National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Alpine views



The views unfold little by little as you creep up the mountain on the narrow-gauge railway from Wilderswil to Schynige Platte, just as folk have done since 1893. For views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, as well as lakes Brienz and Thun, strike out on the sixhour trail to the village of First via the knobbly peak of Faulhorn.


Ride Switzerlan­d’s only steam-powered cogwheel train through forests and meadows to the summit of 7,709ft Brienz Rothorn for knockout views of startlingl­y turquoise lakes Brienz and Thun. Pick a clear day and you can, they say, count 693 peaks from here.


Jungfraujo­ch may be higher, but the eyrie-like summit of Schilthorn, at 9,722ft, is equally dramatic, with views all the way to Mont Blanc and the Black Forest on cloudless days. Have brunch in the revolving restaurant, Piz Gloria, or hop in the cable-car down to Birg’s gravity-defying Thrill Walk.


Jutting out into the void, this steel walkway wraps around near-vertical cliff faces at First above Grindelwal­d. Birds, such as alpine choughs, ride on the updraft and even use this perch for take-off and landing. From here, walk on to Bachalpsee, a cobalt lake that serves as a mirror to the Bernese Alps.


Brits have been raving about Wengen’s heavenly views since Edwardian times and with good reason. Sit on the bench in the churchyard to gaze up at the colossal peaks of the Jungfrau massif and down to the sheersided, waterfall-splashed Lauterbrun­nen Valley.

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