Bernese Oberland

Lauterbrunnen Valley and the Staubbach Waterfall, Bernese Oberland

Lauterbrunnen Valley and the Staubbach Waterfall, Bernese Oberland





Lauterbrunnen is situated in one of the most impressive trough valleys in the Alps, between gigantic rock faces and mountain peaks. With its 72 thundering waterfalls, secluded valleys, colourful alpine meadows and lonely mountain inns, the Lauterbrunnen Valley is one of the biggest nature conservation areas in Switzerland.

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The very name ‘Lauter Brunnen’ (‘many fountains’) suggests the magnificence of this landscape. There are 72 waterfalls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, the most famous being the Staubbach Falls. Plunging almost 300 metres from an overhanging rock face, they are one of the highest free-falling waterfalls in Europe. In 1779, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited the valley, and was inspired by the roaring waters to write his well-known poem ‘Spirit song over the waters’

Another deafening natural phenomenon are the Trümmelbach Falls in the ‘Black Monk’ mountain, hidden behind mighty rock faces. Up to 20,000 litres of water per second cascade over the ten glacier falls from a total height of about 200 metres. This spectacle can only be reached in summer by tunnel lift.


The valley town of Lauterbrunnen (795 m) is the starting point for some of the best known excursion destinations in the Jungfrau region. A rack railway links Lauterbrunnen with the sunny terrace of Wengen on the eastern flank of the Lauterbrunnen Valley and the Kleinen Scheidegg, the station where you change trains for the onward journey to the Jungfraujoch.

On the opposite side of the valley is the holiday resort of Mürren, accessible from Lauterbrunnen and Stechelberg. The cableway from Stechelberg continues to the peak of the Schilthorn at 2971 m, famous for being the setting where the 007 classic, ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ was filmed.

A few kilometres further up the valley from Lauterbrunnen, accessible along a narrow mountain road, is the peaceful little mountain village of Isenfluh, perched on a steep rock terrace at 1024 m, and starting point for walks in the romantic Saustal and further to Mürren and the Lobhorn mountains.


  • Isenfluh – is one of the typical Swiss mountain villages and yet it is special. The access is via one of the few road loop tunnels and above the village the brows of Eiger, Mönch and Junfrau come into view.
  • Trümmelbach Falls near Lauterbrunnen: one of the wildest glacier ravines in Europe with the ten waterfalls of the Trümmelbach hidden amongst the rocks.
  • Staubbach Falls: on the edge of the village of Lauterbrunnen. The water plunges almost 300 metres from an overhanging cliff face. It was the inspiration for one of Goethe’s famous poems.
  • Schilthorn: on the trail of James Bond. Visitors to the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant at 2970 m can enjoy the view of 40 mountain peaks and 20 glaciers.
  • UNESCO world heritage themed trail in the depths of the Lauterbrunnen Valley, the first themed trail in the Junggfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn world natural heritage site and devoted to waterfalls, alpine farming, power stations and mountain hotels.
  • Kleine Scheidegg : impressive view of the north face of the Eiger and the four-thousand- metre peaks of the Jungfrau and Mönch. Also the starting point of the rack railway to the Jungfraujoch.
  • Jungfraujoch (3454m): the Jungfrau railway has been plying its way through a 7-km-long tunnel to the ‘Top of Europe’, the ultimate excursion destination in the Bernese Oberland, since 1912


  • 1
    John S

    The train ride to Jungfrau is truly spectacular. We went in the beginning of Oct in 2007. The views on the way up are amazing as you rise up through the green valley dotted with the colors of fall. The views from the top are even better. At the top you can see the green valley below to the north, the Aletsch glacier to the south and other towering 4000 meter peaks to your east and west. It was an experience i'll never forget. Email me if you want more details.

    Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 5:35 PM

  • 2

    This is a lovely resort to stay in. If you are a skier you have access to some great resorts such as Wengen and Murren. Stay in either the winter or the summer and you are guaranteed a great holiday. The area is beautiful, lots to do (more than you would think) and a fantastic experience for young or old. Switzerland is a clean country and the accommodation on offer is of a good standard. Enjoy!

    Monday, Oct 8, 2012 10:35 PM

  • 3

    We're going there in early January. Why? because we can and because we have never seen snow before. Can anyone tell us what we can do there as we have never ski'd (obviously)?

    Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 6:34 AM

  • 4
    Joseph Tidwell

    I have been to Lauterbrunnen twice. This last time was in 2010 and it has changed significantly over the past 25 years. It is still very picturesque. The only thing I didn't like was the noise from the helicopter that kept taking people up to jump out. Murren is very nice also. I prefer to go before the winter months.

    Monday, Dec 5, 2011 11:20 AM

  • 5

    Is very very pretty.

    Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 5:31 PM

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