Confession time: we’re cheating a bit by placing this sight in the Bernese Mittelland region, as it’s really in Canton Lucerne, but it’s very easy to drive to after a whirl through the Emmental Region and there’s an excellent road with stunning views out of the biosphere park and down to Lake Brienz.
Declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve in 2001 (Switzerland’s first), this 39,000-sq-km (15,058-sq-mi) mixed mountain and highland region features wild terrain characterized by with karst formations, moorlands and Alpine pastures. Despite its sense of peace and tranquility, this is a region inhabited by 17,000 people. There are small villages throughout the nature reserve, plus accommodation and restaurants.
After exploring the region, head south onto Flühlistrasse and entering Obwalden Canton and following the aptly named winding Panoramastrasse (Route 4) down to Giswil. Once there, keep following Route 4 in a southerly direction, past the Lungernersee, through to Brünig and then cross back into Canton Bern, taking Route 4 (and then Route 6) to Brienz (on Lake Brienz), from where you can travel up to Brienzer Rothorn by steam train.