Surrounded by majestic mountains and lush forests, the Swiss Lauterbrunnen Valley lies in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland.
With plenty of fresh air, waterfalls, hiking trails, hot springs, and charming villages, the Lauterbrunnen Valley is an ideal vacation destination for Tolkien fans and nature lovers alike.
However, if you’re planning to visit the Lauterbrunnen Valley on your own, then here are some helpful tips on how to best enjoy your trip to this magical place!
Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland
For Tolkien fans, the Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland might not be on your list of vacation destinations, but it should be.
You see, J.R.R. Tolkien and his wife took inspiration from the area’s natural beauty when they created Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings novels and Peter Jackson filmed The Hobbit Trilogy there as well.
Here are three reasons why you should visit Lauterbrunnen and see it for yourself!
How to get to the Lauterbrunnen Valley
The Lauterbrunnen Valley is located in the canton of Bern in Switzerland. To get there, you can take a train from Zurich or Geneva to Interlaken Ost. From there, you can take a bus or a short train ride to Lauterbrunnen.
The journey takes about two hours. The valley has stunning views and breath-taking waterfalls like the Staubbach Falls which is one of Europe’s highest and fastest waterfalls.
The area offers a variety of hiking trails and well-known attractions such as an Alpine Coaster Ride (a form of mountain coaster), Schilthorn (at 2,970 meters it’s one of the highest peaks) and Wengen.
There are also many more things to do in this beautiful valley! A visit to the Brienzersee is worth your time because of its great view over the lake.
When visiting this lake, don’t forget to try out traditional Swiss foods like raclette and fondue. They’re delicious! There are also great tourist sites around Lauterbrunnen so don’t forget your camera!
Where to stay in the Lauterbrunnen Valley
If you’re looking for a place to stay that will put you right in the heart of all the action, then look no further than Hotel Weisshorn. This hotel is located right in the center of the valley and offers stunning views of both the mountains and the valley below.
If you’re looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, then consider staying at Camping Jungfrau. This campsite is located just outside of town and offers basic amenities like showers and toilets. There are also a few restaurants and cafes nearby, so you won’t have to go far to find food.
What to do in the Lauterbrunnen Valley: Of course, when visiting such an epic location it’s only natural that you would want to explore everything it has to offer.
Here are some of our favorite things to do while exploring this beautiful part of the world: • Walk through Oeschinensee Lake – You can’t visit this valley without walking along one of its many lakes!
Oeschinensee Lake is especially popular among tourists as it’s easy enough for beginners but still offers plenty of challenges for those who have experience hiking or rock climbing.
Not only does this lake offer gorgeous views, but if you happen to be there during sunrise or sunset you’ll get an even better view thanks to its reflection on the water.
What to see and do in the Lauterbrunnen Valley
The Lauterbrunnen Valley is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Switzerland. With its towering waterfalls, lush green meadows, and snow-capped mountains, it’s easy to see why J.R.R. Tolkien was inspired to create his famous Lord of the Rings trilogy while visiting this amazing place.
If you’re a fan of Tolkien’s work, or just a lover of nature, then the Lauterbrunnen Valley should definitely be at the top of your travel list. Here are some of the best things to see and do in this magical place:
- 1. Take a cable car up to Grütschalp and enjoy stunning views of the valley below.
- 2. Visit Reichenbach Falls, where Sherlock Holmes battled Professor Moriarty to the death in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s story The Final Problem.
- 3. Explore Europe’s deepest cave system–the Ice Age Caverns–and admire stalactites and stalagmites formed over 10,000 years ago by dripping water from glaciers high above.
- 4. Enjoy a scenic boat ride on the Brienzersee Lake as it passes through dense forests and passes iconic landmarks like Meiringen Church Tower, Blausee Dam, Hundwilgrat Mountain Pass (where Goethe wrote part of Faust), and Felsenburg Castle built by Bernese Oberland farmers during medieval times.
- 5. Spend an afternoon hiking up to the Alpine Rose Garden, located about 800 meters higher than Reichenbach Falls.
- 6. Watch lightning storms light up the night sky on Unspunnen Alp which is one of the highest peaks in Switzerland.
- 7. Ride a horse through deep green forested valleys around Mürren and explore Swiss chalets set among vineyards.
- 8. Climb Ulrichshorn mountain and enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Grindelwald and Wengen villages across the Lauterbrunnen Valley that look like they’re straight out of Middle Earth!
- 9. Walk the UNESCO World Heritage site Rhaetian Railway Line along alpine cliff faces with jaw-droppingly picturesque views and watch locomotives glide effortlessly along wooden trestles.
