The alpine lakeside towns and villages in Switzerland are what make me love this country so much. They’re like a slice of heaven on earth, with a perfect blend of culture and breathtaking natural beauty. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel alive and at peace all at once.
Are you traveling in central Switzerland and you want to see such culture-nature beauty? Well, let me tell you, you absolutely have to check out Lucerne, Thun, and Iseltwald. And if you’re heading to the Jungfrau Region, Iseltwald is an absolute must-see. Trust me, it’s hands down the most stunning lakeside village in the whole area.
In this post, I will share with you the most beautiful things that await you in Iseltwald. These are the reasons why you should visit this charming place. If you are convinced to come, I will also guide you on how to get to Iseltwald. Let’s begin!
As a person who grew up in the Philippines, which is literally and economically on the opposite side of the world, Switzerland looks like an incredibly strange place to me.
Although we’ve got some of the most stunning beaches on the planet, we’re missing out on the quaint chalets, majestic snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear turquoise lakes, and enchanting castles — the places I’ve always dreamed of visiting. I pin it on all the movies and shows I’ve binged on Netflix – they’ve got me hooked on these picturesque destinations!
Anyways, the thing is, if we share the same interests (travel destinations), I believe Iseltwald is the place that you’re really looking for.
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So, where exactly is Iseltwald?
Iseltwald is a village perched on the southern shoreline of Lake Brienz in Bernese Oberland in the Canton of Bern, Central Switzerland. It is situated between the towns of Interlaken and Brienz, approximately 10 kilometers northeast of Interlaken and 12 kilometers southwest of Brienz.
As stated in the introduction, Iseltwald is a part of the stunning Jungfrau region, which is one of Switzerland’s top destinations. It is the part of Switzerland renowned for its breathtaking scenery, unique tourist attractions, and thrilling outdoor activities that are sure to create unforgettable memories.
If you are traveling to the Jungfrau Region, you definitely need this: Jungfrau Region Itinerary: 4 Days in Interlaken on a Budget
Is Iseltwald worth visiting?
If you ask me, I would say yes without hesitation!
Iseltwald is the perfect destination for wanderers like me who seek serenity, authenticity, charming little things along the way, and breathtaking picture-perfect scenes in an off-the-beaten-path location. You name it, Iseltwald has the most that we are looking for!
But, for everyone, here’s what I can say:
Iseltwald is worth a half-day visit for travelers who plan to spend three days or more in the Jungfrau Region. Although Iseltwald is a charming village with breathtaking views of Lake Brienz, it is advisable to allocate more time to explore the villages in Lauterbrunnen Valley or Grindelwald, where the main attractions of the Jungfrau Region are located.
Here are the other places in the Jungfrau Region (alternative to Iseltwald) I recommend you also check:
- Lauterbrunnen — 7 Best Views of Lauterbrunnen (the heaven on earth valley)
- Grindelwald — How to Spend One Day in Grindelwald on a Budget (the adventure hub of Jungfrau Region)
- Wengen — Reasons to Visit Wengen (Best view of Lauterbrunnen Valley)
- Mürren — 10 Things to Do in Mürren (A quaint and breathtaking village)
- Gimmelwald — 5 Things to Do in Gimmelwald (The smallest and most rustic village in the Jungfrau Region)
- Männlichen — How to Reach Männlichen (The best viewpoint of the Jungfrau Region)
And here are the top attractions that immediately need a day to fully experience:
- Jungfraujoch — the ultimate destination in the Jungfrau Region
- Piz Gloria and Birg — try dining in a rotating restaurant!
You may also want to check the epic adventures which can be your most memorable moments in the Jungfrau Region:
On the other hand…
If you’ve got a good chunk of time to spend in the Jungfrau Region (or Switzerland in general), Iseltwald is definitely a must-see. Still, it all boils down to what you’re into, but if you’re a fan of picturesque villages nestled beside a stunning alpine lake, then you’re going to want to make the trip to Iseltwald.
Follow your wanderlust! 😀
Do you still need to determine if Iseltwald is worth your time? Or do you need more convincing? I recommend checking out my reasons for visiting Iseltwald, including the various activities and things to do in the village. (See next section)
Why Should You Visit Iseltwald
Are you an Asian millennial or Gen-Z who loves watching Korean dramas?
Well, well, well… I have a feeling that Iseltwald is on your list of must-visit destinations in Switzerland. This is likely due to a scene from the famous 2019 Rom-com Korean TV series Crash Landing on You, being filmed at the small dock next to the Iseltwald ferry terminal.
(Another filming location is in Sigriswil Panorama Bridge which is one of the best places to visit around Lake Thun)
However, if you are like me — I’m not a fan of the Korean television series — there are five beautiful reasons why Iseltwald is the place to be.
1. To Take In The View Of The Beautiful Lake Brienz
I have been creating travel content for several years, 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.
Like, 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:
What’s so cool about visiting Iseltwald is that this village is a fantastic place to take in the magical beauty of Lake Brienz. Take a look at these photos of Lake Brienz, captured from Iseltwald. They truly showcase the beauty of this place.
Iseltwald, situated in the middle of the southern shoreline of Lake Brienz, provides a breathtaking 180-degree view of the lake. The stunning panorama of Lake Brienz, visible from Iseltwald, stretches 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.
The symbol of Iseltwald is an ibex, which is the blazon of the municipal coat of arms of Iseltwald. It is why you can see a sculpture of an ibex if you wander around the small park beside the ferry terminal.
