Overview for Via Alpina Highlights: Bernese Oberland
The Via Alpina Highlights: Bernese Oberland walking holiday takes in the best sections of one of the classic treks in Switzerland. Also known as the ‘Alpine Pass Route’, Via Alpina is a classic long-distance hike starting in Sargans and reaching the shores of Lake Geneva. Our Highlights itinerary covers the western sections from Meiringen to Lenk and is perfect for those who don’t have the time to complete the whole trail. This is a challenging but a rewarding trek, offering views of the famous Bernese Oberland trio of the Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger; the added comfort of daily luggage transfers and staying in comfortable hotels in private rooms on all nights makes it a perfect Alpine adventure.
- Breathtaking mountain landscapes
- Walk in the shadow of the mighty Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger peaks
- Wander through lush meadows and high mountain passes
- Stay in comfortable hotels and enjoy Swiss specialities
Itinerary for Via Alpina Highlights: Bernese OberlandGo to top of page
Day 1: Meiringen
Arrival at Meiringen. Meiringen is a picturesque village, famous for the nearby Reichenbach Falls, a spectacular waterfall that was the setting for the showdown between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis Professor Moriarty.
- Overnight in Alpin Sherpa Hotel or similar
Day 2: Meiringen – Grindelwald
A short bus transfer bus takes you to Rosenlaui where your first hike starts. You walk up to the Grosse Scheidegg from where you have a magnificent view to Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. From here, you continue to Grindelwald.
- Overnight in Hotel Kirchbühl or similar
- Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 14 km, ↑700 m ↓980 m
Day 3: Grindelwald – Wengen/Lauterbrunnen
Today the trail leads you up to the Kleine Scheidegg, then towards the car-free resort of Wengen. Small paths will bring you past the spectacular Trümmelbach waterfall down to Lauterbrunnen.
- Overnight in Hotel Bélvèdere or similar
- Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 19 km, ↑1200 m ↓1400 m
Day 4: Wengen/Lauterbrunnen – Griesalp/Kiental
Early in the morning, the cable car brings you up to Mürren. You walk past a breathtaking Alpine scenery to Griesalp or Kiental.
- Overnight in a mountain hotel, private rooms but shared facilities on each floor (optional upgrade)
- Walking for the day: 7-8 hours, 22 km, ↑2000 m (incl cable car) ↓1400 m
Day 5: Griesalp/Kiental – Kandersteg
The ascent to the Blüemlisalp is probably the most spectacular leg of this hiking tour. After a long and steep walk up to 2843 metres, you can enjoy a hearty meal at the top. From here, the trails lead on glacier moraines down to Lake Öschinen. Now Kandersteg is within short walking distance (easy option: take the cable car down to the valley).
- Overnight in Hotel Blümlisalp or similar
- Walking for the day: 7-8 hours, 15 km, ↑1450 m ↓1725 m
Day 6: Kandersteg – Adelboden
Take the cable car up to Allmenalp from where you hike up to Bonderchrinde. The views of the surrounding peaks are breathtaking. The trail leads down into the valley to Adelboden.
- Overnight in Hotel Bären or similar
- Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 16 km, ↑1350 m ↓1170 m
Day 7: Adelboden – Lenk
From the widely-known village of Adelboden, you walk towards the Hahnenmoospass. Beautiful views to the peak of mount Wildstrubel guide your way down to the valley of Simmental. You will spend one last night in the Bernese Oberland.
- Overnight in Sporthotel Wildstrubel or similar
- Walking for the day: 4 hours, 13 km, ↑725 m ↓975 m
Day 8: Departure
Return home or individual stay extension.
Hotels for Via Alpina Highlights: Bernese OberlandGo to top of page
Accommodation is in middle-class hotels, in double or twin private rooms. Six overnights are in en-suite rooms and one overnight (Day 4) is in a mountain hotel with shared facilities on each floor. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
- Optional ‘In Style’ upgrade: includes charming 3 and 4-star hotels (some of them with spa facilities) on all nights: Victoria Meiringen, Victoria Belle Epoque, Bellevue Parkhotel & Spa, Hotel Kreuz, Hotel Silberhorn, Hotel Waldrand or similar.
Meiringen: Hotel Victoria
Family Anderegg welcomes you to Meiringen. Located right in the centre of the city, Hotel Victoria is an elegant start destination for your hiking tour to Bärentrek. The excellent restaurant (14 Gault-Millau points) provides the ideal refreshment for the strenuous hiking days ahead of you. www.victoria-meiringen.ch
Grindelwald: Private Selection Hotel Kirchbühl
A fantastic view of the Eigernordwand awaits you at the Private Selection Hotel Kirchbühl. For over 100 years, family Brawand has been indulging guests from all corners of the world with excellent food and a fantastic spa facility.
