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Switzerland Hiking In The Berner Oberland

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Though the Switzerland hiking season is short – best in June to September – . I challenge anyone to find a place in the world that offers more diversity in hiking choices than the country of Switzerland. No words in any language can begin to convey the richness and depth of the Swiss terrain. Some areas offer easy and moderate hikes, other areas offer moderate and strenuous hiking.

Trails throughout Switzerland are well marked and, with the help of a good map, you will do fine on your own. Of course, if you’d rather have your trip all mapped out for you; there are many excellent places that offer both group and private tours. Use the information you’ll find here as background information or to plan your personal itinerary. Whatever it is that you’re looking for, I promise you this:

Each area described below brings its own one of a kind adventure. Whether it’s the geography, the people or the view, a Switzerland hiking tour is an experience to be remembered for a lifetime. And now, without further ado, your personal guide to Switzerland hiking..

Switzerland Hiking In The Berner Oberland

Located south of the nation’s capital, the Berner Oberland region is absolutely classic Switzerland. There you’ll see a backdrop of huge, snow peaked mountains, wooden chalets, meadows filled with wildflowers, grazing cattle, ice blue glaciers and dramatic waterfalls. There are two beautiful lakes in the area with the popular town of Interlaken sitting below the main hiking area, which many visitors use as their home base

There are many other wonderful towns to consider for your stay in the Berner Oberland region, including:

Meiringen

Switzerland Hiking In The Berner Oberland

Meiringen is a charming and picturesque little town, at the beginning of the Hasle Valley. Most hiking takes place above the town and, though there are several small villages above Meiringen, the drive up is long. A mountain train ride from Meiringen takes you up to the hiking area.

Grindelwald

Switzerland Hiking In The Berner Oberland

Among the best home bases for Switzerland hiking, Grindelwald stole my heart many years ago. I visited there on a school skiing trip and go back as often as possible. The majestic mountains of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, Grindelwald’s breathtaking beauty makes it extremely popular with Tourists. There are many hotels and restaurants and, though, it can get a bit hectic at the height of tourist season, as soon as you set off for a hike, all becomes peaceful and quiet.

You have your choice of trains, buses or gondolas to many hiking areas, including the train that takes you to the Jungfrau Rail station, known as the “top of Europe.” You also have access to the famous ‘Kleine Scheidegg’ station; the climbing cogwheel train that gives you accesses to many more hiking choices. Hiking tours are well marked but should you get lost, call me – live only an hour away and will come and find you!

Lauterbrunnen

Switzerland Hiking In The Berner Oberland

In the same region as Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen is another great departure point for Switzerland hiking in the region. Overshadowed by the cliffs of Wengen and Mürren, one would almost expect the valley of Lauterbrunnen to be in darkness; though, that is not the case. Hikers can leave the area by funicular (incline railway) or gondola (cable car). The funicular goes up to Mürren and the gondola first to Gimmelwald and then Mürren. Once you reach Mürren, there are no cars, the hiking is steep and the view is breathtaking beyond description.

Kandersteg

Switzerland Hiking In The Berner Oberland

Part of a valley south of scenic Lake Thun (pronounced toon); Kandersteg offers a variety of Switzerland hiking choices to accommodate different levels of skill. There is a train tunnel which takes travelers and their cars to the Goppenstein station and the bilingual (German/French) Canton of Wallis/Valais. There are also chair lifts, gondola and even a mini-bus to take visitors to the different hiking areas, and a new train tunnel is in the works with completion slated for 2007.

Adelboden

Switzerland Hiking In The Berner Oberland

A bigger village on the other side of the valley, Adelboden offers more stores and hotels and, of course its own incomparable views. Built on the side of a hill, there are hiking tours available for every level of skill. For anyone in top physical condition, I recommend the 4 hour tour that starts in Adelboden goes over the Hahnenmoospass to the beautiful pastoral village of Lenk.

Lenk

Switzerland Hiking In The Berner Oberland

Though you may never have heard the names Adelboden or Lenk, don’t underestimate these lesser known Switzerland hiking treasures. East of Gstaad, Lenk offers first rate hiking and skiing tours. Chair lifts will take you to the top of the surrounding mountains where hiking is at its absolute best. For adventure seekers, the tour to Crans-Montana over the Rawilpass provides a memorable challenge.

Gstaad

Switzerland Hiking In The Berner Oberland

With its legendary accommodations, Gstaad is well known as one of the world’s top resorts. More of a shopper’s than hiker’s paradise, Gstaad’s main street is packed with luxury boutiques. There are a number of exclusive night spots and a casino as well. For those looking to combine the chic with the sporting, hiking opportunities are quite varied and supported by excellent transportation options. Within 30 minutes walking distance of Gstaad are the lesser known, but equally lovely valley resort towns of Saanen and Schönried.