Grindelwald is that unique combination of natural wonders which is at once compelling and overwhelming. A small village in a magnificent, sun drenched valley, dotted all around by hand-hewn chalets of gentle charm. Overlooking it is a long east-west stretch of mountains that are among the tallest and most treacherous in the world.
Located in the Bernese Oberland, 25 km south-east of Interlaken, Grindelwald is in the heart of the famous Jungfrau-Region, lying at the foot of the awesome Wetterhorn
(3701 m) and the infamous Eiger North Face (3970 m). Part of the same stretch of overwhelming peaks are the Finsteraarhorn (4274 m), Mönch (4099 m) and the Jungfrau (4158 m).
Grindelwald is popularised as "The Eiger Village". Although glaciers are not reaching to the valley floor anymore, it is still possible to see them from most parts of the village. In hardly any other place can you experience the high alpine scenery so direct and so near. Grindelwald is actually better than the colour picture postcards. It is what you think of when you think of a high secluded Alpine village deep in the heart of Switzerland.
Grindelwald is one of the few holiday resorts which is fascinating in summer and in winter - all year round.
The first skier, an Englishman named Gerald Fox, appeared in Grindelwald in the year 1881. He fastened his skis already in the hotel room and walked outside through the hall of the Hotel Bear, which was the leading one at that time. He put the long ski pole in the snow to get started and then skied in the squatting position down the slope, balancing the wooden pole with both hands. After Mr. Fox came the English nobility, the Russian grand duke, crowned personalities from all over the world as well as artists to the hospitable Glacier Village in the Bernese Oberland.
What in those days was appreciated by the nobility is today loved by the winter tourists and ski fans. By the thousands they pilgrim to the classical ski region to ski on the slopes of First and Kleine Scheidegg, Männlichen and Schilthorn, to experience a run down the valley underneath the mammoth Eiger North Face. Also non-skiers can find a wide range of sports. The different landscape offers beautiful walks on the 80 km of walking paths.
Thus it is not surprising to see sometimes more walking sticks than ski-poles in front of the hotels.
In April and May, when it already greens in the lower regions, it is still possible to undertake beautiful ski tours on the glaciers.
In the summer period (May to November) Grindelwald is transformed into an elaborate tapestry of wild alpine flowers, sprucefir, mountain maple and grazing cattle - plus 300 spectacular km of hiking paths. Furthermore there is almost every summer-sport available in and around Grindelwald so that the problem is to decide what to do.
An absolute must is an excursion to the Jungfraujoch (3454 m). The cog-wheel railway climbs from Kleine Scheidegg in tunnels through the north walls of Eiger and Mönch to the highest railway station in Europe.
Grindelwald is small enough to retain its charm and his excellent hospitality, yet large enough to boast and an international atmosphere. Grindelwald disposes of 12'000 beds in 48 hotels of all categories, in private apartments, in boarding houses and on campgrounds. But no matter what kind of accommodation a visitor' s budget provides for, everyone enjoys the amiability that makes Swiss hospitality famous in the world.
Dining in Grindelwald is a delight, too. Famous as a farming district long before the tourism took over, local dairy farmers still make cheese the way they did hundreds of years ago. You can't get Swiss cheese any fresher. And many other food items are grown here fresh, then transformed by the simple artistry of Swiss cooking into very special meals. Most visitors make it a point to have an authentic Swiss fondue at least once before leaving.
Grindelwald offers also a wide variety of evening entertainment: discos, dancings, piano-bars, classical concerts, folklore evenings.
Summer or winter, spring or fall, in Grindelwald there is always holiday time. A lot has changed during the last few years but even by adapting to modern tourism, the visitors can discover step by step reminders of the Grindelwald tradition.
Grindelwald is fashionable, but it is not denying its identity.