The Brienzer Rothorn is one of the most magnificent look-outs in the Alps. Soaring up 2,350m, it offers unobstructed views in every direction, taking in Pilatus, Rigi and the Central Swiss Alps, the 4,000m-busting Bernese Alps (including the Jungfrau) and even the distant Jura Mountains. On a clear day you can see almost 700 different summits. It doesn’t matter what level of hiker you are either – virtually everyone can enjoy this panorama. The fit can walk all the way up from the bottom along various trails: most popular are those from the Brünig Pass or Schönbühl in the east or from Brienz to the south. Either way, it’s a tough but remarkable climb via aromatic forest, alpine meadows and increasingly impressive views down to Lake Brienz and up to snow-capped peaks.
Alternatively, use the mountain’s historic transport system to lessen the effort. The Brienz Rothorn Railway opened in 1892 and its bright-red carriages continue to grind up, still powered by steam. You could ride the rack railway all the way to the final station, from where it’s only a 100m climb to the Rothorn’s summit. You could also disembark at the intermediate station of Planalp for a mid-level hike. Plus, there are a number of trails that riddle the top of the ridge, all of which offer tremendous views.