A Day Trip To The Bernese Alps From Zurich
Switzerland is the land of dreams, fairytales and I haven’t seen a single person who’s visited Switzerland and not be impressed by its natural beauty and Swiss sensibility. Pretty much every country I have been to has a ‘Switzerland’; a spot reserved for the most beautiful spot of the country full of lush vegetation and greenery and a cure for tired eyes of city dwellers. Nothing gets close to the country itself though, only Switzerland deserves that title.
I am very lucky to have some amazing friends in Switzerland and I also dated a Swiss guy for a bit and all these trips have made it my second most visited country (first being Spain). I have been sloppy about capturing these trips though but this is the story of the day I spent in Switzerland seeing some of the most gorgeous spots.
Check out my country guide for Switzerland for all your travel questions.
I was staying with my friends in Zurich which is the perfect spot to go around on the German side of the country. We stopped at Lungern for a bit to see Lingerersee (Lungern Lake) followed by Brienz to see the most beautiful blue on a lake in Brienzsee (Brienz Lake). From there we left for Grindelwald followed by Lauterbrunnen. The last stop of the day was Interlaken and we left back for Zurich after that.
Is it doable in a day?
Absolutely yes! We did all of this very comfortably with a small baby with us (he is the cutest though and was very cooperative throughout the day).
Driving in Switzerland
The roads in Switzerland are absolutely fantastic, if it weren’t for stops, I’d be just sitting in the car lost in the scenery around me. I don’t think I could drive in Switzerland at all, it’s too beautiful to stress about the mundanity of driving. (Thanks to my friend Tommy who’s immune to it all by now).
A Day Trip in Switzerland
We started early with a quick breakfast and headed out. It was a gorgeous Kaye summers day and the sun was shining brightly. Everything in the world seemed perfect. The drive initially was a bit boring because we were on the highway but then we took a more scenic route which took us slightly longer but we were in the uninterrupted calm of Swiss gorgeousness.
Lungern & Lungernersee
Drive Time – 1 Hour 15 minutes
Instead of heading to the city, Tommy took us to the viewing point which pretty much sums up the entire lake and town. It is called Schoenbuehel Viewing Point or Aussichtspunkt Chälrütirank.
The view was magnificent but the lake was quite dry, apparently, the hot summer of the year dried up quite a few of Swiss Lakes and despite being quite big, Lungernersee (Lungern Lake) had lost a lot of water. It was still very beautiful with its blue waters with chalets dotted around the lake. Picture perfect first stop!
Brienz & Brienzersee
Driving Time – 30 Minutes
Brienz is another small town close to Brienzsee (Brienz Lake, Dee is like in German). We repeated the same thing here and headed to Isletwald for some views of Brienz Lake avoiding the town.
Now, I just address this issue of town skipping. Swiss towns are made keeping functionality in mind rather than aesthetics. They are on average fairly boring and I think the best way to enjoy them is to see them as part of the wider natural scene they are part of. They come across much better that way.
Brienz Lake is the most beautiful shade of blue, dark Topaz and turquoise, I could stand there and look at it forever. I didn’t even want to touch the water to avoid breaking my spell.
It felt like ages but I had to move on, the three mountains of Grindelwald we’re waiting for us.
Driving Time – 40 minutes
The road to Grindelwald is seriously dramatic. We passed through a few neatly laid towns, mountains playing hide and seek with the road and small lakes, it is everything you expect from Switzerland.
Grindelwald is a mountain village with lots of options for skiing and winter sports in winter and in summer, it is the perfect place to sit in the shade of the three beautiful giants that guard this village. They are called The Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. The later is the tallest and being part of the Swiss Alps family all three are beautiful AF!
We parked the car near the Tourist Information Centre and headed on foot. The square outside the Tourist Office is the first spot where you can see the beauty of this town with the panoramic views it offers.
We walked a bit further and spotted a great place for lunch with views of the three giants of Grindelwald. The pizza was average but we weren’t too fussed.
After lunch, we headed further up and arrived at another point with a better view of all three mountains.
I had checked and you can go up by cable car to a point called First but the weather want great on the top and the cable car wasn’t operational sadly. I silently put it on my to-do list and we headed to Lauterbrunnen, the picture-perfect town of Switzerland.
Drive Time – 20 minutes
Most people see Lauterbrunnen as the first image of Switzerland and for good reason. It is a beautiful valley surrounded by Swiss Alps with sharp verticals falls with 72 waterfalls rushing and roaring to The Valley. It is a place of magic, a place of intrigue and a place where no matter who you are, your inner child wakes up as you try to take it all in. It really does have that effect.
The village is Lauterbrunnen is a typical Swiss village, we arrived and parked the car and headed to the other edge of the town to the famous walk to Stechelberg.
The town gave way to a beautiful clean path with a few chalets dotted here and there. On the left-hand side is the famous spot where you can see trains coming down the valley.
I saw a few waterfalls already and as we walked more appeared, some looked like tiny trickles of water while others were more sizeable.
The road became prettier and prettier until the town left behind. This place is purely magical. How I wish I’d just stayed there rolling in the grass, wandering through the waterfalls but all good things must come to an end.
We walked back to the town to grab some coffee and tea and headed to our last stop before heading back to Zurich.
Drive Time – 20 minutes
The drive from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken is quite different because it is relatively flat around with mountains at a distance, it is no less beautiful and green though.
I have a confession to make, we didn’t actually plan to stop at Interlaken, we just stopped outside the town at a supermarket to grab some food to make dinner at home.
While Tommy’s and Elim were shopping, I took full advantage of the opportunity and headed out to see the gorgeous scenery around and added Interlaken to the to-do list as well for next time.
The drive back to Zurich was quiet, we were all tired after a long but amazing day. Even Tristan had cooperated throughout the day and was fast asleep.
Switzerland has unparalleled beauty and if you wish to see the best of Switzerland in a day, this is your itinerary.