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Whilst Interlaken is best known as a summer destination, with two-thirds of it's visitors staying between May and October, the resort still has plenty to offer in winter too.

Interlaken is located in the valley down from the area's big 3 ski resorts: Wengen, Murren and Grindelwald, and tends to be more popular with visitors who don't necessarily want to do winter sports every day but are also interested in some different activities such as shopping, winter-hiking, day-trips to Switzerland cities, winter-trips on Lake Thun, and the general advantages of being based in a larger, valley town. For these holidaymakers, Interlaken can prove a good choice, especially as it's hotels and accommodation offer very reasonable prices during the winter season, as it's the summer which is actually their high-season price. And the skiing is still pretty accessible, especially if you want to try out different areas of the Jungfrau ski region, with a free ski bus taking Interlaken's guests towards the main resorts or use of the fabulous train system as well.

Interlaken - The Good, the Bad, ...and the Facts!

  • Interlaken Resort Alititude: 570m.
  • Good base for the big 3 Jungfrau resorts.
  • Easy to get to by train.
  • Lots to do in summer.
  • Wide variety of Accommodation.
  • Accommodation often cheaper in Winter.
  • Doesn't have it's own slopes.
  • Lots of travelling to get to the Jungfrau pistes.

Interlaken Live Streams

No live-streams are currently available for Interlaken.

Interlaken Web Cameras

A list of webcams for Interlaken and the surrounding area.

Interlaken Snow Record

Don't be too concerned if you fire up one of Interlaken's web cameras during the middle of January only to be met by views of green fields, brown trees and a distinct lack of snow. Remember, Interlaken is on the valley floor and is just to be used as a base in the ski season for the nearby ski resorts, the webcams of which will most probably be showing reassuringly deep mounds of the white stuff if you try those out instead !

Interlaken is Family Friendly

Interlaken itself is pretty family friendly, with a very touristy feel and plenty of options for eating and drinking for those with kids in tow. However, for those with really young kids, staying here on a ski holiday with kids would undoubtedly test the patience of a saint because of the issues involving the daily trip up to one of the 3 ski resorts and then the subsequent journey to the slopes. If you think you can contend with that then good luck to you !

It's summer that Interlaken really comes into it's own for families though. It's a fantastic base to explore one of Europe's most beautiful areas, with plenty of things to do and places to visit for all age groups.

Interlaken has Amazing Scenery

Interlaken's scenery may be slightly different than the nearby ski resorts of Grindelwald, Wengne and Murren, which are located higher up in the mountains, it is nonetheless set in it's own stunning scenery. Not only does it have a great location between two lakes, Brienz and Thun, with mountain sides coming down on both sides, but it has a magnificent view up into the Jungfrau mountains, naturally framed by other mountains as you look up towards it.

Any Summer Skiing at Interlaken ?

Given the size of the mountains that are so close to Interlaken, it's something of a surprise to find that you can't actually ski anywhere in the summer. The Eiger has a glacier (the Eigergletscher) and from the visitor centre at the top of the Jungfraujoch you're right next to another one, also the largest glacier in the Alps - the Great Aletsch Glacier (Grosser Aletschgletscher) but there are no lifts or skiing on these. Instead, the Jungfrau region turns its attention to a whole host of other outdoor activities during the summer months, such as hiking, climbing, paragliding and water-sports down on the lakes near Interlaken.

Interlaken History

Interlaken's history can be traced back to the eleventh century, with the first recorded details of settlements in the area between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. As well as traditional farming and agricultural industries, the town has been a home to a number of other business areas over the years, including the manufacturing of watches, clock-making, and various textile and print industries.

However, the advent of tourism in Switzerland saw Interlaken take on a new role, that of a popular centre for visitors to the Jungfrau region. With an extremely large number and range of different hotels and accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, it's easy to see why Interlaken has become known as the main resort for exploring one of Switzerland's most beautiful regions.

Interlaken - Getting There

Consider travelling by train - it takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes from Geneva with a single change required at Bern before arriving at Interlaken Ost. Note that Interlaken has two railways stations - Interlaken Ost and Interlaken West. Interlaken Ost is the main station and the one that is used for the majority of the accommodation and the town centre.

