The perfect base from which to explore the scenic wonders of the Bernese Oberland, Interlaken is an attractive tourist focused town sitting between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun.
Getting there from Geneva Airport was a good warm up for the scenery to come, with the train running alongside Lake Geneva, through fields, and then past Lake Thun before arriving after three hours into Interlaken.
The River Aare runs through the lakes and through the centre of Interlaken. The glacial water is quite stunning, and was very tempting on the unusually hot (30C+) days I spent there, but the currents are too fast to safely swim. The lake shore is ideal though.
There is a small Old Town, though it has some prominent new buildings in the centre of it.
I love Swiss architecture and there was plenty of it around town.
Particularly the many grands hotels, as the town basically exists for tourists.
Many of whom seemed keen to launch themselves (with an instructor) off the top of Harder Kulm in paragliders, landing in the Höhematte.
Around town there were some beautiful and wet maintained flower beds.
The Japanischer Garten Interlaken was an unexpected if attractive sight.
Behind it is the Interlaken Catholic Church, whose interior seemed much more modern than the exterior, with some wonderful stained glass.
In a progressive move it’s neighbour is Reformierte Schlosskirche, with shared church facilities in the complex.
It’s a pleasant walk along by the River Aare out to Lake Thun.
Shortly before reaching the lake Weissenau Castle can be found hidden in the trees. This former imperial castle was built in the 12th century to protect the alpine passes.
The castle sits within Weissenau Nature Reserve, a rather nice spot by the lake, with a bird watching hide and poles in the lake to prevent boats from getting close to shore.
At the northern end Neuhaus is where ferries leave to criss-cross the lake. It also the main lake swimming spot for Interlaken, with a popular private ‘beach’, and free access to the water along the wooded area. It was a little murky and shallow but still a refreshing place for a swim.
I walked back along the river to Interlaken West, one of two train stations in town, which looked much more pleasant from across the water.
Moored by it was one of the sizeable ferries that crosses across Lake Thun.