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Via Alpina Highlights: Bernese Oberland 1

Via Alpina in Switzerland: Bernese Oberland

Overview

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

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Meiringen

Arrival in 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.

Day 2: Meiringen – Grindelwald | 14 km

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 16.5 km

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: 5.5 hours, 16.5 km, ↑1155 m ↓915 m

Day 4: Wengen – Griesalp/Pochtenalp | 21.5 km

Early in the morning, the cable car brings you up to Mürren. Walk past breathtaking Alpine scenery to your destination.

  • Overnight in a mountain hotel, private rooms but shared facilities on each floor (optional upgrade)
  • Walking for the day: 7-8 hours, 21.5 km, ↑1315 m ↓1415 m

Day 5: Griesalp/Pochtenalp – Kandersteg | 17 km

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 Swiss mountain pasture “Blüemlisalphütte”. 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 hours, 17 km, ↑1450 m ↓1685 m

Day 6: Kandersteg – Adelboden | 11.5 km

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: 4.5 hours, 11.5 km, ↑835 m ↓1220 m

Day 7: Adelboden – Lenk | 14 km

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.

Day 8: Departure

Return home or individual stay extension.

What to Expect

Accommodation

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.

Click to view default hotels

*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.

Click to view upgraded hotels

Accommodation in charming 3 and 4-star hotels (some of them with spa facilities) on all nights.

*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.

Meals

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.

Difficulty & terrain

The trails are in 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 July and end of September.

Please note that availability may be limited during big events such as Eiger Ultra Trail (14-18 Jul 2022).

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.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are Bern (BRN), Geneva (GVA) or Zurich (ZRH).

By train or bus
  • 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.
  • For more information use the Omio planner above.

Inclusions

Included

  • 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

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Cable car tickets and other local transportation
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room (cannot be guaranteed on Day 4 unless you book the In-Style upgrade)
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • ‘In Style’ upgrade: includes charming 3 and 4-star hotels (some of them with spa facilities) on all nights

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