A Boat for the Adrenalin-Thirsty
It wouldn't be an overstatement to say that Interlaken, a town that lies in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland, has become fast-favorite with the international adventure-set. Situated between alpine lakes Thun and Brienz, and presided over by the three dramatic mountains of Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau, it's a good combination of landscape and water. This is not only ideal for those who want to hike or contemplate nature, or shop luxury watches along the Höheweg, but also for thrill seekers who like to go on a fast ride.
Adventure sports here vary from bungee jumping to hang gliding, canyoning to river-rafting, and, since a few years, Interlaken offers the first Jetboat Tours in Switzerland.
Jet boating is one of the best ways to enjoy the natural beauty in this region. Donning a spray jacket and a lifejacket, you take your place in the jet boat, which seats a dozen people. The exciting ride, combining adrenaline and speed with breathtaking landscapes on the picturesque Lake of Brienz. It brings you from the port of Boenigen to the famous Giessbach- Waterfalls and back again, with some 360 degree spins and jets of water spraying around you. So you literally soak yourself up in the crystal clear Alpine water.
Fed by glacial runoff and scattered throughout the Alps, Switzerland’s lakes are heart-stoppingly stunning, and Lake Brienz is one of Switzerland’s largest and deepest mountain lakes. It is famous for its impressive play of colors – crystal clear, emerald green and turquoise. The sun’s rays cast a magic spell on the lake by trying to penetrate the depth of 260 meters, while the mighty mountains that are reflected in Lake Brienz impart something extraordinary.
There have been passenger ships on this lake since 1839, when this region became a popular summer retreat for artists, poets and writers, who all spent their summers amid the cool surroundings of forested greenery and plunging waters that spilled into the crystal clear lake.
So it’s no wonder that the sights from the boat are spectacular. First there is the old fishing village of Iseltwald, population a little over 400, which was already here in 1146. It has a small castle prominently on the tip of a peninsula: the village nestles in a secluded bay of the lake, with a small island adding additional romantic flavor. The entire village is a Swiss Heritage site and a popular place to stay.
Highlight of the tour are the Giessbach Falls, where frothing water comes thundering 500 meters down in 14 cascades into the lake next to the fairytale Grand Hotel Giessbach. Now nearly a century and a half old, Grand Hotel Giessbach was built by noted French architect Horace Edouard Davinet in 1873 for the Hauser family of Zurich, one of the great hotel dynasties of its day. It quickly became a favorite hideaway for high society, a playground for emperors and kings, statesman and diplomats and celebrities from every discipline of the entertainment world.
At the eastern side of the lake is the village of Brienz, famous for its woodcarving and ‘the most beautiful street in Europe.’ Steam cruises leave from this village, but for you this side of the lake is the place for spins and more spectacular views, before ending back up in the town of Bönigen. This is another must-see place in itself, with picturesque wooden houses, some of which date back to the 16th century. A walk through town is the ideal way to end your day and lower your adrenalin levels. Until the next daring activity, of course.
This year, JetBoat Interlaken also offers a classical boat tour in the Donna Anna, an original Venetian taxi boat that has been carrying guests for over 40 years. You can take this boat if you would like to stop and walk around Iseltwald village and enjoy a snack at a local farmhouse or you can take it to the waterfalls on the other side of the lake. This boat leaves from Interlaken.
For more information: and booking: www.jetboat.ch