A simple slogan. But does the Jungfrau Region keep its promises?
Numerous tourists who visit the region in the Bernese Alps year after year – to enjoy the unbeatable natural surroundings and the many activities and excursion destinations – are probably a strong argument for this. The region must therefore have something unique. And the diversity? The 5 holiday resorts, all of which have their own unique features, offer it. So the circle is complete.
The 4 resorts are close together, but there are many contrasts. Small villages, big differences – one could also say. A characteristic that can be projected onto the whole country.
Switzerland has four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh. However, proper High German is only used in schools, and Swiss German is spoken among students. And this in many different dialects – the Jungfrau Region also has original, distinctive versions of this. In some cases, people do not even understand each other properly from village to village. The characteristics and characteristics of the inhabitants of the individual regions are just as different. (Small thought here; many of the towns from which the international guests arrive are larger than the whole of Switzerland).
Like the dialects, water also flows through Switzerland. Although it is not a landlocked country, there are extremely many bodies of water here. Whether in frozen or liquid form – from ice giants, the glaciers, to the smallest streams that ripple down the valleys.
In Hollywood the money also flows. Wait, but what does that have to do with the Jungfrau Region?
Well, there’s more action and glamour in the region than you might think. None other than George Clooney owns a chic estate on a steep slope in Wengen. All joking aside, for many blockbuster flicks, the Jungfrau Region was actually the location where they shot. From one of the most notorious screen villains, Darth Vader, to magic student Harry Potter – they all have a connection to the region.
You seem to like it here. Exactly, unique. varied.
Like three mighty watchmen, the Eiger, Mettenberg and Wetterhorn are enthroned above the village. The Eiger, which stands symbolically for Grindelwald, has already seen a lot. Many mountain dramas within its own walls, the rapid decline of the two Grindelwald glaciers and the beginnings and now the present of tourism in the village.
Tradition and diversity. The historical village with its flexible excursion possibilities combines these two elements. In winter visitors can see the people of Grindelwald pedalling around in the snow on strange bicycles. These cult companions are called ‘Velogemel’ – this single-track, steerable sports sledge has served the villagers as a means of transport since 1911. In the past, it was even used to deliver letters or food. Every February there is even a world championship. Only in Grindelwald.
This may be said of the beautiful train journey which leads from Grindelwald via Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen. Or the notorious Lauberhorn downhill run, which has made the little village famous. Visitors can also go fast here only on the piste. And there is only traffic at the ski lift or on the many hiking trails – Wengen is one of the two car-free villages in the Jungfrau Region. By the way, if the classic Lauberhorn run is not enough, visitors can also run up the route. Yes, there are actually people who do it voluntarily. Namely at the Lauberhorn Run, which takes place every year at the end of March.
From Wengen you can wave to your neighbours on the opposite side of the valley in Mürren. And with this we have arrived at the second car-free village in the region. The small mountain village at 1,650 meters shares its charm with a secret agent. The Bond film In Her Majesty’s Secret Service from 1969 was shot here. And the success of the film still characterises the village at the foot of the Schilthorn to this day. The railway construction up to the summit as well as the revolving restaurant would not have been realised at all without the elaborate film project.
It was definitely worth it. In the revolving restaurant, Piz Gloria, travellers can enjoy a delicious brunch at almost 3,000 metres. Optionally with Martina, shot not stirred. The view is to die for, Bond would probably say. George Lazenby, the agent in Mürren, only played Bond once. Mürren, on the other hand, seems to be in many parts, all year round.
From Wengen and Mürren, the view looks down on the Lauterbrunnen valley. By no means a chasm, but a uniquely long, green valley with gushing waterfalls and metres high rock faces.
Kluft des tiefes Tal is another name for Bruchtal or Rivendell. Fans of the Lord of the Rings series have pointed ears, like the elves. In his imagination, someone has given these noble creatures a home in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. This someone was the young Englishman J.R.R. Tolkien, who was inspired by a journey through Switzerland here.
Lauterbrunnen is also known as the valley of 72 waterfalls. Whether there are really so many, we do not know either. Maybe it was written by Tolkien and was simply adopted. We recommend an adventure à la Bilbo Baggins to find out for yourself.
Get inspired with these short trailers on the Region and the Railway
Lead image: Lauterbrunnen | Credit: Switzerland Tourism / Sylvia Michel