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Interlaken Travel guide

Interlaken hotels, Interlaken vacation packages 2022 - 2023

The town of Interlaken derives its name from Latin origins.
Traces of the town's foundations can be seen in the 12th century castle with its fascinating Augustinian monastery.

Geographically, Interlaken lies a little southwest of the centre of Switzerland, roughly an hour by train from the capital city of Bern. The two lakes it hinges on are Thun (pronounced toon as in cartoon), to the west, and Brienz, to the east. They were formed by a huge glacier that once filled the whole valley and are still fed by the glaciers in the Berner Oberland and the Grimsel Pass area. The mountain just to the north of Interlaken, topped by a spired restaurant that can be reached via funicular from near the East Station, is known as the Harder Kulm (1322 m). Just to the south is the Schynige Platte (2101 m), also with its own restaurant and transportation link, the latter being in the form of a cog railway out of Wilderswil. Both can be climbed on foot, but it's better to take transportation and do your hiking at the top, so as to avoid hours in the deep woods, without any view.

The Swiss German spoken in Interlaken is of course different again from that spoken in the Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald Valleys. Though words like Griessech! (hello) and Merci! (thank you) are always handy to have, there's no need to make an emergency study of the language because just about everyone will readily speak English to you.


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Nestling cosily beneath the legendary triad of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains, Interlaken, 570 metres above sea level is a wondrous health resort and an international favourite. The superb mountainous scenery and gentle climate are ideal venues for virtually every leisure activity, all year round. Interlaken shimmers like a jewel between the lakes of Brienz and Thun.

Höheweg, broken in the middle by Höhematte is the business and social centre of Interlaken. The shopping is varied and interesting from simple souvenirs to luxurious timepieces. Grand hotels and inviting restaurants and cafes to spoil the visitor abound whilst a traditional horse-drawn carriage ferries guests to and from their destinations in fine style. The famous Kursaal - Interlaken's casino is situated in the centre of Höheweg. Here you can find many types of entertainment including elegant balls, annual music festivals, Folklorica, local and trade shows in addition to the obvious delights of the casino tables. Interlaken is also an ideal starting point for excursions to the Bern upperlands and breathtaking Jungfrau region with the centrepiece's massive peak soaring 4158 metres into the cloudless skies.

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