This route, which is also known as the via alpina, was recently named the “World’s best hike” by Backpacker magazine, and we agree! Our tour differs from other tours of the Bernese Oberland by adding a memorable detour to the Gasterntal valley that adds to an already impressive itinerary. This tour is a beautiful collection of supreme alpine scenery, remote inns, and quiet trails, and is a strenuous trip, with high, steep passes through quiet countryside. We’ll move to a new location nearly every day, and we’ll stay in a combination of 3-star village hotels and traditional country inns, where you’ll have a private room with bathroom down the hall. We’ll have one night without our luggage when we will need to carry just a few extra things, and on other days we’ll send the luggage ahead, so you can hike with the freedom of a small daypack.
Our typical day starts with a continental buffet breakfast at our inn – delicious fresh baked bread, local cheeses, cereal, fruit, coffee and juice – which gives us the energy needed for a full day of hut-to-hut hiking.
Soon we’ll be out on the trail for 6-9 hours, where often you’ll get to choose between an easier or more strenuous hike for the day and we explore the Alpine Pass Route. Each morning, you’ll be handed a lunch to carry, and at a mid-point along the way we’ll choose a beautiful spot to stop and enjoy our picnic. We get a lot of compliments on our imaginative lunches – making them something to look forward to as well!
We should finish our hike around 4-5 pm, giving you time to wash up and relax. You’ll have your own room every night, often with private bathroom. Each evening we’ll enjoy dinner together at our inn. These are multi-course feasts, featuring local specialties like bratwurst, rösti, or cheese fondue. Our hotels all serve fabulous food, and can cater to vegetarians, gluten-free or other dietary requirements. Dinners will be hearty, filling, well-earned and very delicious. We will leave the first dinner in Murren free, so you will have a chance to explore on your own.
If you are interested in joining us for the full 10-night tour, please see our Guided Bernese Oberland Traverse page. If you’re interested just in the 1st half of this tour, see our page on the Bernese Oberland Traverse, Part A for days 1-5 of the full tour from Meiringen to Murren.
Mürren – Arrive in Switzerland, and transfer by train and cable car to the car-free village of Mürren, with its unparalleled cliffside views of the surrounding mountains.
Unwind in one of the most scenic and relaxing villages in the Alps before our meeting in the evening. Stay in a comfortable 3-star hotel.
Griesalp – Our trail meanders back into the deep recesses of the Sefinen valley before crossing the first of two major passes, Sefinenfurke, into the tiny hamlet of Griesalp.
A moderate but long climb past Rotstock hut and over the pass, followed by a very steep descent, is rewarded by a friendly welcome at our rustic but pretty inn.
Kandersteg – We’ll need an early start for our most challenging day of the tour, crossing another major pass, Hohturli.
We’ll hike past glaciers and high mountain peaks to the jewel-like Oeschinen lake – an emerald-green lake surrounded by cliffs which has to be seen to be believed. We stay in a 3-star hotel in the quiet village of Kandersteg for the night.
Gasterntal – We’ll quickly escape town on a quiet path leading south towards the Klus gorge and into the hidden Gasterntal valley.
The power of the Kander river is impressive as we climb through this narrow gorge into the Gasterntal valley. This is a picture-perfect hideaway – a small, U-shaped valley, carpeted with wildflowers and guarded by savage cliffs. Waterfalls bursting from the sides of cliffs add to the scenery. Stay in a pleasant inn with great mountain and waterfall views.
Gasterntal – For our grand finale we’ll choose from a couple great hikes. One of our favorites is a strenuous climb to the nearby Lötschen pass.
Old Roman trails lead us through meadows and woods, with a short stretch across a glacier, to the small hut at the pass where the views to the south are superb! We’ll return to the same inn at the bottom of the valley that night. A fitting way to end a great tour.
depart – Today we say good-bye to the Bernese Oberland and depart for Kandersteg and our post-tour destinations.
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