An Essential Guide To Interlaken | 7 Reasons You Need To Visit This Adventure Destination

What exactly is it that makes this corner of Europe one of the continent's ultimate destinations for adventure?

Nestled within the spectacular Swiss canton of Bern, you’ll find Interlaken. This epic destination is, when it comes to adventurous activities at least, Europe’s absolute finest. There’s actually so much to see here, so much to do, that it can be quite intimidating for the outsider looking in. To help you make sense of them as places, we’re serving up a bunch of (hopefully useful) guides. Without further ado, here’s what you need to know about Interlaken.


Photo: Giles Dean

Want to take to the skies, and get a bird’s eye view on the incredible terrain on offer? Get yourself on a paragliding session. See typical Swiss villages, see deep-blue lakes, see mountain peaks so majestic you might not fully comprehend what you’re seeing.

You can go paragliding all year round here. In spring, you’ll swoop over green forests and colourful flower meadows; basking, as you do so, in the glory of snow-covered mountain peaks. In winter, on the other hand, you’ll be taking off quite literally in the snow. It’ll be colder sure but, as anyone whose seen the Alps in their snowy best can atest, there’s nothing quite like being in the country at this time of year.

“Want to take to the skies, and get a bird’s eye view on the incredible terrain on offer?”

During our team’s trip to Interlaken, we went paragliding near Beatenberg. Taking off from 1350 metres above sea level,  we got one hell of a look at the iconic and mighty mountain trio known as Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. Our paragliding instructors couldn’t get enough of flipping us / rolling us this way and that on our way back down to Interlaken.

Whether you’re looking for a dose of pure adrenaline (see aerial flips, whips, and rolls options) or just want to gently take in some nice scenery like a human-sized pigeon, there’s nothing quite like a paragliding experience in Interlaken.

For more information on paragliding in Interlaken

Bungee Jumping

Photo: Giles Dean

Bungee jumping clearly isn’t for everyone. However, if you’re someone who’s always wanted to give it a go or you’re someone who did it once on a gap year in New Zealand and got a real taste for it then look no further than the Stockhorn bungee jump. It’s situated right in the middle of a gondola (yes, really).

Your chance to give it the full 007, witty one-liner uttered just before you jump into the 134 metre free fall and everything (tuxedo: optional), this one should be on the bucket list of adventure-loving people who love to get a bit extreme. Thank us later, when you’re suspending upside down over the magnificent Hinterstockensee lake.

For more information on bungee jumping in Interlaken


Interlaken is surrounded by a bunch of canyons. With that in mind, it’s probably not much of a surprise to discover that canyoning is a bit of a thing in these parts. For the people who crave a bit of everything – specifically abseiling, walking, jumping and swimming – canyoning is the one for you. It’s a great way to feel like you’re properly exploring the area.

During the course of our team’s visit, we headed down to the Grimsel Pass. There our guide Sebi led us along some steep canyons where we ended up hurling ourselves into the water from some pretty impressive (if we say so ourselves) heights. Will you master the backward belly flop to the same extent we did? Consider the gauntlet well and truly thrown down.

For more information on canyoning in Interlaken

Standup Paddleboarding

Credit: Interlaken

As idyllic locations for standup paddleboarding go, they don’t come much more idyllic than the tranquil blue waters of Interlaken’s Lake Thun. Call it picture-on-a-postcard perfect. Call it a nice place to splash about. Call it scenic. Call it what you want. It’s lovely.

Whether you’re new to the SUP scene or an experienced SUP pro, we think you’ll love every second of your floaty journey round Lake Thun. In terms of sights and sounds, it’s certainly different from your standard SUP in the Thames Estuary experience.

For more information on standup paddleboarding in Interlaken

Cycling and Mountain Biking

Credit: Interlaken

Some people will tell you that the best way to enjoy Interlaken is on two wheels, and with good reason. Road bikes, touring bikes, e-bikes, mountain bikes and even trotti bikes; whatever kind of bikes you’re into the most, you’re well set to enjoy riding about the place here.

