The Interlaken region is a popular tourist destination throughout the whole year, regardless of whether it is summer or winter. However, the question always comes, what to see and do in Lake Thun?
As I explained in my previous post here, Interlaken is a region and also a city of the same name.
The Interlaken town is positioned between two lakes, Brienz to the east and Thun to the west.
Lake Thun has a striking emerald colour, and the area is more developed than Brienz, with several small towns by its shore or in the mountains, and it’s where you will find most hotels and rental accommodations.
And if you stay in an official accommodation in the Lake Thun area, you will receive the Thun Guest Card, which will give you discounts on several activities and free access to the local bus that runs through the lake.
When I went to Interlaken, I stayed at a charming hotel called Bellevue au Lac, in the small town of Hilterfingen by Lake Thun’s shore.
Unfortunately, the day we arrived, coming from the beautiful Kandersteg (read more here), it rained “cats and dogs” as they say here in England. The bad weather continued until the late afternoon of the following day.
Because of the storm, we had to change our plans and find out what to do in Interlaken on a rainy day. I also made a post giving tips about that, and you can read it here.
But even with the rain, we managed to enjoy it and I’ve compiled some tips on what to see in Lake Thun, the main cities and places to visit. Of course, we didn’t have time to see everything on the list, but than I have one more excuse to return to my beloved Switzerland.
What to do on Lake Thun in Interlaken?
First thing, I’ll give a precious tip: drive from Thun to Interlaken via Sigriswil or vice versa (I recommend this route because you have an incredible panoramic view of the lake and the alps).
This route is also part of the famous “Grand Tour” route (I will write more about it soon).
Or, you can take a boat cruise, starting at Interlaken or Thun, and the journey takes about 2 hours (see more info here).
On this tour, the cool thing is that you can drop off at some stops, like Beatenberg, Spiez or St. Beatus Caves and then go back to the boat – always checking the timetable, of course.
But nothing prevents you from doing just one stretch, starting the tour in any of the towns where the boat anchors.
I did not do this tour, because as I mentioned, it was raining, and I thought it was not worth it, as we would not be able to enjoy and see the beautiful scenery properly.
Some people say that the sunset seen from Lake Thun is one of the most beautiful in Switzerland and one of the best places to watch is in Beatenbucht.
Thun city is the most significant and busiest in the area. It has dozens of bars and restaurants and several cafes on the banks of the River Aare. The centre is beautiful with its medieval buildings, the castle and lots of history to recount. For me, among the medium-sized cities I have ever visited, Thun was one of the most attractive!
Hilterfingen is a small town and has the beautiful Castle Hünegg. It offers a lot of history and is just a 10-minute walk from Oberhofen Castle or 2 km from Thun’s centre. My hotel was located in this town, and I found it very convenient to explore the area.
Oberhofen is considered one of Switzerland’s most beautiful towns, and it’s a must-stop when you are in the Interlaken area. Visit Oberhofen Castle, located on the shores of Lake Thun and stroll around the lovely village.
Sigriswil is a small village that spreads between the lake and the mountain along Lake Thun’s north bank. We drove past it and went away to the summit, enjoying the lake’s landscape and the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains in the background.
I didn’t go because I’m afraid of heights, but I know that to have an even more incredible view, the ideal is to cross the 180m high and 340m long Panoramabrücke suspension bridge.
To cross the bridge, you have to pay a fee of about CHF 8, but it is also valid for the Grabenmühle Garden.
Merlingen is a small village with only a few shops and cafés. The paths by the shore take you to vineyards and Oberhofen Castle, as well as the picturesque towns of Faulensee and Beatenberg.
Another incredible place is the St Beatus Caves, famous for its stalactites and stalagmites. When we visited, the caves were already closed, but it was still possible to climb the stairway that goes through the waterfalls and enjoy the gorgeous scenery.
Unterseen is a medieval town on the shore of Lake Thun. The St Beatus Caves are just 5 km away, and it is less than 2 km distant from Interlaken.
Interlaken is the most influential city and an excellent starting point for visiting both lakes or the Swiss Alps like Jungfrau, the Lauterbrunnen valley, Grindelwald, etc.
Spiez is on the south of the lake, between hills and vineyards. The charming village has a feeling of Mediterranean towns, and it is lovely to stroll around it, visit Spiez Castle and enjoy the restaurants in the area. Unfortunately, I had no time to go there.
Even with all these places that I’ve mentioned, there are still many more things to see, such as the Niederhorn Mountain, Stockhorn Mountain, Diemtigtal Natural Park, Schynige Platte Train, etc.
Or why not visit the famous Jungfraujoch, which is 3.466 meters above sea level? The train, which is more than 100 years old, will ascend to the highest railway station in Europe and has stunning views of the Swiss Alps.
Apparently, Lake Thun is warmer than Lake Brienz, therefore more suitable for activities and water sports, especially in summer.
How to get there?
In reality, it will depend a lot on where is your starting point. But in this article here I explain the best routes to get to the city of Interlaken.
Anyway, as you can see, there are plenty of things to see and do in Lake Thun and the entire Interlaken region.
But, if you want to know more about the beautiful Lake Brienz, be sure to read my post here. And if it’s raining, I made an article with several tips here.
I hope you enjoy Lake Thun as much as I did and if you have more suggestions, don’t hesitate to comment in the box below.
Have a great day!
This post is also available in: Português