Lauterbrunnen - The Perfect Valley
Switzerland // May 2019
Switzerland is known for a few things, including cheese, chocolate, banking and of course being very expensive, sometimes making it a less desired travel destination. However, one of the things making up for that, is the undying and never-ending charm of the villages found all throughout the country. Switzerland is blessed with gorgeous topographical wonder, sporting some of the most beautiful mountain ranges and peaks in all of Europe! In this, the ancestral genius’ of Switzerland managed to build and develop some of the most beautiful and quaint mountain villages/towns all over the country!
One of them, also being one of the top 3 most famous swiss destinations (in my humble opinion), is Lauterbrunnen. This town, is picture perfect - literally to the point where it is more often than not known from postcards prior to a visit, which is exactly where I first saw it! There is something already so special about villages that are nestled deep in the mountains, however, Lauterbrunnen seems to be the perfect little mountain village, exceeding the norms and expectations of your other european destinations in the Alpine region.
Lauterbrunnen is found in the Interlakken Region, and can be accessed easily both by train, car, and bus! It is also possible to access via tourbus from other towns nearby, but I would always recommend avoiding these as typically you will find the nicest times of day are before they arrive, and after they leave - so if at all possible, stay in Lauterbrunnen. There are dedicated tourism parking lots throughout the town, which often fill up during the day, and otherwise there is a massive several story parking lot near the entrance of the town where you can leave your vehicle for the day.
When I went in May, I actually stayed in a camper van at one of the main parking lots of the town, and this was no issue at all - we just paid for parking for the hours we were there! This was great as it allowed us to be in the heart of the town and get up early without having to worry about moving around or finding parking!
So what is there to do there other than seeing the town? Well first of all, the town is gorgeous - a beautiful picturesque church (which unfortunately was under construction when I visited), waterfalls along the mountains, hiking, helicopter flights, base jumping, getting the train up to the next town for the best views - there is more than enough to do and see to keep yourself occupied for at least 48 hours in my opinion!
We hiked up for a sunset viewpoint on the first night, we then got an early train up to Wengen, and I believe this was 14 euros for a return ticket - this allowed us to get up to find the best views of the town from above early in the day to avoid crowds! The hike wasn’t long at all, took about 45-60 minutes and gave us several viewpoints of the gorgeous town - took us through beautiful mountain forest trails and was a great way to experience the area! If you are there for a thrill, I would probably have to say you should try your luck with the helicopter flights which seemed to be very popular there as we saw a ton of helicopters on the 2nd day (we didn’t try it) and were also surprised at the amount of base jumping activity going on!
Depending on the season you go in, certain hikes will be off limits due to weather conditions and risk of weather impacted dangers - however, if you find the information building in the heart of the town, you can pick up a map with all the different hiking routes in the area! I want to return forsure for more hikes as they look unbelievable - and there is something for every taste!
I loved my stay there and would highly recommend it to anyone who is either into photography, loves mountain villages, loves european wonders, loves the outdoors, or all of the above!