Interlaken is located between Lake Brienz to the east and Lake Thun to the west. The town takes its name from its geographical position between the lakes (in Latin inter lacus), but the name was only coined in 1891, replacing the old name Aarmühle.
Interlaken is located at 570 metres above sea level. The original importance of the town was as the site of a convent of the Augustinian Canons; the convent was built in 1130 and lasted until 1528. In the past, printing, textiles, and to a smaller extent watchmaking were also of importance, but today tourism is the most significant source of income. Interlaken is one of the oldest tourist resorts in Switzerland, and it remains one of the most popular.
Interlaken is frequently visited by adventure-seeking backpackers throughout the year. The town is home to numerous backpacker-friendly hostels and companies that provide guided services in Skydiving, Canyoning, Hanggliding, Paragliding, and Skiing, to name a few.
The town offers tourists a peaceful base from which to explore the surrounding areas by train or bus. However, the main attraction is probably the magnificent Jungfrau mountain (4158m). Many hotels are located along the Höheweg avenue which offer good views of the mountains. Mystery Park, a paranormal-based theme park owned by Erich van Daninken, was closed in 2006 after three years because of financial difficulties.