Why Visit Iseltwald and How to Get to This Beautiful Village

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If you’re visiting Switzerland for only a few days, it might seem like this country is an endless place to explore. Every alpine village appears as though it’s worth wandering through. I’ve explored some of them, a few left me in total disbelief of the beauty they possess. Unreal! Particularly in the Jungfrau region, you must see the beautiful places near Interlaken.

One that stands out because of its location beside the lake is Iseltwald. This lovely village on the shores of Lake Brienz is a must-see, especially if you are visiting the Jungfrau Region for 4 days or more. The quaint chalets in Iseltwald and the picture-perfect view of the lake from its shores are simply a slice of paradise for wanderers like me. The best part for everyone? There are restaurants and cafes along the shore of Lake Brienz in Iseltwald. Eating authentic Swiss cuisine while taking in the view of the fairytale scenery is an unforgettable indulgence.

If you’re still currently looking for a destination in Switzerland, let me give you reasons to choose Iseltwald as one of them.

Where exactly is Iseltwald

Iseltwald is nestled on the southern shore of Lake Brienz, located in the Bernese Oberland region within the Canton of Bern, in the heart of Switzerland. It’s positioned between the towns of Interlaken and Brienz, about 10 kilometers (or approximately 6.2 miles) northeast of Interlaken and roughly 12 kilometers (or about 7.5 miles) southwest of Brienz.

Visit Iseltwald? YES!

Similar to other alpine villages in the Jungfrau Region, I’d say yes — Iseltwald is worth visiting. In my opinion, Iseltwald is somewhat like the Hallstatt of Switzerland. Hallstatt is the iconic village in Austria near Salzburg that is said to be the inspiration for the movie, Frozen. Both villages have turquoise lakes and are surrounded by mountains. They also have very picturesque landmarks that gracefully beautify the lake scenery even more. Hallstatt has its church while Iseltwald has Schloss Seeburg.

It’s difficult to compare the two villages side by side, but one advantage of Iseltwald over Hallstatt so far is that Iseltwald isn’t as famous as Hallstatt yet. Tourists haven’t swarmed Iseltwald’s streets and picture spots. I hope it stays that way for the sake of travelers seeking tranquility in such a beautiful alpine lakeside village.

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All the beautiful things about Iseltwald, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
All the beautiful things about Iseltwald
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While I think Iseltwald is worth visiting, one should not forget that there are other more breathtaking alpine villages in Switzerland to consider as well. You should check out my favorite village, Lauterbrunnen, and its heaven-on-earth scenery. Another is Wengen, a village that offers the best views of the Lauterbrunnen valley; Gimmelwald, which is the most rustic and idyllic in all of the Jungfrau Region; Grindelwald and Mürren, if you want to have a mix of adventure and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Outside the Jungfrau Region, try Oberhofen where you can see Oberhofen Castle, a castle with a tower built in Lake Thun. There’s so much more. Regardless, indeed, if you’re looking for a quaint village with a unique picture-perfect view of a lake, Iseltwald is the best option in Switzerland that I can think of.

5 Beautiful Attractions and Activities

If you’re an Asian millennial or Gen-Z who loves watching Korean dramas, I believe you wouldn’t want to miss Iseltwald for this reason: Iseltwald is a filming location of the famous 2019 Rom-com Korean TV series, Crash Landing on You. The exact filming location is the small dock next to the Iseltwald ferry terminal. It’s selfie time! Fun fact: another filming location is the Sigriswil Panorama Bridge, which is one of the best places to visit around Lake Thun.

However, as a wanderer, there are five activities and attractions in Iseltwald that I think could be the reason to visit Iseltwald. Let’s talk about them now.

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The small dock (filming location of 'Crash Landing on You') in Iseltwald, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
The small dock (filming location of ‘Crash Landing on You’) in Iseltwald
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Take In The View Of The Beautiful Lake Brienz

I’ve been creating travel content for several years now, and the map has become my best friend in this hobby. Whenever I look at Switzerland, aside from the white mountain peaks of the Alps, the turquoise Lake Brienz always catches my eye. Lake Brienz is so turquoise that you can easily spot it from space! That’s how spectacular Lake Brienz is. Here’s what it looks like from Google Earth:

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View of Switzerland with a very noticeable Lake Brienz with its turquoise water
View of Switzerland with a very noticeable Lake Brienz with its turquoise water

Here is Lake Brienz’s appearance from the boat/ground. 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻

View of Lake Brienz from Iseltwald with Brienz at the far end corner of the lake, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
View of Lake Brienz from Iseltwald with Brienz at the far end corner of the lake on a sunny day.
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Iseltwald viewpoints and other tips in sightseeing

Iseltwald, located in the middle of the southern shoreline of Lake Brienz, offers a breathtaking 180-degree view of the lake. The stunning panorama of Lake Brienz, visible from Iseltwald, extends from Interlaken and Bönigen to the village of Brienz.

