The name "Interlaken" means 'between two lakes' and is situated 2 hours south of Basel by train. Nestled between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz it is a picturesque town perfectly located for those who want to rest a couple of days, look around the local area or enjoy a Swiss fondue before setting off to explore the Alps.
Beautiful view of one of the lakes
If you do happen to go to Interlaken may I suggest a ride in the cable car up to the top of Harder Klum. This is situated about a 2 minute walk from the main street of Interlaken ost (east). The views are stunning. There are lots of walking tracks, (take walking shoes) but you may simply want to sit back, have a meal and a Swiss beer whilst soaking up the views.
Pretty spectacular ...
There's a large range of accommodation so you will be spoilt for choices although I'd recommend booking early.
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Interlaken is frequented by overseas visitors in particular during peak times. Even in autumn, I'm surprised at how many tour groups keep arriving apparently due to a new marketing campaign to attract Koreans in their holiday period.
There is also 2 large hostels in town, one right beside the train station with a great restaurant downstairs. A coffee and croissant is around $6 AU. Prices are as you imagine, steeper than other parts of Europe. Expect to pay $30 plus for a main meal, more with drinks.
typical swiss resturant
I spent 3 days looking around Interlaken and also visited St Beatus- Hohlen caves located about a 10 minute bus ride from town.
It is thought that St Beatus lived there in the 6th century and pilgrims began to gravitate to the caves in the 12th century. Development began in 1903 which are still being explored and excavated each winter when they are closed due to the weather. It was an interesting tour literally inside the mountain, with a waterfall towards the end of the walk. Take your own water bottle though, otherwise it will set you back $7 - (That's for a small one!) Caves are here
There's also helicopter flights and sky diving available if you prefer a shot of adrenaline. Always a pleasant sight to behold.
Maybe you want to try something different?
Interlaken is a lovely town to stop off at, I'd recommend a couple of days there before heading into the breathtaking Swiss Alps.
Unless you have bought a Swiss pass you will need to pay fares to and from the scenic spots so it is worth considering carefully what you want to see when you come to Switzerland.
Read lots of travel booklets and do your homework because these fares can seem a bit confusing and expensive but given the advantages of all their other free offers, such as going to the caves or in cable cars, it could be worth while.
Switzerland is one place you will never forget.