Getting to the Slopes at Interlaken

Ok, so Interlaken isn't a ski resort in the traditional sense of the word, as their are no immediate ski slopes, but access to the trio of famous ski resorts - Grindelwald , Murren and Wengen is pretty easy.

Grindelwald is the easiest and quickest of the 3 ski resorts to get to, taking only 34 minutes by train from Interlaken Ost (and it has the bonus of requiring no changes, unlike access Murren and Wengen). Interlaken Ost to Wengen takes 45 minutes by train, with a change in Lauterbrunnen. Interlaken Ost to Murren BLM takes one minute longer at 46 minutes, also with a change in Lauterbrunnen (but going up the opposite side of the valley obviously !). You can drive up to Grindelwald easily, but to get to Wengen or Murren you will need to park up at the valley bottom in Lauterbrunnen and then get up to the resorts using the rail system.

It's then a case of getting to the slopes from each of these resorts, details of which are below...

Getting to the Slopes of the First Ski Area above Grindelwald

First is Grindelwald's best known ski area and is situated at 2168m and with views straight over to the Eiger. You get access to the First ski area via the gondola from Grindelwald, with mid-stations at Bort and Schrekfeld. As with most ski areas that require a single main lift to get you to the main area, it can be a bit of a bottleneck in really busy times, but the lifts are quite fast and the situation is much improved from the slower lift system that was previously installed. First is home to Grindelwald's main nursery slopes and beginners area. There's a chairlift to take you up to the Oberjoch ski area and a series of lifts over at the Schrekfeld and Bargelegg areas to allow you to access the slopes over in these sub areas.

Getting to the Mannlichen Ski Area above Wengen

Given Wengen's location on the shelf above the valley, and with the sheer face of Mannlichen dominating over the village centre, it's no real surprise that to ski in Wengen you need to get yourself up and out of the village to get access to the main areas of slopes up at Mannlichen and Kleine Scheidegg.

There are pistes that come back down to the village, following a route close to the world-famous Lauberhorn World Cup downhill course (don't panic timid skiers, there are alternative blue pistes alongside the world cup run). However, there's no real variation for the ski home, as this is the only route, but it's an extremely scenic home run and a lovely way to end the day.

So apart from that route home and a small nursery slope area in the village centre, the main thing to realise about Wengen is that you need to get out of the resort centre to either Mannlichen or Kleine Scheidegg. Mannlichen is the mountain (height 2343m) that hangs directly over Wengen, there's a cable car station in the centre of the village called the Luftseilbahn Wengen-Mannlichen and it takes about 5 mins to travel up there. Be warned though that at peak times this can act as a bottle neck because it's the only direct way up to Mannlichen, so it obviously gets busy. So here's the trick - if you can get yourself out of the hotel and to the cable car before 9.15 you won't have to queue, even during the busy high-season periods, and can be skiing less than 10 minutes later.

The other way to get out of town and onto the higher slopes is to take the train up to Kleine Scheidegg. This is the same line that carries everyone up to Wengen from Lauterbrunnen - it carries on up to Kleine Scheidegg and then further on to the Jungfraujoch (no pistes up there, so don't try it !). The train takes longer than the Mannlichen cable-car (about half an hour as opposed to 5 minutes), and it can also get very busy (it will also have passengers on the train already as its coming from Lauterbrunnen below) but it's a decent alternative if it's windy or if anyone's nervous of long cable-car rides !

Once you've got yourself up to either Mannlichen or Kleine Scheidegg, the first thing that's going to hit you is the view, be prepared for it. Whilst Wengen may not have the most extensive range of pistes, it does have something very special - scenery to die for... the Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau hanging over you, the Wetterhorn over Grindelwald and the Schilthorn over Murren. It's breathtaking stuff.

Getting to the Schilthorn Ski Area above Murren

The Schilthorn ski area on the slopes above Murren can be split into roughly 4 sub areas: Schilthorn-Birg-Obere Hubel, Allmendhubel, Maulerhubel-Winteregg and the Schiltgrat-Gimmeln area.

The Schilthorn-Birg-Obere Hubel area is accessed by the Schilthornbahn cable car from the centre of the resort. The cable car actually comes up from Gimmelwald down below Murren, and then up to Birg and then beyond to the famous revolving restaurant on the top of the Schilthorn. This is the highest lift in the Schilthorn area, and just below this is the starting point of the famous Inferno run.

