Want to feel like you’re on top of the world? Visit Schilthorn – one of the highest peaks in Switzerland’s Jungfrau region and one of the best places for panoramic Alps views. Check out the James Bond-famous Piz Gloria and the hair-raising Birg Thrill Walk. You’ll want about a half-day to visit Schilthorn and Birg. Later, you’ll have time to explore Murren, Gimmelwald and other area alpine villages. Ready to explore the Burren Oberland? Let’s go.
Why Should I Visit Schilthorn?
If you’re an alpinist, or just a fan of alpine grandeur, Schilthorn should be tops on your list. It’s one of the tallest mountains in the Bernese Alps at 9,744 feet tall. From atop Schilthorn, you can see Jungfrau, Monch and Eige, Titlis, Mont Blanc and France’s Vosges Mountains. You might recognize the massif from the James Bond movie, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” (And while you’re here, you can actually visit Bond World and dine at the Piz Gloria restaurant, which is also featured in the movie.)
How Do I Get to Schilthorn and Birg?
You have choices when it comes to how to reach the peak of Schilthorn. Hike or ride the cable car. To be fair, most choose the latter option over the admittedly very challenging hike.
Catch the Schilthorn cableway at Stechelberg. You’ll stop at several stations in between: Gimmelwald station, Murren station and Birg station. Hop out as you wish to explore, then hop back on, or save exploration for later in the day.
If you’re in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, you can ride the cable car to Schilthorn via Grutschalp or via Stechelberg. If you’re going via Grutschalp, once you’re there, take the train to Murren village, then walk to the cable car station and continue up the final cable car to Schilthorn from there.
If you’re in Interlaken, take the train to Lauterbrunnen (sit on the right side of the train for the best views). In Lauterbrunnen, take the bus to Stechelberg/Schilthornbahn. From here you’ll board the Schilthorn cableway. In Gimmelwald, you’ll switch to another cable car to reach Murren. Another option is to take the Gruschalp cable car from Lauterbrunnen, then the narrow gauge train to Murren.
Once in Murren, take the final cable car to Birg, switch cable cars and glide up to the summit Schilthorn.
Check the timetable and dates of operation before your trip. The Stechelberg-Murren and Murren-Schilthorn cableway operate daily.
What Can I Do at Schilthorn?
Dine at Piz Gloria, the revolving restaurant atop Schilthorn for one of the most dramatic dining venues you’ll ever experience. Featured in a James Bond movie, the restaurant takes 45 minutes to complete one full rotation. Several specials are available, including the James Bond brunch.
Walk on the Skyline View Platform
Take a gander at the Alps from the Skyline View Platform. The observation deck is perched over a yawning abyss as an extension of the spacious terrace. Then, take a walk on the lower 007 Walk of Fame trail, where you can read about the James Bond movie that was filmed here. For more immersion, check out Bond World for its interactive props and stunt displays.
Play in the Snow
Play on the snowy slopes of Schilthorn, even in the summer! There is snow here 365 days a year, a refreshing cooldown on a hot summer’s day.
Birg Thrill Walk
Head back down the cable car line to Birg station. The biggest draw here is the Birg Thrill Walk, a 656-foot metal and glass pathway set against the cliffs of an imposing rock massif. Take your pick – walk on a tightrope, stand on a see-through glass floor climb through a metal mesh tube, all while gazing out at the Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger.
What Else Can I Do Near Schilthorn and Birg?
Murren Via Ferrata
Via ferrata (or “iron path”) is a traditional mode of hiking in the Swiss Alps, basically a protected climbing route with a steel cable wire that is attached to rock from beginning to end. You’ll be climbing while holding onto a cliff, going down steep ladders, walking on steel rope and suspension bridges and taking a (guided) zip line ride across a ravine. The Murren to Grindelwald via ferrata route takes you high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland.
Hike the Northface Trail
For a quintessential Swiss Alps hike – nowhere near as challenging as the hike up Schilthorn – set your sights on the Northface Trail. You’ll enjoy beautiful mountain views, stroll through small hamlet with adorable wooden chalets and farms, walk through flower-bedecked meadows and meet grazing cows and hear there bells tinkling on the breeze. This is a great hike if you have kids along.
Keep riding the cable car down from Schilthorn to Stechelberg. Once you’re down in the valley, you can enjoy a flat, easy walk to a number of waterfalls. The star of the show is Trummelbach Falls, a series of waterfalls entirely within a mountain.
Birg Grauseeli Hike
This family-friendly hike takes you from the Birg cableway station over the Seewlifuhre and down to Grauseeli. You’ll love the scenic, mirror-like lake and pristine natural landscapes.
Murren’s small (by local standards) Allmendhubel Mountain is a four-minute funicular railway ride from Schilthorn. It’s a wonderful spot for families and leisure hikers. Linger at the Allmendhubel Panorama Restaurant or check out the Flower Park adventure playground. Numerous hikes start from here.
What If I’m Visiting Schilthorn in the Winter?
Lucky you! If you’re visiting the Bernese Oberland in the winter, go skiing at the region’s highest ski resort. Winter sports are available in the upper Birg-Schilthorn section until the end of April with approximately 31 miles of groomed trails for all skiing and snowboarding abilities. Want a real challenge? Tackle Piste No. 9 (Direttissima), which is 1,312 feet long with an 88-percent grade.