Our walk today is an enjoyable riverside walk descending from the mighty cliff-lined Lauterbrunnen valley. In the morning we hop aboard the train to Lauterbrunnen (810m - 2655ft) and then walk on a flat rural path up the valley to admire the sheer 800m cliffs towering above us. This is also a great time of year to admire the waterfalls brimming to capacity with late spring snowmelt. An optional walk to the magnificent Trummelback falls is definitely recommended. Following this we turn down the valley and follow a gentle path alongside the White Lütschine River, past numerous waterfalls and rugged cliffs. After our picnic lunch at the confluence of the White and Black Lütschine rivers (the Black Lütschine flows from the Grindelwald valley) we walk back to Wilderswil (600m - 1970ft) on the Rail Nature Trail. Created in 1998 this trail is designed to show off the best aspects of the flora and fauna of the area as well as the rich local history of the traditionally maintained Gsteigwiler village.
7 hours walking, 16km - 10 miles, 30m - 100ft up, 200m - 670ft down
From the hotel we board the ever efficient Swiss postbus up a rural forest road to the alpine village of Saxeten (1103m - 3620ft). Cradled in a broad valley the grassy meadows surrounding Saxeten are well known locally to be rich in colourful meadow flowers. As a backdrop, enclosing the valley is a ring of rocky ridges and spectacular cliff peaks. This morning we start with the 'Rundweg' a circular walk that takes in the highlights of the Saxeten valley. This is a good area for orchids. From the village we contour the valley side on an undulating path bordered by meadows and scattered forest plantations and then climb through beech forest to our high point above the hamlet of Abendberg (1300m - 4265ft). A short descent brings us to a fabulous panorama point over Lake Brienz and the stunning trio of the Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger. The path then zigzags through forest trails back to Wilderswil (600m - 1970ft). For those who wish to avoid the downhill there is an optional bus down from Saxeten but this will shorten the days walk substantially.
6 hours walking, 10km - 6 miles, 200m - 670ft up, 720m - 2361ft down
Today is a fairly level walk along the shores of the stunning iridescent Lake Brienz. From the hotel we take a short train and bus ride to the lakeside near the village of Bönigen. Enjoying magnificent views of Lake Brienz and the surrounding mountain scenery we stroll along the lakeshore passing through the village of Iseltwald with its lakeside cafés and on to the charming village of Giessback and its eponymous waterfall. A short excursion to see the magnificent cascade as it plunges into the lake is a must. On our way to Brienz we can pause and enjoy an ice cream on the lakeshore, alternatively you might want to finish the day. We continue with a short lake cruise to Brienz, before catching the train back to Wilderswil. En route to the hotel we can make a stop at the Ibex Park and admire these hardy mountain goats with their huge metre-long horns. It is possible that we may do this walk in reverse depending on train\boat times.
6 hours walking, 12km - 7.5 miles, 200m - 670ft up, 200m - 670ft down
Here are some of the options (there are too many to list them all!): Take the train to Kleine Scheidegg and trip up to Jungfraujoch, a UNESCO world heritage site with majestic views over the glaciers. The Jungfrau peak is the focus, partly because it's the highest at (4158m - 13640ft), and also because the network of mountain trains from Interlaken Ost culminates at the Jungfraujoch, a saddle below the Jungfrau peak that claims the honour of being the site of the highest train station in Europe. Alternatively you could step aboard a breathtaking cable car ride to the Schilthorn summit (2970m) where you can enjoy exceptional panoramic views and sip cocktails in the revolving Piz Gloria summit restaurant, featured in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Another superb view point is at the top of Schyinge Platte, reached by cog railway. Here there is also an Alpine garden displaying many of the plants found higher up the hillside. Also on offer is a day in Interlaken and a fabulous boat trip on lake Thun or Brienz. There are also many adventure activities available such as mountain biking, paragliding etc. A difficult choice!
Our walk today takes us up into the higher, lesser visited meadows in search of meadows carpeted with alpine blooms. We start with a short train journey to Lauterbrunnen (810m - 2655ft) before stepping aboard the Grutschalp cable car climbing to (1500m - 4920ft) above the valley in a matter of minutes. We're heading for the Saus valley, a tranquil spot that is home to an abundance of alpine flowers. We'll hope to see gentians, orchids, and toadflax to name a few. After a picnic lunch we'll descend to the charming hamlet of Isenfluh (1090m - 3575ft) past yet more waterfalls. From the village the path descends gently to Lauterbrunnen where we catch the train back to Wilderswil. Those with tired legs might wish to catch the bus to Lauterbrunnen.
6 hours walking, 10km - 6 miles, 300m - 990ft up, 1000m - 3280ft down
For our final day we board the train once again towards the famous Alpine village of Grindelwald and the start point for today's walk. The highlight of our day is undoubtedly the enormous and imposing north face of the Eiger, made famous by its stories of mountaineering tragedy and triumph for those climbers foolhardy enough to attempt it. The afternoon will be left free to explore Grindelwald with its multitude of shops and cafes tempting you to indulge in the delights of Swiss cuisine. We return to Wilderswil by train.
5 hours walking, 9km - 6 miles, 400m - 1300ft up, 300m - 1000 ft down
End Wilderswil. Switzerland.