Trails of the Swiss Alps

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$2,099 USD
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Moderate
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Trip code: 
TDU
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
4–15
Min age:
16

Discover the western end of the Bernese Oberland range

Located in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, where the great arc of the Alps culminates in some of its highest and most spectacular peaks, Kandersteg is a walker's paradise. This area epitomises the 'chocolate-box' Alps: lush green meadows bright with wildflowers, against a backdrop of rugged, wild mountains, topped with glistening glaciers. We stay at the charming Hotel Alfa Soleil, owned by the Seiler family, and discover the best of the region offers, including towering cliffs, a hidden valley headed by a glacier, a sheer gorge carved out by glacial meltwaters and more.

Highlights

  • Centre based in the pretty village of Kandersteg
  • Classic Swiss landscapes
  • Views of the Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau and Matterhorn
  • Waterfalls and wildflowers (best in early spring/summer)

Key information

  • 7 nights 3-star Hotel Alfa Soleil, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days of summer walking, 1 free day

  • Altitude maximum 2400m, average 1525m
  • Travel by train, cable car and bus
  • Countries visited: Switzerland

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 packed lunches and 6 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - limited availability)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Moderate

Terrain:

Mountain walking on good (though sometimes narrow) paths with occasional steepish climbs.

Day by day breakdown
Day 215.0km/9.4miles
Day 320.0km/12.5miles
Day 415.0km/9.4miles
Day 616.0km/10.0miles
Day 713.0km/8.1miles

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Kandersteg

    Your holiday begins at the Alfa Soleil hotel in Kandersteg. You should aim to arrive late morning to early afternoon for a pre-dinner briefing from your walking leader.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Walk along the Kandertal Valley to the world famous Blausee Lake.

    A gentle walk to start our week, this varied and peaceful route takes us along the bottom of the upper Kandertal Valley to the world-famous Blausee - Blue lake. Lunch can be taken at the lake. The afternoon is free to enjoy the hotel’s facilities and the wonderful views of the valley.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Ride on the Sunnbüel cable car to the start of the walk. Cross the cantonal border into the Valais; hike to the northern end of the Daubensee.

    In the morning we take ride on the Sunnbüel cable car to the start of the walk. We then cross the cantonal border into the Valais and walk to the Schwarenbach Hotel, where even Lenin and Picasso have signed the visitors' book! From here we walk to the northern end of the Daubensee (sometimes still partially frozen) to the famous high Gemmi Pass (2322m), a major transalpine route first used by the Celts. The extraordinary panorama of the Valais Alps to the south includes the Matterhorn (4478m) and Monte Rosa on the Italian border.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Short ride on the Oeschinensee cable car followed by a circular walk to the Heuberg viewpoint.

    Widely regarded as the jewel in the crown of the Bernese Oberland, Oeschinensee is, in our view, the most beautiful Alpine lake in Switzerland. After a short ride up on the cable car, we climb to the viewpoint at Heuberg. Nothing can prepare us for the cobalt blue of the water surrounded by the razor-edged peaks of the Doldenhorn (3638m), towering 2000m above it, and striped by dainty waterfalls trickling down from the Frunden glacier.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day.

    Optional activities include rowing on the Oeschinensee or a visit to the lakes near Interlaken.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Ride on the Allmenalp cable car followed by a walk along the paths into the Ueschinen valley; descend to Kandersteg.

    It's a gentle start today with a spectacular cable car ride to ascend to the Allmenalp (1725m), a colourful meadow brimming with rural mountain charm. There are stunning views across the valley to the Oeschinensee with its magnificent turquoise-coloured waters and towering cliffs adorned with waterfalls. From the summit the 360° view is nothing less than spectacular, with 12 mountain peaks above 3000m in close proximity, and occasionally eagles frequent the adjoining peaks.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Walk through the Gasterntal Valley to the Kanderfirn Glacier; return with local bus.

    This is a day full of thrilling experiences, starting with an exciting 20 minute minibus ride along a narrow road literally carved out of the rock wall. The Gasterntal is Kandersteg's 'hidden valley', dozens of snow-fed waterfalls thundering down the sheer rock faces carved out by a gigantic glacier 10,000 years ago. From this romantic nature reserve, and with the mighty rock walls of the Tatlishorn and Atels towering up on the right, we meander through woods and open meadows; look out for lady slippers, fire lilies and more than 25 varieties of orchid before we return to the hotel with a local bus.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Kandersteg.

