Lake Brienz

Ski Chalets & Apartments for sale, Switzerland

Expert's Opinion

"A superb set of lakeside bases in the heart of the Bernese Oberland. Quintessentially Swiss, Interlaken and Unterseen offer a unique alternative to the crowded mountain scene, from the beauty of the lakes to the promise of snow in nearby Wengen, Murren and Grindelwald. Nearby Meiringen, famous for the Reichenbach Falls has its own charm and even its own ski area." – Rob Keddy

The Town

Interlaken and Unterseen form a historic city nestled between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun in the Canton of Bern. It's a famous international summer destination, surrounded by mountains with spectacular views of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. The city hosts many cultural and music festivals throughout the year, while there is a selection of excellent bars, restaurants and activities for all the family.

The traditional paddle steamer, built in 1914, links all the surrounding villages to the larger Interlaken-Unterseen, while the cog railways mean it's always easy to enjoy the Jungfrau Region throughout summer and winter. Both the cog railway and the paddle steamer give Lake Brienz a distinctly Swiss atmosphere. 

Meiringen is a popular year round destination, the home of meringue, and the setting for the infamous showdown between Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. Having been conveniently placed for the old Alpine roads, the town was established in the 13th century as a bustling market town. The spectacular gorges and mountain scenery make this an incredibly attractive place to own a chalet.

Rather unexpectedly, Meiringen also has direct access to the slopes, as a fast lift takes you straight up to the Haslital Valley and 60km of pistes. It is rare for a Swiss town on the valley floor to have its own skiing link, giving Meiringen an extra dual season edge.

The Skiing

Lake Brienz is close to the Jungfrau area, which covers the resorts of Wengen, Grindelwald, and Mürren, which are home to a total of 213km of pistes up to 2,970m. Grindelwald sits in a stunning position just 20 minutes’ drive from Lake Brienz, and offers long, rolling intermediate runs as well as a wealth of off-piste and heli-skiing.

Accessed only by a charming cog railway, Wengen is a sunny traffic-free resort with some fabulous walks and plenty of mountain restaurants. Mürren has high altitude skiing up to 2,970m on the famous Schilthorn, and hosts the Inferno Race comprised of cross-country, giant slalom and downhill. The Inferno is the longest amateur ski race in the world.

Meiringen has 60km of sunny, uncrowded slopes up in the Haslital valley, and can be a pleasant alternative to the better known ski areas nearby. The slopes, spread across two main sectors and serviced by high speed lifts, are largely made up of wide open red runs, with a few challenging pistes, as well as a good selection of beginner slopes and some expert terrain.

The area is perfect for families, especially off the slopes, with a number of kids' snow gardens and activity areas. There are also a good amount of mountain restaurants to choose from and even some lively apres-ski if you stay up the mountain.

Summer

Lake Brienz is intensely popular with water sports enthusiasts and swimmers in summer. Visitors can explore the lake shore by bike, or descend the Lütschine river at speed on a white water rafting trip. More adventurous types can also get a fantastic bird’s eye view by paragliding. Interlaken-Unterseen is home to some stunning turn of the century architecture and the city is at its best during the summer months.

Interlaken also hosts a scenic 18-hole golf course which is suited to both serious and recreational golfers. The spectacular Lauterbrunnen Valley is just 20 minutes away, as is Grindelwald, one of Switzerland’s most scenic resorts. The cog railways which run between all the towns and resorts in the area are a pleasure to use and make it easy to get around the region without using a car. 

During the summer months, Meiringen sees tourists from all over the world come to see the Sherlock Holmes museum and the infamous Reichenbach Falls. The scenery in this resort is spectacular, with four distinctive gorges and a suspension bridge as well as the falls themselves, so it's always popular with hikers and hill walkers.

Properties

Lake Brienz is a popular location for first and second homes, and there are only a limited number of properties available in the area. Of those that are available, the best are the luxury new build apartments. The majority of these developments are on the Unterseen side of the city, with beautiful views over lakes Thun and Brienz. 

In Meiringen there are very few properties for sale, with a mixture of small apartments, out of the way chalets and luxury new build or renovated properties in the centre of the resort. Property in Meiringen is fairly reasonably priced considering the historic location and the popularity of the area.