DESTINATION : Jungfrau Mountain
Switzerland is among the most beautiful of travel destinations in Europe. Majestic mountains, crystal clear lakes, alpine villages, quaint medieval towns, and vibrant, cosmopolitan cities awash with architectural wonders are what you have to look forward to as a visitor.
The mountains are arguably Switzerland’s most defining feature, and none more so than the imposing and triple-headed mountain peaks comprised of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.
The largest of the peaks is the Jungfrau, and no visit to Switzerland would be complete without an excursion to the top of this mountain.
How To Get There
Visitors to Jungfrau usually take the cog rail from Lauterbrunnen railway station, with its quintessentially Swiss facade. Lauterbrunnen is a true idyllic and picturesque Swiss village sitting in a verdant and deep valley. The scenery is simply breath-taking: Visitors are awed by waterfalls, springs, dramatic cliffs, snow-covered peaks and meadow lands. From all around, peaks and mountains dominate the landscape, inviting the visitor ever upward.
The cog rail from Lauterbrunnen up to the top of the Junfrau travels through approximately 4.3 miles of tunnel to the monumental peak. There are two observation windows along the way for viewing the spectacular scenery, and the journey takes roughly 50 minutes. The final rail stop is at the Jungfraubahn, Europe’s highest railway station.
Highlights At The Summit
There is much to see and do, depending on the time of year, but dining at high altitude in one of the restaurants within the complex is a perennial favorite. Tourists may purchase souvenirs from the gift shop, and can mail postcards bearing a distinctive postmark from the post office. The Jungfraujoch even has facilities for hosting conferences, which would certainly give new meaning to the term “summit meeting”.
The view from Jungfrau is spectacular. When the weather is clear, it is possible to see Germany’s Black Forest and the Vosges mountain range in France.
Activities are especially plentiful, even in the summer. They include:
- Husky-drawn sledge rides
The Ice Palace is a popular year-round attraction for tourists. This grotto was made by cutting into icy rock. Inside, visitors are amazed by the glistening sculptures made entirely of ice. The exhibits change from year-to-year.
A lift may be taken to the extreme top of the mountain, which is known as the “Sphinx”. Here, the observation terrace provides sweeping and panoramic views of the mountains. There are also exhibits from various scientific projects carried out by researchers in fields such as geology, physics, astronomy, hydrology and meteorology.
A visit to Jungfrau is a trip that will astound and awaken the senses. This is the one excursion that is an absolute must-do on any Europe tour visiting Switzerland. It will also leave many wonderful and lasting memories.
Candice worked as a tour guide in Europe for many years, and now writes for TravAddict.com