Bern Switzerland

Aareschlucht discovery tour

14 October 2023

Switzerland is famous for its picturesque landscapes, majestic mountains and unrivalled natural wonders. Among these natural treasures is the Aareschlucht, a spectacular gorge that offers visitors an unforgettable experience in the heart of Switzerland. This natural wonder, located in Meiringen near the town of Interlaken, is a must-see destination for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts and the curious in search of natural beauty. In this post, we’ll explore the Aareschlucht in detail, its fascinating history, its geological formation and the reasons why it has become one of Switzerland’s most iconic tourist attractions.
The Aareschlucht is a gorge carved by the River Aare through impressive limestone rocks. It is located in the Bernese Oberland region, not far from the town of Interlaken, one of Switzerland’s most popular destinations for travelers in search of natural beauty. The gorge stretches over a length of around 1.4 kilometers, offering a narrow, winding passage through rock faces that rise up to 180 meters in height. The Aare Gorge is a sensory experience in its own right. Visitors can expect to be surrounded by the soothing sound of the river, to smell the fresh, pure mountain air, and to be dazzled by the striking beauty of the limestone walls that surround them. The Aareschlucht is open to visitors from May to October, making it an ideal summer destination.

History and geological formation
The history of the Aareschlucht goes back thousands of years. This gorge was carved by the mighty River Aare over time, as it flowed over the limestone terrain. The action of the water slowly eroded the rock to form the gorge we know today. Geologists estimate that the formation of this gorge began around 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age. At that time, huge quantities of glacial meltwater created torrents that eroded the rock, forming the gorge over the millennia. The walls of the gorge show the striations and marks left by the movements of the water, testifying to the incredible power of nature. The human history of the Aareschlucht is equally interesting. Local inhabitants have followed the gorge’s transformations over the centuries. The opening of the gorge to the public as a tourist attraction began in the 19th century, when wooden footbridges were built to enable visitors to explore this extraordinary place in complete safety.

Nature Adventure
The Aareschlucht offers an exceptional outdoor experience for adventure lovers and nature enthusiasts. One of the most popular ways to explore the gorge is along a footpath that runs alongside the River Aare. This trail allows visitors to walk alongside the river, admiring the impressive rock formations up close. The walk is of moderate difficulty, but is accessible to most people in good physical condition. Another way to discover the gorge is to take a train that travels along the walls of the gorge, offering a breathtaking view of the landscape. This option is ideal for those who prefer a more relaxed experience or have mobility constraints.

Fauna and Flora of Aareschlucht
Not only is the Aare Gorge an impressive geological spectacle, it is also home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Attentive visitors will spot birds such as owls, swifts and wagtails. The river itself is populated by trout and other fish. The vegetation that grows in the gorge is equally fascinating. The limestone walls offer unique growing conditions for certain plants, including wall fern and purple saxifrage. The contrast between the plant life clinging to the rock faces and the power of the River Aare creates a captivating natural spectacle.

The Illuminated Gorge
The Aareschlucht takes on a whole new dimension when illuminated at night. Every summer, special lighting installations are set up, transforming the gorge into an enchanting light show. Visitors can stroll through the gorge illuminated by a series of lamps, creating a magical atmosphere.
This unique experience allows visitors to appreciate the rock formations in a totally different way. Shadows and reflections create spectacular visual effects, giving the gorge an almost mystical atmosphere. It’s an experience not to be missed by those visiting the Aareschlucht during the summer months.

Useful information
If you’re planning to visit the Aareschlucht, here’s some important useful information:

Opening times: The Aare Gorge is generally open from May to October. Times may vary according to weather conditions, so it’s advisable to check the exact times on the official Aareschlucht website or contact the local tourist office before your visit.
Tickets: You’ll need to buy a ticket to enter the Aare Gorge. Prices vary according to age and season. Discounts are generally available for children. You can buy tickets on site at ticket offices or online in advance to avoid queues, especially during peak tourist season.
Guided tours: Guided tours of the gorge are available for those wishing to learn more about the history, geology and wildlife of the Aareschlucht. Guides are generally available in several languages, including English, German and French. Guided tours offer an enriching and informative experience.
Accessibility: The gorge is not easily accessible to people with reduced mobility. There are wheelchair-accessible paths, but some areas of the gorge are more difficult to access due to the rocky terrain. It is advisable to contact the Aareschlucht administration in advance for detailed information on accessibility.
Clothing advice: Wear comfortable walking shoes, as you’ll be walking on paths that are sometimes uneven. It’s also a good idea to bring a light jacket or raincoat, as the weather can change rapidly in the mountains, and splashes of water from the river are frequent in the gorge.
Photography: The Aareschlucht is a wonderful place for photography. Be sure to bring your camera or smartphone to capture the breathtaking views. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries or a portable charger, as you’re likely to take a lot of photos.
Eating out: There are usually dining options near the entrance to the gorge, including cafés and restaurants where you can sample typical Swiss dishes. This means you can enjoy a bite to eat after your exploration of the gorge, or take a pick-nick with it.
Respect for the environment: As with all tourist destinations, it’s essential to respect the environment. Keep the gorge clean by disposing of your garbage in the garbage cans provided. Follow the rules and information signs to protect local nature and wildlife.
Safety: Safety is paramount during your visit to the Aareschlucht. Follow safety instructions, stay on marked trails and avoid venturing into dangerous areas. Watch out for changes in the weather, especially if there’s a risk of thunderstorms.
Languages: Most information boards and staff are fluent in German, but many are also proficient in English, French and other languages. So you should have no trouble communicating.

How to get to Aareschlucht:
By train: If you’re traveling within Switzerland or from neighboring countries, the train is a convenient means of transport. You can take a train to Interlaken, a town close to Aareschlucht. Once in Interlaken, you can use public transport, such as local buses or regional trains, to get to the gorge. The Aareschlucht has two train stations, Aareschlucht West and Aareschlucht Ost, both of which are close by, making it easy to reach by train.

I recommend that you go to Aareschlucht Ost station, a little station different from other stations in that it’s set into the rock, and when the train arrives the doors open to let people in.

By car: If you prefer more independence and flexibility, you can rent a car and drive to the Aareschlucht. The gorge is accessible by road from Interlaken. Make sure you have a GPS or maps to guide you, as Swiss roads can be winding.Once you arrive at the Aareschlucht, you’ll find parking facilities if you’ve opted to drive. There are also ticket offices to buy entry tickets and directions to find your way through the gorge.

On foot or by bike: If you’re staying in the area and enjoy walking or cycling, you might consider getting to the Aareschlucht from Interlaken on foot or by bike, following the trails or cycle paths available.

In short, the Aareschlucht is an impressive Swiss natural wonder well worth exploring. Make sure you prepare for your visit by consulting the practical information, and take the opportunity to discover this spectacular site and create unforgettable memories.

CH-3860 Meiringen