National Geographic Traveller (UK)




Grab a coffee and a cinnamon bun or a bowl of home-roasted granola at laid-back Airtime cafe in Lauterbrun­nen. The Lauterbrun­nen Valley itself is extraordin­ary, with cliffs soaring over 3,000ft above the valley and scores of waterfalls spilling down them. If you only have time for one, walk in the spray of the 974ft Staubbach Falls, which stirred the souls of Lord Byron and Goethe, the latter of whom wrote a poem, Song of the Spirits over the Waters, extolling the torrent’s beauty. To make a morning of it, stroll along the valley to the glacier-fed Trummelbac­h Falls, which rage and froth into a boulder-strewn gorge, accessed via a series of galleries, tunnels and platforms.


From Lauterbrun­nen, a cable-car whisks you up to Grütschalp, where you can take the train along the ridge to Mürren, a storybook Swiss village with log chalets on steep hillsides and views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Weaving through green pastures and spruce forest, the four-mile North Face Trail via Schiltalp is a beauty. Bring a picnic and enjoy incredible views of the Lauterbrun­nen

Valley and the Bernese Alps. For more of a challenge, clip onto Mürren’s via ferrata. As it navigates a suspension bridge, zip-line and tightrope, the route has heart-quickening views of peaks punching above the valley. Hire gear from a local Intersport and go it alone or enlist a guide.


Evenings in Mürren are as mellow as you might expect in a town rocked to sleep by the sound of cowbells. Sundown is peak-gazing prime time from the terrace of Hotel Eiger, where you can ask the barman to mix you up a zingy alpine glow cocktail (local red Crystal Gin with tonic and orange) as the last sun burnishes the summits. Linger for dinner al fresco or in the wood-panelled Eiger Stübli, with dishes including Zurich-style veal with lashings of mushrooms, onions and rösti, and grilled elk with Armagnaccr­anberry sauce and tagliatell­e. There’s a spa, too, where you can swim with views of the Eiger, rest up on a sleigh lounger and get a rubdown with birch oil.

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