- 10. Go ice skating under the stars at Jungfrau Top of Europe near Kleine Scheidegg and visit Aletsch Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe, which has been receding since 1850 but still provides dramatic vistas as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring caves carved into ice crevasses such as Oeschinensee Glacier Cave and Münsterhohle Glacier Cave.
- 11. Spot ibex and chamois grazing on sheer cliffsides and find the perfect spot to take in the beauty of this amazing place.
- 12. Indulge in a traditional Swiss fondue dinner at Hotel Lauterbrunnen, where meat is cooked by dipping it into simmering hot oil for 10-15 minutes.
- 13. Stay overnight at Hotel Lauterbrunnen and enjoy all the comfort of a luxury hotel without ever leaving the Valley–this resort hotel is situated right in the heart of Switzerland’s most beautiful tourist destination, making it the perfect place to stay if you want to experience some of Europe’s finest hospitality while staying close to all there is to see and do in this pristine land.
- 14. Take a hike through the Lauterbrunnen Valley and stop to enjoy some of the best views Switzerland has to offer.
- 15. Take a walk down the majestic Reichenbach Falls, where Sherlock Holmes is said to have vanquished his arch nemesis, Professor Moriarty in The Final Problem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
- 16. Look for wild boar, deer, and other animals roaming free in their natural habitat.
- 17. Soak up some sun on your own private balcony overlooking Grütschalp and enjoy amazing views of Europe’s tallest mountains: Monte Rosa and Weisshorn, as well as Mt. Pilatus and Mt. Rigi in nearby Lucerne.
- 18. Explore the many quaint villages in the Lauterbrunnen Valley and get lost in a world of winding streets and cozy cottages.
- 19. Visit Reichenbach Falls where Sherlock Holmes battled Professor Moriarty to the death in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s story The Final Problem.
- 20. Explore Europe’s deepest cave system–the Ice Age Caverns–and admire stalactites and stalagmites formed over 10,000 years ago by dripping water from glaciers high above.
How much time should you spend exploring the Lauterbrunnen Valley
With its soaring cliffs, waterfalls, and fields of wildflowers, the Lauterbrunnen Valley is one of the most picturesque places in all of Switzerland. And for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, it’s also a veritable paradise.
If you’re planning a trip to this amazing place, be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to explore everything it has to offer.
Here are just a few of the highlights · Explore Trummelbach Falls: A beautiful cascade that looks like something out of Middle Earth.
· Take a stroll through Wengen village: Watch as trains go by on their way up to Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest railway station (which is also where you’ll find an excellent observation deck).
· Visit the Hinter Grindelwald Alpine Garden: Enjoy views from an incredible vantage point that was once accessible only by climbing an arduous cliff face.
· Discover Grund Valley: View some of Switzerland’s oldest buildings along with breathtaking views and ancient forests.
Marvel at panoramic vistas, gurgling streams, plunging waterfalls and a thundering waterfall. Wander among old mills and remote villages hidden away in deep valleys.
Dine at cozy restaurants nestled high above the valley floor or enjoy delicious cuisine cooked fresh before your eyes at one of our many hotel restaurants.
Relax after an active day exploring this heavenly spot in our luxurious spa hotel or take advantage of other recreational activities available such as mountain biking or hiking before retiring to your room – or suite – overlooking the majestic Alps.
Continue exploring: For more information about what there is to see and do during your visit, consult our Lauterbrunnen Valley travel guide!
Alternative destinations if you can’t travel to Switzerland
If you can’t travel to Switzerland, there are plenty of other places you can go to get your Tolkien fix. New Zealand, where much of The Lord of the Rings was filmed, is an obvious choice.
For something a little closer to home, try England’s Lake District, which served as inspiration for many of the settings in The Hobbit.
Or head to Ireland to see some of the filming locations for The Chronicles of Narnia. No matter where you go, you’re sure to find a little bit of Middle-earth.
There’s no denying that New Zealand holds a special place in any Tolkien fan’s heart. It might be hard to visit, but it doesn’t have to be expensive — flights from Europe and North America often have introductory prices starting around $250 USD.
Once you’re here, visit Mount Doom on horseback (yes, really) or take a photo at Hobbiton itself — not so different from taking photos in front of famous real-world landmarks like Eiffel Tower or Big Ben.
And if weather permits, hop on down to Queenstown and try ziplining over Mirror Lake just like Bilbo did at Rivendell! You’ll feel like you’ve been whisked away to another world.
The Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland is the perfect destination for any fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. The valley was an inspiration for many of the settings in his books, and it’s easy to see why.
The valley is full of waterfalls, mountains, and forests, making it a truly magical place. If you’re looking for a place to get away from it all and explore a new world, the Lauterbrunnen Valley is the perfect place for you.
I hope this blog post has helped convince you that this hidden gem deserves your attention!