Did you know that Scarlett Johanson, Rami Malek, Aston Kutcher & Giselle all have twin brothers and sisters? Their stardom overshadowed their siblings!
Lake Thun is the twin lake of Brienz, both sharing a beautiful turquoise color and of similar shape and size. But the town that connects both lakes – Interlaken – overshadows the fame of both of them! So if you are looking for unpolished gem, visit Thun, both town & lake, and tour its beautiful surroundings.
We visited Thun multiple times, first of which was as an extension to a visit to Bern, just 1/2 hour away from it. The way to Thun was as charming as the town itself. We found ourselves making several stops to enjoy the views like at Steffisburg. What makes Lake Thun (or Thunersee) especially picturesque, on top of its location in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, are the magnificent mountains surrounding it and the charming villages along its banks.
When we reached the town of Thun, we immediately felt the medieval influence. After a short tour in the old town, we headed towards the Grand Castle or Schloss Thun.
This mighty donjon was built more than 800 years ago by the Dukes of Zährigen. Here you can experience the glory of the medieval Great Hall, which is one of the few surviving halls of its type from the Middle Ages. The cherry on “top” of the cake, was climbing up the towers and enjoying the breathtaking view of the town, lake and wonderful mountains in the backdrop.
As we were heading down to the river Aare, we discovered a new sport – “River surfing”! Just across the wooden bridge few surfers were “surfing” against the flow of the river and trying to stay balanced despite the roaring tides! Such a demanding sport & amazing view!
Travelling around lake Thun is the best recipe for a road trip. As you go around whether by car (which we did), train or boat, you’ll pass a number of lovely lakeside villages, most of which warrant a visit.
Beyond the shoreline, bunches of Alpine chalets dot the hillsides like ladybirds, and a dozen one-thousand-year-old Romanesque churches still stand majestically.
On the way we spotted Oberhofen Castle just on the lake side. Thousands of postcard photos were made here. The castle is famous for its distinctive mediaeval architecture and its picturesque lakeside tower.
We continued our way stopping at Sigriswil, where the panoramic view of the Bernese peaks and lake Thun is simply unmatchable. If you are looking for off the beaten path hiking trails, this is your destination! The trails go along almost untouched flora, and into the steep Justistal valley or up to the rocky Sigriswilergrat ridge. Look at the opposite bank and you can spot Spiez, the town nestling between hills and vineyards and dominated by a magnificent castle. Such a beautiful scenery to reward a hike!
Our journey continued towards Sundlaunen. An ideal spot to take a panoramic photo as the road curves around the mountain standing like a dramatic sheer by the lakeside.
Up from Sundlauenen to Beatenberg. A village off the beaten touristic route, but particularly popular with nature-lovers and families. We hiked from there till Schwanden Sigriswil and back. The location of Beatenberg high above lake Thun and its terrace is magnificent. It offers a unique panorama of the Alpine peaks of the Bernese Oberland including the famous Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. On our way we discovered a small fromagerie that offered cheese-tasting. Yum! We couldn’t but bought few more kilos of the tasty alpine cheese (Alpcäse) to take back home!
More to see around Thun
In Sundlauenen you can access the St. Beatus Caves. Unfortunately we didn’t have sufficient time to visit, but it includes an amazing cave system that features lit pathways leading through tunnels & chambers, in addition to a museum. Definitely on our list when we come back to the region!