Interlaken is a beautiful traditional town in the mountainous Bernese Oberland region of central Switzerland, surrounded by mountains, sparkling rivers, lush meadows and pistes upon pistes of great snow. But there’s WAY more to do in Interlaken to boost your adrenaline than just ski (so it’s the perfect place to come in the off-season too)...
Interlaken is a thrill-seeker's paradise offering endless activities that will leave you breathless and keep your heart racing. Push yourself, step out of your comfort zone and do something you wouldn’t usually do. Fancy throwing yourself out of a plane in the morning, then party hard with other backpackers at night? Then this is the article for you...
From skydiving to rock climbing, here are some epic things to do in Interlaken for the adrenaline junkie…
WHERE TO STAY
As you may know, Switzerland is not cheap (not cheap at all). But there’s one little hostel nestled in the midst of all the beauty where backpackers party, throw themselves into extreme sports and have an epic time (proving that budget accommodation is the best way to enjoy the town.)
If you like the sound of cosy chalet-style living, then this is a hostel for you. Located right at the base of the Jungfrau mountain range, this place is hard to beat for a more scenic setting, surrounded by the beautiful Swiss Alps. With all kinds of rooms to choose from whether it’s a shared dorm, private room, a hammock room or even posh tents, there’s something for everyone.
The best thing about hostels is that they’re affordable - but what makes Balmer’s stand out from the rest is the amount of facilities and activities it offers its guests. It’s more than just a hostel - it’s an experience.
This rustic lodge is the perfect place for a wild getaway. Here are some of the activities we recommend, available to those who are guests at Balmer’s:
Whether it’s Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, there are epic adrenaline-junkie activities to choose from:
The climate in Interlaken during Spring time is great. The flowers start blooming, the weather warms up and hiking trails start opening again. The temperature can be anything from 7-17 degrees. Expect a little bit of rain, but if you're lucky the sun will most likely be shining. March and April is also a good time to catch the last of the ski season (without it being too cold).
Fancy getting out on the water? Ride on the beautiful Lake Breinz for a duration of 75 minutes on Switzerland’s first commercial Jet-Boat. Whilst you’re speeding across the blue water, enjoy the magnificent landscapes and waterfalls that surround the lake. Pretty awesome.
Want a real thrill? If it’s your first time paragliding, you’re in for one heck of an experience. Enjoy stunning mountain views from the sky and soak up the sensational feeling of flying high as the clouds, looking over at Jungfrau region below. A driver will take you and the pilot up the mountain in the Paragliding-Interlaken van. During the 20-minute drive you will receive the “safety-talk” and a briefing on the take-off and landing process. Thrilling stuff - can your nerves handle it? There’s even an option to get the whole thing on tape so you can watch it back years later.
Experience the beauty of Interlaken’s mountain lakes by kayak. The evening tours run regularly each week and on weekends through the spring and summer on Lake Brienz. Experience the calmness of the turquoise blue lakes and get a look at the beautiful cliffs and castles of the region while gliding gracefully through the water.
I think the picture pretty much says it all. You can choose to jump from either a plane or a helicopter. Flying towards the Swiss Alps at 120mph (200kmh) is sure to get anybody’s heart going! The free fall takes approximately 45 seconds! Not for the faint hearted.
Can’t brave the skydive? Try this first to get the feel of what it might be like. Vertical Rush is exactly what the name implies - falling vertically at a rushed speed. The Freefall is 75kmh, 30 meters above the ground but it’s basically a giant swing high in the tree tops (so you’re completely safe). Do this for the ultimate adrenaline rush!
We applaud this dude for striking a pose during his jump. Perhaps one of the most beautiful Bungee jump locations in the world, Stockholm Bungy is simply spectacular. How it works? You are lifted 134m up in a mountain gondola, the doors open and you take the plunge; leaping and freefalling towards the pristine mountain lake Stocksee. Enjoy the rush of a lifetime before an experienced jumpmaster lowers you slowly down into the waiting boat.
Learn how to rock climb in Interlaken! Sure, the picture looks pretty daunting (and seriously high) but you’ll be safe: strapped up, harnessed and fully protected in the right gear. Get great rock climbing and scrambling tips! You will be rewarded with spectacular views at the top!
Slippery and slidey. Explore hidden gorges, rappel, jump and slide down waterfalls. Travel through tall, narrow gorges and get up close and personal with nature. Short and sweet, this half day canyon will whet your appetite for more and it is only a short five-minute drive from Balmer’s base.
