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This beautiful section of the Swiss Way of St. James leads past magnificent mountain scenery, along Lake Thun to the Beatus Caves.

In Merlingen the path splits. The signposted path leads around the lake via Thun. As an alternative you can take the boat to Spiez. I have described both ways. With Berg & Ski sind we used the boat and stayed overnight in Spiez. During the pilgrimage with my parish in August 2009 we chose the route to Thun, first to Gunten.

Hotel "de la paix" in Interlaken

In the morning at 08:30 the small Berg&Ski pilgrim group leaves their "pilgrim hostel", the hotel "de la paix" in Interlaken.

Eiger, Mönch und Jungfrau

What a pity if the weather doesn't quite play along, otherwise this view of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau would be even more magnificent.

Ruine Weissenau

The path first leads along the Aare, past the Weissenau ruins, ...

Naturschutzgebiet am Thunersee

... then through a beautiful nature reserve directly on the lakeside.

the Niesen at lake Thun

After a large campsite, the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) runs a little above the road along Lake Tuner and offers wonderful views.

Treppe zur Beatushöhle

Stairs lead to the Beatus Caves.


The Beatus Caves are always busy in the main season. Hundreds of tourists come here. The entrance fee is not exactly cheap. The guided tour of the cave takes one hour. You have to climb many stairs and overcome large differences in altitude (about 130m).

Grab des hl. Beatus

The grave of St. Beatus. The cave tour starts there. Photography is forbidden inside.


The Beatus Cave lies very picturesquely nestled in the rocks.

Brücke am Jakobsweg nach der Beatushöhle

After the Beatus Cave, the path leads first downhill and immediately uphill again because a quarry has to be bypassed.

The way leads over this bridge ...

Unter diesem Baum muss man durch

... and under this tree wonderfully through the forest to Merlingen.

Info Tafel zum Jakobsweg, Variante über Spiez

Since 2009, a board in Merlingen has been providing information about the way forward. Either the officially signposted route via Thun, or as an alternative via ship to Spiez.


Variant of the Way of St. James via Spiez  

Jakobsweg von Merlingen zum Schloss Rallingen

Here we continue along Lake Thun to Thun.

After Merlingen the path leads uphill again. We walk on small paths above the lake.

Brücke am Jakobsweg entlang dem Thunersee

After this bridge the descent begins to Rallingen Castle, which we pass on the upper side.

Schloss Ralligen

The history of Ralligen Castle can be traced back to the 14th century, when it was used as a vineyard by the then Augustinian monastery of Interlaken.

Between 1500 and the 19th century, it belonged mostly to Bernese patricians or Thun citizens. Then it housed a domestic science school for a long time.

In 1976 the castle was acquired by Protestant monks, the "Christusträger", and it now serves them as a monastery and guest house.

Gunten am Thunersee

Soon Gunten and its hotels will come into view.

Hotel Hirschen in Gunten am Thunersee

The Hirschen has seen better times. An Indian investor group "Swiss Dreams" bought the hotel and it has been falling apart ever since. Since the year 2023, there has been renewed hope for a revival of the hotel.

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