Spend a weekend in Mürren and experience the best views in the Alps, thrilling activities and a charming community resort in the heart of the Bernese Oberland.
At an elevation of nearly 1,650 m and with only 400 residents, Mürren is a traditional village at the foot of the Schilthorn. As the Bernese Oberland’s highest ski resort, Mürren is only accessible by cable car or train, meaning – no traffic. And, aside from the restaurants, there’s little in the way of nightlife, making this picturesque village ideal for family ski trips. That said, when the Lauberhorn World Cup downhill race across the valley takes place in Wengen, and The Inferno – the world’s largest amateur ski race, both of which take place every January. And then there are the omnipresent Bond fans…
In the 1969 classic Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’, villain Blofeld’s lair is on top of the Schilthorn. ‘Piz Gloria’ which was the world’s first revolving restaurant, bears the same name as the villain’s lair. For the more proficient skier – you can even hit the slope made famous by the ski-chase from the film, but bear in mind at its steepest, the slope has a 75% incline.
But if you couldn’t care less about Bond, there’s plenty to keep you entertained with over 50 kilometres of pistes and the newly opened, and aptly named, Thrill Walk. Mürren is also home to the historic ski club Kandahar, of which, World Cup skier, Dave Ryding is a member.
The efficiency of the Swiss transport system put South West trains to shame. Once you arrive at the airport, the next leg of the journey begins with a series of trains, with painfully close changes. Once you make it to the valley town of Lauterbrunnen, you can take either a cable car or train to get to the ski resort of Mürren, as it’s car free.
We stayed in the intimate chalet style ALPENRUH, which is owned by the Schilthorn cable car company. Conveniently located opposite the cable car, this ski-in ski-out hotel offers guests the option of having breakfast either in their restaurant, or to take the 20 minute ride up to the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant. Although the rooms are basic, the mountain views more than compensate and, the new Michelin star chef’s, food is particularly noteworthy. Try the regional speciality, spaetzle with roasted onions and local Mürren cheese. It’s as gooey, rich and cosy as you’d hope.
Alternatively, at the other end of the tiny village, opposite the train station, is grand old fashioned family run EIGER Hotel. With contemporary rustic Swiss suites, and small indoor pool with stunning mountain views, this is considered one of the best hotels in Mürren.
The freshly renovated PIZ GLORIA is a must. If not for the food – which is a pretty decent brasserie style menu, including everything from snacks to regional specialities – then certainly for the scenery which has the best panoramic view of the Swiss Alps. At 2,970m and rotating around its own axis in 45 minutes, the 360-degree panoramic views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, reach to the Mont Blanc and the Black Forest. The Bond themed bathroom is also worth checking out. Just remember to make a note of which table number you’re at before stepping away…
Go behind-the-scenes in the highly interactive BOND WORLD 007. Discover film-related details and trivia, catch a glimpse of the original screenplay and try out your own Bond skills in the Bobsleigh and helicopter simulators.
The local Alpine Sports Centre is also worth a visit for some après-ski spa action. After the £9m refurbishment in 2012, there’s a luxurious new wellness area including steam room, sauna, outdoor hot tub and pool.
The newly built and stomach churning Thrill Walk is not for the faint-hearted, but well worth braving for the breathtaking views. With a 200m long reinforced glass and steel walkway that clings to the sheer mountain drops, it’s certainly a thrill.
Sledge on the same bob run featured in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’. A gentle route that descends steadily through the Blumental and snow-clad pine woods, back to Mürren.
You can always head across the valley to Wengen for a day trip, the historic home of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains, and Wengernalp Hotel, the best restaurant to enjoy a lunch with a view.