The Magical Village of Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland
When I first heard of Lauterbrunnen I was completely fascinated by this small Swiss village nestled between towering cliffs and mountains. Sitting at the bottom of a valley it had a waterfall seemingly flowing directly into the village. Switzerland was absolutely full to the brim with WOW moments and getting off the train in Lauterbrunnen was definitely one of the top ones.
This magical place is in the Interlaken region ( a 15 minute direct train ride from Wilderswil ) and its a place you definitely don’t want to skip going to if you are in the area. Train rides everywhere in Switzerland seem like a treat as well because of the great views and going to Lauterbrunnen was no exception.
We were mostly lucky with loads of sunshine while we were in Switzerland but this particular day was quite gloomy and a bit cold which actually made Lauterbrunnen seem even more like something out of a fairytale. We had decided to quickly visit this area on the day we arrived in Interlaken as the next day would be a whole day excursion up Junfraujoch. It was only about a 15 min train ride away from where we were staying so we headed off to go for a late picnic lunch there. It was still early Spring when we visited so the weather could go from chilly in the mornings to much warmer later in the day so as you can see layers were my friend! I would take my jackets off as soon as we stopped somewhere after a walk or when I got on the train.
As soon as we got off the train and started walking up to the main street we could see the Staubbach Falls cascading down into the village. Its an absolutely amazing sight that I feel we even had trouble capturing on film. In real life it really takes your breath away! I only later read that there are actually 72 waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen valley area and we saw a few of them while taking the train up to Wengen which is the village above Lauterbrunnen.
What we didn’t see until the next day was the bright white peaks ( only moody clouds in these photos ) of the high mountains of Junfrau, Eiger and Monch that provide the dramatic backdrop for the village. I do suggest going to the start of the hike from Wengen down to Lauterbrunnen to get a lovely view from above. I must say that living at sea level all my life did not at all prepare me for hiking in any kind of altitude especially in cold weather and I was huffing and puffing all the way. Most other people seemed totally used to it so I felt like a bit of a drama queen on the inside but I did push through so I was quite proud of myself.
Another reason to call Lauterbrunnen magical is the fact that J.R.R. Tolkien hiked from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen in 1911 and then decided to base the fictitious valley of Rivendell on it. You can see why, especially when I see photos of the area in Spring time!
Things to do in Lauterbrunnen:
- Go paragliding and see the area from above! We saw loads of paragliders while in Switzerland and especially in this area and its definitely on our list to do for next time.
- Go for a walk through the village to the Staubbach falls and have a picnic while watching them cascade down. In Summer there is a path you can walk to get a better view of the falls.
- There are plenty of hikes, and a great one to do is from Wengen down to Lauterbrunnen, or up if you are really fit!