Why Mürren Is A Fairytale Winter Wonderland
My boots crunched through the compacted snow, I breathed in the crisp alpine air and took in the spectacular vista surrounding me.
A footpath had been cut into the deep snow, a white corridor high up above the Lauterbrunnen valley.
The majestic peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau gleamed in the bright December sunshine, a view so breathtaking that I have never forgotten it.
The hike had begun in Mürren, one of the most picture perfect places I have ever been.
A cable car had whisked us up effortlessly from the valley below and we stepped out with the vibrant skiers into this fairytale village.
Snow neatly draped the wooden houses with an almost unimaginable depth, long icicles hung from the eaves like Christmas decorations.
It is like finding yourself in the magical tiny world on top of a Christmas cake: a perfection that you couldn’t believe exists in the real world.
We left the skiers behind, to their slopes, and walked through the village, past the outdoor shops, hotels and restaurants. It was mid morning and the streets were quiet.
Further along the businesses dropped away, replaced by chocolate box chalets tastefully decorated for the festive season. A village cat sunned itself on a balcony, taking little notice as we passed by.
The Mürren – Winteregg – Grütshalp trail runs parallel to the railway line along the edge of the upper valley and it had been cleared after a few days of heavy snowfall.
This trail is an easy yet spectacular walk at any time of year but after snow it becomes a winter wonderland, the snow twinkles in the sunlight, whiter than white against the blue sky.
Iced trees add to the magic, the path cuts through a small plantation alive with twittering birds. The wood is cold, shadowing the path yet the fringes burn golden with the low winter sun.
The path rarely looses sight of the mountains across the valley, the unmistakable form of the Eiger silently watching your progress; is it urging me to take yet another photograph?
At Winteregg we pause for a rest, eat our snacks grabbed from the Co-op in Mürren before we set off on the hike. We are the only ones here, this magical scene is all ours.
We continued walking a little way after Winteregg but not as far as Grütshalp, the train wasn’t running anyway so we turned around and retraced our boot prints back to Mürren.
The hike had been so wonderful it was great to do it all over again in reverse, see it from a different viewpoint.
The opportunity to look at things more closely, the way the light cast blue shadows across the undulating snow, the delicate beauty of the individual snowflakes lying lightly on the surface of the snow.
This snow is a world away from the snow we usually see in the UK, it is the snow of your dreams, of fairy tales, of winter wonderlands.
Mürren was just a lovely as when we’d arrived, the light had subtly changed through the morning, a few more people walked the snow-carpeted streets now.
Walking back to the cable car station we stopped to watch the skiers for a while: bright flashes of colour zipped past.
One final gaze at the view from a nearby sunny balcony then we sailed back down to Stechelberg in the shady valley below.
I’ve never been anywhere quite so magical as Mürren, that December day, in all my travels, it was the perfection of the day: the cloudless sky, the deep snow and the sublime location.
Mürren is reached by cable car and train from Lauterbrunnen (which is connected to Interlaken by both trains and buses). The cable car takes you up to Grütschalp where you catch a connecting train along the spectacular upper valley to Mürren.
You can also take the Schilthorn cable car from Stechelberg further along the valley from Lauterbrunnen. Stechelberg can be reached via the postbus from Lauterbrunnen (this is the route we took).
Mürren is a car-free village so if you drive here you need to leave your car down in the valley at either the cable car station in Lauterbrunnen or at Stechelberg.
The winter hiking route shown here is the Mürren > Winteregg > Grütschalp which should take around one and a half hours to walk. You could take the Mürren to Grütschalp train one way and walk the other. We walked both ways as we couldn’t get enough of the glorious winter scenery!
In winter the footpaths are only open when they’ve been cleared and deemed safe from avalanche threat, check before you set out.
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Have you been to a winter wonderland as beautiful ?