Switzerland's Interlaken is one of the most famous ski and snowboarding destinations in all of Europe, and its remote location makes it also one of the best-kept secrets of the summer tourist trail too. Not simple to get to, since it lacks an international airport or indeed an airport of any kind at all, getting into Interlaken requires commitment on behalf of the traveller - making it all the more worthwhile when one arrives there.
The most commonly-used airport is that of nearby Geneva, where the international airport connects to Interlaken by train. The railway station in the Geneva International Airport is simple to find and for those heading up to Interlaken in the Bernese mountains, it is merely a case of collecting one's luggage from the carousel and heading down into the station to board a train which takes you all the way to Interlaken via some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.
Once arrived, getting around Interlaken is very straightforward and simple. The town is on the small side so having arrived in Interlaken West station, it is possible to walk out of the station and merely carry or pull your luggage with you to the nearby Interlaken hotels. There are no local buses, though it is possible to take a bus from the town bus station to other locations in Switzerland, including major cities like Geneva. Among the most popular modes of transport for getting around Interlaken are rented pushbikes, which can help the visitor to explore the town and area on their own time, or simply by walking. The sights of Interlaken's town are all easily accessible by foot.
Places to stay abound in Interlaken since the town is set up to live from its tourism business. Skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and other activity sports in the summertime. The town is home to some fine quality 4-star places to stay which offer visitors the utmost in luxury, fine views, high quality restaurants and bars and a very professional service. These do cost however, so for those working to tighter budgets there are many smaller guesthouses and also backpacking lodges to choose from. Beware though that availability of accommodation is less in the winter ski season than in the quieter summer.
Getting out and about around Interlaken is most people's main reason for coming here. It operates as a base with a fascinating culture and history all of its own, but it is the nearby mountains which really draw people here. Skiing and snowboarding in the wintertime are incredibly popular and there are many different places to try both around Interlaken. Nearby is the famous Jungfrau winter sport region where a day's skiing and snowboarding can be had from 62 Swiss Francs for grown-ups, while somewhere like Habkern is a more popular place for families who have young children and want to go skiing. Downtown Interlaken is home to many ski hire shops for getting kitted out with the essentials.
For other days out which don't necessarily involve skiing, the nearby site of Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn is a must-see for fans of nature. The spectacular glacier on the mountainside is a stunning sight and is well worth a day trip from Interlaken to see it. The site has in recent years been named as one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites to be found in Europe and is a fantastic place to take a picnic for the day and to snap some photographs.
Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Interlaken Hotels content.