Perhaps the best time to visit Interlaken is in the summer between June-September. The temperature during summer lingers around 20 degrees, perfect to take part in activities on the water, walks and embracing the outdoors. This is also the peak time to come to Interlaken so probably the most expensive and undoubtedly the busiest time.
Note: Most of the Spring activities are also available in Summer.
Learn how to climb a glacier using axes, ropes and crampons. This is an all day adventure with a scenic drive up to the mountain, with some amazing views of Switzerland. With your warm gear, boots, crampons, gaiters, helmet, backpack, ice aces and technical gear (all provided), you will take a short hike up to the edge of the glacier, where the adventure really begins. Roped together for safety, you will be led out across the glacier to a suitable crevasse, where the ice climbing begins!
HIGH ROPES COURSE
If you like the sound of living like Tarzan for the day, then the High Ropes course is for you. Located in the Seilpark, this a real forest adventure with wooden bridges and zip lines up amongst the trees. With courses of varying difficulty and heights, this is an exciting day out for beginners and adrenaline seekers. More than 90 different challenges from ground level up to 20 meters in height await you - this is a real challenge for the body and mind.
This activity is also available in the winter.
Want to know what it feels like to fly like a bird? Hand gliding is the closest you’ll get to that feeling. Fast and flying flat. Catch thermals and up-drafts, experience wing-overs, stalls, dives or opt for just a simple easy float over Interlaken. Flying in Interlaken offers a great view over the Swiss Alps and the lakes around it. It’s such a buzz.
Interlaken has amazing rivers for rafting. Fast-flowing water that will really keep the adrenaline high. The mighty Lütschine offers some of the best whitewater rafting in the Swiss Alps. This is an activity that takes teamwork and great morale! Think you and your friends are up to it? Right from the start you’ll be challenged by continuous class III-IV rapids surging down from the mountains and out into the Interlaken valley and the Lake of Brienz. It is an exhilarating rush from start to finish.
In a world where glaciers are currently melting, there’s never been a better time to appreciate them while we can. Explore the magnificent glaciers of the Swiss Alps on this trek on Interlaken ice. While you’re trekking, learn fascinating facts about glaciology and environmental change.
Wrap up warm (and wear hiking boots)!
Autumn is a fab time to come to Interlaken because the busy crowds are gone, things get cheaper and everything still looks beautiful. From September to October temperatures can go from 5-19 degrees. So quite unpredictable - so bring a brolly! Winter is pretty freezing in Interlaken - but it means it's a good time to come to take part in winter activities on the mountains! It's a popular time for skiers and snowboarders who flock the mountains for a rush of adrenaline. The snow is best in Interlaken during January and February so you can see why it's a popular time to come! The temperature can plummet to -2 degrees so pack lots of thermals!
Note: Skydiving, paragliding and bungy jumping and some of the summer activities are all available in Autumn and Winter, too
Winter fun! Have a go at night sledding - it’s an experience you’ll never forget. High into the Swiss Alps, take in the starlit winter landscape and then zip down the 1 hour long sled run. The trail goes through the woods, crosses alpine meadows and passes majestic frozen waterfalls. After the night sled, enjoy a traditional Swiss cheese fondue dinner at a local restaurant. Who wouldn't want to do this?? Sledding and CHEESE.
Experience the Switzerland that tourists never see with the Snowshoe tour. Explore snowy forests and remote mountain villages in a small group. Snowshoeing is the perfect alternative for people who don’t want to ski, or who want to escape the crowded slopes and enjoy a bit of nature. The hiking is made easy by wearing special shoes on your feet that allow you to walk on top of the snow rather than sinking up to your chin.
WINTER KAYAK TOUR
Experiencing the lakes in winter is a whole new experience. Guided tours by kayak will be available on Lake Brienz from winter 2016/17, even when the temperature plummets. Each tour lasts approximately two hours. Explore the snowy landscape in a magical, glittering alpine world. Kitted out with a high-quality dry suit, you won’t feel the cold, even if the temperature is freezing.
DOWNHILL GRAVITY SCOOTER TOUR
This exhilarating downhill ride will take your breath away. On purpose built Gravity Scooters with brakes and front suspension, you’ll feel safe and secure as you ride around the area taking in the beautiful landscape around you. Perfect for someone with even the most basic of cycling skills.
Admire the true beauty of Interlaken from high up in the sky in a helicopter. The Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau are the amazing mountains you'll see on your journey. Their sheer beauty can only be fully appreciated from above as you fly over their peaks and down into the south basin that forms the birthplace of the largest glacier in Europe, the Aletsch.