For those skiers looking to access the pistes around the Allmendhubel area, the easiest way to get there is to take the Allmendhubelbahn funicular, which is located in the resort, roughly halfway between the railway station and the Schilthornbahn cable car station.

The Maulerhubel-Winteregg area is probably the trickiest place out of the four to get to for those staying in Murren. You've got to come at it from either halfway down the red pistes at Allmendhubel and then get on the Maulerhubel chairlift or get the chairlift up from Winteregg, which is the first stop on the Lauterbrunnen-Murren train.

To get to the slopes of the Schiltgrat-Gimmeln area, use the Schiltgrat chairlift from the village - it's just a bit further on from the Schilthornbahn cable-car.

The Skiing at Interlaken

Whilst Interlaken does not have it's own ski slopes it is extremely handy for the resorts and ski slopes of the Jungfrau Region Ski Region:

Jungfrau Region

Information on the Swiss ski area Jungfrau Region, including links to the surrounding resorts, webcams, slope information and lift details.

Details of the ski slopes around each of the 3 main ski resorts can be found below:

The Jungfrau Ski region is comprised of 3 ski areas: Grindelwald-First, Murren-Schilthorn and Kleine Scheidegg-Mannlichen.

Schilthorn Ski Area

Below is a description of the various skiing areas at Schilthorn:

Schilthorn-Birg-Obere Hubel Area

Where else could we start but Murren's most famous landmark - the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant perched on top of the Schilthorn mountain. What do you mean you've never heard of it ?!? You've most likely seen it though -it was Blofeld's mountain hideaway in the Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. There's a black run (no. 10) that starts right up here at just under 3000m. Just down this black run is where the legendary Inferno run starts, the longest downhill race in the world. The black isn't too difficult to be honest and has some great views over to the Jungfrau. It continues down to a position just above Both, from where there are a number of nice blue runs to take you down to Obere Hubel or down to the Riggli chairlift (black slope number 9 provides a trickier alternative). Obere Hubel sits at around 2400m so the snow up here is usually pretty good. However, to help ensure good conditions there are plenty of snow cannons covering the slopes down from here. There's something for everyone here with a blue, red and a couple of blacks all heading down to the bottom of the Muttleren and Kandahar chairlifts. From the bottom of the Kandahar chairlifts there's just run that connects you to the next skiing area below (Allmendhubel), but the bad news for nervy intermediates is that its a black (number 16) - a section of the Inferno run. Anyone not fancying this black needs to work there way back up to Birg using the chairlifts and then get the cable-car back down to the Schilthornbahn Station down in Murren

Allmendhubel Area

The easiest way to get to the Allmendhubel area from Murren village is to take the Allmendhubelbahn funicular. From here there's a nice easy blue (number 6) that takes you right back down to the foot of the funicular. It's got snow cannons on it as well, so the coverage is usually ok. Red 7 follows a similar route down, albeit a bit trickier for early intermediates, and connects into blue 6 towards the end. On the other side of the Allmendhubel area is a couple of short blue runs with a drag lift. A nice long red (no 5) comes down through the trees on this side too and ends up at the bottom of the funicular. There are a couple of lifts on red 5 as well - the Allmiboden chairlift connects you back up to Allmendhubel whilst Maulerhubel chairlift takes you to the top of the Maulerhubel-Winteregg area.

Maulerhubel-Winteregg Area

This area is the hardest to access from Murren village, you've got to come at it from either halfway down red pistes no 5 at Allmendhubel and then get the Maulerhubel chairlift up or get the chairlift up from Winteregg, which is the first stop on the Lauterbrunnen-Murren train. Beginners and early intermediates will find it's worth the effort because once you've got there are a couple of blues down to the base of the Maulerhubel chair and a lovely blue and red that goes in the opposite direction down to Winteregg. From Winteregg there's actually a red (no 3) that goes right down to Lauterbrunnen - this is the final section of the inferno run, so you can amuse yourself by skiing it flat out and pretending your charging to ski-race glory! Remember this is below 800m so there's no guarantee there'll be enough snow down at this level.

