Three more walks in Switzerland: 3. Reichenbach Falls – “The Final Problem”

This last suggested walk is a short trip up to and around Reichenbach Falls near Meiringen, probably most famous as the setting for what was supposed to be the final Sherlock Holmes story “The Final Problem”. Access to Meiringen from Grindelwald is via bus and post-bus (via Grosse Scheidegg) or via train from Interlaken Ost.

The walk commences at the Reichbachfall-Bahn funicular station at the base of the falls (operates between mid-May and mid-October, 08:15 to 11.45 and 13:15 to 17:45). The station is just outside Meiringen (about 20 mins or so walk from the town centre).

After riding on the funicular and arriving at the top station walk out to the viewing area for a good first close-up view of the impressive falls. From here a clear path leads up to the right and climbs by the side of the falls, eventually crossing over the river.

Most people turn back here and return to the funicular, but the suggestion is to continue along the path as it drops to the other side of the falls. The path goes through woodland before a junction is reached with Reichenbach falls sign-posted down a track to the left. Follow this path as it descends, ignoring for the moment a side track signed Meiringen that drops off to the right, until it reaches an excellent vantage point overlooking the falls and marked with a white star and plaque as the point where Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty were locked in their apparently fatal duel (of course it turned out that Holmes survived).

After admiring the view go back to the track junction just passed and follow it as it descends back into Meiringen. There is another excellent view of the falls a little further down. The footpath then eventually reaches the main road into Meiringen, the turn-off back to the falls is on the left; alternatively, continue walking and then turn right over a bridge and back to Meiringen town centre.

If you are staying at Grindelwald, a suggestion is to take the train from Meiringen to Brienz and then paddle-steamer across Brienzersee to Interlaken Ost from where the train to Grindelwald can be accessed – the bus station office at Grindelwald can sell a ticket that covers the whole circuit (i.e. also including the bus trip from Grindelwald to Meiringen).

Statue of Sherlock Holmes outside the Sherlock Holmes museum in Meiringen