Interlaken, Thun, Bern, Annecy, Les Contamines, Le Grand Massif...
Unintentionally, I’m stuck with Slow philosophy. I was invited in Interlaken and guess what? This city is part of a “slow mobility” program called “Alpine Pearls”. So, I also took the opportunity to visit the surroundings.
You have 1 week of vacation and you decided to go to the Alps? Very good choice! During 1 week in May, I went to Swiss and French Alps. Here are 22 experiences you must do!
The most touristic attraction of Interlaken you must test for its panoramic view of the city, the 2 lakes and the Jungfrau (pronounced “young frao”). Jungfrau is a top that reaches 4158m and that Swiss people call “Top of Europe” (even if it isn’t true. For example, the Mont Blanc peaks 4809m).
This was one of the wildest moments of the stay: hike and pass under a waterfall! I loved it!! 🙂
I really advice you to go there! This is a quiet hike with few people.
After walking under this waterfall, go to the restaurant “Les Cascades” (“waterfall” in French) of the GrandHotel of Giessbach at the heart of the mountain.
You will find on the menu a local meal called “Älper Magronen”: potatoes, macaroni, crème, mountain cheese, onions and… applesauce! I can tell you one thing: that’s DE-LI-CIOUS!
In 20min from Interlaken by bus, we are heading for the St-Beatus caves. The legend says that – in the 6th century – the monk Béat was chasing and beaten the dragon of these caves. Since, we can visit this geological site. At the end of the visit, you will locate at 827m deeper and 87m under the mountain.
If you MUST visit something, it’s this one! What I loved the most: the mirror effect. A body of water in front of a cave’s cavity, then you get the impression that a second one appears just below… Magnificent!
Before arrive to the St-Beatus caves, you will walk during 15min until the entrance in a beautiful setting!
By walking through Interlaken, we found – by chance – a point that locates us equidistant from 3 cities: Interlaken, Matten and Unterseen.
For curious people, you’ll find it here:
I advice you 2 places I tested: the chocolate factory “Schuch” (for chocolate fondue) and the tearoom Rieder (for their ice-cream)
Here are different pictures of places, arts, buildings you will be able to discover in Interlaken. And I’m pretty sure that there are many other things to find! 😉
2nd step city: Thun. 1h drive from Interlaken, I advise you to visit the beautiful city of Thun, which gave its name to one of the Swiss lakes.
This is one of the best places to admire the view of the town. It’s what motives us to enter in the castle. For 10 CHF, the visit is very light… During our stay, the castle was under renovation so, we paid 5 CHF but we couldn’t go on the roof. However, the view was already really nice 🙂
AGo to the BONSTETTEN PARK and enjoy the view of the lake and mountains. Pictures are talking for themselves. (I took risks for you! When I was taking the 2nd picture, I was under a tree where a beehive buzzed !!! ^^)
As in every city, by walking, you will find unusual elements, the old pedestrian street… Everything you can discover by chance.
This address given by an inhabitant of Thun was really good! That’s why I’m going to give it to you. If you’re going through Thun, I advise you this restaurant!!
Zunfthaus Zu Metzgern. You will eat in a building that looks like to an old European inn. For my part, I chose the speciality created by the Zunfthaus Zu Metzgern’s cooker: Lisi’s Fleischchueche (what I recommend to you!). Minced beef in puff pastry with tomatoes and ham, mixed salad (vegetables and fruit) and crème fraîche compose this meal. A delight!
Being in Bern for a couple of hours just to take a train to come back in France, the visit was quick but the walk in town was very cool (except the rain ^^)
This is one of the attractions in the city. Bears “live” in Bern since the foundation of the city in 1191. I’ve been searching information, here is what I found: “There is a legend that the city named after and carries the emblem of the first animal to be hunted in the surrounding woods by the city founder Duke of Zähringen. The first animal he caught was a bear, marking the beginning of the tradition of keeping bears in the city”.
Einstein Haus is located in the center of Bern. That’s possible to visit this apartment that Einstein rented from 1903 to 1905. By informing us, someone explained us what we can see: some Einstein’s objects and a movie about his life. So, we didn’t do it. If you want to, provide 6 CHF per person.
We mainly walked (under the rain) during our stop in Bern. Here are some pictures of what you will be able to see by walking.
After several days in Switzerland, back in France with the visit of the legendary city in Haute-Savoie: Annecy. Ok, I admit, about this step, we were “classical” tourists. 😉
This is one of the Annecy’s showcases: its lake. With almost 40 km all around the lake, you will be able to enjoy by foot or by bike 🙂
2nd showcase of Annecy: its old prison and its canals. It would be a shame to miss this pearl of Haute-Savoie. Enjoy eating in one of the many restaurants all along these canals.
If you’re here, keep going and stroll in the old Annecy to enjoy the charm of this city.
Le Grand Massif
Le Grand Massif brings together several stations: Samoëns, Morillon, Flaine, Sixt-Fer-A-Cheval, Les Carroz. Here are some ideas to enjoy your stay in Le Grand Massif.
You’ll find here: 2500 species of mountain flowers and its waterfall. La Jaÿsinia botanic garden offers you a 30min walk until the top (counting time to enjoy the nature and take some pictures). At the top: a panoramic view of Samoëns and some ruins of the Montanier’s castle dating back to 1476.
Do you want to get some rest? Please, have a sit at the lake of Samoëns or Morrilon… This is the absolute best!!
Also known as “The Queen of the Alps”, you will be able to have a sit near the Cascade du Rouget. For hike fans, this place is the beginning of different hike paths.
There are 2 participatory libraries in Morillon: Troc Livres (in front of the tobacco store) and La Ruche à Livres (in front of the Tourism Office).
Last step of our stay: Les Contamines and its Park “Parc de Loisirs du Pontet (now named: Parc de Loisir Patrice Dominguez). We only enjoyed this day to rest after a busy week 🙂
The currency is CHF
Divide by 1,20
I’ve been disappointed about Interlaken. Being part of “Alpine Pearls”, I was expecting a quiet and not a mass tourism place. There are too much Tour-Operators buses in the main street. Because of that, some of tourist attractions are fully booked (like the Harder Kulm). I advise you to have a stay in Thun, which is more peaceful than Interlaken. Moreover, thanks to the bus-lines, you will also experience the unmissable visits near Interlaken like St-Beatus.
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All these pictures are mine in this article.