Iseltwald is a small yet marvellous village by the southern banks of Lake Brienz, in the Bernese Highlands of Switzerland. Only a 10-minute drive from Interlaken, it is a well-known tourist stop of the Lake Brienz cruise. The turquoise waters of the lake in the backdrop of some of the most stunning peaks of Swiss Alps make the heavenly view of lush green fields and wooden chalet houses of Iseltwald, much more sublime. The overall landscape gives strong peaceful vibes and if you are planning to take a break from a 9 to 5 routine and relax from a loaded schedule, Iseltwald is the ideal place to be.
I explored this awesome village last summer while I was visiting Interlaken for my wild camping tour and I can say that it stood up to its reputation. I was so overwhelmed by its serenity that it has become my most favourite village along Lake Brienz.
Here is my personal experience of visiting Iseltwald with some useful tips and guidelines to make your travel experience more fun.
There are a number of travel options that you can use to reach Iseltwald. I am mentioning the 3 top ways to get to Iseltwald below:
If you plan to travel to Iseltwald from Interlaken, then the most optimal option is to take the Line 103 bus. You have to board the Line 103 bus in the direction of Iseltwald Dorfplatz, at Interlaken Ost, which is the main train station of Interlaken. It is an hourly connection and the whole journey takes only 16 minutes. The bus drops you at the Iseltwald Muhle station which is just a few minutes walks from the village centre. The tickets cost around 6 CHF. To see more details and check for connections, you can visit the Swiss Railways website.
However, the last bus leaves for Iseltwald at 8.05 pm and in high season at 9.04 pm. No public transport is available beyond that time until the next morning. Therefore, you might have to consider taking a taxi, if you need to travel after that time, which can cost around 45 CHF. Therefore, I don't recommend this option.
Iseltwald is approximately 110 km from Zurich by road if you plan to travel in your own car, which is a drive of almost 1.5 hours. However, if you are in Interlaken, then it's an 11 km journey, which should not take more than 10 minutes. However, you have to pay the toll tax if you are using this option.
Iseltwald is almost a car-free region and driving a car within the village is only allowed to the locals. For this reason, there are many paid parking services available in the village. Besides, it is, however, better to book a hotel with parking facility if you are planning to stay overnight.
There is also a third option to reach Iseltwald and that is by Ferry. You can take the ferry from Interlaken Ferry Station, which is near the Interlaken Ost train station. The ferry ride is a great experience and it takes around 44 minutes to reach Iseltwald, costing almost 15 CHF.
The tourist information centre is right next to the ferry landing in Iseltwald. For more details and time table of the ferry ride, you can visit their website.
Iseltwald is a wonderful Swiss mountain village located at the shores of Lake Brienz. It also enjoys its reputation as one of the esteemed Swiss Heritage sites. The only island in the whole area of Bern, Snaggeninseli or The Snail Island, belongs to the Iseltwald. As the name indicates, the Snail Island had been historically famous for breeding snails. To mention a more recent reference for the people who follow Korean TV, a number of scenes of the famous Korean drama 'Crash Landing on You' was filmed in Iseltwald.
With a small population and almost traffic-free roads, it is an ideal choice as a peaceful and serene retreat to spend a few days and relax. Iseltwald offers a number of fun activities such as hiking, boating, kayaking, paragliding etc. Even if you are visiting Interlaken for a day, the Lake Brienz cruise is a must-do thing and Iseltwald being its first stop, can easily be combined with that.
However, here are some of the top things to do in Iseltwald.
1. Lake Brienz Cruise is definitely a must. It's a 75 minutes ride which lets you absorb the awesome scenery of the whole Lake Brienz.
2. Explore Lake Brienz Alternatively, you can just rent a kayak, a rowing boat or a motorboat and explore the lake on your own.
3. Iseltwald Castle There is a small castle built at the tip of the peninsula during the middle ages. It is now transformed into a rehabilitation centre and is known as Seeburg Rehabilitation Center. The castle looks stunning as if floating on the blue waters of the lake.
4. Iseltwald to Giessbach Hike It is an easy 5 km hike between Iseltwald and Giessback that is every bit worth doing. You start along the lake, following the trail surrounded by beautiful views of the lake you move through the village before entering the forest part that ends near the Giessbach waterfall.
5. Iseltwald Landing Stage In order to take a perfect Instagram photo of the lake, you must go to the landing stage of the dock. It offers the perfect view of the lake and it is a rather popular destination among tourists.
Here are some of the pictures which I took of the village during my day trip there
There are a number of options available to pick from while deciding where to stay in Iseltwald. Iseltwald offers many stunning hotels, along the bank of the lake with amazing views. The price range is expensive to medium. You can also stay in Interlaken and visit Iseltwald for few hours or a day.
If you are a budget traveller, there is also an optioning of staying as a paying guest with locals. To explore this option, have a look at Airbnb.
There are also a couple of good camping sites with toilet facilities (Camping Du Lac and Beach & Camping - Iseltwald)
1. The Tourist Information Center is right next to the ferry landing.
2. Iseltwald does not have an ATM, so you need to have enough cash.
3. Iseltwald has only one local shop which opens follows the following timing routine:
Monday - Friday 07:30-12:30 and 14:00 – 18:30
Stunning pictures sir and very well written.
*Either drone is allow in the interlaken area?
*As distance from Interlaken to Iseltwald is only 11km, so can we use a bicycle to reach there? is it accessible by bicycle?
thank you! drone laws change but if you google you probably find a map of the area where it is allowed (in some valleys it is allowed and in others it isn't) you can rent a bike from Interlaken and there is a separate bicycle lane all the way from Interlaken to Iseltwald along the lake.