Schiltgrat-Gimmeln Area

Access to this area has to be done via the Schiltgrat chairlift from the village - it's just a bit further on from the Schilthornbahn cable-car. From the top of the Schiltgrat chairlift there are a number of runs down to Gimmeln - there are 2 reds (24 and 25) and a blue (23). Down at Gimmeln you've then got two options - either take the long drag lift back up to the top of Schiltgrat or take a scenic red down back down to the base of the Schiltgrat chair. As well as the pistes down to Gimmeln there are a couple more options, firstly take the blue from the top of the Schiltgrat chair and sweep left on pistes number 20 - this gives you a few options - you can take the red 23b down to the Taverne restaurant, black 21 down to Suppenalp or to the base of the Schilthornbahn, or continue on blue 22 to Sonnenberg

Mannlichen-Kleine Scheidegg Ski Area

Below is a description of the various skiing areas at Mannlichen-Kleine Scheidegg:

Mannlichen Area

From Mannlichen there is a blue (piste 2) or a red (number 3) to take you right down down to the base of the Mannlichen chairlift (note - that's the chairlift, not the cable-car back down to Wengen, you wont be skiing down that way unless you're about the same level as Candide Thovex). There are also 2 sections at the top where you can ski black piste no. 1 and then get down via the aforementioned reds or blues. One thing worth pointing out is that some of the higher slopes around Mannlichen can sometimes be closed due to high winds - it's quite an exposed area. Wengen village centre sometimes get's protected from the winds from the other side of Mannlichen but it's worth being aware that the conditions on the top run can be very different. However, this is a problem common to many ski resorts, not just Wengen.

Grund Area

Also going down from Mannlichen top station is the Grindelwald Grund - Mannlichen gondola. The gondola goes from 2230m right down to Grund at 944m. There are a variety of blues and red pistes to navigate down to the bottom of the fantastically named Lager chairlift (not as good as it sounds!) but to get down further to the Holenstein station of the gondola or right down to the bottom at Grund early intermediates need to be able to get down a red run (piste number 3). Be aware that in busy holiday periods such as half-term the routes down to Grund can get busy before lunch as lots of people head down there (anyone skipping lunch or stopping earlier/later will find the runs down to Grund much quieter over lunch).

Tschuggen Area

There are a number of pistes between Mannlichen and Kleinne Scheidegg but the vast majority are reds and suited to intermediates. One thing we're too keen about in this area is some of the piste markings - which were were a bit unclear. Red pistes no. 7 at Tschuggen and no. 21 at Honegg or Kleine Scheidegg both meet up just below the Tschuggen drag lift and then take you down to Grund. Speaking of the Tshuggen drag lift - it's extremely long - worth bearing in mind if you've got kids with you who have a tendency to fall off them if they need to hold on for longer than 2 minutes !! Nervy intermediates or developing beginners can get down to Grund avoiding the reds if they want to by using the long blue piste (no. 22) that goes right down under the north face of the Eiger from Kleine Scheidegg, past Alpiglen and down into Grindelwald.

Lauberhorn-Kleine Scheidegg Area

There are a couple of reds up on the top of the Lauberhorn, and you can ski the World Cup run that starts up here and winds it's way back down to Wengen. It's the oldest race on the downhill circuit and also the longest, the pro's doing it in a staggering 2 and a half minutes ! There's a cracking bar up here called the Start Bar, if you're there when the Lauberhorn race is on then get yourself up to it, you'll be amazed that you can rub shoulders with the racers before they hurtle off down the course. If you're up on the Lauberhorn and look onto the opposite side of Kleine Scheidegg you'll see another area at a similar height - the Eigergletscher. More advanced skiers will be pleased to hear that there are a few black runs up here around the Fallboden lift as well as a couple of reds.

Allmend Area

You can get back down to Wengen from either the Eigergletscher, Lauberhorn or Kleine Scheidegg areas (with the latter having the blue option) but all 3 routes (with the exception of the black World Cup run) eventually end up at the Wengernalp area, sweeping round the corner on a steady blue to Allmend. If you do come down the World Cup run look out for boards detailing the different sections and jumps of the course. If you like your Ski Sunday or Eurosport then you'll recognise the names, if not they're still worth taking a breather at and reading. There are a couple more black and red runs in the Allmend area, ending down at the foot of the Innerwengen chairlift, one of the blacks is the Mannlichen World Cup slalom run, which traditionally takes place the day after the downhill. Back up at Allmend the blue run continues back down into the village - you can then make your way back over to the cable car and start again or if it's the end of the day head for a well-deserved drink !