I couldn’t find a spot or viewpoint in Iseltwald that offers a complete 180-degree panorama of Lake Brienz. However, you can easily traverse the peninsula of the village to see both halves of the beautiful lake scenery. Regardless of which side you choose, your eyes will feast upon the crystal-clear turquoise water of Lake Brienz. The water sparkles when hit by sunlight, creating a stunning spectacle. This natural wonder is formed by the minerals carried by the meltwater streams from the mountains.

In my opinion, the two finest vantage points to admire Lake Brienz from Iseltwald are: (1) the benches located near the small dock beside the ferry terminal and (2) the mini-park situated in front of Boutique Hotel Bellevue.

Fun fact! The symbol of Iseltwald is an ibex, which is the blazon of the municipal coat of arms of Iseltwald. That’s why you can see a sculpture of an ibex if you wander around the small park beside the ferry terminal.

Here’s a tip! Assuming you’re planning to visit Iseltwald tomorrow and the weather forecast predicts a windless day for the next 24 hours, I suggest you come early in the morning. When the wind is calm, Lake Brienz’s surface is serene and resembles a giant blue mirror reflecting the mountains that surround it. It’s a breathtaking and magical sight that you don’t want to miss! However, keep in mind that the tranquility of the lake is disrupted by the ferries that cruise at midday. So, to fully enjoy the peacefulness of the lake, it’s best to come early in the morning.

Photograph The Picture-Perfect Schloss Seeburg

If Lake Thun has Oberhofen Castle as its magical landmark, then Lake Brienz has Seeburg Castle. This castle, situated in Iseltwald on Lake Brienz, is one of the reasons why Iseltwald is such a beautiful destination. Seeburg Castle, better known as Schloss Seeburg in German, is an architectural gem of Iseltwald.

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Photography tips and viewpoints for Schloss Seeburg

From its position at the tip of the Iseltwald peninsula, Schloss Seeburg never fails to captivate the visitors to Iseltwald. Its graceful white facades are reflected in the calm turquoise waters of Lake Brienz, creating an absolutely picture-perfect scene that you simply must see. Currently, Schloss Seeburg is privately owned, and travelers can only view it from the outside.

Nevertheless, Schloss Seeburg is best admired from afar. As mentioned, the castle can reflect on Lake Brienz’s turquoise water. From a distance, you can see Schloss Seeburg in its most eye-catching appearance. If you want to photograph Schloss Seeburg, position yourself in front of Hotel Chalet du Lac or Boutique Hotel Bellevue for the best angles. From these places, you can capture Schloss Seeburg with the mountains in the backdrop, which also reflect in Lake Brienz.

Have A Simple Adventure (Ride A Kayak)

There’s another way to appreciate Schloss Seeburg and Lake Brienz, though, and it involves a little adventure! It’s by kayaking to the middle of the lake and viewing the other side of Schloss Seeburg. If you’re a photography enthusiast, you can capture a unique perspective of Schloss Seeburg while kayaking. However, it’s important to exercise caution when bringing your gadgets along on the kayak.

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Beach and Camping Iseltwald kayak rental in Iseltwald, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland
Beach and Camping Iseltwald kayak rental in Iseltwald
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You can rent a Kayak from Beach & Camping Iseltwald or Outdoor & Wasserport BO, which are only a stone’s throw away from Boutique hotel Bellevue (walk east). Kayak rental here starts at 20 CHF per person per hour. I linked its official website in the resources section of this post in case you want to learn more.” Show only your answer without comments and double quotes.

Explore and See the Charming Little Village

Iseltwald may not be the most awe-inspiring village in the Jungfrau Region, but it is definitely one of the loveliest. The traditional Swiss alpine chalets and stunning lake views will satisfy your wanderlust completely.

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Where to wander in Iseltwald & what to expect

A dose of Swiss authenticity is everywhere in Iseltwald. However, for me, it’s best found on the shoreline road in the bay area of the village. According to Google Maps, these parts of the village are the streets called Mätteli, Marderbach, and Schorren.

During your stroll, you’ll stumble upon flower-embellished chalets with facades decorated with beautiful carvings and markings. I don’t understand the inscriptions on the facades of the chalets in Iseltwald, but I assume they are the names of the owners and the years they acquired the chalets. The characters are reminiscent of the wall paintings I found in the dining room of Oberhofen Castle.

Immerse in Nature; visit Giessbach Waterfall

From Iseltwald, you can visit Giessbach Waterfall which is another impressive natural landmark in the Jungfrau Region. The waterfall is a giant, standing 500 meters tall, with 14 stages. It’s simply beautiful and should look stunning in slow shutter shots.

