This small village in the Swiss Alps is surrounded by spectacular landscape and is the home of less than 200 locals. The first adventure of this holiday is getting to Gimmelwald. From Bern, you need to take two trains, the first to Interlaken Ost, then from there, and the second, runs to Lauterbrunnen. From Lauterbrunnen, a bus will take you to Stechelberg, where a cable car ascends straight up to Gimmelwald.
There are a number of accommodation opportunities in Gimmelwald and the surrounding area, however, the popular budget choice with many travelers seems to be the Mountain Hostel. As well as the price, another perk of this place is the hot tub, which is situated outside.
The area surrounding Gimmelwald holds opportunities for paragliding and hiking. A short trip to Interlaken offers much more adventure sports opportunities; however Gimmelwald´s beautiful scenery makes it irresistible to climb up the mountains. A map, available from the hostel shows plenty of possible routes ranging from relaxing walks to long, tough tests.
My first choice for a hike was to walk up Tanzboden, which, due to its shape seemed to be commonly known as the Shark´s Fin by visitors to Gimmelwald. This trek presented a whole day of breath taking views, as well as the chance to see snow.
For an alternative choice, which I opted for on my second day, a trip through the neighboring village of Mürren provides a short, relaxing and interesting walk. This friendly visit, much like other areas in the region, provides a large number of photograph opportunities, both of mountains and local culture. Whilst walking round Mürren, it is not unusual to see farmers leading their cattle through the small streets. Local produce is available from shops (including Esther´s, which within short walking distance of the Mountain Hostel).
On my third and final day in Gimmelwald, I decided to climb Bryndll, and then walk across to Chilchbalm. Bryndll is a fairly easy to climb mountain with a clearly visible path. From the top, I walked along Wasenegg, a high, but fairly flat route. A walk down will take you to Chilchbalm – one of the most spectacular parts in the area. It homes a glacier and is the start of a river which runs past Gimmelwald.
As well as the mountain views, a visit to Gimmelwald offers the chance to see this quiet community on the side of a mountain. This beautiful village is a place to escape to. It is a world away from busy cities and offers the chance of seeing spectacular natural views without travelling outside Western Europe.