With everything from lakeside routes to journeys through properly idyllic alpine villages, variety is most definitely the name of the game in this part of the world. Spectacular rides over high plateaus, with stunning Swiss mountain panoramas to boot, leisurely e-bike tours, adrenaline-filled single tracks through green forests; the choice is yours.

If you’re all about putting the action in action sports when it comes mountain biking, get yourself to Bikepark Thunersee. It’s home to a wide range of trails and pump tracks, all of which have been constructed by people with a genuine passion for the sport. Flow trails, truly varied terrain, and steep bends to whip yourself round at speed; extreme riders are bound to feel a rush of the good stuff here. A Bike Shuttle will transport riders to the start of the Rabenfluh Trail in Thun. For those feeling courageous, the dirt park at Steffisburg is made to measure (and then some).

“If you’re all about putting the action in action sports when it comes mountain biking, get yourself to Bikepark Thunersee”

If that all sounds far, far, too much like a very quick way to get injured, you’ll be relieved to know that Interlaken is also great for the more leisurely-minded cyclist. With the help of an e-bike, you’ll be able to make light work of those challenging mountain ascents. There’s a nice variety of places to hire bikes in this neck of the woods, and a bunch of well-signposted tours to justify them. Take a chilled out tour along Lake Thun or Lake Brienz. Alternatively, head out on an e-bike tour on the Diemtigtal House Trail.

One good way to ensure you get the most out of your bike time in Interlaken is by hiring one of the area’s professional guides. You won’t have to worry about finding your way, won’t have to worry about following the signs or organising a route, your guide will do it all for you and, while they’re doing it, show you the best of the place. From short tours for beginners to full-day tours for ambitious cyclists, why not take thinking out of it and relax a bit more? Afterall, you’re on holiday aren’t you?

For more information on bike riding in Interlaken


Credit: Interlaken

It’s no exaggeration to say that Interlaken is a real hikers’ paradise. There’s an extensive network of well-maintained hiking trails, offering intrepid walkers differing degrees of difficulty and challenge.

‘Walk to beatiful, extremely Swiss, rustic mountain cabins”

Unlike when you’re charging full whack downhill on a bike, a stretch of the walking legs here will allow you to stop and really soak up those panoramic views of the incredibly picturesque mountains. It’ll also give you much more of a chance to get that ‘doing it for the Instagram’ shot of Lake Thun and Brienz.

Walk to beatiful, extremely Swiss, rustic mountain cabins. Walk to tasty mountain restuarants serving up delicious local cuisine. Walk recommended tours available online with GPS data. Walk routes suitable for every level of fitness. Walk in and around Interlaken to satisfy your unquenchable wanderlust.

Winter Activities

Credit: Interlaken

When you think of winter activities in Switzerland, your mind no doubt immediately goes to thoughts of skiing and snowboarding. And while that’s absolutely an option in these parts, a very, very, good one to be fair, we wanted to take this opportunity to shine a light on some curveball inspiration for snowy season in Interlaken.

For example, why not experience the soothing winter charm of Stockhorn? The Stockhorn is famous for its almost otherworldly view, a view that takes in a whopping 200 alpine peaks. The viewing platform here also serves up views down to Thun, and across the Aare and Gürbe valleys.

“Home to cool winter activities such as ice fishing and snowshoeing”

Close to the “Chrindi” midway station on Stockhorn, you’ll discover an Igloo Village with comfortable lounge and a bar for those all-important liquid refreshments. Stockhorn is also home to cool winter activities such as ice fishing and snowshoeing.

Other fun things to do during the colder months here in Interlaken include taking a magical winter boat trip on Lake Thun, and sledding excursions in front of sweeping panoramic views. All that and we haven’t even mentioned the simple joy that can come from winter hiking in these parts.

For more information on winter activities in Interlaken 

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