I doubt that the village of Beatenberg is mentioned in travel guides. But it doesn’t bother us when sitting on the balcony of Alphotel Eiger.
The colours of the sky, the mountains, the forests, the valley and the lakes sparkle bright when we’re on the big balcony admiring the view. The other half of the horizon is dominated by the fairytale-like mountains Jungfrau, Mönch, and Eiger with their snowy peaks glistening in the evening sun.
If you wish to escape the crowd in the busiest destinations in the Jungfrau Region, it’s worth driving 10 kilometres from Interlaken up to Beatenberg (1155 m). It’s a good place to admire the mountains from a bit further away.
Alphotel Eiger is located before the town centre, on the right-hand side of the road half way up the slope. It’s our favourite place to stay in the Alps.
It’s easy to fall in love with Alphotel Eiger. The outside of the B & B is beautifully patinated by time. The view from the hotel is so beautiful not many hotels in the Alps can beat it.
The room is full of light, spacious, stylish, and homely. The bed is comfortable with thick duvets that are nice and soft. The room even boasts a coffee machine and a fridge.
There’s no restaurant in the hotel. It’s a bed and breakfast even though the name is Alphotel Eiger.
The breakfast is set beautifully and served in a comfy room with a view. There are no scrambled eggs and bacon. The cheese selection consists of about a dozen local cheeses, all worth trying. The bread is nice, crusty and tasty. The local air-dried beef complements the flavours of the cheeses. The breakfast is so good we don’t want to leave at all.
The owners of the B & B, Katrin and Chris, are helpful and give good advice. They lend us a hiking map of the region when we’re heading out to hike.
The hiking trail from the Niederhorn (1970 m) to Waldegg was voted the most beautiful one in Switzerland. The Niederhorn attracts hikers because of the ibex, as well.
The ibex let hikers get very close if you move carefully. However, they get nervous hearing the sound of a drone filming the scenery. The herd runs down the steep rock squeaking and with their hooves clattering.
The Niederhorn trail starts in nice and even terrain on the open moorland. The hardest part is the climb to the Gemmenalphorn (2062 m) and the rocky descent from there. Lower down, the trail is easy again, crossing mountain meadows.
In addition to cows, we bump into pigs when trying to find shelter from a rain shower beside a pigsty. The nosy pigs stare at us through the window.
After a hot day of hiking, we drive down to Interlaken for a swim in Lake Thun (Thunersee). It’s easy to miss the beach that looks like a park since there is a sign for a golf club in the crossroads.
The next day, we take a break from hiking and hire electric bikes from the town sports shop. On them, we climb 15 kilometres in idyllic scenery to the village of Habkern. The electric aid is a good thing to have when climbing up the hill. All sweaty, we have goulash soup in the restaurant Alpenblick. When coming down, the speed gets very fast on the narrow road from time to time.
Beatenberg is a little further away from the most famous mountains but it’s a good base for getting to know the area. Grindelwald, the centre of the Jungfrau Region, is 30 kilometres away.
Because of the more remote location, the prices are a bit more affordable in Beatenberg. In July 2017, a night in Alphotel Eiger cost 165 euros. For that, you get a great view in the peaceful countryside, a cosy room, and a breakfast that is an experience in itself.
Translated into English by Katha Juutistenaho. Original Finnish text by Tuomas Hyytinen and Mila Hyytinen.