Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Sun June 26 2016

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  • Worldwide Scott | June 26, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    Head for the Mountains of Gimmelwald

    Head for the Mountains of Gimmelwald

    Photos by Worldwide Scott

    The mere mention of Switzerland brings many things to mind: skiing on mountains, mountain climbing, cows mooing on the side of mountains, mountains of chocolate, hiking through mountains, mountains of cheese, and, well, just plain old mountains.

    While Switzerland’s cities certainly sparkle, you’re going to mostly want to head for the Alps when you’re there. And one great place I can vouch for is the tiny village of Gimmelwald, in the Bernese Oberland section of Switzerland.

    Getting There

    Getting to Gimmelwald is way more than just half the fun. With an elevation of approximately 4,500 feet, above the waterfall-laden Lauterbrunnen Valley (near the adrenaline-pumping and hangover-producing hangout of Interlaken), Gimmelwald is actually inaccessible by car. The village clings to the cliffs above Stechelberg; below Murren on the mountainside. This means you can only arrive in Gimmelwald via a hike, or the more popular option — a cable car ride. Yes, a mountain gondola is the preferred mode of arrival to Gimmelwald, and you know what they say about first impressions? Well, they are definitely right about this one.

    READ MORE: You Could Always Go To Chur, Switzerland

    After Arrival

    Once you’ve stepped off the gondola and into Gimmelwald proper, your first bit of business will be to fight the battle to regain your breath, as it will assuredly have escaped you on your journey.

    After you pull that off, you’ll want to just take a stroll around the village, and the entire time you will seriously feel as though you have walked on to the set of a “Riiii-coooo-laaaa” lozenge commercial. That’s because at every turn, wooden mountain chalets, jagged peaks, and plenty of mooing cows (wearing bells, of course) vie for your attention and camera clicks. Views to the valley below are striking, and the sights above you of majestic peaks strewn with specks of snow (even in summer) stretch both the imagination and vocabulary.

    Yeah, you’re definitely going want to Instagram this joint.

    Where To Stay

    Gimmelwald’s small size means that it is home to only a small handful of lodging options, but what they’ve got is special. I love the Mountain Hostel, a hut/chalet that is famous for being a place with jaw-dropping views and a jovial atmosphere where travelers meet and share good times. What it lacks in luxury, I assure you it makes up for in million dollar vistas (I mean, look at the picture below that I took from my bedroom for crying out loud).

    A different option that offers a bit more refinement and privacy is the cozy Olle & Maria’s Bed and Breakfast down the road. Even if you don’t stay at the Mountain Hostel though, you may still find yourself there anyway for a beer or a pizza as they have become the village’s “nightlife” hub.

    What To Do

    Hiking is the primary activity in Gimmelwald, with the village being a short stroll to a myriad of paths that crisscross awesome sections of the Alps. Two of the most popular hikes take you to the Schilthorn and the Jungfrau, which are properly world famous peaks. If you prefer to stay a little closer to the ground, any path out of town will lead you past fields full of scenes that belong on movie screens.

    If you aren’t into active pursuits, you could always just sit outside and soak up the mountain air all day, which is known for being both good for body and soul; or just spend hours staring out your bedroom window.

    Regardless, you’re gonna love it in Gimmelwald. 


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Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
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