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Exploring The Adventure Capitals Of Interlaken And Grindelwald | 10 Days Of Adrenaline

We check out Europe's top destination for adventurous activities – the Swiss canton of Bern

It’s no secret that the Swiss canton of Bern and, more specifically, the Interlaken and Jungfrau Region, are hard to beat for action sports enthusiasts. Featuring 4,000 metre alpine giants, winding hiking and mountain biking trails, and more adrenaline kicks than a RedBull movie  – there’s an astonishing variety of activities accessible in Bern.

And that’s all without even mentioning the wealth of winter activities on offer when the white stuff begins to fall.

We spent ten days just scratching the surface of some of the activities that are possible from both Interlaken and the Jungfrau Region. From tranquil stand up paddle boarding sessions to leaping out of a gondola, here’s how we got on with this adventure capital.


Nestled between the glacier-fed lakes of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz and with the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountain trio perfectly framed when looking down from the local Harder Kulm mountain, Interlaken is a paradise for those who prefer their activities with a good dose of adrenaline. The town itself consists of quaint alpine buildings, that offers the ideal launchpad (and winding down zone) for these activities.

Photo: Giles Dean


First up on our action-packed tour of Interlaken was a stop at one of the many paragliding hill spots dotted around Interlaken. The one we chose was the ideally situated Beatenberg. After a quick briefing, we soon found ourselves legging it off the side of the hill in a (desperate) effort to get some lift under our ‘wings’.

Once in the air you’re given a view of Interlaken, and the surrounding lakes, that’s usually reserved for birds. Soaring hundreds of metres above Interlaken, and with the mighty trio of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau looming above us, our paragliding instructors were more than happy flipping and rolling their way through the air as we descended ready to land back in Interlaken.

Find out more about paragliding in Interlaken here

Bungee Jumping

Now no adventure travel destination is really worth its salt without playing host to a bungee jumping platform or two. And, as expected, Interlaken is home to a real peach of a jump spot. Combining something that could come from a 007 movie with bungee jumping, the Stockhorn bungee jump is situated right in the middle of a gondola lift.

Free falling for 134 metres from a gondola, the Stockhorn bungee leaves you second guessing for a split second as to whether the adrenaline fuelled crew at the top remembered to clip you in or not. But, as expected, the cord catches you in the nick of time, suspending you over the Hinterstockensee lake. This is a real must do for all adrenalin afficandos.

Find out more about bungee jumping in Interlaken here

Photo: Giles Dean


After seeing Interlaken from the air, we headed down to the Grimsel Pass, one of Interlaken’s many canyons that surround the town. Featuring four different modes of exploration – abseiling, walking, jumping and swimming – canyoning is undoubtedly one of the most exciting – and refreshing – ways to view these unexplored areas.

The steep canyons led us to jumping from some pretty impressive heights into pools of water you’d not usually dream of leaping into. Similar to the divers you see jumping into little paddling pools, it’s all in technique. Keeping us safe in the canyon was our canyoning instructor Sebi, who ordered us to land on our backs, kind of like a backward belly flop, ensuring we didn’t hit the canyon floor.

Find out more about canyoning in Interlaken here

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Tranquil aqua blue water, previously inaccessible islands and sheer rocky banks; make no mistake, there aren’t many better places in the world to go stand up paddleboarding in the world than around the calm waters of Lake Thun, Interlaken.

From beginners to hardened ‘SUP’ pros alike, there’s nothing quite like floating your way around Lake Thun with your mates. Times this by two for the Mpora crew, who were suffering a hint of whiplash after the bungee activities from the day before, and who are usually found SUP’ing the murky waters of Regents Canal.

Find out more about stand up paddle boarding in Interlaken here

Bern features endless hiking trails. Photo: Giles Dean

Things To Do In The Jungfrau Region

Home to the notorious 3,967 metre Eiger, Grindelwald is one of the ‘must-see’ alpine towns in the Jungfrau Region. We really don’t think enough can be said about the north face of the Eiger. Towering 1,800 metres (that’s one of the highest in the Alps) over Grindelwald, the north face has a presence over the town like no other mountain.

As much as an effect the mountain has on the vibe of this magical alpine town, it also steeps the town in mountaineering history as climber after climber looked to make their mark in the mountaineering history books and conquer the imposing north face. No matter where you walk in Grindelwald, you’re reminded of the tales of the face.

We decided to explore the mountains that surround Grindelwald in a much more laid-back way, however.

Taking on a hiking trail above Grindelwald. Photo: Giles Dean


A train ride from Wilderswil led us up to the amazing Mountainhotel Schynige Platte, where a night was spent gazing over some of the local alpine giants, and watching the sun set behind the Prealps to the west. From the Schynige Platte we left early doors to follow the 62 Schynige Platte – Faulhorn hiking trail to the mountain called First (pronounced “feerst”).

At First, there is the so called First Cliff Walk; a walking platform around a rocky cliff cafe that leads to a viewing platform overlooking what is, quite simply, a breathtaking view of the north face of the Eiger. Be sure to head to this spot as early as possible as crowds do start to build up from the get go (but we don’t blame anyone who heads up here as the views are epic).

To escape, we took what is quite possibly the most fun the Mpora crew have ever had on three wheels – First Mountain Carts. These carts are essentially beefed up mountain trikes that can cover all sorts of terrain. The first down is a spot reserved for the person who’s bold enough to break as little as possible. We then swapped out the trikes for a scooter which enabled us to tear up the tarmac roads all the way down to Grindelwald.

Find out more about hiking in the Jungfrau Region here

Photo: Giles Dean
Photo: Giles Dean

Via Ferrata

If you’re not some sort of climbing prodigy, then the best way of experiencing the sheer and steep walls of the legendary north face of the Eiger is via the Rotstock via ferrata route.

Via ferrata (Italian for “iron path”) involves climbing routes that are made up of a series of thick steel cables, rungs, ladders and chains. They’re permanently fixed into the mountainside, like a handrail, allowing you to access ridges and peaks that would otherwise just be a bit sketchy for anyone but the most serious of climbers.

The Rotstock follows a path to the right hand side of the huge Eiger Nordwand. A steep initial section took 30 minutes to a large canyon section before we flanked the canyon to reach the summit of the Rotstock. It goes without saying but it’s worth mentioning that this is an activity reserved for those with a head for heights.

Find out more about via ferratas and climbing in the Jungfrau Region here

Photo: Giles Dean

Mountain Biking

A trip to the Jungfrau Region wouldn’t be complete without shredding one of the many mountain bike trails dotted around the hills. Being a ski resort during the winter seasons, mountain bike accessibility around the Jungfrau Region is a cakewalk. But, in an effort to have us work off the fondue of the evening before, mountain bike guide François had us crank our way up to the mountain pass Kleine Scheidegg – albeit with the power of an eBike helping us (we had camera gear, give us a break).

From the mountain pass Kleine Scheidegg, we grabbed a coffee while our eBikes topped up on power (if you’ve got an eBike you may as well leave it in ‘turbo mode’, after all) before heading towards the downhill trails. A real variety of trails – from flowing alpine to technical treeline switchbacks – had us whizzing into Wengen grinning ear to ear.

Find out more about mountain biking in the Jungfrau Region here

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