Sitting upon a shelf above the Lauterbrunnen Valley and reached only by a cog railway, Wengen is a resort every skier should experience at least once. Nestled in between Mürren and Grindelwald, it is the perfect place to explore the Jungfrau region. Popular with Brits thanks to its friendly locals and its traditional alpine feel, Wengen was once a sleepy farming village, and that atmosphere is still one that reigns today. The short main street in the centre of town is the hub of this village, and it is lined with shops and hotels, an ice rink and the village nursery slopes.
Getting to Wengen is an easy drive from many of Switzerland’s major airports: 1 hr 25 min from Bern, 1hr 45 min from Zurich, 1 hr 55 min from Basel and 2.5hrs from Geneva.
The two resorts of Wengen and Grindelwald can almost be considered one large ski area, as during a typical days skiing you’ll hardly be aware which resort you are skiing in. With a vertical drop of over 1000m and 110 pistes of which 30% are beginner friendly, 50% intermediate and 20% advanced there is something to be found for everyone, though this is primarily an intermediates resort. The big winter attraction in Wengen is the Lauberhorn run – home to one of the toughest and longest (4.5km) World Cup downhill races, though unlike many other courses, the adrenalin only begins to flow if you are going really fast. Whilst natural snow can be a bit unreliable, there are superb snow making facilities ensuring the pistes are always in condition. Après in Wengen are rather subdued, and if you are looking for nightlife, you would be better served heading down the valley to Interlaken where there are numerous bars.
In this area of the alps, the hiking is second to none. The dramatic north faces of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau surrounding you as you wind your way through the 500km of mountain paths make hiking adventures some of the most unique you will ever experience. 160km of mountain bike trails are available for those who wish to see the area with a little more speed, and for those alpinists to want to scale the mountains others only gaze at, the Jungfrau region is served by numerous well equipped mountain huts. You will also find some great crags for sports climbing, waterfalls and alpine lakes to explore and finally, the magical train journey from Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch. Going through the north face of the Eiger, into the Monch and finishing at the highest railway station in Europe, Jungfrauioch where on a clear day you can see more than 200 peaks.
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