The First gondola is one of Grindelwald’s best viewpoints (First is a local word for cliff). Leaving right from town, the gondola whisks you 3700 ft above the valley to the top station. The views are absolutely incredible. You can use it as a starting ending point for hikes in the region, such as the hike from First to Grosse Scheidegg, an easy and scenic 2-3 hour walk, or the round-trip to the picturesque Bachsee lake.
The restaurant at the top makes a nice stop for lunch. The cliff-walk features a thrilling suspension bridge and observation platform. You can see the entire valley and watch paragliders soar through the termals.
There’s also the First flyer, a long zip-line for adrenaline junkies that runs from First to Schreckfeld, the next station down. Further down, the Bort station features a restaurant, a fabulous kids playground, and the opportunity to rent “Trotti bikes” – big scooters with brakes that you can zip down to Grindelwald on.
The First gondola costs CHF 60 round-trip, and runs in the summer from early April through the end of October, so it’s great for those shoulder season trips also. Details on their website at www.jungfrau.ch
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Local Village Bases
Grindelwald has long been known as the ‘glacier village’ thanks to the nearby glaciers that extend almost into the town. The glaciers may be receding, but the views are still out of this world.