While on a clear day you get to witness incredible views of the Alps, on cloudy days it can lead to major disappointments due to low visibility. One crucial tip from my personal experience is to be flexible and strategically plan your days depending on the weather. There is absolutely no point in visiting sites such as Schilthorn, Männlichen and Jungfraujoch on cloudy days. Each tourist place has its own website, which shows live feed from the webcams installed at the sites. They can be used to make last minute decision. You can also look at hourly forecast for clouds and plan to go hiking with comparatively less percent cloud cover. If you are absolutely out of luck, instead visit the following sites which can be fun, even on cloudy/rainy days.
1. The Trummelbach Falls
Trummelbach falls is certainly a hidden gem in the Jungfrau region. These are 10 glacier fed falls inside the mountains carrying approximately 20,000 liters of water per second. You will be amazed by the water cutting through the rocks to make its way over the years. A tunnel-funicular takes you almost half way up and the remaining area can be accessed by the stairs. The entry to the falls is 11 CHF (Cash only). To reach these falls board a train from Interlaken ost to Lauterbrunnen and then switch to the bus outside the Lauterbrunnen to the falls. You can also explore the town of Lauterbrunnen.
The town of Lauterbrunnen from where you can visit Trummelbach falls and Schilthorn.
2. Cruise on Lake Thun/Lake Brienz
You can also take a cruise on either Lake Brienz or Lake Thun, which are both covered in your Swiss travel pass. Surrounded by the serene mountains, Lake Brienz with its turquoise water, will leave you mesmerized. Embark on this cruise for the town of Brienz and take a stroll through this beautiful little town. The town of Brienz is known for its wood carving tradition which used to be a source of income. You may be able to watch artist carving impressive wooden sculptures live. On your way back, you can board a train which takes about 20 minutes to reach Interlaken.
Cruising on Lake Brienz.
Wood carving sculptures in the town of Brienz. Photos contributed by Sushrut Rajan
3. Oberhofen Castle & St. Beatus Caves
Built on the shore of Lake Thun, this beautiful castle from the 13th century should definitely be on your list. You can take the cruise on Lake Thun from Interlaken which departs from Interlaken west. The deep blue water and vastness of the lake Thun provides a feeling of relaxation and takes you to a meditative state of mind. Get down at Oberhofen to visit the historic castle. During summer, the castle opens from 11 am to 5 pm. You can take a bus back to Interlaken.
A trip to Oberhofen castle can be combined with a visit to St. Beatus caves. Embark on the cruise on Lake Thun from the Oberhofen and get down at the stop Beatushöhlen-Sundlauenen to visit these caves. With water flowing through the lush vegetation hanging from the hill, these beautiful limestone caves will certainly impress you. The tickets to the caves is ~ 18 CHF for adults and the caves are open from 9.45 am to 5 pm during summer. On your way back you can either take the bus or cruise to Interlaken.
Oberhofen castle by the Lake Thun. Photo Contributed by Sushrut Rajan
A direct train will take you from Interlaken ost to Grindelwald in about 40 minutes. With a beautiful backdrop of Mt Eiger, you can witness amazing views in the town. Visit the Grindelwald museum where you can learn about the history of the area, details on how cable cars and rail network was built and browse various vintage mountain sports equipment and learn their evolution over time. You can also visit the UNESCO world heritage site, Gletscherschlucht. At only 10 minutes bus ride from Grindelwald, with water gushing through the mountains and making its own path, this beautiful waterfall will amaze you.
Train cruising through the town of Grindelwald.
Gondola ride from Mannlichen down to Grindelwald.