From Kleist island to Grunder island

Short facts

  • start: Thun, train station
  • destination: Thun
  • easy
  • 4,99 km
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 9 m
  • 560 m
  • 558 m
  • 100 / 100
  • 10 / 100

best season

There are two romantic islands in Lake Thun: the poet Heinrich von Kleist once lived and wrote on the small Kleist island, while the "Grunderinseli" (Grunder small island) offers a fantastic view across Lake Thun.

"I am now living on an island in the river Aare at the mouth of Lake Thun, surrounded by the Alps, a quarter of a mile from the town". These are the words that poet Heinrich von Kleist wrote to his sister, Ulrike, in May 1802. In 1802 and 1803, Kleist lived in Thun for a while, or, more precisely: on the uppermost island of the tree-covered Scherzlig group of islands, next to Lake Thun and in front of the city gates, between the Aare basin and the shipping canal. Since 2011, which marks he 200th anniversary of Heinrich von Kleist’s death, the uppermost island has been officially re-named "Kleist-Inseli". It only takes a few minutes to get here from Thun railway station and you will also pass the monument to Kleist on your way. This bronze sculpture depicts the Prince of Homburg from the play of the same name by Heinrich von Kleist.

Back at the train station, you now walk past the boat landing stage towards the Schaudaupark. Having walked through the park with its abundant trees, you will shortly reach Thun’s Strandbad (outdoor swimming pool). The "Grunderinseli" is right next to it. This small island is connected to the mainland by a wooden pedestrian footbridge. The island offers barbecue areas, benches, picnic tables and, above all, wonderful views across Lake Thun, to the Oberhofen Castle and the Bernese Alps.

General information


Thun train station (559 m) – Kleist island – train station – Schadaupark – Dürrenast (559 m) – Strandbad Thun – Grunder island – Pfaffenbühlweg – Pfaffenbühl, bus stop.

You can also extend the walk if desired by walking from the Grunder island through the Bonstettenpark to Gwatt (bus stop, regular connections back to Thun train station).

Safety Guidelines

Easy walk on marked paths, mostly asphalt. Yellow signposts. Climb grade: T1.


Lightweight walking clothes, in summer also take swimwear.


Since the walk is relatively short, there is also enough time for sightseeing in Thun including a walk up to the castle before the walk, or a swim in Lake Thun afterwards.

Getting there

Drive to Thun.


Car parking spaces / multi-storey car parks are provided in Thun (charges apply).

Public transit

Getting there: Travel by train to Thun.

Getting back: From the Pfaffenbühl bus stop, the bus will take you back to Thun railway station in a few minutes, where there are rail connections.


Wandermagazin SCHWEIZ, Ausgabe 5/2020: Inseln der Schweiz. Rothus Medien, Solothurn, www.wandermagazin-schweiz.ch

Wandermagazin SCHWEIZ, Ausgabe 5/2018: Wandern am Wasser. Rothus Medien, Solothurn, www.wandermagazin-schweiz.ch

Wandermagazin SCHWEIZ, Ausgabe 4/2013: Thunersee – Brienzersee. Rothus Medien, Solothurn, www.wandermagazin-schweiz.ch


LK 1:50.000, 253T Gantrisch.

Additional Information

Thun-Thunersee Tourismus, Seestrasse 2, 3600 Thun, Tel. +41 (0) 33 225 90 00, www.thunersee.ch

Schloss Thun, Schlossberg 1, 3600 Thun, Tel. +41 (0) 33 223 20 01, www.schlossthun.ch


This tour is presented by: Tourenplaner SCHWEIZ, Author: Jochen Ihle

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