Jungfraujoch – The Top of Europe


In 2005 I made my first visit to Switzerland. Apart from catching up with friends and touring the country I took an amazing railway journey to the top of the Jungfraujoch. This is a saddle between the Jungfrau Mountain (Young Virgin Mountain – 4,158 metres / 3,642 feet) and the Mönch Mountain (4,107 m / 13,474 feet) which are some of the highest peaks in the Bernese Alps.

Eiger, Monch & Jungfrau Mountains Switzerland
Eiger , Mönch & Jungfrau Mountains

You start out in Interlaken and take a 7.3-kilometre-long (4.5 mile) train / cog railway journey to the highest railway station in Europe which is 3,454 metres (just over 11,000 feet) above sea level! This has to be one of the great train journeys you can take?

The Jungfrau region Switzerland
The Jungfrau region
Kleine Scheidegg Bahnhof in the shadow of the mighty Bernese Alps Switzerland
Kleine Scheidegg Bahnhof in the shadow of the mighty Bernese Alps

To get to the Jungfraujoch you must travel on the cog railway through a tunnel within Eiger Mountain (3,970 metres / 13,020 feet) and Mönch Mountain. What an engineering feat this was to create a railway line in the early 20th century that zig zag’s its way up and inside these mountains.

Eiger Mountain Switzerland
The mighty Eiger Mountain

On the way up you stop at the intermediate stations of Eismeer and Eigerwand where you can look out windows in the rock face of the mountain to take in the view of the surrounding glaciers and countryside. This is not a cheap trip but the views are well worth it.

Eiger Clacier - View from Eismeer Station  Jungfraujoch Switzerland
Eiger Clacier – View from Eismeer Station

Once you get up top as you exit the railway station you walk through the Ice Palace for a chilly yet fun welcome to the Jungfraujoch. The railway station may look like any other one underground until you remember you are inside a mountain!

Jungfraujoch Railway Station Switzerland
Jungfraujoch Railway Station
Ice Palace Jungfraujoch Switzerland
Brrrr… in the Ice Palace!

From there you can head up to the Sphinx or the Berghaus to take in the view. We wandered about then enjoyed some lunch whilst taking in the surrounding vista.

The Sphinx Jungfraujoch Switzerland
The Sphinx
Jungfraujoch - Berghaus Switzerland
Jungfraujoch – Berghaus
Jungfrau Mountain Switzerland
Jungfrau Mountain
Jungfraujoch - Snow Drifts
Jungfraujoch – Snow Drifts

Look out far and wide across Switzerland or back toward the Aletsch Glacier. At a length of 23 kilometres / 14 miles it is the largest glacier in the alps. Spectacular!

Looking out across Switzerland from the Jungfraujoch
Looking out across Switzerland from the Jungfraujoch
Aletsch Glacier Switzerland Jungfraujoch
Aletsch Glacier

The views are great but to truly take in the beauty of the Jungfraujoch, hike out to the edge of the glacier. The scenery is almost overwhelming and at that altitude it literally takes your breath away!

Jungfraujoch Switzerland
On the glacier hike – behind me is the Sphynx and the Jungfrau peak
Jungfraujoch Glacier Hike to Monchsjoch Hut
Glacier Hike to Monchsjoch Hut
Jungfraujoch glacier hike
The views on the glacier hike are stunning
glacier hike Jungfraujoch Switzerland
It was very hard to breathe at that altitude on the glacier hike
Glacier Hike Jungfraujoch Switzerland
Glacier Hike
Schreckhorn Mountain & Snow Field Switzerland
Schreckhorn Mountain & Snow Field

The day was finished with a hike to the quaint and oh so Swiss town of Grindelwald. I wonder how many people have broken out into the Sound of Music in this place?

Swiss Alps - the trail to Grindelwald
Swiss Alps – the trail to Grindelwald
trail to Grindelwald switzerland
making our way to Grindelwald
Grindelwald Switzerland
Wheres Heidi? Grindelwald
Grindelwald Switzerland
A typical Swiss style house in Grindelwald

Switzerland has to be one of the most beautiful countries in this great world of ours. They make great chocolate too!

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Trevor James says:

    Fantastic trip, we did it back in 1987. I remember taking photo’s of the cog system to show my Dad.

    1. Deano says:

      Yeah very beautiful place Trev. Buggsy would have loved that!

  2. travelforaircraft says:

    Alpine scenery is a challenge to beat — thanks 🙂

    1. Deano says:

      Its a truly beautiful place

  3. Doug says:

    Amazing! Great pictures!

    1. Deano says:

      Thanks Doug! Its a beautiful place. Sometimes snow is good!

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