||Berner Oberland, Switzerland
||Strenuous, Strenuous Plus
||Hotels, Mountain Lodge
Aug 27, 2023 - Sep 05, 2023
|Single Supp Cost
Hiking Trip Summary
This is Switzerland the way you’ve always imagined it. Glacier-carved valleys, breathtaking peaks cloaked in massive shawls of ice and snow, wood chalets adorned with flowers, lush green meadows ringing with the sound of cowbells.
Beginning in Lauenen, just up the valley from Gstaad, and ending at the foot of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau mountains, this trek across the Berner Oberland will not disappoint anyone who has dreamed of hiking through the Swiss Alps. The richness of the rural mountain landscapes captured in the breadth of this 11-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 Wildhorn, Wildstrubel, Blumlisalp, Doldenhorn, Wetterhorn, Eiger, Jungfrau, Monch and Schilthorn mountains 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.
Day 1: Arrive Switzerland. Independent transfer to our hotel in Lenk, Switzerland. Welcome dinner and orientation.
Day 2: Lenk to Adelboden
Leaving the village of Lenk, we begin our climb to the pass at Hahnenmoos. The trail passes through open fields dotted with barns as it skirts the paved road that leads to Beulberg and the small settlement of Brandegg. Continuing at a moderate uphill grade through open countryside, the route gains elevation to the Hahnenmoos pass at 6,455′, and then the highest point of the day’s hike (7,290′) at the base of the Lafeygrat ridge. With views of the Wildstrubel and glacier-covered peaks of Altels and Balmhorn, we’ll descend along the crest of Sillere and take the cable car down to the village of Adelboden. Hotel accommodations with private rooms and facilities. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 3: Adelboden to Kandersteg
As we hike east of Adelboden, the landscape takes on a different character as the mountains become steeper, more rugged, and more glaciated. From Adelboden, we transfer to Bunderalp, where there is a small restaurant known for its cheese production. The trail continues up the valley, passing through a beautiful boulder-strewn pasture and then climbing steeply to reach the Bunderschrinde. Descending steeply at first and then more gradually, we’ll have wonderful views down to the Kander Valley and across to the mountain lake of Osechinensee and the towering peaks of the Blumlisalps. Hotel accommodations with private bathrooms. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 4: Kandersteg to Griesalp
After breakfast, we take a gondola to the Oeschinensee and hike up high above this remarkable lake. In the afternoon we will travel by train and bus to the isolated hamlet of Griesalp. The bus passes through idyllic Swiss villages and then begins to climb, switchbacking through forests and between waterfalls until it reaches Griesalp, perched high on an alpine plateau. Simple mountain hotel accommodations with private bathrooms. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 5: Griesalp to Murren
The route from Griesalp up to Sefinenfurke is a long, demanding mountain hike, but well worth the effort. We will get an early start! Following the jeep track up the valley out of Griesalp, we soon join the trail and begin to climb steeply until we reach the farm at Ober Durrenburg. Leaving the pastoral landscape behind, we'll climb across a barren glacial cirque before ascending steeply on wooden stairs to the pass, Sefinenfurke (8,620′), which reveals the first spectacular view of the Jungfrau.
The descent from the pass to Murren is long and pleasant, the trail dropping steeply at first and traversing through broad, open grasslands with imposing views of the Monch, Jungfrau, and Eiger. Just past the hike along the belvedere, we descend very steeply to the farm of Speilboden Alp. The route eases and leads to our hotel in Murren, a quiet carless village perched on a grassy balcony, high above the Lauterbrunnen valley. This is a strenuous plus day with several sections with difficult footing. Hotel accommodations with private rooms and facilities. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 6: Rest Day in Murren
There are plenty of ways to spend your rest day, including just gazing out at the immense mountains. For James Bond enthusiasts, you might enjoy a cable car rise to the Schilthorn, where the spy movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was filmed. Even if you're not a 007 fan, the trip to the top is stunning. Dinner and breakfast included at the hotel.
Day 7: Murren to Obersteinberg
Today our destination is the Hotel Obersteinberg, situated at the head of the undeveloped Lauterbrunnen Valley. The descent from Murren passes through the village of Gimmelwald and continues on until just above Stechelberg. Here we begin climbing, heading south and hiking alongside the Weisse Lutschine river as it flows quickly from the glaciers high above. A steady climb, passing through wooded areas and open pastures with views of the Schmadribach waterfall, the trail leads us to the mountain hotel. If time permits, we may explore further up the valley to where a small tarn, the Oberhornsee, is surrounded by high mountain peaks. Overnight accommodations in a mountain farm. This is a special night with dinner served by lantern and candlelight, as there is no electricity. Private rooms with shared facilities.
