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 couple of memorable detours to areas that should not be missed. This tour is a beautiful collection of supreme alpine scenery, remote inns, and quiet trails. On our inn-to-inn tours we’ll move to a new location nearly every day, crossing many passes, 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 two nights 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 6-8 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 one dinner in Murren free, so you will have a chance to explore on your own.
If you are interested in joining us for just half of the tour, you are welcome to join either the Bernese Oberland Traverse, Part A on days 1-5 from Meiringen to Murren, or the Bernese Oberland Traverse, Part B on days 6-10 from Murren to Gasterntal.
Schwarzwaldalp – Arrive in Switzerland, and transfer by train to the quiet town of Meiringen to start the Bernese Oberland tour.
Grindelwald – After a hearty breakfast, we’ll hike over the Grosse Scheidegg pass and enjoy our first views of the Eiger and of the Grindelwald valley.
Wengen – Today we’ll explore the Grindelwald valley and hike to the famous Kleine Scheidegg pass under the Eiger North Face.
Obersteinberg – Enjoy spectacular views of the Jungfrau and surrounding mountains on the way to Obersteinberg, a remote mountain inn and working farm.
Mürren – We have a couple of trail options today – the first, a panoramic climb over a high ridge with breathtaking views in every direction, the second, a beautiful wooded hike filled with waterfalls.
Mürren - There are numerous dayhike possibilities around Mürren. One beautiful trail leads up to the local peak, Birg, for superb all-around views, and past a small glacial tarn.
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.
Kandersteg – We’ll need an early start for our most challenging day of the tour. Crossing the second major pass, Hohtürli, you’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.
Gasterntal – We’ll quickly escape town on a quiet path leading south towards the Klus gorge. The power of the Kander river is impressive as you climb through this narrow gorge into the hidden Gasterntal valley.
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.
depart – Today we say good-bye to the Bernese Oberland and depart for Kandersteg and our post-tour destinations.