February 2011
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Travel – Spiez, located on the south shore of Lake Thun

Spiez is in the Frutigen-Niedersimmental administrative district. It is a city in the canton of Bern in Switzerland and is located 11 kilometers on the south shore of Lake Thun. It is known for its waterside castle and lake views. It is a resort village surrounded with mountains.
The Old town or Stadtli and the train station are a major shopping area of Spiez. One can find boats from Thun and Interlaken. Schloss Spiez, which is a medieval castle, is a fifteenth / sixteenth century castle. It is usually open from April to October. This castle was the residence of Stretlingen family and then passed to noble dynasties of Bernese. Spiez is also having a renowned sailing school. The town has tiny lanes and yachts are filled in the bay.
The place of Spiez is populated with Germans and Swiss-Germans. The lake is surrounded with restaurants, tearooms and pizzerias.

Things to do:

• Hiking: Homebase Spiez
The peaks around Spiez are good for hiking. One can take a train or bus to reach the area. The right peak behind is Nisen which can be reached by a post auto. One can get to or back by train and enjoy the view around.
Stockhorn is another alpine mountain to hike. The starting point is Erlenbach which is 15 minutes from Spiez by train. Take a ride towards Zweissimen. To go to the peak, one can take a cable car or hike or reach there and hike. This hike is unique as the peak is above 400 metre cliff.
There are a few fantastic peaks that will definitely be great hikes starting from Spiez (by train or bus). The peak right behind Spiez is the Nisen. A post auto (bus) can take you to a variety of base locations, and there is a train that can take you down at the end of a tired day, or take you up just for the view.

• Cruising-day tickets in spring for both lakes
In spring one can get a day ticket for Thunersee and Brienzersee.
This ticket will include all of the cruises. Take the train between Interlaken Ost and Interlaken West.

Places to see:

• Schloss Spiez – a great medieval palace
The Schloss or the castle of Spiez is a medieval palace known for its architecture dating back to 10th century. It has old walls of the century. It has the 18th century architecture now because of the renovations taken place. It has fancy baroque furniture and ornate decorations, lovely stucco-works and frescos now.
• Step up the tower
A set of steps leads upwards to the tower of the castle of Schloss Spiez. The tower is 39 meters high and belongs to the year 1200. These steps have a panorama-view of the vineyards that are next to the castle, the village of Spiez with the Niesen and the lovely Thunersee.

• Lovely house
Next to the chapel of St.Columban, there is a house with a great balcony facing the Thuner See and a nice painting behind that balcony. One can view this on the way from the lake.

• Festsaal / the hall for festivities
One of the largest and spectacular rooms of the Schloss Spiez is the Festsall, which means the hall for festivities. The sidewalls, the ceilings have unique stucco-works all over it and they are believed to be made by Antonio Castello from Melide. These are unique and original as they have not been renovated or disturbed.

• Great interior of the Schloss Spiez
The interiors of the castle are open in the summer season. It opening starts on Friday before Easter. There is a medieval bed which is unique in style.

• Interior of the castle
In the castle one can see interesting exhibits. These exhibits belong to different centuries. There is a giant painting, wooden ceilings, spinning-wheel, painting of Swiss history etc.

• Spiez & its flowers
The lovely flower-arrangement of Spiez is one of the things you should not miss. This can be watched only if you take the path to the castle as it is in midway to castle. One can see some great wooden houses in the old Swiss style.

• Ship to Schloss Oberhofen
Take the ship from Spiez to Schloss Oberhofen in summer as it gives one a view of the castle and the surrounding park. The museum there is open between mid of May and mid of October.

• St.Columban – a popular wedding-chapel
Just a few meters from the castle of Spiez are the St. Columban chapel. It belongs to the 10th century. This church is a place for marriages in Switzerland and hence known the wedding-chapel.

How to get there

• Cisalpino (CIS) tilting trains
The Cisalpino Company is an Italian-Swiss joint venture with the Italian and Swiss railway systems as equal partners. Cisaplino tilting trains have been running through the Alps between Switzerland and Italy. These tilting trains can lean on curves and ideal for mountain routes rather than normal trains.
The trains between Switzerland and Italy are operated directly by the Swiss and Italian railways, mainly under the name “EuroCity”.

• Transportation hub:
Spiez is a major transportation hub. Two important rail routes meet her: the Lötschberg-Simplon route from Germany through Switzerland (Basel – Bern – Brig) to Italy and the Golden Pass trains from Montreux via Gstaad and Interlaken to Lucerne (continues to Zurich).

• Veloland Switzerland
There are two different bicycle routes, one for normal bicycles and one for mountain bikes.
Spiez is on the Swiss national cycling route number 8, called the “Aare Route” because it follows along the Aare River from its source to the Rhine, and number 9, the “Montreux–Rorschach” route. And there is a mountain bike route going to Leissingen, Krattigen and Aeschi.

• InterCityExpress (ICE) trains from Germany
Within Germany there is one ICE train per hour on most routes. Five of these ICE trains per day go beyond Basel into Switzerland, stopping at Olten, Bern, Thun, Spiez and Interlaken. For connections to Italy, you have to change trains at Spiez, at the latest.
The journey from Frankfurt to Spiez takes four hours and forty-one minutes.

• Take the train to Spiez
Spiez has its own train station and from Interlaken to Bern, almost all the trains halt here.

Best time to visit / climate:

The place is ideal to visit in summer as the castle is open in summer and you can see the interior of the castle as well. The other places, lake, cruising, hiking are all ideal in the weather of summer. The right peak behind is Nisen which can be reached by a post auto. One can get to or back by train and enjoy the view around.
Stockhorn is another alpine mountain to hike. The starting point is Erlenbach which is 15 minutes from Spiez by train. Take a ride towards Zweissimen. To go to the peak, one can take a cable car or hike or reach there and hike. This hike is unique as the peak is above 400 metre cliff.

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website):

• Tripadvisor (hotel, restaurant)
• http://www.kayak.com/Spiez-Hotels.48838.hotel.ksp
• http://www.myswitzerland.com/en/hotels/index.cfm/berneroberland/spiez
• http://www.holidaycityeurope.com/spiezhotels/
• http://www.eden-spiez.ch/de_neu/
• http://www.switzerlandhotel.net/spiez_hotels.html
• http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-489208-spiez_switzerland_vacations-i
• Virtualtourist (list of restaurants, list of hotels)

Blogs / Sites about Spiez:

• http://www.tripadvisor.com/AllReviews-g580339-Spiez.html
• http://realtravel.com/dm-22015-spiez_maps
• http://www.travbuddy.com/Spiez-travel-blogs-1192293
• http://lerlop.com/2009/07/berner-oberland-switzerland/
• http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-mountain-scene-spiez-switzerland-image15439233

Images and photos of Spiez:

Google Search
• http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Europe/Switzerland/West/Bern/Spiez/
• http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g580339-Spiez.html
• http://www.flickr.com/photos/eaglesky/4863206230/

Videos of Spiez (Google Search)

The Trip Chicks in Spiez Switzerland

Morning Bells, Spiez, Switzerland

A beautiful scenery of Spiez


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