    End Kandersteg. Following breakfast we say our goodbyes and take our train to the airport.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

 

Visas

Switzerland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Switzerland

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 packed lunches and 6 dinners included. For dinner, we enjoy regional dishes.

With such a mixture of language and tradition co-existing in such a small country, it is no wonder that there are so many regional dishes. In the Bernese Oberland, Austrian and German influences predominate; gastronomic local delicacies include geschnetzeltes Kalbsfleisch (veal in a rich cream sauce), Kandersteger Bratwurst au Mad re-Jus (roast sausage with a Madeira sauce), Lammbraten gefüllt mit Kraütern (herb roasted lamb) and smoked pork with sauerkraut, and a selection of colourful salads. Typical desserts include Caramel-Birne mit Rum-Sabayon (caramelised pear with a rum sabayon) and Aprikosen-Symphonie (apricot gateau).

Weather

June through to August have the nicest weather, pleasant for walking. On average July is the warmest month. The rainy season falls between May and September, so rain is expected, remember to take your waterproofs. A word of caution - Switzerland can be hot in high season - remember your sun hat and suncream and take plenty of water with you. Our minimum recommendation is 1.5 litres per person per day.

Is this trip for you?

Activity level: 3 (Moderate)
The walks on this trip are graded moderate and they include mountain walking on good (though sometimes narrow) paths with occasional steepish climbs. Some walks will get your pulse racing but we will also have plenty of time to rest. Although the walks are not technically challenging, you do need to be steady on your feet. All walks take between 4 and 6 hours including lunch stops and require a moderate level of fitness.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel Alfa Soleil

The Hotel Alfa Soleil is a traditional, cosy and family-run hotel on the edge of the village (only 5 minutes' walk from the centre) with a wonderful view over fields to the mountains behind. It has been owned by the same family for three generations. All rooms are en suite and have a television, telephone, hairdryer and wifi. 
For the evenings, the hotel has a cosy lounge bar with a pool table which is open to both hotel guests and the general public. There is also a large lounge area for residents with an open fire, gym, indoor pool, Jetstream and soft-jacuzzi and sauna.

Single rooms are available for a supplement - subject to availability. 

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed July 2019
    Pam Bell

    Stunning scenery

    Five guided walks through beautiful scenery. The moderate grading was just right, with a varied selection of walks through alpine meadows as well as some more challenging steeper ascents. All giving stunning views of mountain peaks, waterfalls and lakes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Gasterntal Valley was the most challenging walk, but the sense of achievement when finally eating lunch overlooking Kanderfirn Glacier was worth all the of the climb.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz was excellent; aware of all of the groups capabilities and setting a pace that matched it. She was very informative, friendly and supportive, whilst always ready to share a joke.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When arriving at the airport, leave through the Swiss exit to meet the Exodus guide, not the French/German exit - very confusing as they don't come out in the same place. Take gloves and hat for the Kanderfirn Glacier walk (as well as the normal layers and waterproofs) - its cold up there even in the sun.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Garance C

    Great landscapes in the Swiss mountains

    This trip covers one of the most beautiful regions of Switzerland, including sights of famous summits. I really enjoyed hiking in a varied and pristine environment, seeing deep blue altitude lakes, lots of waterfalls and powerful rivers going down the mountains as snow was still melting this time of year. The hikes were really adequate for a grade 3 with a few steep parts to keep it interesting and some flatter ones, going through hidden valleys full of spring flowers of all sorts. Very good level of accommodation in a comfortable family hotel where enjoying food and taking time to relax is taken very seriously! We even had a nice welcome drink to get started for the first briefing with our leader. Loads of activities to do on the free day like visiting nearby Interlaken, paragliding, going down a mountain slide or renting an e-bike, that some of our groups tried very successfully!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Discovering the local culture and landscapes was a highlight. We were lucky enough to sample some local cheese kindly offered by a lady who makes her own cheese in an altitude chalet where we had stopped for coffee.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Liz our leader was extremely helpful and very well prepared. She knew how to advise us on the equipment needed so that we were all well prepared for each walk, and where to stop for water refill etc. to make every day very enjoyable. She was careful about checking on us but also leaving space for us to go at our own pace.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you bring good boots, and if you can, bring some walking poles, they can come very handy on rocky surfaces and when going down long stretches.

Dates & Prices

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