There is just something about its breathtaking emerald waters and majestic mountain backdrop that makes it such a worthwhile place to visit. Specifically, I’m talking about Lake Thun in Switzerland.
When you consider all the activities available in and around the region, it is definitely one to add to your bucket list. It is for this reason that we will be discussing the 8 best things to do in Lake Thun, Switzerland in this article.
Overview: Lake Thun, Switzerland
Lake Thun (Thunersee in German) is located in the Aare Valley, between the towns of Thun and Interlaken. 558 meters above sea level, the lake is around eighteen kilometers long and four kilometers wide. Lake Thun, located in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region, is one of the most stunning lakes in the country.
In summer, there are many water sports you can do on Lake Thun, including windsurfing, sailing, swimming, and diving. There are paths around the lake for hiking and bicycling. There are numerous attractions in the region, and you can reach them by boat or by train if you desire.
In no particular order, here are the 8 best things to do in Lake Thun, Switzerland:
1. Cruise around Lake Thun, Switzerland
Cruising around Lake Thun, Switzerland is one of the most enjoyable things to do in this region. You can ride the nostalgic steamboat Blüemlisalp, which would be an interesting experience.
The nostalgic steamboat Blüemlisalp cruises once daily from July to October. In about two hours, it cruises from Thun to Interlaken West and back. During the trip, you can enjoy the amazing views of Hünegg Castle and Park, Oberhofen Castle, and Gunten.
Available from Tuesdays until Saturdays (July to mid-September) is a late afternoon cruise. The path starts from Thun to Beatenbucht and then back.
A lake with clear waters and an incredible view awaits you while cruising. Additionally, you can admire the impressive castles on the shore of the lake.
If you would like to read more about steamboats in Switzerland, you can check out our article Ultimate List of Steamboats in Switzerland’s Lakes.
2. Experience St. Beatus Cave and Beatenberg
Beatenberg is a small village high above Lake Thun with sunning mountain and lake views. Beatenberg charms its visitors with its sunshine and panoramic views. It is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking and biking.
One of the best things to do in Beatenberg is to explore the kilometer-long limestone cave called St. Beatus Cave. The cave has the same entrance and exit. You can follow the path all the way deep inside the cave. You won’t get lost here, just follow the path. This isn’t a one-way tour like others. Get deeper and deeper into the cave, then come out the way you came in. Outside the cave, you will get to see waterfalls, bridges, flowers, trees, and a gorgeous view of Lake Thun and the surrounding Alps.
If you would like to read more about St. Beatus Caves, you can check out our article Exploring St. Beatus Caves Near Interlaken, Switzerland. Plus 7 Tips!
3. Enjoy the Views from Niederhorn
Niederhorn is a mountain of the Emmental Alps in the Bernese Oberland. Located near Beatenberg in canton Bern, it is 1,963 meters above sea level.
Niederhorn offers a great view of Lake Thun and the surrounding mountain peaks of the Bernese Oberland. The famed Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau can be viewed from here. You can also see the Justis Valley, Jura, and Aare Valley from the mountain peak.
There are plenty of hikes around Habkern and Gemmenalphorn. There’s a big wooden playground right next to the restaurant. You can also rent mountain scooters from the middle station.
TIP: You can also combine this trip with a stop at St. Beatus Caves in Beatenberg.
4. Cross the Panorama Bridge Sigriswil
Made popular by a hit Korean series Crash Landing on You, the Panorama Bridge Sigriswil is one of the best things to do around Lake Thun, Switzerland.
It is a 340-meter-long suspension bridge that connects Sigriswil with Aeschlen. From the bridge, you can have fantastic views of Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau as well as Lake Thun. If you look down the bridge, you will see Gummi Gorge (Gummischlucht) around 182 meters down.
Crossing the Panorama Bridge Sigriswil is definitely not something for those who are afraid of heights. However, I do think that it remains a fantastic, if not nerve-wracking view down. If you are too scared to cross the bridge, there is an alternative you can try.
Crossing the bridge will cost you a small fee. In the area, there are a number of local shops where you can purchase products.
5. Hike around Aeschi
Located around 860 meters above sea level, Aeschi is composed of Aeschiried, Emdtal, and Mülenen. Agricultural and forest land dominate the area, and only a small portion is used for residency. However, there are several hotels and accommodations, as well as apartments and a camping area.
A fantastic terrace overlooking the mountains, lakes, and valleys around it, Aeschi is a great starting point for hikes. From Aeschi, you can go on hikes heading to many directions: Faulensee, Spiez, Hondrich, Heustrich, Mülenen, Leissigen, and Suldtal. Visiting the Pochten Waterfall (Pochtenfall) is also easy from Restaurant Pochtenfall.
