Imagine skiing down wide rolling slopes, where you have an empire almost all to yourself. And from every spot, you enjoy an unreal winter mountain landscape. The majestic peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau do provide a fantastic panorama… There are cosy, authentic villages in the ski area. And, of course, characteristic Swiss trains connect the winter sports villages. That gives winter sports in the Jungfrau Ski Region an extra edge. A final plus point, as far as we are concerned, is the overwhelming range of other activities. If you don’t feel like skiing one afternoon, the Jungfrau Ski Region knows how to surprise you with many special outings. Both in the snow and on the water, you can have some highly unique experiences.
Winter sports in the Jungfrau Ski Region
The Jungfrau Ski Region area is vast and has a wide choice of runs for beginners, intermediates and professionals. And with more than 200 kilometres of pistes, even advanced skiers will not easily get bored in the Jungfrau Ski Region. The overall ski region actually consists of three separate parts, each with its own characteristics.
The first ski area created in Grindelwald is aptly named Grindelwald-First. The area has 53 kilometres of pistes, most of which are blue runs. The area is ideal for skiers who want relaxed carving. Yet the area is also challenging in parts as there are some black runs. A great trip is to start at the top with the blue run 10, followed by the red 22 back to Grindelwald.
A fabulous attraction in this sub-area is the “First Cliff Walk“. Via a footbridge and a suspension bridge on the cliff, you walk to a viewing platform. From there, you get a view of the many mountain giants of Bernese Oberland. If you’re afraid of heights, this might be too challenging especially when you stand on the glass plate and see the depths below you.
The heart of the Jungfrau Ski Region is the section between the villages of Grindelwald and Wengen. As far as we are concerned, it is the very best and most extensive sub-ski area. Here you will find the wide slopes of Kleine Scheidegg, Lauberhorn and Männlichen. At times with some steep sections, but mostly wonderfully gentle slopes. The world-famous three mountain giants Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau are everywhere the beautiful backdrop in a winter landscape.
From Grindelwald Terminal, you whizz in a state-of-the-art gondola called the Eiger Express, taking just 15 minutes to get to the Eiger Glacier at over 2,300 metres up. Waiting times are almost non-existent on weekdays. At weekends and in holiday periods it can be a bit busier.
Another way to reach the Grindelwald-Wengen sub-region is by train. Not as fast, but a fantastic experience. The rack train winds through the snowy landscape via Wengen and Wengernalp to Kleine Scheidegg at an altitude of 2,061 metres.
When you first arrive at the highest point, the Eigergletscher, be sure to take your time so as to fully absorb the impressive panorama. We were lucky we got clear weather. That made the view of the alpine giants truly amazing.
Advanced skiers can have a real blast on the predominantly red pistes. Yet there are also plenty of blue sections for novice skiers. The most famous run in the area is the FIS Lauberhorn World Cup run to Wengen. This descent is doable for an advanced skier. Of course, it contains some steep sections, but the many turns and some narrow sections in particular make the descent challenging.
A nice valley descent to Grindelwald is the blue 22. It runs partly along the Wengernalpbahn railway line and through the woods. Especially when the trees are full of snow, this provides beautiful pictures. Via some chalets and hotels, you then reach Grindelwald’s valley station. Another great descent is the Red 3 from Männlichen to Grindelwald. It’s nice and wide, so you can make your turns easily.
Mürren-Schilthorn is the last ski area of the Jungfrau Ski Region. It is somewhat remote, so it takes some time to make the crossing from Grindelwald-Wengen. Yet it’s well worth it, as the 53-kilometre ski area has plenty of atmosphere. This is due to the picturesque and car-free village of Mürren, the old wooden huts along the slopes, the wooded runs and the cosy restaurants near the slopes.
The highest point in the Jungfrau Ski Region can be found here. Schilthorn is located at almost 3,000 metres. There you will enjoy a beautiful panorama. Then prepare for a challenging descent. The first bit is steep and black. But you can soon continue on a wide blue descent.
Mürren-Schilthorn has hosted the world’s largest amateur ski race since 1928. At the end of January, almost 2,000 participants take part in the Inferno Run. This race goes from the Schilthorn to Lauterbrunnen, a descent of almost 16 kilometres.
Winter sports villages in the Jungfrau Ski Region
There are several winter sports villages in and around the Jungfrau Ski Region. Some of these are authentic, with many wooden chalets giving the village plenty of charm.