Fisrt Ski Area

Below is a description of the various skiing areas at First:

First Area

We'll start with First, Grindelwald's best known area situated at 2168m and with views straight over to the Eiger. You get access to it via the gondola from Grindelwald, with mid-stations at Bort and Schrekfeld. First is home to Grindelwald's main nursery slopes and beginners area. There's a chairlift to take you up to the Oberjoch area. Slopes down from First consist of a blue (no 3) and a red (no 4) that lead down to Schrekfeld. For advanced skiers there's a black (no 5) that winds all the way down to Bort.

Oberjoch Area

Access up to Oberjoch, the highest lift-served point on this side of Grindelwald, is via a chairlift from First. There are then two runs back down to the base of the chairlift, an easy blue and a slightly trickier red.

Schrekfeld Area

As well as the pistes down from the First area there is a chairlift (named Schilt) that you can get on and a few runs lead down from it - blue no. 8 and red no. 9 both end up back in the Schrekfeld area whilst another beginner-friendly blue takes you right down to the Bargelegg area. Advanced skiers can skip a long section of this blue by opting for a black (no 14) that runs in parallel to it. Going back to the main Schrekfeld area, there are 2 blacks and a red that run down from it - red 7 and black 16 take you down to the base of the Grindel chairlift at the Bargelegg area whilst black no 6 runs right down to Bort, its a long black that'll really get those thighs burning with a vertical drop of about 400m.

Bargelegg Area

The Bargelegg area has three lifts - the Grindel chair and the Bargelegg drag start from a similar location and the Hohwald drag which is a bit further to the right. The Grindel lift connects the red 7 and black 16 to Schrekfeld whilst taking the 206m Bargelegg drag opens up either red 12 or blue 13. Taking red 12 brings you to the base of the Hohwald lift, take this drag to the top and you've then got two options - an easy blue will bring you straight back to the bottom of the drag again, or red 23, one of the longest in the area will sweep you right around the valley through Stepfi and Blumlisalp and right down to Rancher Bar

Interlaken Piste Maps

A list of piste-maps for Interlaken and the surrounding ski areas.

Mannlichen-Kleine Scheidegg Piste Map

Piste-map of the Mannlichen and Kleine Scheidegg ski areas above Wengen.

First-Grindelwald Piste Map

Piste-map of the First ski area above Grindelwald.

Schilthorn Piste Map

Piste-map of the Schilthorn ski areas above Murren.

Interlaken The Resort Itself

Interlaken Other Activities

Interlaken Local Knowledge

Interlaken Apres Ski

Interlaken - Any Chance of Early Snow ?

Interlaken Resort Style

Interlaken Annual Events

Annual Events in this and neighbouring resorts...

The word 'classic' is often over-used, but not in the case of this race.

Set on the slopes of the Lauberhorn above the Swiss resort of Wengen, this is a race that has the lot - history, drama and the best scenery on the World Cup calendar.

The 2016 year's event will be the 86th running of the races, making it the longest running of all the FIS World Cup races. It's traditionally run the weekend before the Hahnenkamm races at Kitzbuhel, making back-to-back classic downhill races.

Lauberhorn Races »

This spectacular ski race was started back in 1928 by 5 Brits from Murren's Kandahar Club and now has an important place on the annual ski calendar as one of the biggest and most popular amateur ski races in the world. The course is just under 15km long, starting just under the Schilthorn (think James Bond On Her Majesty's Secret Service at 2790m and finishing right down in the valley at Lauterbrunnen 2000m vertically below. The winner hurtles down in about 15 minutes but there's plenty of competition - with up to 1800 skiers taking part. The event has become big business for the village of Murren, with other events in the lead up and a massive Swiss party afterwards.

The 2016 race will be the 73rd running of the event.

Inferno Race »

Interlaken Useful Links

If you want some further information on Interlaken, then you might find these links to other sites useful...

Hotels + Chalets in Interlaken

Interlaken hotels and chalets.

Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel

Part of the Swiss hotel chain of the same name, the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa is a five-star hotel located in the centre of Interlaken opposite the beautiful Hohematte Park. With stunning views of the Jungfrau landscape, a range of top-class suites and rooms, one of Switzerland's best spa's and a variety of restaurants and bars, it's no surprise to discover that the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World group of hotels.

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