Wengen: Hotel Silberhorn
The car-free village of Wengen offers peace and relaxation amid an enchanting mountainscape to everyone who comes here. A stay at Hotel Silberhorn is uniquely relaxing. From the spa area, you will enjoy wonderful views on the peak of Jungfrau.
Griesalp: Griesalp Hotels
A small oasis in the middle of the summits of the Bernese Oberland. The Griesalp Hotels offer you excellent infrastructure in combination with magnificent panoramic views. Relax in the in-house sauna and enjoy regional specialities in the superb restaurant Berghaus.
Kandersteg: Victoria Belle Epoque
Victoria Epoque is located in the heart of Kandersteg, right in the middle of a vast park. This hotel has been welcoming guests from all over the world for over 220 years, and Mr. and Mrs. Platzer have maintained the level of hospitality and excellent service for the guests even today.
Adelboden: Private Selection Bellevue Parkhotel & Spa
Bright rooms, creative cuisine, and swimming pleasure amid a wonderful mountain landscape. The Bellevue Parkhotel & Spa is among the best accommodations in the alpine region. You can look forward to enjoying a relaxing stay at one of the most well-known ski resorts in the world.
Lenk: Hotel Kreuz
A typical, chalet-style hotel in the heart of the small village of Lenk in Simmental. The hotel has a sauna, swimming pool and a small spa facility. An ideal terminus for your hiking trip.
Note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel from the ones pictured above is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Accommodation is on a bed&breakfast basis. Picnic lunches are optional at an additional charge and can be ordered locally. You can have dinner at your hotel or the restaurants in the villages.
Travel for Via Alpina Highlights: Bernese OberlandGo to top of page
Our recommended airports for this holiday are Bern, Geneva or Zurich.
- By train to Meiringen. The hotel is at walking distance from the railway station.
- Parking: affordable parking close to the hotel, CHF 20.- per week.
- Free parking is available at the cable car station. No reservation is necessary.
- Return travel from Lenk to Meiringen by train takes approx. 3 hours.
All hotel to hotel luggage transfers (up to 20 kg per person) on walking days are included in your package.
A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with World Nomads to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.
Up-to-date travel advice on Switzerland is available here. All the languages used in Switzerland are spoken in this canton, and many people speak English. The Romansh language is still spoken in the villages. Detailed travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.
Trip Info for Via Alpina Highlights: Bernese OberlandGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate to Strenuous
The trails are in a perfect condition, but still, this tour is not an easy walk. Sure-footedness and good physical condition are mandatory. You must not be afraid of heights to go on this alpine tour. Some (but not all!) sections of the tour can be cut short in the case of bad weather using local transport (read more about difficulty grades).
We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip is available on any date between the end of June and the end of September. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing no more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- Good hiking boots with ankle support
- Hiking socks
- Several t-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket / Goretex jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside the accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat for sun protection
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
- A sheet or a sleeping bag sheet/liner to use in dormitories
Included for Via Alpina Highlights: Bernese OberlandGo to top of page
- 7 overnight stays with breakfast as described in the itinerary (all overnights in private rooms; 6 overnights in en-suite rooms and 1 overnight with shared facilities)
- Luggage transfer on all walking days (one piece of luggage per person, 20 kg)
- Detailed route notes (1 x per room)
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
Supplements and Upgrades
- Single room supplement: available at an extra cost (cannot be guaranteed on Day 4 unless you book the In-Style upgrade)
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; there is a solo traveller supplement as accommodation, and luggage transfer costs are not shared.
- ‘In Style’ upgrade: includes charming 3 and 4-star hotels (some of them with spa facilities) on all nights
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Cable car tickets and other local transportation
- Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme
Gallery for Via Alpina Highlights: Bernese OberlandGo to top of page
Reviews for Via Alpina Highlights: Bernese OberlandGo to top of page
We just completed the Catalan Coast and Mountain week-long self-guided walking tour. February was perfect in the off-season! [The] itinerary... Read full review
We enjoyed our trip, the meals were prepared by our cook at lunchtime were very good and they always found a nice place forLunch. Our guide... Read full review
Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you with our feedback. It has been nice to think about it again now though, we have very happy memories... Read full review
You certainly delivered, considering we booked and made payments on faith, via the internet. Thank you for being trustworthy.