Lake Thun (Thunersee)
Lake Thun is one of two lakes that give the town of Interlaken (meaning “between lakes”) its name; the other is Lake Brienz. For a springtime stroll or summer’s boat ride it’s one of the most pleasant destinations in the area.
Active types will enjoy tackling the hiking trails from the north side of the lake that lead to the Hobbit-like St. Beatus Caves, while the less adventure-minded will be content joining a leisurely day-long cruise that explores the twin lakes. To explore further afield, visitors can join a guided tour along the lakeshore by car, or even plan a multi-day guided sightseeing trip.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Take a little time to explore the charming town of Thun with its timbered buildings and covered bridge.
- In July the Lake Thun Festival presents musical performances on a floating stage in the lake.
- You can rent pedalos or rowing boats at different points along the lake.
How to Get There
Lake Thun stretches from the town of Thun to Interlaken in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland. The closest airport is Bern, around 45 minutes away by car and taxi, or 90 minutes by train, or Zurich, around 2 hours away. There are regular train services between Zurich, Bern, Geneva, and Interlaken with connections to other parts of Europe including Paris and Berlin.
When to Get There
Lake Thun can be visited all year round. In summer the lake is warm enough for swimming, while in spring Alpine flowers bloom in the surrounding mountains. In fall the days are still warm enough for hikes, while in winter cross-country skiing provides a different way to enjoy the region.
Visit the Alpine gardens of Schynige Platte With more than 600 species of Alpine plants and flowers, the mountain plateau of Schynige Platte is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts. Only accessible via historic cogwheel railway (or a serious hike) this quaint botanic garden seems like a relic from another era. The nearby restaurant with panoramic views is a welcome place to stop for refreshments before heading back down the mountain.