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Toboggan Runs; Grindelwald, Switzerland

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It’s the greatest sled adventure on the planet.

The world’s longest run, is more than nine miles (15km) of continuous slope, with a vertical drop of one mile (1,600m).

It’s fast, it’s endless and it’s so much fun that you will be giggling with joy for hours. 

Grindelwald Switzerland

The popular mountain resort of Grindelwald is located in the Bernese Highlands Region of central Switzerland at the foot of the famous and majestic mountain ranges of the Eiger Mönch and Jungfrau.

For over one hundred years, this adventure sports paradise has offered a multitude of activities for sports and leisure enthusiasts. It is also home to Big Pintenfritz, the best toboggan run in the world.

Credit: QUOI Media
Credit: QUOI Media

Grindelwald Switzerland

It Takes A Little Effort

Getting to the top is not easy. If you want to experience the run, you’re going to have to work for it.

Don’t worry. Your efforts will be rewarded with some of the most breathtaking vistas and enjoyable hiking trails in all the Alps.

From Grindelwald you need to reach the summit of Faulhorn which sits at 8,792 feet (2,680 m) above sea level. Luckily there is an aerial gondola that zooms up most of the way to Bussalp, where you will have a two and a half hour hike the rest of the way to Faulhorn.

The hike is challenging as you’ll need to carry your toboggan, but the perfectly manicured trail is staggeringly beauty and will have you too stupefied to notice your short breath.

Credit: Ed Coyle Photography
Credit: Ed Coyle Photography

Grindelwald Switzerland

Once You Reach The Summit

After a long hike you reach the top. Now sit down and enjoy the completely unobstructed 360 degree panoramic views. All around you are mountains of lore, written about in countless books and used as the back drop of movies.

These mountains take your breath away. Literally.

Credit: Leo-setä
Credit: Leo-setä

Grindelwald Switzerland

Go For It!

When you are ready jump on your toboggan and go! The track is wide and fast, sometimes carved into sunken track with big walls of snow on either side. It winds its way down the mountain, passing several villages on the way. Each one has a restaurant to stop for a glass of hot mulled wine and a snack.

A couple hours later (if you don’t stop in every village for wine) you should be back safely in Grindelwald. If you have not had enough, there is another 12 miles (20km) worth of toboggan runs in the area. These are easily accessible by gondola, without the extra hiking. Several of them are five miles (8km) long, while a couple are much shorter and perfect for families.

If after a long day you are still not satisfied, go for Night Sledding. Take the gondola to Bussalp where a delicious cheese fondue dinner awaits you. Then sled to Grindelwald on a moonlit night. It’s simply unforgettable. Reservations are a must (around $100 or 75 euros) and includes the cost of dinner, toboggan and gondola ride.

Credit: Tom - Switzerland
Credit: Tom – Switzerland

Grindelwald Switzerland

There Is So Much More…

Activities in this area are endless and great for families, romantic getaways and solo travelers looking for adventure. There are ski and snowboard resorts, sleigh rides, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, winter hiking, ice skating and curling. A whole week could be spent here giggling like a kid…

I walked over to the hill where we used to go and sled. There were a lot of little kids there. I watched them flying. Doing jumps and having races. And I thought that all those little kids are going to grow up someday. And all of those little kids are going to do the things that we do. And they will all kiss someone someday. But for now, sledding is enough. I think it would be great if sledding were always enough, but it isn’t. - Unknown

When To Go

Grindelwald has great weather for wintersports from November until April.

Climate

December and January have the lowest temperatures with 35°F (2°C). November and February the average is 39°F (4°C). It is a very high altitude with heavy snow during the winter.

Getting There & Around

Fly to either Geneva or Zurich International Airport. Both cities have train connections to Interlaken which is just a 30 minute train ride from Grindelwald.

Average Costs

  • Mid-range accommodations: $150-200
  • Meals: $20-30
  • Beer: $7

Do’s

  • Take gondolas and cable cars all over the mountain for a variety of spectacular mountain scenes.
  • Have a go on the Velogemel the unique snowbike of Grindelwald.
  • Visit the Ice Palace nearby in Jungfraujoch with its amazing sculptures and beautifully carved out ice rooms.
  • Visit the The Sphinx Observation Hall for great panoramic views.

Don’ts

  • Be late! That means no more than one minute late, if that!
  • Do not litter. Littering is definitely seen as bad behavior.
  • Forget to check the weather at the tourist information office or local train station before you head out in the morning.

Fun Facts

  • The toboggan run is called Big Pintenfritz (Big Pub Fritz) The curious name refers to a village innkeeper who supposedly inaugurated the run after a bet.
  • Friends kiss each other on the cheek three times (left – right – left). This is the usual thing to do when being introduced to someone in the French and German speaking parts. You don’t have to actually touch your lips, a fake kiss will do.
  • Switzerland has very strong Good Samaritan laws, making it a civic duty to help a fellow man in need (without unduly endangering oneself). People are therefore very willing and ready to help. The refusal to help a person in need can be punishable by law.
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