Interlaken is located between Lake Thuner and Lake Brienzersee. That’s where the place gets its name from: the town’s name is an amalgamation of inter (= between) and laken (lacus = lakes). It is a large town with a bustling atmosphere. This is mainly due to the many shops of exclusive watch brands, jewellers and chic hotels. Interlaken offers many kinds of entertainment, both during the day and in the evening. Staying in Interlaken is also usually a bit more affordable than in Grindelwald or Wengen. The downside is that Interlaken is a bit further away from the ski area. But by train from Interlaken Ost station, you can reach Grindelwald Terminal in half an hour. There, the gondola goes into the ski area. Fifteen minutes later you’re on the Eigergletscher.
Grindelwald is a cosy winter sports village in the heart of the Jungfrau Ski Region. It lies at an altitude of 1,034 metres. You’ll find many traditional wooden chalets. And everywhere in Grindelwald you have that great view of the Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau and Wetterhorn. From the village you can quickly reach the Grindelwald-First and Grindelwald-Wengen ski areas with modern gondolas. Skiing up to the village is possible, making Grindelwald an ideal location for a winter sports holiday in the Jungfrau Ski Region.
At the foot of the Lauterbrunnen valley, with its mighty views of the Jungfrau and other mountain giants, Wengen is a popular winter sports destination. You get to Wengen by the traditional little train of the Wengernalpbahn, an experience in itself to experience. Because picturesque Wengen is completely car-free.
Wengen is well known for its legendary Lauberhorn Abfahrt. It is the longest downhill run in the international alpine ski races. Every year in January, the world’s top skiers thunder down at breakneck speed. The professionals do about 2:30 minutes over the 4.5-kilometre descent, or more than 100 kilometres per hour on average.
Lauterbrunnen gets its name from its many waterfalls. Lauterbrunnental is one of Switzerland’s largest protected natural areas. The area is home to many waterfalls. In winter, this produces magical pictures when the waterfalls are frozen over. To get from Lauterbrunnen to Wengen and Kleine Scheidegg, take the train. Meandering through a winter landscape, you eventually reach Wengen. A beautiful ride that takes just under 15 minutes. If you want to get to Kleine Scheidegg from Lauterbrunnen, it will take you just under 40 minutes.
The town of Mürren can only be reached by train or gondola. This makes Mürren completely car-free, which makes for an intimate atmosphere. Here you ski through the snowy streets to your chalet or hotel. Throughout the winter there is a thick layer of snow, creating beautiful and romantic images. For unprecedented views, head to the revolving restaurant on the Schilthorn. As you dine there, the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau pass you by.
The James Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was partly shot in Mürren. People want to know that in the village. Everywhere you come across images of James Bond. The revolving restaurant functioned as a clinic in the film. The restaurant still offers a James Bond breakfast. Fragments of the film can also be seen.
Other winter activities in the Jungfrau Ski Region
Don’t feel like getting out the long skis? There’s still plenty to do in the Jungfrau Ski Region.
Top of Europe
An unforgettable experience is a visit to the Top of Europe. At 3,454 metres above sea level is Europe’s highest train station. Also located here is Europe’s highest meteorological observatory. The view of the Jungfrau is unsurpassed, as is that of the Aletsch Glacier. On the platform, the wind often blows hard, so make sure you have good windproof clothing. And the views depend heavily on the weather. We were lucky: the sun was shining brightly and we could see for miles around.
By the way, there is also plenty to see inside. So, we will write an extensive blog later about our amazing trip from Interlaken to the Top of Europe.
Hiking in winter has a special appeal. On more than 100 kilometres of perfectly prepared winter hiking trails, all you hear is the crunch of your shoes.
Besides walking along the trails on regular hiking boots, you can of course also put on the snowshoes. We did this around the quiet farming village of Isenfluh. An old-fashioned gondola, suitable for eight people or one cow, took us steeply uphill. From there, our snowshoe hike began.
Non-winter activities in the Jungfrau Ski Region
Seen enough snow for a while and want to do other things? Even then, you can still have fun in the Jungfrau Ski Region. With the two lakes Brienzersee and Thunersee within reach, water beckons for some special activities.
For example, sailing down Brienzersee in a hot tub. And although winters can be cold, the temperature in the hot tub is pleasant at 38 degrees. With up to six people, you sail your own route across the lake.
In addition, kayaking across the calm Brienzersee is a great experience. Paddle across calm, crystal-clear water while enjoying views of snow-capped peaks. This easy, peaceful trip is suitable for guests of all experience levels. Don’t worry about safety. Nothing can go wrong and you’ll wear a special suit that will keep you completely dry.
