Jungfrau region. 6. Aare gorge and Reichenbach falls

Last Updated on 14/07/2022

After all the previous valleys, the Meiringen Valley surprised me with how flat and wide it is. People come here for the Aare Gorge and Reichenbach Falls. The town seemed boring.

Meiringen and Hasliberg above from Reichenbachfall

Attractions map – here.
Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen
Interlaken, Schynige Platte
Meiringen, Brienz Lake, Ballenberg
Thun Lake
Orientation

From the village you can go upstairs by cable car (point 1 on the map below). The area above is called Hasliberg. There are several lines of cable cars and numerous hiking trails, including a trails for families. The top point offers a view of Titlis and other snowy peaks.

From here you can also go to the glacier where the Rhone starts (Furkapass), look at the lakes of the Grimsel pass and go to the suspension bridge Triftbrücke. All possibilities are indicated on the maps here.

How to get there

One of the interesting options for a day excursion in the summer season is the circular route Grindelwald – Rosenlaui (gorge – visit at least 1 hour) – Reichenbach Falls (40 minutes – 1 hour) – Aare gorge (at least 1 hour) – Meiringen – Brienz – Interlaken. Postauto offers a Großer Scheidegg Rundfahrt ticket for this trip.

The Großer Scheidegg Pass is closed for cars, only open for buses. You can get to Rosenlaui from Meiringen, but by the “mountain post road”, what is not very pleasant.

We go there without any hesitation. At first we were going from Grindelwald via Großer Scheidegg, but at the last moment had seen in a Postauto leaflet “on a road free of other transport.” Okay, let’s go up to the top of the waterfall from the other end. The yellow horn sign on a blue background was not noticed by the driver. The co-driver noticed, but the question “What is it?” hung in the air. What is “it” – became clear when we met the bus on the road: it is so yellow and large, and on the right there is a nice precipice without any unnecessary fences and a small pocket for cars, hanging over the abyss at the turn.

However, the road continued, oncoming cars appeared unexpectedly because of the turns, sometimes we parted very tightly. Having reached the Zwirgi hotel, from where we can go down to the waterfall, we decided that we would not go further. By the way Zwirgi hotel has a parking lot only for own visitors.

If you are still going here by car, take a look at the bus schedule – find the gap between them. Back we went after the bus down, and it was much nicer.

Meiringen Aare gorge and Reichenbach falls
Map data ©OpenTopoMap, Map data ©OpenStreetMap

Reichenbach falls

Reichenbach Falls differs from other more or less large, but simple and inexpressive waterfalls in that there Conan Doyle unsuccessfully tried to get rid of Sherlock Holmes.

When the snows were melting, the waterfall is much more impressive. The place of the fight is marked on the rock with a white star.

We recommend looking at the waterfall from top to bottom, taking a bus to Zwirgi (point 2 on the map). There will be several viewing platforms along the way. The top station of the funicular is at the bottom of the waterfall. The place of the fight is on the other side of the waterfall. And it is more difficult to get to it: you need to go up from the village of Schwendi or go down from Zwirgi in another way. The waterfall itself should be hard to see from there, since the slope is turned in the other direction.

The place of “fight” is marked purple on the photo.

Valley of Meiringen from the waterfall. In the right corner, the gorge is divided: on the right goes the road to Grimselpass and Furkapass, on the left – passes under Titlis. The Aare gorge is hidden right in the center.

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Aare gorge walk

The gorge of the Aare River (Aareschlucht, point 4 on the map) is quite watchable, but not stunning. It lacks something special: either the water is too calm, or the bridges are laid too low – in general, it doesn’t tickle your nerves.

The gorge is a little more than a kilometer long and up to 200 m deep. From Meiringen, walk about 20-30 minutes. There are two entrances, a local train stops at both. You can also return back in the same way along the gorge or along the forest road on top, however, as far as can be understood, it does not fit to the edge of the gorge.

The end of the gorge closest to Meiringen is very narrow, then it gradually widens.

There is an opinion that the Rosenlaui gorge (point 3 on the map) is more interesting. Unfortunately, we didn’t get there. However, this gorge is of a different type and should look different, so the comparison will be incorrect. In Meiringen, the Aare flows along the bottom of the gorge, but in Rosenlaui water flows from the glacier from above.

Another place near Meiringen on the road from Brienz is almost guaranteed to be captured by cameras, since the Oltschibachfall waterfall is very noticeable. On the map, he is in the very top left corner.

Attractions map – here.
Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen
Interlaken, Schynige Platte
Meiringen, Brienz Lake, Ballenberg
Thun Lake
Orientation

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