||Berner Oberland, Switzerland
||Strenuous, Strenuous Plus
||Hotels, Mountain Huts, Mountain Lodge
||1 - 10+
Jun 25, 2024 - Sep 25, 2024
|Single Supp Cost
Hiking Trip Summary
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 sound of cowbells.
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.
Day 1: Arrive Lenk
Independent travel to the hotel in Lenk, Switzerland. The location of this hotel is quintessential Swiss complete with meadows, mountain peaks, grazing cows, and chalets. This is a wonderful hotel from where to start the hike across the Berner Oberland.
- Many like to build in a travel/rest day and spend two nights in Lenk. There are a few great options for today’s hike. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 2: Lenk to Adelboden
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.
Day 3: Adelboden to Kandersteg
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-strewn pasture and then climbing steeply to reach the Bunderschride. Descending, you have wonderful views down to the Kander Valley and across to the mountain lake of Osechinensee and the towering peaks of the Blumlisalps.
- Many of our hikers enjoy two nights in Kandersteg.
Day 4: Kandersteg to Griesalp
Today begins with a spectacular mountain bus transfer to the isolated hamlet of Griesalp. The bus passes through idyllic Swiss villages and 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 if the weather is accommodating, 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.
Day 5: Griesalp to Mürren
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.
Day 6: Rest Day in Mürren
There are plenty of ways to spend your day in Mürren, including just gazing out at these awe-inspiring mountains. For James Bond enthusiasts, you might enjoy a cable car to the Schilthorn where the spy movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was filmed. Even if you are not a 007 fan, the trip to the top is stunning. Another hike from Mürren is along the high belvedere to Grütschalp or on the more exciting route from the Birg lift to the Schilthorn along the ridge.
Day 7: Mürren to Obersteinberg
Today your destination is the Hotel Obersteinberg, situated in the undeveloped head of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. The descent from Mürren is pleasant, passing through the village of Gimmelwald and continuing on until just above Stechelberg. Here the trail begins 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 you to the mountain hotel. If time permits, you may explore further up the valley where a small tarn, the Oberhornsee, is surrounded by high mountain peaks.
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 is stunning as you enter the valley walking beneath sheer rock faces etched with magnificent waterfalls. From Lauterbrunnen, another hour and a half climb brings you to the resort town of Wengen, which, like Mürren, is also free of cars. You will have two nights in Wengen.
Day 9: Wengen to the Kleine Scheidegg
You are now in the heart of the Berner Oberland and the route converges with the tourists that come to view the famous trio of peaks, the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau, which dominate the landscape. The destination today is the Kleine Scheidegg. This is your last day of hiking, and it would be a shame to rush through this unparalleled alpine setting. You will have spectacular views back down the Lauterbrunnen valley and an ever-changing view of the Jungfrau, Monch, and Eiger as you hike around the shoulder of the Lauberhorn. Arriving at the broad, grassy saddle of the Kleine Scheidegg (6,800') about lunchtime, there are many options for the afternoon.
Two of the options from the Kleine Scheidegg include continuing down to the well-known village of Grindelwald hiking on the Eiger trail, or taking the train up to the famous Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe. Dinner and breakfast included. If you have a Swiss Half Fare you get a 50% discount on your train ticket to the Jungfrau.
Day 10: Depart Wengen
Departure from the hotel in Wengen. The earliest train from Wengen departs at 5:12 am arriving at the Geneva Airport at 9:15 am or Zurich Airport at about 8:15 am. Please allow for travel time when making flight arrangements.
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 timeframe, interests, and abilities.
- 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 (hotels with private baths as described in the itinerary, other overnight accommodations may vary)
- All breakfasts
- Most dinners
- All private taxi transfers, if any, as detailed in the final itinerary
Note: For some hut stays we can only make and confirm reservations, and you will pay directly in cash at the hut. These exceptions will be clearly indicated in your final itinerary.
The above may change depending on your final confirmed itinerary.
Airfare, 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 for what is served at breakfast), insurance, and items of a personal nature. 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 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.
This hike is typically not luggage supported. You will need to carry a 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 to 20 lbs., including lunch and water. Any extra luggage or belongings you may have will be waiting for 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 about how this works.
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.
The nearest airport to the 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.
Our Across the Berner Oberland: Self-Guided starts in the village of Lauenen. Lauenen can be reached easily by bus or taxi from the town of Gstaad.
This itinerary generally ends in the village Wengen.
WHO WOULD LIKE THIS TRIP?
Our Across the Berner Oberland trip offers a nice mix of strenuous and strenuous plus hiking with some long days. This is a great route for experienced hikers who enjoy full hiking days in the mountains and comfortable evenings in classical Swiss villages.
For more information, a more-detailed itinerary that includes elevation gains, loss, and distance, or to register, please contact us. We're happy to share a list of past participants willing to share insights into this self-guided Across the Berner Oberland Hike experience.
Reserving This Trip
A non-refundable 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.
Before registering for this, please read our Terms and Conditions in their entirety and then refer to our Self-Guided Trips page for specific information regarding the process.
The balance is due 90 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, 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.