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Tours and trips in the Bernese Oberland

Lake Thun is on the Grand Tour of Switzerland and there are many other opportunities to discover the beauty of the region on two or four wheels. See our tips for different routes, from the green Emmental hills to the snowy peaks of the Bernese Alps. From each route you will return with unique riding experiences and many wonderful memories. The routes lead through beautiful natural landscapes, over spectacular passes, through small pretty villages and towns.

You can also experience wonderful round trips and rallies by train and boat. From the Spiez railway junction you can visit the whole of Switzerland and be back in the evening. How about a Golden Pass round trip (Spiez-Gstaad-Montreux-Brig or Lausanne-Spiez), a tour of the foothills of the Alps (Spiez-Interlaken-Meiringen-Lucerne-Emmental-Spiez) or a boat trip on Lake Thun and/or Lake Brienz?

Here are our suggestions for beautiful and exciting round trips:

Route 1: The Idyllic

This route is 96 km long and leads from Spiez through Interlaken, Brienz, Beatenbucht, Oberhofen, Thun back to Spiez.


A short round trip that has a lot to offer: Picturesque lakeshores along Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, surrounded by fantastic mountain scenery, offer wonderful views. Drive from Spiez first towards Faulensee and then on towards Interlaken. For those who want to experience the international tourist metropolis of Interlaken, a stopover is worthwhile. Then continue along Lake Brienz, which captivates with its steep banks and turquoise blue colour. A stop in the cosy chalet village of Brienz directly on the lake is a must. From there, there are also many other excursion possibilities: The Ballenberg Open-Air Museum, a boat trip to the Giessbach Falls or a detour to the Brienzer Rothorn by steam train. On the other side of the lake, the route then heads back towards Interlaken and Lake Thun. In the Beatenbucht, a visit to the fascinating St. Beatus stalactite caves is recommended. On the further way to Thun, you will pass several time-honoured castles, such as Oberhofen Castle, with its romantic castle complex and picturesque lake tower. In Thun, it is worth strolling through the beautiful city centre and having a coffee on the mill square before returning to Spiez.

 

Route 2: The Exotic

284 km from Spiez, via Meiringen, Grimsel Pass, Furka Pass, Gotthard Pass, Nufenen Pass, Münster, Fiesch, Brig, Lötschberg, Frutigen back to Spiez.


This one-day round trip leads over four Swiss Alpine passes: Grimsel, Furka, Gotthard and Nufenen. The route leads past impressive mountain scenery, through deep valleys, quaint villages and to breathtaking vantage points. A total of up to 8,000 metres of altitude difference are covered. Enjoy the driving experience and the incomparable mountain panorama along the pass roads. After an atmospheric ride along the shores of Lakes Thun and Brienz, you start in Meiringen up to the Grimsel pass summit. The pass crossing was already an important trade route from Lucerne to Milan in Roman times. The historic Grimsel Hospiz hotel and restaurant towers majestically over the Grimsel Reservoir and is definitely worth a stop. The worthwhile detour to the Nufenen Pass promises unique views and overwhelming flora. This pass connects the Rohnetal with Ticino. The same route takes you downhill back to the high valley of Goms, along villages with sun-burned wooden houses. In 1979, the village of Ernen was awarded the Wakker Prize for exemplary village image protection by the Swiss Heritage Society. The Lötschberg car transport from Goppenstein to Kandersteg takes you back to the Kandertal and Frutigen. This is where the showcase project for renewable energy in the Alpine region is located, which opened in 2009. In the Tropic House Frutigen there is Switzerland's first sturgeon fish farm for the production of caviar and a tropical greenhouse where fruits and numerous exotic plants are grown. Heating is provided by the warmth of the mountain water from the Lötschberg base tunnel.

 

Route 3: The Classical

290 km from Spiez via Meiringen, Sustenpass, Furkapass, Grimselpass back to Meiringen and Spiez


After the shores of the Lakes of Thun and Brienz, the pass road winds its way up shortly after Meiringen with numerous hairpin bends to the Sustenpass at 2,164 m. The Susten, Furka and Grimsel Passes lie on the European watershed between the Mediterranean and North Sea. These historic mule trails, already used in Roman times, were upgraded to modern high alpine roads in the 19th century. From the 13th century onwards, wine and rice were transported along the mule tracks from the south, and cheese, leather, ironmongery, young horses and brown cattle from the north. The journey over the Alpine passes offers spectacular views. Use the many viewing platforms to capture moods and landscapes photographically on the way. Back on the turquoise blue coloured Lake Brienz, the journey along the right bank of the lake is worthwhile to visit the woodcarving village of Brienz with its famous woodcarving art and beautiful lakeside promenade. In Interlaken you will experience a vibrant tourist town with international appeal. Get a glimpse of the triumvirate of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau before returning to Spiez.

