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Self-Guided Across the Berner Oberland

Quintessential Swiss Hiking Inn-to-Inn

Swiss Sign Post

Trip Details

  • Location: Berner Oberland, Switzerland
  • Length: 10 days, this is very flexible
  • Grade: Strenuous and strenuous plus
  • Accommodations: 3 and 4 star hotels, one night mountain lodge, or combination of huts and hotels.
  • Dates: Early July – mid September
  • 2019 Land Cost: 10 days – $3,050 per person sharing a twin or double room; $3,450 for single or solo hiker. Land cost will vary depending on final itinerary.

Hiking Trip Summary

Click for more detail This is Switzerland the way you’ve always imagined it, glacier carved valleys, breathtaking peaks cloaked in shawls of massive ice and snow, wood chalets adorned with flowers, lush green meadows ringing with the chime of cow bells.

Beginning in Lauenen, just up the valley from Gstaad, and ending at the foot of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau, this trek across the Berner Oberland will not disappoint anyone who has dreamed of hiking through the Alps. The richness of the rural mountain landscapes captured in the breadth of this 10-day route conspires to create the quintessential Swiss alpine experience.

The small Swiss villages of Lenk, Adelboden, Kandersteg, Griesalp, Murren, and Wengen will become our destinations and the mountains Wildhorn, Wildstrubel, Blumlisalp, Doldenhorn, Wetterhorn, Eiger, Jungfrau, Monch and Schilthorn will become part of our vocabulary. In exchange for your efforts, the mountains will share their power and simplicity, their wildflowers, their breathtaking views and the satisfaction of arriving on foot.

Itinerary

Day 1: Individual transfer to your hotel in Lauenen, Switzerland.

Day 2: From the hotel in Lauenen you begin your hike up to Triuttlisberg Pass. From here the route continues climbing until just below the Stubleni. Following a rocky ridge through an area of mini-craters, you then descend to Lenk via the cable car.

  • Mountain Hut Option:From Lauenen you can hike to Gelten Hut and spend the night. The next day you can hike to the very rustic Wildhorn Hut for the night or hike to your hotel in the village of Lenk. Bunkrooms in the huts. Dinner and breakfast are served at the hut.

Day 3: Leaving the village of Lenk, the day begins with a climb through wooded hillsides that open onto high mountain pastures on the way to Hahnenmoos pass. Hiking along the crest of Sillere on a clear day, you may get your first glimpse of the distant Jungfrau as you make your way down into the town of Adelboden.

  • Mountain Hut Option: Just beyond Adelboden is the hut Berghaus Bunderalp. It is a simple cheese farm that welcomes hikers for the night. Bunkrooms. Dinner and breakfast are served at the huts.

Day 4: As you hike east of Adelboden, the landscape takes on a different character as the mountains become steeper, more rugged, and more glaciated. From Adelboden, you transfer to Bunderalp. The trail continues up the valley, passing through a beautiful boulder pasture and then climbing steeply to reach to the Bunderschride. Descending, you have wonderful views down to the Kander valley and across to the mountain lake of Osechinensee and towering peaks of the Blumlisalps.

Day 5: Rest day in Kandersteg. This is an opportunity to rest sore hiking muscles or explore a little of Switzerland beyond Kandersteg.

Day 6: Today begins with a spectacular mountain bus transfer to the isolated hamlet of Griesalp. The bus passes through idyllic Swiss villages and then begins climbing; switch-backing through forests and between waterfalls until it reaches Griesalp perched on a high alpine plateau. Leaving your packs at the hotel, you can hike up to Bundalp for lunch at a classic mountain hut.

  • For those who want a more challenging hike and the weather is good, it is possible to reach Griesalp via the high pass of Hohturli. This option is a strenuous plus hike.
  • Mountain Hut Option: It is possible to hike up to the Hohturli pass from Kandersteg and spend the night at the remote Blumlisalp Hut. The setting for this hut is dramatic. The next day you descend to Griesalp for the night. Bunkrooms. Dinners and breakfast are served at the huts.

Day 7: The route from Griesalp up to Sefinenfurke is another demanding mountain hike, but well worth the effort. Leaving the pastoral landscape behind, your route climbs across barren glacial cirques before ascending steeply to the pass, Sefinenfurke (8,620′), which reveals our first spectacular view of the Jungfrau. The descent from the pass to Murren is long and pleasant, dropping quickly at first and traversing through broad open grasslands with imposing views of the Monch, Jungfrau and Eiger. Your day ends in the pleasant car-free village of Murren resting dramatically on the western rim of the Lauterbrunnen valley.

