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The alpenglow of happiness

Alpine pastures near Interlaken

From summer hiking to snowshoe trekking in winter, the alpine landscapes of the Holiday Region Interlaken have much to offer. Experience the beauty and diversity of mountain pastures – a world of cattle drives up and down the mountains, Alpine herdsmen, gamekeepers and hunters – in the Bernese Oberland.

  • Hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing and snowshoe trekking on the Lombachalp

  • Downhill and cross-country skiing, snowshoe trekking, sledging, cycling and hiking on the Axalp and in Diemtigtal Nature Park

  • Chästeilet cheese apportioning and ceremonial cattle drives in the Justistal

  • Sample the finest alpine cheese of the region

  • Alpine flights by helicopter or small aircraft to view the Bernese Alps from above

A journey of discovery in the Swiss Alps

Many hikes around Lake Thun will lead you past appealingly rustic farms. Heading for the Morgenberghorn, for instance, you come to the Brunni Hütte, where goat’s cheese is made. On the other side of the Morgenberghorn, below the Renggli pass and above the village of Saxeten, cattle belonging to the Feuz family of Unterseen graze on the Innerer Innerberg pasture in summer. Beneath the Sigriswiler Rothorn is the Zettenalp pasture, which also lies on a hiking route. Prefer to take things easier and enjoy an evening beer amid the meadows? Then a trip on the Brienz Rothorn Railway to the midway station of Planalp is ideal. From up here, the views of Lake Brienz over a cool drink are superb. The alpine environment of the holiday region is nothing if not diverse. Come and see for yourself!

The Lombachalp – nature reserve with upland moor

Zwei Biker ruhen sich während dem Sonnenuntergang auf der Lombachalp aus

On the Lombachalp above Habkern, dew glistens on the grasses of protected moorland at first light. As the morning sun rouses the ibex along the Brienzergrat ridge, a handful of hikers are already heading for the Augstmatthorn. The upland moor of the Lombachalp is one of the biggest and most impressive moorland landscapes in Switzerland as well as a protected area of national importance. The habitat is maintained for the benefit of rare and threatened animal species, and particularly bird species in need of protection. For this reason it is important that visitors to the Lombachalp stay on the official, signposted paths. If you are a keen cyclist, you can ride from Interlaken to the Lombachalp via Habkern. One way to sweeten the trip is to call in at the Jägerstübli restaurant for fine meringues and refreshing drinks.

Winter on the Lombachalp

Schneeschuhläufer geniessen das prächtige Wetter und die tief verschneite Landschaft auf der Lombachalp

In winter the snow covers the moorland of the Lombachalp like a white blanket; the untouched firs and mountain pines of the nature reserve are similarly snow-laden. If you are looking for a naturally peaceful place for sporting activity, cross-country skiers can make use of well maintained tracks. As you behold the snowy mountains around you, the stress of the everyday world simply melts away. Along the way you may meet a snowshoe trekker in search of peace and tranquillity amid the snowy landscape – just like you.

Heubühlen Alp

Alphütte auf der Alp Heubühlen im Sommer

How about a delicious dairyman’s breakfast of rösti, fried eggs, home-made bread, alpine butter and a selection of cheeses? Situated 1331 m above the valley of Habkern, the Alp Heubühlen dairy has been producing cheese every alpine summer since 1903. If visiting the Alp Heubühlen in the warmer season, you will also enjoy the sight of peacefully grazing cows, calves and pigs.

The woodcarving trail on the Axalp

Wanderer vor einer Holzskulptur auf dem Schnitzlerweg auf der Axalp im Sommer

By postbus or private car, it is just 35 minutes from Brienz to the Axalp at an approximate elevation of 1535 m above sea level. From here you can see how Lake Brienz is encircled by lush alpine meadows, mountain peaks and the dark green firs that only serve to accentuate its turquoise hue. This is a truly unparalleled paradise for hikers. The woodcarving trail leading to secluded Lake Hinterburg is highly recommended: the trail is lined by impressive figures cut into tree stumps by wood carvers from Brienz. Lake Hinterburg is a good place to take a break and admire the myriad greens of the lake. Would you like to visit a goat pasture dairy close to the Axalp and try a fine herdsman’s lunch? A visit to the cow, goat and sheep pastures of Tschingelfeld allows you to experience Alpine farming at first hand.