 

Route 4: The Romantic

200 km from Spiez via Simmental, Gstaad, Col du Pillon, Bulle, Jaun Pass, Boltigen back to Spiez.

Felix Mendelsohn already praised the Simmental on his travels as "the greenest valley in Europe". The road winds along the river of the same name, the "Simme", past traditional wooden houses. In Gstaad, traditional villages are combined with an international jet set. Numerous stars have a second home here. One can only guess at the luxury hidden behind the often simple facades of the converted chalets. On a stroll through Gstaad you might discover a familiar face while shopping in one of the boutiques or on a restaurant terrace. A trip over the Col du Pillon and the Col des Mosses will take you to the French-speaking cantons of Vaud and Fribourg. A short stay in the historic district of Bulle or in the medieval town of Gruyères with its castle is well worthwhile. In this region you will also find many specialities from the Gruyères region. A visit to the "Maison Cailler" in Broc near Bulles is also exciting. In addition to tasting the finest chocolate, you will learn interesting facts about its history and production. The trip over the Jaun Pass takes you back to the lovely Simmental and to Spiez.

 

Route 5: The traditional

215 km from Spiez via Thun, Schallenberg, Eggiwil, Signau, Langnau, rubschachen, Entlebuch, Lucerne, Brünig, Interlaken back to Spiez.

The winding road over the Schallenberg leads into the heart of the Emmental, which has become world-famous for its holey cheese. The charming hilly landscape is unmistakable, here you can experience pure nature. In the show dairy in Affoltern you will learn the secrets of cheese production. Or would you prefer something sweet? In the pastry factory "Kambly" you can try out a wide variety of biscuits to your heart's content and buy many beautiful gift packages of the fine delicacies. The Entlebuch has been a UNESCO biosphere reserve since 2001 because of its high moorland and karst landscape. After pure nature, the picture-book city of Lucerne, with its famous medieval Chapel Bridge, is now the place to breathe the sea air. Along the beautiful Lake Lucerne, Sarnersee and Lungernsee lakes, the trail leads over the Brünig Pass, past imposing mountain scenery back to Spiez.

Route 6: The Mystics

294 km from Spiez via Thun, Belp, Toffen, Riggisberg, Schwarzenburg, Fribourg, Bulle, Vevey, Montreux, Sion, Steg, Goppenstein and Kandersteg back to Spiez

From Spiez you first take the main road along the Aare valley to Belp. There you drive along the Gürbetal, in Toffen you will find the Oldtimer Galerie International GmbH. Via Riggisberg and Schwarzenburg you approach Fribourg. Like the historical legacy, guests also appreciate the modern side of Fribourg, for example the Tinguely Museum in the former tram depot or the lively atmosphere of the university town. Another highlight awaits you in Broc near Bulle: on the interactive tour through the Maison Cailler, sweet chocolate fantasies play just as big a role as hard facts. Along the educational trail that leads from Lausanne to Montreux, the winegrowers of Lavaux invite visitors to discover the exceptional and authentic beauty of their wine terraces all year round. Another jewel of this region is "Chaplin's World" in Corsier sur Vevey, an adventure museum and "cult site" for cinema lovers and Chaplin fans. Another exciting museum in Vevey is called Nest - Nestle's space for unforgettable discoveries. The museum provides basic insights into the company at its place of origin in Vevey.

For over 50 years, the famous Montreux Jazz Festival has been welcoming world-famous artists to the shores of Lake Geneva. The city of Montreux is definitely worth a visit. Afterwards you will drive up the picturesque Rhone valley. Between Sierre and Sion lies the largest navigable underground lake in Europe. 300 metres long and 20 metres wide, it is considered a place of power and has been used for tourism since 1949. Just a few minutes' drive away, the queen of the queens of the Valais wrestling cows is crowned every spring in Aproz at the National Hérens Cow Fighting Final. On the way from Kandersteg to Spiez there is a small blue lake in the middle of paradise: the Blausee. The romantic nature park in the impressive landscape, the excellent restaurant, the unique alpine organic trout farm, the romantic walking paths and the nightly lake and park illumination enchant all visitors.

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