The Bernese Oberland is our home away from home in Switzerland, the tour that started it all through the heart of the Alps. While our classic route is also fantastic, we absolutely love this deluxe version of our itinerary. This tour is a luxurious collection of unbeatable alpine scenery, deluxe 4-star hotels, and quiet trails. This is still an adventurous trip. We hike to 5 different locations over 8 nights, crossing numerous passes, and staying in the finest hotels in the tiny alpine villages we’ll be visiting. Extra nights in Grindelwald, Mürren and Kandersteg allow us to explore hidden valleys where you find the magic in this region. When we hike to Griesalp, we’ll have one night in a cozy mountain inn, in a private room with hot showers just down the hall. As with all of our deluxe tours, you’ll have your luggage every night, 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, hot coffee and fresh juice – which gives us the energy needed for a full day of inn-to-inn 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, but with many lighter and continental dishes as well. 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.
If you like comfort but don’t need luxury, consider joining us for the classic version of this tour, our Guided Bernese Oberland Traverse from Meiringen to Gasterntal. That is a 10-night trip with 3-star hotels and many more mountain inns, and is also offered as half-tours from Meiringen to Mürren and from Mürren to Gasterntal.
Grindelwald – Arrive in Switzerland, and transfer by train to the Grindelwald, at the base of the famous Eiger North Face. It’s a scenic trip, passing through farms and along lakes as the mountain giants of the Bernese Oberland get closer and closer.
Although it’s the largest mountain village in the region, Grindelwald is still quite small. After checking into our deluxe 4-star hotel, you might enjoy a stroll through the village or a drink in the views from a scenic restaurant terrace. In the late afternoon, you’ll meet your guide and the rest of your group to start the Deluxe Bernese Oberland tour.
Grindelwald – After a hearty breakfast, we’ll take a short bus ride up to the Grosse Scheidegg pass and enjoy sweeping views of the Eiger, Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn mountains and of the Grindelwald valley.
With 10,000 vertical feet separating valley from peak, Grindelwald sits at the base of one of the most impressive vertical mountain walls in the world. Perhaps we’ll detour via the postcard-perfect Bachsee lake before winding back down to Grindelwald.
Wengen – Today we’ll start with a short train ride out of Grindewald to a mellow mountain inn near the top of tree line. Our morning today is dominated by great close-up views of the Eiger North Face – perhaps the most notorious mountain wall in the Swiss Alps.
We’ll hike up to the famous Kleine Scheidegg pass under the Eiger North Face, where the Mönch and Jungfrau mountains also come into view. After a break for lunch, we’ll descend on quiet side-trails with incredible waterfall and glacier views to the car-free village of Wengen for a restful night.
Mürren – Our trail from Wengen starts downhill to Lauterbrunnen and then leads past countless waterfalls along the lush Lauterbrunnen valley floor. After a break for lunch, we’ll hike up a steep trail through a quiet, wooded valley into one of the most spectacular corners of the Alps.
Our trail winds up through sleepy Gimmelwald to Mürren, a postcard-perfect car-free village perched on the edge of a cliff with unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains. Stay in the impeccable 4-star Hotel Eiger.
Mürren – There are numerous dayhike possibilities around Mürren. One beautiful trail leads up to the Lobhorn hut and nearby Sulsee mountain lake, for superb all-around views. Shorter hikes traverse the meadows above town, with numerous mountain inns along the way inviting you to stop and linger.
Or feel free to just unwind in one of the most scenic and relaxing villages in the Alps. Our hotel has a delightful pool and spa, and the Schilthorn cable car is a memorable daytrip to a scenic peak.
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. You’ll have a private room and hot showers, and our luggage will meet us at the inn.
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.
For bad weather, or if you simply don’t feel like tackling the pass, you can take a bus around to Kandersteg and enjoy a mellow dayhike up to the lake instead. We stay in a deluxe 4-star hotel on the edge of Kandersteg.
Kandersteg – For our grand finale, we’ll head up 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 and emerge into the hidden 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. We’ll stop at a mountain inn for lunch and explore the back of the valley before returning by van to Kandersteg for our final celebratory dinner.
depart – Today we say good-bye to the Bernese Oberland and depart for Kandersteg and our post-tour destinations.
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