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Bern tours and excursions

Bern tours

Scenic helicopter tours

If you fancy flying over the rooftops of Bern's Old Town, book a helicopter flight. Alternatively, you can whizz over the Emmental region or the scenic Bernese Oberland. There are a number of recommended operators, including Mountainflyers and Swiss Helicopter AG.

Tel: (031) 819 6030; (031) 818 8888.

Bike tours

There are seven bike tours on the FLYER Swiss electronic bikes, varying from three to five hours, promising the chance to enjoy wonderful scenery in the Bern region - all starting and ending in the city. The tours take in the Aare and Gurbe Valley along the Moraine mountain ranges; Lake Wohlen, one of the prettiest spots around Bern and the foothills of the Alps.

Tel: (051 220 2374.

Walking tours

The tourist office and its guides offer a variety of tours. Guided walking tours through the Old Town are available every Saturday from November to March and daily from April to November. They include all the tourist sights as well as lesser-known jewels throughout the city's UNESCO World Heritage site. There are also daily guided tours of Bern's famous clock tower throughout the summer season (April-October). They give a fascinating insight into 16th-century technology and are highly recommended. Group tours are available upon request and include a bus tour of the city and river trips in inflatable boats. An iPod audioguide is also available. For more information, contact the Tourist Information Centre, Bahnhofplatz 10A, at the railway station. For a short introduction to Bern's history, visit the information centre beside the Bear Pits, where the BernShow (a 20-minute 3D presentation) will give you a snapshot of the city's past and present.

Tel: (031) 328 1212.

Bern excursions

Emmentaler Show Dairy

The Emmentaler Show Dairy in Affoltern is a modern cheese-manufacturing plant, restaurant and cheese shop, with various events and exhibitions. You can also learn about old cheese-making techniques here. For instance, in the 18th-century cowherd's cottage, cheese is made in a cauldron over an open fire. It’s around 45 minutes’ drive from Bern.

Tel: +41 34 435 1611

Brienz-Rothorn Railway

Ride Switzerland's only steam cog railway up to the 2,350m (7,710ft) summit of Brienz Rothorn. The track winds through pretty meadows, gardens and forests on its alpine ascent. The service usually operates between mid-May and mid-October. There are six hiking trails at the summit suitable for keen walkers, as well as a restaurant with panoramic views.

Tel: +41 33 952 2222