We consider this to be our signature tour, a superb trip that covers the most scenic and challenging sections of the Alpine Pass Route across the Bernese Oberland region. Our tour differs from most tours of the Bernese Oberland by adding a couple of memorable detours to areas that should not be missed, such as Obersteinberg and Gasterntal, and a layover day in Mürren to allow more time in the best hiking region of the Alps. The Bernese Oberland tour is a beautiful collection of supreme alpine scenery, remote inns, and quiet trails. On this inn-to-inn tour, you’ll hike to a new location almost every day, crossing many passes, and will stay in a combination of 3-star village hotels and traditional country inns. The standard tour includes luggage transfers and stays in a mix of 3-star village hotels and remote mountain inns, while the budget version stays almost every night in simpler guesthouses and mountain inns. On either version, luggage can be transported separately from village to village, so you will have it with you most nights, and only need to carry a large daypack. This is a great inn-to-inn tour for experts and beginners alike, with plenty of strenuous trails along with great easier options most days.
Your typical day starts with a delicious buffet breakfast at our hotel – a feast of freshly baked bread and croissants, local meats and cheeses, cereal, fruit, eggs, coffee and juice – which gives you the energy needed for the day ahead. Before setting out on your hike, visit a bakery and market for lunch supplies, or bring some money for a stop in one of the alpine restaurants along your route. Soon, you’ll be out on the trail for 6-8 hours, with many hiking options to choose from.
You should finish your hike around 4 pm, giving you time to wash up, relax, perhaps settle into the pool, or just gaze upon the outside panorama from your room balcony. After that, you’ll enjoy dinner at your hotel restaurant most nights. These are multi-course feasts, often centered on local specialties like bratwurst, rösti, or cheese fondue. Our hotels all serve fabulous food, and dinners will be hearty, filling, well-earned and very delicious.
Meiringen – Arrive in Switzerland, and transfer by train to the quiet town of Meiringen to start the Bernese Oberland tour.
Grindelwald – After a hearty breakfast, a start from the quiet meadows around Schwarzwaldalp, where you’ll hike over the Grosse Scheidegg pass and enjoy your first views of the Eiger and of the Grindelwald valley.
Wengen – Today you’ll explore the Grindelwald valley and hike to the famous Kleine Scheidegg pass under the Eiger North Face.
Obersteinberg – You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the Jungfrau and surrounding mountains on the way to a memorable night in a remote mountain inn at Obersteinberg.
Mürren – You 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 – The 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 - You’ll need an early start for your 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 - You’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 your grand finale, one of our favorite hikes is a strenuous climb to the nearby Lötschen pass.
depart - Today you say good-bye to the Bernese Oberland and depart for Kandersteg and your post-tour destinations.