  • Mountain Hut Option: From Griesalp you can hike over the Sefinenfurke Pass to the rustic Rostock Hut where you can spend the night. The next day your options include either hiking to a hotel in Murren or hiking to the wonderful and secluded Obersteinberg Berghotel. This simple mountain hotel (bring your flashlights, no electricity) offers a wonderful overnight experience including a candlelight dinner! From the berghotel you can continue to Wengen the next day. Bunkrooms. Dinner and breakfast are served at the huts.

Day 8: The hike from Murren to Wengen is comparatively easy and so allows for a more leisurely day. The descent from Murren into Lauterbrunnen is pleasant, passing through the village of Gimmelwald, and concluding with a valley walk beneath sheer rock faces etched with magnificent waterfalls. From Lauterbrunnen another hour and a half climb will bring you to the resort town of Wengen, also car-free.

Day 9: You are now in the heart of the Berner Oberland and your route converges with that of other tourists that come to view the famous trio of peaks, the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. As you climb to the Kleine Scheidegg through picturesque forests and alpine meadows, these amazing peaks and glaciers feel a breath away. From the Kleine Scheidegg there are options for afternoon excursions, including continuing down to the well-known village Grindelwald or up to the famous Jungfraujoch.

Day 10: Depart Wengen. Please allow for travel time when making plans.

Our self-guided itineraries can range in length from 5 to 10 or more days. We are happy to customize your trip to suit your time frame, interests and abilities.

Additional Information

Included

  • General consulting regarding hiking dates and abilities
  • Travel information and suggestions
  • Detailed Swiss Topo maps covering the route
  • Detailed trail notes – we keep our notes updated and as accurate as possible
  • Additional information covering various aspects of your trip (i.e. lunches, laundry, water, alternate transportation, etc.)
  • All overnight accommodations, which include breakfasts and most dinners (hotels with private baths as described in itinerary, other overnight accommodations may vary)

Note: for some hut stays we can only make and confirm reservations, you will pay directly in cash at the hut. These exceptions will be clearly indicated in your final itinerary.

The above may change depending your final confirmed itinerary.

Not Included

Air fare, lunches, any transfers or excursions on trains, lifts, buses, taxis, luggage transfer, Swiss Travel Passes, extra charges due to changes in itinerary, items not on set dinner menu, some dinners as described in the final confirmed itinerary, beverages except what is served at breakfast, insurance, items of personal nature (phone calls, laundry, excess baggage charge, medical expenses, evacuation costs, insurance, passport fees, etc.). This may change depending on your final confirmed itinerary.

Swiss Travel Passes

Switzerland has a wonderfully extensive, organized and efficient public transportation system. There are any number of passes available through the Swiss Rail service that can help economize on your travel within Switzerland, as well as help make your travel go more smoothly. Passes can allow for reduced fares on most, but not all, trains, buses, lifts, and ferries as well as on transfers on unaccompanied luggage.

For more information on how your self-guided trip might benefit from a Swiss pass, please contact us or you may also like to visit My Switzerland and Swiss Rail .

Luggage

This hike is typically not luggage supported. You will need to carry moderate sized pack with only the clothing and accessories you will need for the duration of hike. (See our Sample Packing List.). With advances in synthetic clothing and other travel gear, it’s possible to keep your pack weight to 20 lbs, including lunch and water. Any extra luggage or belonging you may have will meet you at your last nights’ accommodations.

It is possible to transfer luggage between most villages on this route using the Swiss Rail service. Please contact us for more information on how this work.

Accommodations and Facilities

We use three and four star family run hotels that are comfortable, accommodating and reflect the local character.

The huts on this route offer a basic overnight stop. All are set in wonderful places. They have shared co-ed bunk rooms and shared facilities. The mountain inns or berghotels have simple private twin rooms and shared facilities.

Breakfasts and dinners are served at the hotels, huts and berghotel. Lunches are generally picnic style along the trail.

Travel

The nearest airport to starting point at Lauenen is Geneva. Train travel from Wengen back to the Zurich Airport will take about 3 hours; for train travel to the Geneva Airport will take 3 1/2 hours. The first train departs Wengen at about 5:15 am. Please allow for travel time when making plans.

Who would like this trip?

Our Across the Berner Oberland trip offers a nice mix of moderate and strenuous hiking with some long days. This is a great route for those who enjoy full hiking days in the mountains and comfortable evenings in classical Swiss villages.

Starting point

Our Across the Berner Oberland: Self-Guided starts in village of Lauenen. Lauenen can be reached easily by bus or taxi from town of Gstaad.

Ending Point

This itinerary generally ends in the village Wengen.

For a more detailed itinerary that includes elevation gains, loss and distance, or to register please call or email us.

Any hiking trip in the mountains requires a certain amount of effort and proper fitness training will enhance your enjoyment. In the mountains, time and elevation gain or loss as opposed to distance, tend to be the determining factors when defining hiking grades or level of difficulty. We have done our best to grade our trips consistently, please contact us for further clarification. We are happy to offer names of past participants.