There are 735 named mountains in the Bernese Alps. Some of them are the symbols of Switzerland, some of them are symbols of mountaineering, some of them featured in the James Bond series.
The highest as well as the most prominent mountain is Finsteraarhorn. With the prominence of 2,280m it is the only Ultra peak in the Bernese Alps.
Interestingly, the range is named after the capital of Switzerland the city of Bern. But Bern itself is located on the outskirts of the Alps in the Swiss Prealps area.
The area is full of glaciers, and one of them was even a runway for a crashed airplane Dakota C53 in 1946. The crash landing on the Gauli glacier was a turning point in alpine rescue and an international media event. Luckily, everyone safely returned home.
Major Trails and Hiking Areas
- Titlis is an all year round snow-covered mountain and entertainment area for the whole family above the village of Engelberg (literally, the Angels mountain). Titlis Cliff Walk and a glacier cave are among the most interesting.
- Alpine Trinity: Jungfrau, Moench, Eiger. These are ones of the most famous Alpine peaks. Featured in movies and books, they are a highlight of any journey in the area. Nearby Schilthorn not only provides a perfect position to admire the beauty of these peaks but also one of James Bond filming locations.
- Aletschhorn is in the Jungfrau-Aletsch protected area. Eggishorn is easily reachable from the cable car top station and might be the best viewpoint on Aletsch Glacier.
- Plaine Morte, a rare high altitude flat glacier, is popular among cross country skiers. The summit of the Pointe de la Plaine Morte offers impressive views of the Bernese Alps.
- The Diablerets are a huge ice-covered mountain massif with the highest point at the Sommet des Diablerets 3,210 m. The summit of Scex Rouge is easily reachable via the Peak Walk, a 107m suspension bridge.
- Grand Chavalard is a prominent mountain with a great panoramic outlook at the western end of the Bernese Alps.
- Susten pass on the border between Uri and the canton of Bern is a popular scenic route for car and motorbike drivers. A visit card of this place is a large glacial lake Steinsee sourced by the Stein glacier at the foot of Sustenhorn could be observer right from the road.
- Furka pass, another James Bond saga filming location in the Bernese Alps, is not only the border between cantons Uri and Valais but the Bernese Alps and the Lepontine Alps as well. The Bernese Alps’ Furkastock and Klein Furkahorn are relatively easy hikes from the pass. The Lepontine Alps’ Griegufergrat to the south isn’t hard to reach as well, but Gross Muttenhorn might be challenging.
- Grimsel pass is a stone throw away from Furka pass. Several easy trails from the pass lead to Sidelhorn which features a wonderful panorama of the peaks and the lakes, and the pass itself.
- Rinderhorn above the village of Leukerbad, overlooking Gemmi pass, is a challenge due to significant elevation gain. The hike would take the whole day, yet the panoramic views are totally worth the effort. Furthermore, Leukerbad therme would heal any exhaustion in the end of the day.
Cable Cars and Cog Railways
- Titlis Rotair - the world first rotating cable car
- Jungfrau - the view platform at an altitude of 3,454 m features a majestic backdrop of ice, snow and rock with breathtaking panorama.
- Diablerets cable car takes you up to Glacier 3000 experience, with a posh restaurant to sate even a Gargantuan appetite.
- Plain Morte will not make you die, but the sheer whiteness of the glacier can put your eyes to a great test. A lake at the eastern base of the glacier is a huge bonus for cool pics lovers.
- Aletsch Arena is the easiest way to embrace the natural Unesco World Heritage site Jungfrau-Aletsch. This is the most glaciated part of the Alps containing Europe's largest glacier.
Major Cities and Resorts
Located in the central Switzerland:
- Sion and Brig
- Luzern - the major hub in the central Switzerland is slightly to the north-east from the range