Explore Worldwide trip “Hiking in the Bernese Oberland” was a great trip with a great mix of activities for all fitness levels, beautiful scenery, good shopping and plenty of time to relax. Nestled beneath the lower peaks of the Bernese Oberland, this is pretty much a one-street-town with chalets, hotels, and restaurants. A 500 metre climb from Kandersteg takes you to Oeschinensee, an alpine lake at 1580 metres. It was a warm-up day so we could see how much hiking we’d be doing.
Some of us extended our hike by climbing the cliffs overlooking the lake, while others relaxed in the sun. Our third day consisted of hiking from Kandersteg to Kiental. We topped out on a ridge that separates Kandersteg and Kiental valleys. Approximately 1000 meters later, we reached the cable car station. There are several cable cars, funicular railways, and rack-and-pinion railways in the area, so you can hike at altitude. You can hike up the mountain if you don’t want to take the trains or cable cars.
A rack-and-pinion railway took us to the ridge above Lauterbrunnen and we hiked the high route to Muerren. As we hiked on the west side of the valley, we got to see Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. We had our picnic lunch on a spur opposite these beautiful peaks and overlooking the deep valley below, which Explore provided.
Train rides to Jungfraujoch, Europe’s highest station at 3573 metres, are a must. It’s perched on the snowy ridge between Monch and Jungfrau, with spectacular views into France and Germany to the north and over the Aletsch glacier to the south. A good walk would take you to a nearby viewpoint or the glacier, which would make any self-respecting Canadian giggle.
We couldn’t get enough hiking, so we threw in one more hike along the foot of the famous Eiger North Face. Eiger and its adjoining peaks have been considered unclimbable for years, so this hike gives you a sense of their sheer size. There’s a lot to do and see in the Bernese Oberland for everyone. Explore’s Alpine Trails is a strenuous trek that visits this and other great alpine regions (like Mont Blanc and Matterhorn) on a mix of scheduled and optional hikes.