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An idyllic walk along the banks of Lake Brienz

Short facts

  • start: Iseltwald
  • destination: Giessbach
  • easy
  • 5,36 km
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • 150 m
  • 584 m
  • 564 m
  • 40 / 100
  • 10 / 100

best season

The trail from Iseltwald to Giessbach is rightly regarded as one of Switzerland’s most beautiful lakeside walks. This trail, which hugs the bank of the glittering, blue-green Lake Brienz, takes you through gnarled, fairy-tale mountain forests, to secluded bathing spots and a splendid Art Nouveau hotel. The track is only paved in the village at the beginning of the route.

Unfortunately some once beautiful trails have already been sacrificed to road construction. However, as the lakeside walk along the south-eastern bank of Lake Brienz demonstrates, there is an alternative. In the 1970s, the Interlaken-Brienz section of the A8 autobahn was constructed; as compensation for this encroachment on the landscape and natural world, the Canton of Bern established a hiking trail hugging the bank of the lake. The autobahn is much higher up and mostly carried through tunnels, so your enjoyment of the hike won’t be disturbed by noise and exhaust fumes. The starting point is the former fishing village of Iseltwald. At the lido, the lakeside promenade ends and the gravelled lakeside path begins. The route rolls along in gentle dips following the course of the river. Parts of the path run right next to the water; it negotiates the few impassable sections of the bank at a gentle gradient. Lake Brienz glistens a unique, intense shade of turquoise. If you've brought your bathing costume, you will find numerous opportunities for a refreshing dip at the idyllic bathing spots scattered along the route. However, please remember that since most of Lake Brienz’s water comes from glaciers, it’s one of the coldest lakes in Switzerland. Therefore, it only reaches bathing temperatures that most people would find tolerable on still days in midsummer. At the Glooten picnic area, you will encounter a slightly more challenging ascent. But it’s well worth the effort: as pay-off, you can expect a stunning descent through a ruggedly romantic stand of woodland. From the end of the hike at the Giessbach jetty/lake, a 10-minute climb on foot or with Europe’s oldest funicular railway will take you to the Hotel Giessbach, which offers a unique view of the Giessbach Falls.

General information

Directions

Iseltwald - Glooten - Giessbach

Safety Guidelines

The entirety of this route takes place on hiking trails.

Equipment

We recommend the following equipment: Lightweight trekking shoes, lightweight backpack, sun protection, raincoat, first aid kit, a light picnic, water.

Public transit

Hinreise: Mit dem Schiff von Interlaken Ost nach Iseltwald.

Rückreise: Mit dem Schiff ab Giessbach nach Interlaken oder Brienz

Literature

Wandervorschlag aus dem Wanderbuch Kurzwanderungen, Wanderbuchreihe der BWW, bestellen unter: shop.bernerwanderwege.ch

Maps

Swisstopo Wanderkarte 1:50'000 254T Interlaken, bestellen unter: shop.bernerwanderwege.ch

Additional Information

Verein Berner Wanderwege, Bern, Tel.: 031 340 01 01, E-Mail: [email protected], Homepage: www.bernerwanderwege.ch

Pavings

  • Street (14%)
  • Hiking Trail (86%)

Weather

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