Winter sport paradise for families on the Axalp

Familie macht Pause während dem Schlittenfahren auf der Axalp mit Blick auf den Brienzersee und die Berge

Planning a skiing trip with your family? The Axalp is a highly popular choice of skiing area for family holidays and day trips. Whether you set out with snowboard, skis, snowshoes, cross-country skis or toboggan, the Axalp delivers the full range of winter sports.

Discover the Diemtigtal Nature Park

Hellgrüne, frische Wiesen mit mehreren traditionellen Simmentaler Holzhäuser in der hügeligen Landschaft des Naturparks Diemtigtal

Diemtigtal Nature Park is characterised by the richness of Alpine farming. Walking trails often lead you past traditional wooden houses and lush Alpine meadows where cows graze. If you like tasty alpine cheese, you can’t go wrong at Diemtigtal Nature Park; to ensure good memories of your trip to the mountains, why not take home a slice of fine Swiss cheese after your hike.

Cycling in the Diemtigtal valley

Fahrradfahrerin auf einer E-Bike Tour entlang der Diemtigtaler Hauswege

Do you prefer an e-bike or a mountain bike? You decide whether to rent an e-bike from the Oey tourist office or tackle the 18-km mountain bike route through the Grimmialp region. Ever heard of an Alpen E-Trial-Park? The first alpine e-trial park in Switzerland will test your skill, balance and courage – and you can find it at the Diemtigtal Nature Park. Rent an environmentally sound e-trial bike from the Grimmialpbergbahn station, and try it out on this 250-square-metre course. Incidentally, Switzerland’s only alpine trial takes place annually on the Grimmialp. The possibilities are endless; you can even rent scooters from the Wiriehornbahn cable car station. Everything is provided for you to experience the meadowlands of the Diemtigtal Nature Park on two wheels.

Winter fun in the Diemtigtal valley

Zauberhafte Winterlandschaft mit verschneiten Tannen und glitzerenden Schneekristallen im Sonnenlicht

From tobogganing and cross-country skiing to snowshoe trekking, snowboarding and downhill skiing, Diemtigtal Nature Park promises the ultimate in winter enjoyment. The navigable skiing areas of Wiriehorn, Grimmialp and Springenboden are especially suitable for families. Local ski instructors are happy to pass on their knowledge to young winter sports enthusiasts in skiing lessons. Prefer to head into the unspoilt landscape of snowy meadows? On a snowshoe tour through snow-laden alpine pastures, the only sound is your breathing and the crunch of snow beneath your feet.

Herdsmen in the Justistal

Älpler losen Käse aus vor dem Speicher auf einer Alpweide im Justistal

The Justistal lies between the Sigriswiler ridge and the Niederhorn. The valley is home to nine alpine farms and cooperatives where cows peacefully graze on mountain herbs in the meadows. It is a place where all seems to be right with the world. Those who hike through the Justistal towards Eriz pass campfires where they can take a rest. Just as the summer comes to an end in September, "Chästeilet" cheese apportioning – a traditional ceremony almost 300 years old – takes place. Cheese produced from the milk of 250-plus cows during the alpine summer is apportioned in the Justistal according to an established ritual known as the "Chästeilet". Afterwards, the herdsmen ceremonially drive their cattle and goats back to the farm.

Rutting in the Justistal

Herbstliches Justistal wo im Herbst die Hirschbrunft beobachtet und gehört werden kann

During "Chästeilet", the roaring of stags can be heard. Every autumn, many stags from the region move to the Justistal. Accompanied by a wildlife specialist, you can observe the rutting of stags in the Justistal from early September to the start of October. With luck, you will witness herds of females, bellowing stags or even fights between dominant males for the favours of females.

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