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Breathtaking shades of turquoise

Lake Brienz – the turquoise gem

Set in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, the turquoise-toned Lake Brienz promises experiences to remember in and on its mesmerising waters – at any time of year. Gaze on imposing mountain slopes around the banks of the lake or take a tour of discovery to the picturesque villages surrounding Lake Brienz. Experience the full range of water-based activities, or relax with winter bathing in a Hotpot by the Brienz quayside.

  • Comprehensive range of water activities in Bönigen, Iseltwald and Brienz

  • Charming hotels and other accommodation with lake views all around the banks

  • Accessible day-trip destinations with panoramic views of the turquoise waters

  • Towering landscape of surrounding mountains provides creates sense of security

  • Numerous places around Lake Brienz to relax and enjoy bathing and barbeques

  • Bath amid wintry surroundings in a Hotpot by the Brienz quayside

  • Winter kayaking tour on the placid waters of Lake Brienz

A lake surrounded by steep mountain slopes

Lake Brienz is often calm in the early morning, reflecting the Alps of the Bernese Oberland, the turquoise waters exuding an energy of their own. It is only later in the day that the first whitecaps appear on the surface (depending on the wind and the weather) and waves disturb the glistening waters. Watching the hypnotic interplay of water, wind and weather can be absorbing. Sheer mountain slopes tower on both sides of the lake, creating a sense of security as you drink in the atmospheric scenery. In contrast to Lake Thun, the mountains here seem much closer and the landscape is wilder. At 14 km long and 2.8 km wide, Lake Brienz spans 29.8 km2; reaching 260 m at its deepest point, this is one of the five deepest lakes in Switzerland.

A turquoise gem in the Holiday Region Interlaken

Venizianisches Taxiboot Donna Anna auf dem türkisen Brienzersee umgeben von Bergen

The intense turquoise of Lake Brienz is always mesmerising, but the intensity of its colour is especially beguiling in spring and autumn. The more sunlight that falls on the lake, the more penetrating the shade of turquoise. Do you know why Lake Brienz is turquoise? It is because of tiny particles of sediment washed into the lake by glacial waters from the Lütschine and the Aare. As these extremely fine glacial particles sink very slowly, they produce an extraordinary visual effect that is only enhanced by the cleanliness of the lake. Come and marvel at incredibly intense turquoise waters in the heart of Switzerland – and don't forget the souvenir photo to prove you were here.

How to get the ultimate photo

For your camera to capture the turquoise tones to maximum effect, aim to shoot Lake Brienz from above. For the perfect photo to remember, ascend the spectacular Brienzer Rothorn, embark on a challenging hike along the Brienz ridge to the Augstmatthorn or visit the Axalp, which guarantees great views.

Experience the magic of turquoise

Want to see the intense turquoise tones of Lake Brienz up close? In Bönigen you can rent a kayak or stand-up paddle (SUP), and even arrange courses and guided tours. Feel the invigorating lake breeze and listen to the soft lapping of waves while gliding over the shimmering waters and admiring the impressive panorama of mountains all around. Looking for more fast-paced action? A joyride on a jetboat is perfect for you, delivering a rush of adrenaline as you perform rapid 360-degree turns. There are plenty of other trend sports and water-based activities to try out in Brienz, including wakesurfing, wakeboarding, wakeskating and wakeskiing – water sports to excite any enthusiast.

Discover the charm of quintessentially Swiss villages

At any time of year, the picturesque villages around Lake Brienz make ideal starting points for excursions and experiences in the Holiday Region Interlaken. See historic houses in Bönigen and Iseltwald, enjoy local cuisine, stroll along the banks of the lake and hear the sounds of local folklore events. The homely village of Brienz offers enticing alleyways, Swiss chalets adorned with flowers and a lakeside promenade. Early in July, an international Woodcarving Symposium is held down by the quay, when artists from all over the world showcase their skills and delight visitors with impressive wooden sculptures. The pretty towns of Ringgenberg, Goldswil, Niederried and Oberried lie on slopes between Brienz and Interlaken to the south of Lake Brienz. In fact, all villages around the lake promise superb views of a wondrous landscape of lakes and mountains.

Insider tip: experience centuries-old Swiss houses

The Ballenberg Open-Air Museum will lead you on a walk through time. Feast your eyes on more than 100 original buildings from across Switzerland dating back centuries, plus 250 native farm animals.

Diversity and unspoilt nature from Interlaken to Brienz

Immerse yourself in a diverse world of experience around tranquil Lake Brienz, a region with much to offer nature lovers, keen sportspeople and pleasure seekers alike. Find cosy barbeque and bathing spots in pretty little bays, then refresh body and soul with an alpine plunge into the clear lake. Set in the middle of a nature reserve, the temperatures of the Burgseeli lido in Ringgenberg are surprisingly warm. Why not combine bathing with exercise: with some 400 km of signposted hiking and rambling trails around the lake, plus numerous cycling and mountain biking routes, it's easy to embark on a tour of discovery. Another highlight near Lake Brienz is the silvery white Giessbach Falls, which foam and tumble down 14 steps into the lake. You can also enjoy this majestic natural spectacle on a relaxing boat ride. Enjoy the wind in your hair and experience unforgettable moments on the lake.

Winter experiences in and on the water

In winter, the houses on the banks of Lake Brienz are adorned with lights and fairytale Christmas markets create a magical mood throughout the Advent season. From the villages around Lake Brienz, the inviting and family-friendly winter sports areas of Beatenberg-Niederhorn, Habkern and Brienz-Axalp are just 30-50 minutes away by car or public transport. Alongside well maintained ski slopes, the Holiday Region Interlaken offers a wide array of winter activities, including winter hiking, snowshoe trekking, cross-country skiing and sledging. At the end of an eventful winter’s day, unwind in a Hotpot on the Brienz quayside or enjoy an aperitif or cheese fondue with unique views of the lake.

Winter recreation on Lake Brienz

Winter kayaking on Lake Brienz makes for an unexpectedly special experience. Wrapped in a warm dry suit, you glide easily over the surface of the water in your kayak, with time to admire the snowy mountains that surround you. Sheer relaxation and unforgettable times are assured.

Overnight stays with lake views

At any time of year, a holiday by Lake Brienz promises adventure at your own pace. The turquoise gem in the Holiday Region Interlaken entices you to embark on a fascinating tour of discovery. Stay in a charming hotel, or feel very much at home in your holiday apartment. There are also five peacefully situated camping sites on the banks of the lake, promising breathtaking, uninterrupted views. Stay where tradition holds true, country life harmonises with nature and mighty peaks are reflected in the blue of the lake.

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