Sometimes green, sometimes turquoise and sometimes dark blue, the Aare winds its way through the city of Bern. In summer, when the days get warmer, there is no stopping the city’s inhabitants. By the thousands, they gather at the Aare and enjoy its cooling water. The audacious ones head to the popular Marzili pool and the Lorraine Bad to jump from the bridges into the river.
Those more in favour of relaxation take an inflatable boat. Boating down the Aare, or “Aareböötle” as it is called by the locals, is the favourite pastime of Bern’s inhabitants. Depending on the length of the boat trip, people can launch their boats at different places between Thun and Bern. Once the boat is launched, there is only one thing to do: to drift along the river. The longest route, from Thun to the Lake Wohlen takes around 4 hours. Those who prefer to drift past the landscape in a more active way either swim or use a stand-up paddle board. However, be aware that this is only suitable for experienced swimmers!
The trail of the Aare leads through the Cantons of Bern, Solothurn and Aargau, and its length comprises 295 km. The river rises in the Oberaargletscher (Upper Aar Glacier) in the Bernese Alps. From there it flows through the Aare Gorge to Meiringen, past Lake Brienz to Bern and then towards Lake Biel, Aarberg and Brugg until it eventually becomes a tributary of the Rhine close to Koblenz. What makes the Aare special is that it is the longest river that both rises and ends entirely within Switzerland.