Pete Seaward

Bernese Oberland

Nature works on an epic scale here. Whether you’re hiking in the shadow of the fearsome north face of Eiger, carving powder on a crisp winter’s morning in Gstaad, or gawping at the misty Staubbach Falls, the Swiss Alps don’t get more in-your-face beautiful than this. Nowhere are the resorts quainter, the peaks higher, the glaciers grander. Fittingly watched over by Mönch (Monk), Jungfrau (Virgin) and Eiger (Ogre), the Bernese Oberland sends spirits soaring to heaven.

The region's cinematic looks haven't gone unnoticed. Mark Twain wrote that no opiate compared to walking here (and he should know), Arthur Conan Doyle thought Meiringen a pretty spot for a Sherlock Holmes whodunnit, while Ian Fleming brought the icy wilderness of Schilthorn to screens in 007 films. Yet try as they might, few photographers manage to do the Bernese Oberland justice. Listen for tutting tourists at postcard carousels trying – and failing – to find something to match their memories.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Bernese Oberland.