 metres above sea level, the Schilthorn is by no means the highest mountain in the region but it is well worth a visit. On previous visits to Lauterbrunnen I had declined all offers of visiting the Schilthorn as I’m not a cable car fan but, on my most recent visit, I was determined to overcome my fears and see what all the fuss was about.
Enjoy the activities at Birg
If you are making the journey to the Schilthorn, it’s worth stopping off at Birg (2677m), especially if you are the adventurous type.
Take the train to Wengen
Another nearby village that’s worth a visit is Wengen. Like Murren, it is a car-free village that sits on a sunny terrace above Lauterbrunnen. Wengen is popular as a winter ski resort and in summer for its numerous hiking trails.