For details about the tours below, including seasonal changes, consult the tourist office .
Glacier Tours -- The town maintains a sheltered observation gallery, adjacent to the base of the Lower Grindelwald Glacier (Untere Gletscher), which offers a close look at the glacier's ravine. The half-mile gallery stretches past the deeply striated rocks, which include formations of colored marble worn smooth by the glacier's powers of erosion. The gallery is easy to reach on foot or by car. Round-trip bus service is available from Grindelwald for 19F, and a parking lot and restaurant are nearby.
Hiking & Mountain Climbing -- If you've come to Switzerland to see the Alps, Grindelwald and its surroundings offer dozens of challenging paths and mountain trails that are well marked and carefully maintained. Outdoor adventures range from an exhilarating ramble across the gentle incline of an alpine valley to a dangerous trek with ropes and pitons along the north face of Mount Eiger. The choice depends on your inclination and your skills. A map showing the region's paths and trails is available at the town's tourist office.
If you're adventurous enough to be tempted by peaks 3,900m (12,792 ft.) high or higher, or if you'd like to learn the proper way to climb rocks and ice, contact the Bergsteigerzentrum (tel. 033/853-52-00; www.jungfrauregion.com/grindelw), which lies adjacent to the Sunstar Hotel in Grindelwald. The Bergsteigerzentrum can also provide information on a modest 1-day hiking tour suitable for anyone capable of hiking in boots for 2 or 3 hours. After a scenic mountain train ride from Grindelwald to Eigergletscher, you'll be led by a local mountain guide to the Bergsteigerzentrum Grindelwald, a husky-breeding center. Then you'll hike along the foot of the north face of Mount Eiger. Along the way, your guide will narrate the history of this famous wall, providing interesting stories. Back down in Alpiglen, you can rest and enjoy a lunch of toasted cheese sandwiches. The train will transport you back to Grindelwald. Try to make reservations 2 to 3 days in advance.
Faulhorn, at 2,639m (8,656 ft.), is a historic vantage point from which you can view a panorama of untouched alpine beauty. Near the summit is the mountain hotel Faulhorn Hotel (tel. 033/853-27-13), which has been here for over 150 years and can be reached in a 7-hour hike from Grindelwald. Less committed hikers usually opt for cable-car or bus transfers to Bussalp, to First, or to Schynige Platte, and then continue their hike on to Faulhorn from any of those three points. Hikes to Faulhorn from Bussalp take 2 3/4 hours; from First, 2 1/2 hours; and from Schynige Platte, 4 hours.
A 30-minute ride on a six-passenger gondola ("bubble car") will take you to First Mountain, at 2,134m (7,000 ft.). You can stop at the intermediate stations of Bort and Grindd as you cross the alpine meadows to the First Mountain terminal and sun terrace. You'll have many hiking possibilities into the neighboring Bussalp or Grosse Scheidegg area, and you can return by bus. An hour's brisk hike will take you to idyllic Lake Bachalp. Besides the 2 1/2-hour trek to Faulhorn, you can trek on foot to the Schynige Platte in 6 hours. A round-trip gondola ride between Grindelwald and First costs 68F. There's a large restaurant at First, Bergrestaurant First (tel. 033/484-16-66; www.bergrestaurant-first.ch), where you can order lunch.
Grosse Scheidegg, at 1,930m (6,330 ft.), is a famous pass between the Grindelwald and Rosenlaui valleys. You can hike here in 3 hours from Grindelwald, or take the bus for 40 minutes. Our preference is usually to take a bus to Grosse Scheidegg and then begin our hill walking away from the village traffic and crowds. Round-trip bus passage from Grindelwald to Grosse Scheidegg is 47F per person.
If you want to climb in the upper regions of the Oberland, you might consider this itinerary: Take a bus from Grindelwald to Grosse Scheidegg. Walk for 2 1/2 hours from Grosse Scheidegg to Schwartzwaldalp. The peaks of the First and Wetterhorn will loom on either side of you. After a panoramic respite in Schwartzwaldalp, you can take a bus, which will retrace your steps back to Grindelwald via Grosse Scheidegg. This excursion is only possible in the summer; the total bus fare is 53F per person. Also only in the summer, a short aerial cable-car ride will take you to Pfingstegg, at 1,369m (4,490 ft.), from which you can hike to the Lower and Upper Grindelwald glaciers. The round-trip cost is 18F. A hike to Baregg-Stieregg (1 hr.) is highly recommended as a 1-day journey, as is the trek to Banisegg (2 hr.). You'll get a view of the Eismeer and the Fiescherwand, and they're both worth the hike.
From Grindelwald, it's also easy to visit Kleine Scheidegg, which is the departure point for the final ascent to Jungfraujoch by train. The rack-and-pinion railway from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg costs 54F round-trip or 32F each way. For information on this and all trains departing from Grindelwald, call the Grindelwald railway station (tel. 033/828-75-40).
Skiing -- In winter Grindelwald is one of the major ski resorts of Europe, perfect as a base for skiing in the Jungfrau ski region. It has 22 lifts, 8 funiculars, a trio of cable cars, and more than 160km (100 miles) of downhill runs. Snowboarders and novice skiers are also welcome. It's a ski circus for all ages and various skills.
In the winter, skiers take the cableway to Männlichen, at 2,200m (7,216 ft.), which opens onto a panoramic vista of the treacherous Eiger. From here there is no direct run back to Wengen; however, skiers can enjoy an uninterrupted ski trail stretching 7.2km (4 1/2 miles) to Grindelwald. The cost of the Männlichen cable car (Grindelwald-Grund to Männlichen) is 37F each way, or 62F round-trip. For information, call the departure point for the Männlichen Bahn in Grindelwald (tel. 033/854-80-80).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.