Antarctica & Arctic
Breathtaking natural beauty: snow-capped peaks, emerald-green slopes, amazing turquoise lakes, meadows thick with flowers.
a Destinations d > Switzerland > Self-Guided Classic Swiss Alps Walk
7 nights accommodation, all breakfasts and dinners, plus 6 picnic lunches, Kandersteg guest card and travel pass for cable cars, funiculars, gondolas and local buses.
Travel style: Small group journey
Selected dates, May - Sep
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.
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Have spectacular views of the region: Eiger, Jungfrau, Matterhorn, Monch
Hike along well-marked trails amongst stunning Alpine flowers
Relax in a friendly, family-run hotel with heated indoor pool, sauna and excellent cuisine
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You arrive in time to settle in and perhaps enjoy an aperitif before dinner. (D)
A gentle walk to start your week, this varied and peaceful route takes you along the bottom of the upper Kandertal Valley to the world-famous Blausee - Blue lake (reduction on the excursion with your guest card). Here you can wander through the woods and around the little turquoise lake before returning to your hotel for dinner in Nico's restaurant. (B)(L)(D)
Walking time 3hr, distance 10km/6.5mi
This is a day full of thrilling experiences, starting with an exciting 20 minute minibus ride (included) 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, you meander through woods and open meadows; look out for lady slippers, fire lilies and more than 25 varieties of orchid! (B)(L)(D)
Walking time 6hr, distance 13km/8mi
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 gondola (included), you climb to the viewpoint at Heuberg. Nothing can prepare you 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. (B)(L)(D)
Walking time 5hr, distance 15km/9.5mi
It's a gentle start today with a spectacular cable car ride (included) 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. (B)(L)(D)
2 options: Walking time 3.5hr, distance 11km/7mi or walking time 5hr, distance 16km/10mi.
The Sunnbuel cable car (included) whisks you up to nearly 2000m, from where you climb to a fantastic ridge walk along the Uschinengrat (2200m). If you're lucky, you'll spot wild deer on the upper slopes. You might fancy lunch at the renowned Schwarenbach Hotel, where Lenin and Picasso have signed the visitors' book. It's then on past 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. (B)(L)(D)
2 options: Walking time 4.5hr, distance 15km/9.5mi or walking time 6hr, distance 20km/12.5mi.
Today starts with a 25 minute rail ride (payable locally) through the mountains up to the village of Hohtenn where your route takes you high above the Rhone Valley, and through a landscape of gorges, plunging waterfalls and small colourful villages hemmed in by vineyards on the edge of this fertile valley. (B)(L)(D)
2 options: Walking time 4hr, distance 10km/6.5mi or walking time 5.5hr, distance 16km/10mi.
If pre-arranged, return to Zurich via Kandersteg rail. (B)
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