In Switzerland, of course, you are supposed to have fondue or raclette at least once. You can also do that on the water. Raclette rafting is not dangerous, but it is a unique experience to enjoy a Swiss dish.
Another product not to be missed in Switzerland is chocolate. The most special way to taste this delicious goodness is via a Chocolate Fondue Float. The guide operates the boat so you can enjoy the beautiful views across the water unhindered. And the delicious chocolate, of course!
Now you can also take a leisurely boat ride on one of the two lakes, while enjoying the beautiful views on the deck. Several tour boats operate on Lake Thuner and Lake Brienzersee, two of which are even special steam-powered tour boats. The fascinating lakes in the impressive mountain world of the Bernese Oberland provide a unique nature experience in a relaxing way whatever the weather.
Frequently asked questions about the Jungfrau Ski Region
The Jungfrau Ski Region is located in the Swiss Bernese Oberland. The ski resort lies over 70 kilometres south-east of Bern. Interlaken is the nearest town less than 20 kilometres from the Jungfrau Ski Region.
The train is the most comfortable and eco-friendly way to reach the Jungfrau Ski Region. First, travel to Basel. From there, a train leaves for Interlaken Ost. Depending on your place of accommodation, you then travel a little further by regional train to Grindelwald, Wengen or Mürren.
By car, you travel to Interlaken on the motorway. Then it is a short distance on a provincial road to the Jungfrau Ski Region. Bear in mind that you will need a toll vignette for Switzerland.
Flying is also possible, but is taxing on the environment. Your best option then is to fly to Zurich. You can then continue your journey by train, or take a hire car. If you fly with Swiss Air, you can take your ski equipment on the plane for free.
Do you plan to use public transport regularly during your stay in the Jungfrau Ski Region? Then the Swiss Travel Pass is very handy. With it, you will travel for free on trains and buses for the chosen number of days. Even boat connections are included. As well as admission to hundreds of museums around the country.
The ski area of the Jungfrau Ski Region totals over 200 piste kilometres. It consists of three sub-regions, which are connected: Grindelwald-First, Grindelwald-Wengen and Mürren-Schilthorn. Of those three areas, Grindelwald-Wengen is the largest and most versatile ski area with over 100 piste kilometres.
|Jungfrau Ski Region total
Winter sports enthusiasts of any level can find what they are looking for in the Jungfrau Ski Region. There are plenty of blue and red runs that are nice and wide. It is also incredibly quiet on weekdays outside holiday periods. So, you have the space to make relaxed turns. There are also plenty of black runs. Such as the world-famous Lauberhorn Abfahrt near Wengen.
The biggest plus of the Jungfrau Ski Region is its versatility. You will find slopes for every level of ability. It is also a quiet area (outside holiday periods and weekends). In the area, you will find characteristic winter sports villages with lots of atmosphere. The connection by authentic trains between the winter sports villages makes a winter sports holiday in the Jungfrau Ski Region very special. Finally, the landscape with some of Switzerland's largest mountain giants Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau is impressive.
The downside is that from Interlaken, you have to travel a bit longer to get to the ski resort. Especially early in the morning, the train can be crowded with other skiers and other commuters. Connections from one ski area to another with trains also takes some time. On the other hand, though, this is the charm of the Jungfrau Ski Region.
A winter sports holiday in the Jungfrau Ski Region is certainly not more expensive than other Swiss regions. However, the price level in Switzerland is generally higher than in most winter sports regions in Austria, France or Italy.
For an up-to-date overview of ski pass prices, visit the Jungfrau Ski Region website.
In several places in the Jungfrau Ski Region, you can stay overnight in the middle of the ski area. If you prefer ski in-ski out, choose accommodation in Grindelwald, Wengen or Mürren.
You can also choose to stay overnight in Interlaken or nearby towns. This offers two advantages: Interlaken is a big place with lots of entertainment and an overnight stay is a bit cheaper than in one of the ski villages of the Jungfrau Ski Region. The downside is that you have to take the train or ski bus to the ski resort.
We stayed at the small-scale hotel Salzano in Unterseen near Interlaken ourselves. An excellent hotel with good facilities, including a modern and extensive wellness area. The bus took us to Interlaken Ost station in a few minutes. There we took the train to Grindelwald.
At the invitation of Switzerland Tourism and Interlaken Tourismus we we visited the Jungfrau Ski Region and the surrounding area. We compiled the content of the blog independently and objectively based on our own impressions.