Day 8: Obersteinberg to Wengen
The hike from Obersteinberg to Wengen is comparatively easy and so allows for a more leisurely day. The descent into Lauterbrunnen affords stunning views as we enter the valley, walking beneath sheer rock faces etched with magnificent waterfalls. From Lauterbrunnen, another hour-and-a-half climb brings us to the resort town of Wengen, which, like Murren, is also free of cars. We spend two nights in Wengen. Hotel accommodations with private rooms and bathrooms. Our extra luggage will be at the hotel when we arrive.
Day 9: Wengen
We are now in the heart of the Berner Oberland and our route converges with the tourists that come to view the famous trio of peaks, the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau, dominating the landscape. The destination today is the Kleine Scheidegg. This is our last day of hiking, and it would be a shame to rush through this unparalleled alpine setting. We will have spectacular views back down the Lauterbrunnen Valley, as well as an ever-changing view of the Jungfrau, Monch, and Eiger as we hike around the shoulder of the Lauberhorn. We will arrive at the broad, grassy saddle of the Kleine Scheidegg (6,800′) about lunchtime.
At the Kleine Scheidegg you’ll have the afternoon on your own. You’ll have many options to choose from, including continuing down to the well-known village of Grindelwald, hiking on the Eiger trail, and taking the train up to the famous Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe. We will have our farewell dinner and overnight in Wengen.
Day 10: Depart
The trip ends with breakfast at the hotel in Wengen. Independent transfers from Wengen.
If you would like to spend extra nights in Lenk or Wengen, please let us know when you book your trip and we will make reservations at the same hotel. If you don’t have quite enough time to complete the entire hike, it is possible to depart the hike a day or two earlier.
If you wish to have your own room, there is a single supplement charge. Please let us know if you would like a single at the time of registration. If you are traveling alone and would like to share a room, we will match you with a roommate. If there is no one with whom you can share, there is a charge of $400 for this “forced” single.
- All accommodations
- All buffet breakfasts
- All dinners
- The cost of baggage transfer from Lenk to Wengen
- All group transfers on ski lifts, buses included in guided hiking options; rest day lifts are not included.
- Great hiking and terrific memories!
Airfare, lunches, travel to starting point, individual transfers, optional excursions, unexpected or unscheduled transfers, additional luggage transfer costs, items not on set dinner menu, beverages, insurance, tips to leaders/guides, items of a personal nature.
This hike is not van supported. You will need to carry a small- to moderate-sized pack with all the clothing and accessories you will need for the duration of the hike. (See our Sample Packing List.) With advances in synthetic clothing and other travel gear, it’s possible to keep your pack weight between 15 – 20 lbs, including lunch and water. Any extra luggage will be sent to Wengen.
ACCOMMODATIONS AND FACILITIES
We will be staying in 3- and 4-star family-owned hotels, which are very comfortable, accommodating and reflect the local character. The rooms are double occupancy with private baths. One night will be spent in a mountain lodge with shared facilities.
Breakfasts buffets and dinners are served at the hotels and lunches are picnic style along the trail.
It is possible to fly into and out of either the Geneva Airport or the Zurich Airport; however, Geneva is nearest to the starting point of this trip and Zurich is the nearest to our ending point.
WHO WOULD LIKE THIS TRIP?
Our Across the Berner Oberland hike offers a nice mix of strenuous to strenuous plus hiking, with some long days. This is a great route for those who enjoy full days in the mountains and comfortable evenings in classic Swiss villages. We are happy to supply a list of past participants who can share honest insights into their experiences.
The group will meet at our hotel in Lenk the evening of Day 1 at 6:30 pm for an area orientation, followed by our welcome dinner.
The trip will end at the hotel in Wengen the morning of Day 10. The earliest train from Wengen departs at 5:30 am, arriving at the Geneva Airport 9:30 am or Zurich Airport about 9:00 am. Please allow for travel time when making flight arrangements.
Please contact us for a more detailed itinerary, for more information, or to register. We're also happy to supply a list of past participants willing to share insights into this guided Across the Berner Oberland Hike experience.
Reserving This Trip
A deposit of $500 along with your completed registration forms will reserve a space on your requested trip. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express card as well as personal checks. To make a deposit, you may either follow one of the “Reserve a Trip” links below, give us a call at 1-888-845-5781, or include your payment information in the
area provided when completing your registration forms.
The balance is due 75 days prior to departure for most of our trips. When applying less than 75 days prior to departure, full payment is due. For final payments, we accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, as well as personal checks.
As confirmation of receipt of your deposit, we will send you a comprehensive packet of information pertaining to your trip, an invoice for final payment and additional information including release agreement form, medical information form, travel information, and packing list. Upon receipt of final payment and no later than 30 days prior to your trip start, you will receive trip rendezvous information and a list of accommodations. Returning trip participants will receive a 5% discount on most trips.
Receipt of all forms will finalize your registration.