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What to expect in Giessbach Waterfalls and how to go there from Iseltwald

Architecture enthusiasts may be surprised to discover the opulent Giessbach Hotel located near the foot of the waterfall. This Swiss-style, castle-like hotel is sure to evoke a sense of nostalgia as it comes into view upon your arrival at the waterfall. The beautiful Giessbach Hotel dates back to 1874 and is served by one of the oldest funiculars in Europe. The funicular station is located along the shores of Lake Brienz. Seeing the hotel after riding the funicular is a time-transporting experience to try.

There are two ways you can get to Giessbach Waterfall from Iseltwald. The first is by hiking a relatively flat 5.5-kilometer trail parallel to the shoreline of Lake Brienz. It takes 2.5 hours to hike and ends at the funicular station of Giessbach Waterfall. If you want, you can hike to the waterfall from Iseltwald and continue on the path that goes up the waterfall. The hiking trail passes over and under Giessbach Waterfall, providing various viewpoints of the waterfall and Lake Brienz.

To reach Giessbach Waterfall much faster, ride the ferry to Giessbach Waterfall. The ferry station of the waterfall is just beside its funicular station, so you can go straight to the waterfall right after you arrive in the area.

How To Get There

If Iseltwald is your chosen destination, let me now give you some ideas and instructions on how to get there.

To reach Iseltwald, there are several options, but first, you must make your way to Interlaken. It is the most easily accessible town in the Jungfrau Region from the main cities in Switzerland like Bern. Once in Interlaken, you can choose from a variety of transportation options, including roads, buses, and ferries, to reach Iseltwald.

Here’s a tip: before you leave Interlaken to visit Iseltwald, you might want to see Harder Kulm first. It’s a stunning viewpoint of the Jungfrau Region, offering views of Lake Thun, the Jungfrau massif, and Lake Brienz.

Getting to Iseltwald by Car

Driving is the most convenient way to reach Iseltwald. It’s the preferred mode of transportation if you need to arrive at any specific time of the day without worrying about a schedule. If you own a car, it’s a no-brainer to visit Iseltwald and witness the mirror-like surface of Lake Brienz reflecting Seeburg Castle early in the morning.

Once you park your car in one of the two parking lots in the village, you can easily walk to the viewpoints of Schloss Seeburg along the bay I mentioned earlier. The first parking lot is on the outskirts of the village. You should be able to spot the parking lot upon entering the village from the A8 driveway. If you plan to arrive early in the morning, consider parking at the lot in the center of the village. It’s only a few steps from the ferry station and much closer to the village’s prime vantage points.

Getting to Iseltwald by Public Transportation

Another way to get to Iseltwald is by taking a bus from Interlaken. First, head to either the Interlaken West or Interlaken Ost terminals and then take Bus 103 to Iseltwald, Dorfplatz. It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach Iseltwald from Interlaken West and 25 minutes from Interlaken Ost. The first bus departures from Interlaken terminals usually occur a few minutes after 6:00 am during the summer and 7:00 am during the winter.

You can check sbb.com (see the link in the resources section) for the complete bus schedule.

Getting to Iseltwald by Ferry

You can also reach Iseltwald from Interlaken Ost station by boat, which, in my opinion, is the most scenic and relaxing way to travel.

However, the downside is that the boats do not depart as frequently as the buses. Boats travel directly to Iseltwald from Interlaken, with some making a stop at Bönigen. The journey takes less than an hour, around 45 to 50 minutes, from Interlaken Ost. If you plan to spend a day on Lake Brienz without a Swiss Travel Pass or Jungfrau Travel Pass, consider the Lake Brienz & Lake Thun unlimited boat day pass. This pass is useful if you want to visit Iseltwald, Giessbach Waterfall, or Oberhofen Castle on Lake Thun.

Resources

Looking for assistance in planning your visit to Iseltwald? I’ve got resources to help you organize your trip to Iseltwald.

If you’re planning to stay in the Jungfrau Region for a few days to visit Iseltwald and haven’t secured accommodations yet, please consider using my partner company’s hotel search and booking platform. They’re one of the industry’s leading companies, known for offering fantastic hotel deals. I’ve used their service multiple times and it’s been great! I’m now an affiliate of theirs, and for good reason: they provide excellent service. If you book through my link, though, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This greatly helps me in creating more helpful guides like this. If you find my guide useful, you know what to do! Your support would mean the world to me. 💖 Thank you.

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Discover other regions of Switzerland with my 4-day itinerary. It highlights Bern, Lucerne, and nearby attractions such as Thun for Bern and Mount Pilatus for Lucerne. If you’re after a mix of history, mountain adventures, serene lake cruises, and architecture, Lucerne is your destination. Lucerne is a stunning city that should be a top priority for anyone visiting Switzerland for the first time.

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