By Sukie Chapman
13 October 2017
If you thought that Switzerland was nothing but top-secret bank accounts, luxurious chocolate and Alpine mountains, then have no fear, we’re on hand to put the record straight.Read more
Four kilometres south of the busy and popular winter sports resort of Interlaken, the quieter and pretty Alpine village of Wilderswil occupies an idyllic spot beside the Lütschine River at the mountainous heart of central Switzerland's Jungfrau region.
Whilst a burial site dating from the seventh century has been discovered in the area, Wilderswil itself is first mentioned in early twelfth-century writings and may have grown up around Unspunnen Castle, the ruins of which may still be visited today.
It was the arrival of the Bernese Oberland Railway at the end of the nineteenth century which cemented Wilderswil's popularity as a tourist destination. Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty at the head of the Lütschine Valley, Wilderswil obtained another compelling reason to visit when a funicular railway to the spectacular and mountain-surrounded Schynige Platte was constructed in 1892.
Today, Wilderswil is the epitome of a traditional Swiss alpine village and thanks to its history, culture and beauty is listed on the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites. A delightful and rewarding village to explore on foot, Wilderswil is also the perfect base from which to experience the beauty of the Jungfrau region via numerous hiking routes, to visit the bustling city of Interlaken and its neighbouring lakes, Thun and Brienz, or simply to relax and be inspired by the village's breath-taking scenery.
Reached by funicular railway from Wilderswil, Schynige Platte, at an elevation of just over two thousand metres, offers unforgettable views of surrounding mountains including Jungfrau, the Eiger and Silberhorn and, to the north, the Thunersee and Brienzersee lakes. A large Alpine botanical garden here contains several themed areas which showcase plants and flowers of the region -some of them rare - in their natural habitat. A number of picturesque hiking trails begin at Schynige Platte
A thriving haven for winter sports enthusiasts, the colourful and historic city of Interlaken has many attractions for visitors including its famous main street, the Höheweg, which offers an abundance of cafes and souvenir shops, a beautiful and tranquil Japanese garden and the opportunity to take a relaxing cruise on either of Interlaken's neighbouring lakes.
No visitor to Wilderswil should miss the opportunity to visit Jungfraujoch, a col between the Mönch and Jungfrau mountains in the Bernese Alps and the site of the highest railway station in Europe. Reached by funicular railway from Interlaken, Jungfraujoch also houses an atmospheric research facility whose viewing platform offers unparalleled vistas of the vast Aletsch Glacier and surrounding mountains.