Startlingly turquoise in hue, Lake Brienz (Brienzersee in German) begs you to get out of the car and hop on a boat. There are a few trips worth considering, and from these trips, a couple of nifty side excursions will allow you to drink in the views: the surrounding mountains form a stunning backdrop to the lake’s charms.
The town of Brienz itself rewards a gentle stroll, with its main street (cobblestoned Brunngasse) lined with beautiful wooden buildings (with seasonally decorated facades) dating from the 18th century.
If you’re looking for a few extra kicks, the Brienz-Rothorn steam railway (still going strong after almost 125 years) is a winner with kids and fans of views from 2350m (7710ft). A adult return ticket costs CHF88.
Giessbach Falls is another jaw-dropper, a stunning series of falls with wonderful views over Lake Brienz. You can access the area via the historical Giessbach Falls Bahn, which you reach via funicular from the Grandhotel Giessbach’s private landing spot on the lake (Giessbach See). The funicular is a a rare bargain: only CHF10 return! Visit the hotel’s website for details on timetables: www.giessbach.ch.