We have been to the Jungfrau region a couple of times, always during winter, as we used to ski in this region.
How about summer? Is it a good destination in summer? Yes, indeed! Everything is marvelous around the Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch during summer! After traveling there in both seasons I don’t know which one I prefer as I do love both! 🙂
Top reasons to travel to the Jungfrau region in summer:
1. The main villages _ Grindelwald and Wengen are both marvelous whenever you decide to travel there. Wenger is car free and Grindelwald is easily accessible by car. In winter we usually stay in Wengen as we like to be as close as possible to the slopes. This time we chose Grindelwald to try something different. From any of these villages, and others nearby, you will have the most scenic hiking trails in the world at your doorstep.
2. Accommodations are cheaper in summer than in winter. There’s no need to worry about finding a place to stay during summer. In winter we must book accommodation many months in advance as most of the good places get sold before the ski season starts. This doesn’t occur in summer.
3. In summer, “anywhere” is good. In winter we always try to find accommodation near the slopes as no one likes to walk on ski boots. Usually, the hotels closest to ski facilities get sold out soon although being pricy. In summer, there’s no need to worry about access. If it’s a 15 minutes walk you will be fine, as you will be wearing sneakers or sandals and will sliding on ice while climbing a hill to access your hotel / pension wearing ski boots…
5. There are dozens of chalets offering private accommodation, many of them including a small kitchen. No one likes to cook during holidays, but having a small kitchen is handy as it is possible to prepare lights meals once in a while, bringing down the overall budget of a Swiss Alps summer holidays. The chalets make it ideal for summer, as you will probably enjoy your time staying outside at your private balcony / veranda.
6. The air: It’s fresh, really fresh. Although during the day we hike under the sun with warm temperatures, at night the feeling is that a “giant air conditioner” turns on. After dusk, the cold air comes down from the mountains bringing cool temperatures. When traveling to this region in summer, be sure to consider hotels and pensions that don’t offer air conditioner as they aren’t necessary there. Just open the window (a little bit or it will get cold!) and leave it to Mother Nature. You will sleep like an angel.
7. The hiking trail linking Grosse Scheidegg to First offers one of the prettiest views in the world and anyone from 2 to 99 years old can enjoy this trail. It’s a really easy hike. To go there, take the bus in Grindelwald written “Grosse Scheidegg”. The trip is an adventure in itself as the road is steep and narrow and the bus keeps pushing its loud horn to aware drivers coming from the opposite direction that there’s a bus on the way. To access the trail get off at the final stop where you will find public facilities as toilets, a cafe restaurant selling snacks, etc.
8. In summer it is possible to find many water fountains along the way. There’s no need to buy mineral water at vending machines of grocery stores. The only care you must have is look for a sign posted ‘kein trinkwasser’. If you read this sign do NOT drink the water as it is not safe to drink. Don’t worry because most of the fountains will not have this sign and you will drink pure water coming directly from the mountains.
9. If you have never seen snow and would like to see and feel it, summer is not a problem in this region! It is possible to visit the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe and walk on a glacier as long as you like! It’s an awesome experience, and although a coat is necessary, it is not “bitterly cold”, as the temperatures are very pleasant. Isn’t this experience reason enough to travel to Switzerland in summer? It’s so amazing that only one picture would not make it justice, so here is a “gallery” to watch!
10. Trails: If you keep on signed trails, you never get lost. Ever. Switzerland knows how to make happy and confident tourists. There are plenty of signposts showing directions to all places of interest and also the approximately time to reach the destination while walking in a moderate speed. The most important thing is to watch the difficulty level , that is also marked on the signs. If you aren’t an expert hiker, stay on the paths marked “easy” and you will be fine.
11. The food. Ok, Swiss food is excellent no matter the season. What’s the big deal about summer comparing with winter? Isn’t the food the same? Yes…. it is! The difference is that in summer we usually eat outside, no coats necessary and the food don’t get cold instantly.
12. Likewise winter, the best way to enjoy the region is buying a pass. The seven days pass is a great deal and if your schedule permits, I recommend you stay at least one week there. With a train pass you will be able to travel along Wengen, Wengen Alp, Kleine Scheidegg, Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen , Interlaken, Mürren… without paying any additional fare.
13. Infrastructure: Are you the kind of person who finds the ski-lifts expensive? Going to Switzerland in summer is an excellent opportunity to see how much work needs to be done to prepare the mountain for winter skiing. The fences protecting skiers from avalanches are installed during summer. It’s amazing to watch the helicopters carrying material and the construction work being executed. I bet after watching this for a while you will come to the conclusion that the price paid for skiing is fair enough! 🙂
14. Animals: Take the Mannlichen cable car in Wengen and enjoy seeing dozens of animals walking freely on the mountain. Sometimes we can spot them in winter, but not everyday and just a few of them (when we do see them…). In summer the chances of spotting animals is much higher!
15. Mürren, a real gem: Take the train from Lauterbrunnen to Grutschalp and from there take the train to Mürren. Mürren village is like a chocolate box image in winter. In summer, I guess it is even prettier as there are beautiful flowers decorating all ancient houses and the contrast between wood and bright flowers makes any picture really spectacular!
16. Visit the Ice Palace on the Top of the Jungfrau. You can do this is winter as well but anyway, do it again! It’s pretty cool to walk inside an ice cave, he?
17. In winter we ski on top of most of the lakes, as they are frozen. In summer we can admire them thinking… “wow… I have been here many times, didn’t know I was skiing over water…” LOL. The colors are breathtaking.
18. Love the Swiss cheese? Get close to the cows! This is only possible in summer. You will see how peaceful they are and will hear the beautiful sounds of their bells echoing around the mountains.
19. In summer it is possible to watch the contrast between the “clear river” and the “black river“. No, the “black river” doesn’t mean any kind of pollution! The river is “black” because the water comes from waterfalls that “wash” the stones and there is a very fine “stone powder” mixed within the water. That’s the reason it is called “The Black River”.
20. Go visit Alpine Garten as this is only possible in summer. Take the train to Wildeswil and from there a cog train will take you up to Schinige Platte where the famous Alpine Garten is located. This excursion takes a long time as the cog train is really slow. The views along the way and also the hiking trails at the top well deserve the time it takes to get there.
21. Enjoy watching wild flowers everywhere you go. Always take care not to step on them as they are very delicate.
22. Last but not least, go for the breathtaking scenery! It is like being in a post card during the whole day! Can any holidays be better than that?