Classic Swiss Alps Walk
Breathtaking natural beauty: snow-capped peaks, emerald-green slopes, amazing turquoise lakes, meadows thick with flowers – see it all on this self-guided walk through Switzerland. Kandersteg is in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, where the great arc of the Alps culminates in some of its highest and most spectacular peaks. This area epitomises the ‘chocolate-box’ Alps: lush green meadows bright with wildflowers, against a backdrop of rugged, wild mountains, topped with glistening glaciers.
Level of support:
Related Services Available to Add:
Day 1: Arrive in Kandersteg
Arrive at the 3 star Hotel Alfa Soleil, well known locally for its excellent cuisine and enjoy a welcome drink before dinner which is included all week along with picnics or light restaurant lunches. Below is a suggested itinerary for the week but you are free to pick and choose when and where you walk each day.
Days 2: Allenalp
This easy-going walk to start your week begins with a spectacular cable car ride (included) up to the Allmenalp, a colourful meadow brimming with rural mountain charm. There are stunning views across the valley to towering cliffs, snow-capped peaks and glaciers. Continue into the pastures of the Alpbach, sheltered by a colossal mountain bowl where marmots 'cohabit' with farmers and their cattle. An afternoon descent of the Alpbach Gorge takes you down to the valley floor for a relaxed stroll along the River Kander to the hotel.
Day 3: The Gasterntal and the Klus Gorge
This super walk begins with an exhilarating 20-minute minibus ride (fare included) along a narrow road carved out of the rock wall. The UNESCO-recognised Gasterntal is Kandersteg's 'hidden valley', with snow-fed waterfalls splashing down sheer cliff faces. After an optional, loop-extension further up the valley, you meander down the River Kander, through woods and open meadows to the Waldhaus Nature Reserve - look out for lady slippers, fire lilies and more than 25 varieties of orchid. With the mighty rock walls of the Balmhorn, Tatlishore and the Atels towering high, follow the spectacular Klus Gorge where glacial meltwater rushes down over thunderous waterfalls.
Day 4: Oeschinensee
Widely regarded as the jewel in the crown of the Bernese Oberland, Oeschinensee is one of the most beautiful Alpine lakes in Switzerland. After a short ride up on the gondola lift (included), follow a marvellous mountain path up to the Heuberg Viewpoint and picnic spot. The cobalt blue water of the lake, surrounded by the snow-capped, razor-edged peaks of the Doldenhorn (3,638m) and the Bluemlisalphorn (3,663m) towering 2,000m above, will be a lasting memory.
Day 5: Blausee and the Nordrampe
A gentle hour's stroll takes you down to the Natural Park of Blausee - the Blue Lake (entry included with short boat ride). Here you can wander through verdant woodland around the little lake, visit the organic trout farm and enjoy a drink on the lake terrace. Cross the valley at Kandergrund and pick up the Nordrampe Bahnwanderweg - a fabulous walking trail that in part follows the impressive railway as it makes huge loops and swirls through tunnels along the side of the mountain.
Day 6: Daubensee and Gemmi Pass
The Sunnbuel cable car (included) whisks you up to nearly 2,000m to begin today's walk. Enjoy refreshments at the renowned Schwarenbach Hotel, where Lenin and Picasso have signed the visitors' book. It's then on to the Daubensee and the famous high Gemmi Pass (2,322m), a major Transalpine route first used by the Celts. The extraordinary panorama of the Valais Alps to the south includes the Weisshorn (4,506m) and the Matterhorn (4,478m).
Day 7: The Sudrampe
Today starts with a 25-minute train ride (payable locally) through the Lotschberg mountain rail tunnel (14km long) to Hohtenn. The walk takes you high above a youthful River Rhone, through a landscape of gorges and hidden side valleys - and small hillside villages boasting traditional wooden chalets built on the upper edges of this fertile, vineyard-adorned valley. You follow part of the Lotschberger-Sudrampe railway trail - superb railway engineering, viaducts, tunnels and bridges - but you don't need to be a train buff to enjoy this great little hike.
Day 8: Leave Kandersteg
Return to Zurich via Kandersteg rail.
Operated by Exodus Travels. *Valid on active tours only and applicable only to new bookings. Discount applies to land only price. Must be booked from April 30 to June 1, 2018 with date of first travel no later than December 31, 2020. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or offer. Prices may vary based on departure date. Trip prices will be quoted in CAD. Regular booking conditions apply. Other conditions may apply. Please contact us for further details. Trip style: Self-Guided Walking with Moderate Activity Level.
® Merit Travel trademark owned by, and use is granted by, Merit Travel Group Inc. Offers are based on availability and may be subject to change. Certain exclusions, limitations and restrictions may apply. For full terms and conditions visit, https://merittravel.com/terms-and-conditions/.