BEST THINGS TO DO IN ISELTWALD
- 1 BEST THINGS TO DO IN ISELTWALD
- 2 ISELTWALD TRAVEL TIPS
- 3 WHAT TO DO IN ISELTWALD
Iseltwald is one of Switzerland’s gems. Located on Lake Thun’s southern shores, it is like a fairy-tale village surrounded by the Swiss Alps. I have been lucky enough to visit Iseltwald several times, yet I have never dedicated time to write a blog post. Why? I do not know. Iseltwald is such a pretty little place that is definitely worth a visit – and worth a dedicated blog post!
ISELTWALD TRAVEL TIPS
Iseltwald is located close to Interlaken, which is one of my favorite travel destinations. So, I always make sure to visit Iseltwald and spend some time here.
P.s. Iseltwald is tiny (it has less than 400 inhabitants), and there are not many attractions, yet it is worth a trip.
Iseltwald is in the canton of Bernese Oberland on the southern shores of Lake Brienz.
It is close to world-famous places like Interlaken (just 20 minutes by public transportation).
HOW TO GET TO ISELTWALD:
Iseltwald is easily accessible by car, public transportation, or boat.
- It takes about 20 minutes from Interlaken (9km).
- From Lauterbrunnen, it takes about 35 minutes (21km).
- From Lucerne, it takes almost 2 hours (despite it is just 80km) but driving the mountain roads will take time.
There are parking spots just outside the village center (it is just a 3-minute walk). One hour of parking is less than $1 (have cash ready).
By public transportation:
Iseltwald does not have a train station, but buses from Interlaken Ost go to Iseltwald (takes about 20 minutes).
A scenic – if not the most scenic way – to get to Iseltwald is via boat. There are Lake Brienz boat cruises that stop in Iseltwald as well. The ships stop at many stations (including Interlaken, Brienz, or Giessbach Waterfalls).
BEST TIME TO VISIT ISELTWALD:
Iseltwald is lovely to visit all year round. My favorite time, however, was in summer. When it is warm and sunny, Lake Brienz looks even better. You can do more outdoor sports and spend time at the lake. It does get busier in the summer months, but it usually is not overrun as Interlaken is.
THINGS TO KNOW
Bring a water bottle – Switzerland is expensive, but at least fresh water is free (water fountain next to the boat station).
German is the main language. However, (basic) English is spoken in the tourism section.
WHAT TO DO IN ISELTWALD
I would lie if I said there are millions of activities for visitors, but here are my favorite things to do in Iseltwald.
STROLL THE VILLAGE CENTER
Iseltwald is really tiny. I mean, really tiny and there are not many buildings. What should we expect with less than 400 inhabitants? Well, the few buildings are charming, though.
It has an authentic touch to it – so, the houses are definitely some of my favorites around Lake Brienz.
Lake Brienz is one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. It’s not only the unique color – but also the cleanest lake in Switzerland.
So, swimming in Lake Brienz is a popular place. In Iseltwald, you will find a lido. Enjoy a day at the “pool” (Lake Brienz), have snacks, swim, get a sunbath, and whatever you usually do at the pool. It is perfect for anyone – but most of all probably for families as there is also a children’s paddling pool.
Keep in mind that Lake Brienz’s water is coooold.
- Open daily from May to the end of September
- Closed in poor weather
- Free entry
One day, I was on a boat cruising Lake Brienz. And I heard a couple discussing whether they put chemistry in the lake. The man could not believe a lake that big could be so clear and clean without any chemical help. Yes, Lake Brienz is really that clean, but not because of chemistry.
The lake is primarily fed by the Aare River, the Lütschine River, and the Giessbach Waterfalls which makes the water so clean. The water is so low in nutrition that there isn’t much sea life.
Lake Brienz’striking color is no secret – and if you are in Iseltwald, it will be natural to admire the lake. If you do not want to get on Lake Brienz, the best way is to stroll the promenade.
There are also a couple of restaurants. So, enjoy your lunch/dinner/snack outdoors with amazing views.
The pier at Iseltwald boat station is actually famous! Apparently, it is very famous!
It was a filming location for the Korean movie “Crash Landing on You.” When I visited for the first time (in 2016 or 2017) and took that picture, it was not even famous. The movie was filmed just in 2019, and the pier has become quite popular since then.
Talking about boat tours: Iseltwald is a perfect starting (or end) point for a boat cruise. Boat cruises start in Interlaken and end in Brienz (which makes it a 3-hour long boat cruise). One of the stops is Iseltwald.
If Iseltwald is your base, hop on a boat and enjoy the surroundings (these pretty Swiss Alps…). If you do not want to do the entire boat tour, you can get out after several stops and hike back or take the bus back to Iseltwald. I have probably been on 4 Lake Brienz boat tours so far…And I hope to hop on more boat tours. Iseltwald boat station is one of my favorite stops!
I am not into watersports, but I could not help to notice all the different water sport activities offered in Iseltwald. At the hostel, you can book water sport activities. If you are into SUP, kayaking, or other watersports, this is the place to be.
GIESSBACH WATERFALLS HIKE
Giessbach Waterfalls is one of the most unique waterfalls in Switzerland. The good news is that you can get from Giessbach Waterfalls to Iseltwald on foot.
I walked from Giessbach Waterfalls to Iseltwald, but of course, you can also do it the other way around: The hike/walk is along the shores of Lake Brienz and pretty easy. It is a 6kilomter long hike, and there will be some uphill hiking (or downhill if you start from the Giessbach Waterfalls), but overall it is one of the most leisurely scenic hikes you can take in Switzerland.
The Giessbach Waterfalls have a total length of around 500 meters over 14 stages.
To see the waterfront from behind, you walk to the boat station of Giessbach Station and then either walk up or take the funicular (and then do an additional 15-minute hike).
You can then either take the boat to get get back or just hike back.
TIP: If you plan a boat tour, I highly suggest getting from Iseltwald to Giessbach by boat (it just looks amazing from the boat), hike up to behind the waterfall, and then walk back to Iseltwald.
VISIT THE CASTLE – SCHLOSS SEEBURG
After the pier, the castle might be the most outstanding attraction in Iseltwald. It looks pretty amazing – a perfect location for this castle. Many might be wondering how to visit it. Well, the bad news is that it is not open to visitors. It is a rehabilitation center, and so we can only admire it from afar.
Apparently, it is for sale (since 2015) but so far, no suitable buyer has been found. So, let´s see what will happen to this beautiful castle sitting on the peninsula.
DAY TRIPS FROM ISELTWALD
Iseltwald makes an excellent base for day trips. Whether you want to see Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald, or many other places, my list of day trips from Iseltwald is long, so check out my post on the best day trips from Interlaken. Those trips can also be done from Iseltwald.
IS ISELTWALD WORTH A VISIT?
Iseltwald is a pretty viilage on the shore´s of Lake Brienz. The location alone makes it a perfect destination – combined with all the cute houses, watersport activities, and hiking option to Giessbach Waterfalls, it is a great place to visit. Yes, Iseltwald is worth a trip – whether you make it your base and explore other areas or visit only for an hour or so.