Here’s another 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 in midday. So, to fully enjoy the peacefulness of the lake, it’s best to come early in the morning.
Learn more about Lake Brienz: 7 Things To Do In Lake Brienz (And Visiting Information)
2. To Photograph The Picture-Perfect Schloss Seeburg
If Lake Thun has Oberhofen Castle as its magical landmark, Lake Brienz has Seeburg Castle. This castle in Lake Brienz is situated in Iseltwald, and it is a reason why Iseltwald is a beautiful destination.
Seeburg Castle, much known as Schloss Seeburg (German translation), is Iseltwald’s architectural gem.
From where it stands at the tip of the Iseltwald peninsula, Schloss Seeburg never fails to capture the sight of the visitors visiting 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 see it from the outside.
Nevertheless, Schloss Seeburg is best admired from afar. Because, as mentioned, the castle can have a reflection on Lake Brienz’s turquoise water. From afar, you can see Schloss Seeburg at its most eye-catching appearance.
And if you want to photograph Schloss Seeburg, go in front of Hotel Chalet du Lac or Boutique hotel Bellevue for the best angles.
From these places, you can photograph Schloss Seeburg with the mountains in the backdrop, which also have a reflection in Lake Brienz.
3. To Have A Simple Adventure (Ride A Kayak)
There’s another way to appreciate Schloss Seeburg and Lake Brienz, though, and it entails a little adventure! It’s by going to the middle of the lake on a kayak and seeing the other side of Schloss Seeburg.
If you’re a photography enthusiast, you can get a unique perspective of Schloss Seeburg while kayaking. However, it is important to exercise caution when bringing your gadgets along in the kayak.
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.
4. To See Its 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.
Of course, you can expect a dose of Swiss authenticity in Iseltwald. And for me, it’s best found on the shoreline road in the bay part 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 whose facades are 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 year they owned the chalets. The characters are reminiscent of the wall paintings I found in the dining room of Oberhofen Castle.
What’s not to love about taking a stroll in this part of the village? You’ll be completely immersed in Swiss goodness. Imagine you’re currently admiring the chalets. If you turn around, you’ll be greeted by the breathtaking beauty of Lake Brienz and the Swiss Alps.
5. To Feel Nature In 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, and has 14 stages, making it truly outstanding. It should appear stunning in slow shutter shots.
While not as well-known as Staubbach Falls in Lauterbrunnen valley, the waterfall at Lake Brienz is certainly a must-see wonder. Standing at its base, you can hear the cascading water roar, a testament to the immense power of nature.
You can hike the path that goes up the waterfall if you wish. The hiking trail passes over and under Giessbach Waterfall, providing various viewpoints of the waterfall and Lake Brienz.
Architecture enthusiasts, you 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.
First is by hiking a relatively flat 5.5-kilometer hiking trail parallel to the shoreline of Lake Brienz. It takes 2.5 hours to hike and ends in the funicular station of Giessbach Waterfall.
If you want 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 To Iseltwald
To reach Iseltwald, there are several options, but first, you must make your way to Interlaken, which is the most easily accessible town in the Jungfrau Region from the main cities in Switzerland.
Once in Interlaken, you can choose from a variety of transportation options, including roads, buses, and ferries, to reach Iseltwald.
By the way, before you leave Interlaken to visit Iseltwald, you might want to see Harder Kulm first. It’s a stunning viewpoint of the Jungfrau Region which has a view of Lake Thun, Jungfrau massif, and Lake Brienz. Learn more about Harder Kulm here, Visiting Harder Kulm: Here’s What You Can Expect To See.
Iseltwald by Car
Driving is the most convenient way to reach Iseltwald. It is the preferred mode of transportation if you need to get there 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 Schloss Seeburg’s viewpoints 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 intend 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.
Iseltwald by Public Transportation
Another way to get to Iseltwald is by riding a bus from Interlaken.
First, go to Interlaken West or Interlaken Ost terminals and then take Bus 103 to Iseltwald, Dorfplatz. It takes approximately 30 minutes to get to Iseltwald from Interlaken West and 25 minutes from Interlaken Ost.
The first bus departures from Interlaken terminals usually take place a few minutes after 6:00 am during summer and 7:00 am during winter. You can check sbb.com (see the link in the resources section) for the complete bus schedule.
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 go directly to Iseltwald from Interlaken, with some stopping at Bönigen. The journey takes less than an hour, around 45 to 50 minutes, from Interlaken Ost.
If you plan to spend a day in 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 in Lake Thun.
Resources: A Day In Iseltwald
If I have convinced you to visit Iseltwald with my five reasons (which are also the best things to do in Iseltwald), here are some links that can assist you in planning your trip to this charming village.
- Beach & Camping Iseltwald (Kayak Rental)
- Outdoor & Wassersport BO (Kayak Rental)
- Public transportation schedule (sbb.ch)
- Boat schedule (bls.ch)
I believe you’ll be staying for more than a day in the Jungfrau Region or Bernese Oberland when you visit Iseltwald. If you don’t have a place to stay yet, here’s where you can find the best hotel deals in Bernese Oberland.
And if you are looking for more things to do, here’s where you can find the complete list of activities, tours, and day trips in Bernese Oberland.
I also recommend checking the tourist attractions in Lake Thun, which, for me, is the most fairytale lake in Switzerland. You can begin discovering the lake from Thun, the gateway to the Bernese Alps. Start here:
- Thun Old Town: 5 Most Picturesque Places To See
- Thun Switzerland Map: 15 Best Things To Do
- Best One Day To Spend In Thun, Switzerland
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