The snow-capped mountain peaks of Switzerland, which has some of the most challenging and highest peaks in Europe, are not the only highlights on a trip to the Swiss Alps. Those new to hiking or are still mulling over the prospect of trekking trails will also find the Grindelwald-Männlichen Gondola Cableway a bucket-list goal in itself.
Among the World’s Longest
This amazing cable car ride starts from the village of Grindelwald, a picturesque and popular holiday hub in Switzerland, and stretches for no less than 6,000 meters all the way to Männlichen, making it one of the world’s longest cableways. It was originally built to assist skiers in reaching the summit of Männlichen, which towers at 2229 meters over the 914 meters starting point at Grindelwald. That being said, the ascent is about 1220 meters, which may make the trip feel like you’re flying on a small plane.
The famed cableway was opened in December 1978 to accommodate the increasing demand for adequate transport capacity as more tourists flocked to the area. Grindelwald had already been an open secret for the past few decades and saw an increasing stream of visitors year after year, not to mention becoming a setting for a James Bond film. As such, the cableway allowed guests to reach various vantage points in the Swiss Alps that boast some of the most stunning views, without needing to huff and puff all the way there. The ride to Männlichen lasts about 30 minutes at least, making it one of the longest cableway rides in the whole planet, as well.
The Grindelwald-Männlichen Gondola Cableway operates no matter the season (well, at least from May to October), which is one reason Grindelwald is a viable starting point for trips to the higher vantage points in the Swiss Alps, thus drawing visitors by the thousands. Aboard the gondolas, which can accommodate up to 4 people each, you can get magical bird’s eye views of the beautiful Bernese Oberland, an unspoilt landscape that makes you recall fairytale story settings and terrain that seem to be the kind described in “The Lord of The Rings”-type of novels.
As the gondola makes its way to Männlichen, you can see the bottom of the Lauterbrunn valley, which is 610 meters below. You also get a 360-degree view of the snow-capped mountains all around. The Wetterhorn, a mountain that looms over Grindelwald, is also very much visible on this ride.
What to Expect on the Ride
While the sky-high views may make the inexperienced nervous, the gondola ride has frequently been described by those who have tried it as “relaxing” and “peaceful.” That’s because aside from the fact that the gondolas are sturdy and safe, the maximum gradient of the ride is just 55 percent and goes at a slow pace (4 meters per second). The gondola also isn’t noisy; in fact, you may even hear cow bells ringing during the ride!
Perhaps you may feel disappointed when your magical cableway ride finally docks at Männlichen, but you shouldn’t be. That’s because the destination has its share of fantastic views and recreational options. You can enjoy the food from the three restaurants present and drink in the views of the Grindelwald valley, the Eiger, Jungfrau, Mönch, the Interlaken, Lake Thun, and the Lauterbrunn valley. You can also hike your way back to Grindelwald upon arrival or explore other trails.
Are you planning to hike in the area or have already been there? Tell us all about it!