What if I told you there existed a village in the Swiss mountains, where you could go back in time and live life at a slower pace. Where you can really go along with the rhythm of nature. Where the only sounds are the singing of the birds and the ringing of the bells of the cows, which stand quietly grazing on the slopes.
On a sunny mountainside, not far from Lauterbrunnen, you’ll find the magical village of Wengen. Cars are not allowed. But by being only accessible by train, the tranquility of the place allows you to enjoy the fairytale landscapes even more. None other than JR Tolkien used the towns of Lauterbrunnen, Wengen and Grindelwald as inspiration for his ‘Middle Earth’. And having had the privilege of being there for a week, I fully understand why.
How to get there
From Ghent, it’s about an 8 hour drive to Lauterbrunnen. (don’t forget to buy a vignet to drive through Switzerland). You can park your car at the Lauterbrunnen Parking. We reserved our spot in advance and for a week it cost us just under 100 euros. The train station to get to Wengen is only a short walk away from the parking. The scenic train ride lasts for about 11 minutes.
If you really want to do a lot of hikes that are far from Wengen (and thus take a lot of cable cars and trains), it might be interesting to check out the following site.
We chose to only buy a train ticket for the trips we were definitely going to do, which was more budget friendly for us at the time.
Where to stay
The Interhome cottage, named ‘Mioche’ is a place that will stay with me forever. The views from the rooms and terrace were so sublime, that at the end of our week’s vacation we were still wondering if this was even real. Enjoy a coffee on the terrace as the sun gradually begins to light up one of the mountain sides. Stare into the distance in the gorge and lose yourself in the splendor of nature.
Only a 15 minute walk away from the main village (and train station), this holiday house is perfectly situated. Plus, on this short hike, you’ll be treated to beautiful views of the valley, flower meadows and surrounding mountain slopes. Consisting of three bedrooms, the house is perfect for families or a group of friends. And everything was really thought of : there is even a shopping service that you can use so that when you arrive you are provided with everything you need.
Activities for one week in Wengen
Go hiking in the beautiful mountain scenery
The hikes available in the Jungfrau region are countless, so it can be difficult to choose. I will share with you two wonderful hikes : one from Wengen, and one that requires you to take a cable car first.
Leiterhorn / Hunneflue
This hike is a combination of two hikes : the Leiterhorn Tour (2h) and Hunneflue (70min). You can just leave from the cottage. First you descend to the center of Wengen and from there you’ll soon find the signs to do the Hunneflue hike.
For us these hikes were the perfect starting point, you get to know the village of Wengen and you get your first glimpse of the magnificent views of the Lauterbrunnen valley. Let your senses come alive on this hike: feast your eyes on the beautiful flower meadows, views and charming houses; enjoy the forest sounds and smells and feel the healthy mountain air in your lungs and on your skin.
Hike from First to Bachalpsee + Flowerpath to Bort
What will stay with me the most from our week in Switzerland is the sublime location of the Interhome cottage and this walk. Phenomenal!
From Wengen center, you start by enjoying the scenic train ride to Lauterbrunnen. Then you drive about 20 minutes to Grindelwald, where you can hop on the cable car to First.
Once you have arrived at the cable car endpoint, you can make your way to the Bachalpsee. You won’t be the only one doing the 50 minutes trail to the lake. The Bachalpsee itself was beautiful but not super special, I think there are more beautiful lakes to discover in Switzerland.
The second part of the hike, however, was indescribably beautiful. Moreover, we were pretty much alone here, which only made the experience more incomparable. I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves.
This part of the hike takes just under two hours. After an hour, you come across a little restaurant where you can rest for a while. Then the hike continues zigzagging through the trees. The end point is Bort, and from here you can take a cable car back to Grindelwald, where the car is parked.
When I close my eyes, I can still see the beautiful landscapes I found myself in during this hike. I cannot recommend this one enough for people who like peace, nature and overwhelming landscapes.
Visit the charming village of Lauterbrunnen
Lauterbrunnen is only an 11min train ride away from the center of Wengen. But you can also easily hike there. The scenic walk, which is almost continuously descending, takes you into the Lauterbrunnen valley.
The village is very charming and many will recognize the church from photos. It is quite touristy, but that does not take away from it’s magic. Be sure to visit the waterfall. (You can also ‘climb’ the waterfall. We did the climb, but did not really think it was an added value since you can’t see the waterfall itself when you’re at the top.)
Go swimming in Thunersee Lake
Switzerland is known for its beautiful lakes surrounded by mountains. We were looking for a non touristy place, where we could enjoy the refreshing water. In good luck we drove to a beach bar we found on google in the village Leissigen. Thick clouds covered the sky when we arrived. We didn’t have much hope for a nice afternoon in the water. But gradually it cleared up more and more and we had a great afternoon in the water. Highly recommended.
If for some reason I could only choose one more travel destination, I would definitely choose mountains. Being in the mountains cannot be compared to anything else : it brings you peace, but also reconnects you with nature, and the greatness of the world. If you are looking for a vacation that offers you rest and nature but also the possibility to be active, then the holiday house Mioche in Wengen should definitely be on your radar.