Here are some of the easy to moderate hikes that you can do from Aeschi:
|Hikes from Aeschi||Distance in km|
|Aeschi – Seeholzwald – Faulensee – Spiez||5.8 km|
|Aeschi – Hondrich – Hondrichwald – Spiez||4.9 km|
|Aeschi – Heustrich – Wimmis||6.7 km|
|Aeschi – Mülenen||2.6 km|
|Aeschi – Krattigen – Leissigen||6.9 km|
|Aeschi – Mülenen – Suldtal – Aeschi||12.6 km|
In winter, you can also come here for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
6. Discover Hilterfingen-Hünibach-Oberhofen Tourist Region
The Hilterfingen-Hünibach-Oberhofen region is a beautiful region along the shores of Lake Thun. One of the best things to do in this area is to visit the Oberhofen Castle. The Oberhofen Castle was built from 1180 to 1190 by the Dukes of Zähringen and is considered a Swiss heritage site of national significance.
As you explore the castle, you’ll learn about the way of life of its former owners, residents, and domestic servants. From the tour of the kitchen and servants’ quarters, visitors will be afforded a glimpse of their lives during the 19th century.
The Knight’s Hall (Rittersaal) of the Oberhofen Castle is one of the most impressive medieval profane rooms in Switzerland. Its chapel followed suit in 1473. From 1849 until 1982, its facade was shifted into the New Gothic architecture by James Colin from Neuchâtel.
There is a beautiful garden on the Oberhofen castle grounds filled with conifers, deciduous trees, and four exotic sequoia trees. The entrance to the park is free.
The Oberhofen Castle is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm from the 12th of May until the 1st of November 2020. The Oberhofen Garden is open from the 12th of May from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with longer opening hours in Summer. More detailed information can be found on the website.
You can also visit Schloss Hünegg in Hilterfingen, a 19th-century neo-renaissance building.
7. Visit Spiez
Spiez is a gorgeous town on the shores of Lake Thun. Any time of year you visit Spiez, you will not be disappointed.
In Spiez, there are several beaches to choose from, including Frei- und Seebad Spiez, Faulensee Beach, Schattenbad Spiez, and more. Whether it’s a lazy day at the pool, a thrilling ride on the 86-meter water slide, or just some sunbathing by the lake, it is worth visiting these spots in summer.
Then there’s Spiez Castle, with its museum, park, and garden. Alternatively, you can walk along the path that runs from Spiez to Faulensee. The church in Spiez has beautiful baroque interiors.
8. Explore the Scenic Town of Thun
Thun is often described as the gateway to Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland. You can find it sitting on the northern edge of Lake Thun. Visiting Thun is definitely one of the best things to do if you are staying in the Lake Thun region.
Thun has been settled since the Neolithic Age and the lake was mentioned as lacus dunesis in 660. The town boasts picturesque castles, the reformed town church on Schlossberg, an old church, a park, an accessible lower bridge, and majestic mountain views.
Thun has so many exciting things to offer. Relax in the park, stroll around the streets, or ride one of the boats on the lake to enjoy a beautiful day. You can find trinkets and souvenirs in abundance in the old town.
There are also some historical monuments nearby, such as the Thun Castle and the Ancient Scherzligen Church. For art lovers, the Kunstmuseum and the Wocher Panorama are also worth a visit.
If you would like to learn more about Thun, you can check out our article 10 Best Things To Do In Thun, Bernese Oberland.
Final Thoughts: 8 Best Things to Do in Lake Thun, Switzerland
Due to the variety of activities available in and around Lake Thun, it is no wonder it has become such a popular tourist destination. Boat rides on the lake or hikes up nearby mountain peaks are just some of the activities you can enjoy here, as well as tours inside Thun Castle.
There is no doubt that the Lake Thun region is worth returning to time and time again. We hope our list of the best things to do in Lake Thun helped you plan your next visit.
- Is Thun Worth Visiting?
- 10 Best Things To Do In Thun, Bernese Oberland
- Interlaken, Switzerland: An Excellent Base in Bernese Oberland
- Top 12 Stunning Places Near Interlaken
- Mountains Close to Interlaken Worth Visiting
- 8 Beautiful Towns Near Interlaken, Switzerland
- Swiss Alps – The Ultimate Guide
- Exploring St. Beatus Caves Near Interlaken, Switzerland. Plus 7 Tips!
- Ultimate List of Steamboats in Switzerland’s Lakes