Gimmelwald, Switzerland! Does this name sound familiar to you? Perhaps not. An offbeat location, and a chocolate box village up the Lauterbrunnen valley, car-free and resort free gem- overlooking mountains from Bernese Oberland! If these words couldn’t sell you Gimmelwald already, then what else would?
Gimmelwald is a smallest Swiss village you could imagine, with an undeniable charm which has beaten every other place I have visited in Switzerland.
A cable car from Stechelberg took me up to Gimmelwald, on a bright sunny day. Tickles in my tummy, As I was being taken up, and once up at Gimmelwald, I simply couldn’t believe my eyes. Stepping out of cable car deck, I could spot Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau (most famous peaks in Jungfrau region) just in front of my bare eyes. I was at there in the peak spring season, needless to say, mountain flower beds and walkways paving a way through them, were stealing the show. Once I had exit the area near cable car station, within 100 meters, there was a children’s play area and a viewpoint bench; the perfect setting for a small alpine picnic! I couldn’t resist stopping by the swing ( shhh! Babies of my age aren’t allowed) and filling my lungs with the purest air on earth, to and fro.
Soon after starting to do doubt whether I was in a dream, we were lured further by the soothing sound of cowbells. A big cattle farm, proudly boasting their spectacular bells from 1890’s, was just on the way. What else than decorated chalets, cow gazing farms, alpine views; makes Gimmelwald stand out? Well, I can write a post including 1000 reasons, but let me give you a brief idea instead.
Firstly it is car free and resorts free alpine village, that means, if you fancy staying here, cozy B&Bs and local run guesthouses are the only options. Certainly, these factors lead fewer tourists here, making your visit extra special. Imagine how would it feel to have alpine views like that all to yourself with an intermittent sound of cowbells tingling! You are already envisioning it all, don’t you? If yes, then let me take you even further in Gimmelwald- Switzerland!
The trail of sweet surprises just got sweeter when we spotted a self-operated honesty shop. Full of souvenirs, alpine cheese, hand embroidery products, chocolates & their very own honesty shop merchandise; this little wooden store had no seller. Just stuff labeled with prices! Naturally- if you want to buy something, just put money in the box! In case you need a change back, grab it from the change box and there you go! Don’t forget to pose with their “honestly shopper” board, kept right where you exit the store!
After having my initial moments of the surprises, Gimmelwald had arranged many more for me. Switzerland is all about milk and cheese, right? How about drinking a bottle of fresh cow milk right at the cow farm? As we saw the farmer offering freshly squeezed milk, which was still lukewarm and frothy, we instantly grabbed a bottle to understand how the very original Swiss milk tastes like. It tastes heavenly, doesn’t matter if you love or hate milk, at the end you gonna want to have a bottle more! Be high on alpine milk when you are already high enough, it’s healthy. (This was height of being lame 😛)
Many Hiking trails go through Gimmelwald, but the flower trail is best for the spring season. No matter what you would choose, you would be taking leaps of joy at every corner. I got a detailed guidance about open hiking trails of the season at Stechelberg cablecar station. The trails are well marked and maps are available at Stechelberg.
Green alpine meadows, flowers peeping out from old swiss chalets, pure white Alps contrasting this scene…oh! my my… so many reasons to be at Gimmelwald. I did not hike much, after a short stroll around the village, I was happy to retrace the path. Even if you don’t want to hike, just stop by Gimmelwald, to have a flavor of local life in alpine villages of Switzerland. Try local cheese, spot a locals washing all their vegetables under the alpine water from wooden taps or puddles on the street. Drink that purest water directly from Swiss Alps and knock a point off your bucket list! (I had this on the bucket list, did you?)
This little town was a treat to all our senses, and if the treat is by chance, then we seem to enjoy it even more, don’t we? Gimmelwald is my new favorite in Switzerland, the smallest and the sweetest! If you happen to plan your Swiss Itinerary, Don’t forget to add this in, you would be delighted to witness what’s Gimmelwald is really like.
Practical information about Gimmelwald, Switzerland:
- Access: Cable car from Stechelberg to Gimmelwald (Stechelberg is 10 min bus ride from the town of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland)
- How to move further from Gimmelwald: you can either come back the same way you reached Gimmelwald, or you go further up to another alpine village of Mürren via cable car from Gimmelwald. Mürren is also a delight to walk through. After exploring Mürren you can come back to Lauterbrunnen via Grütschalp. This way -you climb by one route and come back by another, having different views on each trip!
- Where to stay in Gimmelwald: Want to wake up to Jungfrau, Eiger, and Monch together? want to skip the maddening crowds of resorts? I would recommend Mountain Hostel, Gimmelwald. This is the perfect place if you want to leave your busy life behind, switch off your phones and feel the grace of the place as gorgeous as Switzerland. The hostel is at a location where a super pricey resort would be at, thanks to thoughtful people of Gimmelwald, who protested against having resorts in the village. Next time you come to Switzerland, be sure you stay right at the feet of the Alps, at some place as rustic and as Swiss as this cutest Mountain Hostel!
- What to buy in Gimmelwald: Homemade Alpine cheese directly from homes, Freshly squeezed cow milk, Souvenir from self-operated- seller-less shops.
- Official website of Gimmelwald
- Prices for cable cars to Gimmelwald
**My tip**– All Swiss pass holders can travel free up to Gimmelwald (also Mürren and Schilthorn) and back!! The route that I have just suggested above, has some breathtaking views of many mountains around including Jungfrau, Mönch, Eiger, and Schilthorn.
Liked this post? Here is more for you from Switzerland- A day trip to the Rhine Falls, Switzerland from Zurich! Already been there? no problem, New posts from Switzerland and more, are on the way!