Thun serves as the ideal introduction to Switzerland’s Bernese Alps and remains an undisputed hidden gem in the Swiss tourist landscape. Sandwiched between the bustling town of Interlaken in the east and its own scenic backdrop to the west, Lake Thun is a long-standing natural refuge for in-the-know Swiss adventurers. Despite its allure, Thun largely escapes the lens of international tourists. Imagine serene trails weaving through vineyards, coastlines dotted with medieval castles, caves steeped in legend, and infinite vistas of mountain grandeur—perfect for those brief yet memorable summer or fall getaways.
Kick off your day in the ancient heart of Thun, its medieval Altstadt. Stand beside the mesmerizing turquoise Aare River as it embarks on its journey to Bern, Switzerland’s capital city. Meander through Obere Hauptgasse, a cobblestone-laid artery in the old town, before scaling the heights to explore the city’s crown—Thun Castle. This medieval marvel dates back 800 years and features turrets that serve as vantage points for spectacular lake and mountain panoramas. Round off your morning with a quick coffee stop before making your way to Thun’s picturesque wooden bridges like Untere Schleusenbrücke and Obere Schleusenbrücke, the locals’ favorite surfing spots.
If you’re itching for panoramic views, scale 433 steps from Brahms Quay to the Jakobshübeli pavilion. On hot days, Lake Thun graciously invites you for a refreshing dip. Head to Flussbad Schwäbis for a quick swim and then amble through Schadaupark to bask in the pristine greenery. Don’t miss sights like the mid-19th-century Schloss Schadau, the richly adorned Kirche Scherzligen church, and the historical Thun Panorama—crafted in 1814, it’s the world’s oldest panoramic painting of its kind.
Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Thun at Mühleplatz in Altstadt and riverside bars nearby. Sip on artisan cocktails at Atelier Classic’s antiquated vaults before indulging in Italian culinary mastery at Chartreuse. For something extra special, Michelin-starred Panorama Hartlisberg provides not just mouth-watering dishes but also views that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Take a short, 10-minute train ride to Spiez, the charming neighbor to the south. Nestled at the base of the towering Niesen mountain, Spiez captures hearts with its idyllic setting and Spiez Castle. Local vineyards offer exquisite riesling and sylvaner whites, often aged in the castle’s own cellars. Arrange for a tour and tasting or follow the Vineyard Sensory Adventure trail for a more comprehensive understanding of the local viniculture.
Journey to Faulensee to explore formerly classified World War II bunkers (don’t forget to check the visiting schedule). If you prefer elevated experiences, hop over to Leissigen for an awe-inspiring 460-foot-long suspension bridge offering panoramic views of Lake Thun.
Return to the lake’s northern perimeter to the modern Deltapark Vitality Resort. Choose an al fresco dinner of inventive Swiss dishes or opt for a spicy experience at their excellent Thai eatery, Deltaverde.
Get an early start to rent a canoe or SUP at Deltapark Vitality Resort for a journey on the Lake Thun Canoe Trail. The trail offers a 10-mile scenic paddle fest, perfect for adventure enthusiasts.
Explore the caves of Beatenbucht, storied to be the former home of a dragon slain by St. Beatus, a legendary Irish monk, back in 100 CE. Inside these caves, you’ll find a labyrinth of stalagmites and stalactites that appear to be pulled from the pages of a fantasy novel.
Conclude your adventure with a visit to Neuhaus near Interlaken, where you can sip summer spritzers at Laguna Beach Bar. For your final meal, head to Luegibrueggli, where regional Bernese flavors dominate the menu, offering an authentic Swiss culinary experience.
Catch a direct SWISS flight from London to Zurich, and from there it’s a train ride of about 90 minutes to Thun. If train travel is more your speed, Eurostar to Paris and then TGV to Bern with a final connection to Thun is another option. Thun’s well-connected public transport network makes getting around effortless. For more information, check out thunersee.ch/en.
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