Sitting in the shadow of the imposing Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau Mountain range is the popular chalet village of Wengen, Switzerland. Located directly opposite Murren, Wengen is a traffic free haven of peace set high in probably the most beautiful region in the whole of Europe. The stunning Alpine scenery will stop anyone in their tracks, no matter how long they have spent in the mountains. Many visitors will have seen Wengen on televisions during the annual World Cup Skiing events held on the Lauberhorn in Wengen, but nothing can prepare you for your first sight of the staggering views.
The name Wengen is never far from the lips of Alpine skiers. Despite its tranquil location, the Wengen ski resort is the most popular ski resort in Switzerland, and stays full with snow sports enthusiasts long into April. If you have not stayed in a Wengen chalet before, you may be surprised by the lack of gruelling black runs. Although many serious Alpine skiers return to holiday accommodation in Wengen each year, it is not the challenge of the pistes which draws them, but the charm of the village, the warm hospitality and the breathtaking scenery. Intermediate skiers will love the long, gentle runs which dominate the piste maps, and beginners will be at home with learner slopes right in the centre of village.
When the snow does finally melt, Wengen property becomes the target of many other sportsmen and holiday makers. The exceptional scenery, complete with a light dusting of snow on the highest peaks of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau, makes for ideal hiking country, and many people go walking in Wengen every year. There are many marked trails and walks of varying difficulty, from an afternoon stroll to strenuous, multi-day hikes. Information on trails and tracks are easily available from the Wengen tourist office, as are the locations of the best viewpoints throughout the mountains, although wherever you are, in the mountains or in your Wengen chalet, the views are never poor!
The après-ski is fairly low-key, but there are a handful of great restaurants and bars in which to soak up the atmosphere after a hard day on the slopes skiing or walking in Wengen, but there are regular cultural and folklore events staged throughout the village. If you find yourself in a Wengen property and do not wish to take to the slopes, there are plenty of options for entertainment. The Wengen tourist office has full listings, but you can go snow shoe trekking, ice skating, tobogganing, mountaineering, para-gliding or shopping in the village.
Every morning when you look out the window of your Wengen chalet you will see the resort of Murren on the far side of the valley. Murren is the slightly quieter, but no less hospitable of the two resorts. The Jungfrau ski region, which encapsulates the assets of Grindelwald, Murren and Wengen ski resorts, is a huge area of intermediate focussed skiing, with 213km of runs. Although there are many trains and lifts throughout the area, travelling from one side to the other can take a little while.
During the winter months, Wengen is obviously quite cold, with temperatures plummeting to around 2˚C for much of the winter period. Snow cover is usually quite good, but if you are aiming to take a Wengen chalet at either end of the season, it pays to check conditions. In summer, walking holidays thrive as temperatures reach a very pleasant average of around 22˚C.
However you decide to get to your Wengen chalet, you will not be able to drive. The last stretch to the village can only be made by taking the cog railway from Lauterbrunnen. In order to reach the railway, take a flight to Berne-Belp Airport (BRN), which receives direct flights form London. There are regular trains from the airport, which take around and hour.