The Bernese Oberland is synonymous with one mountain: the Eiger and its North Face, the scene of numerous tragedies and feats of super-human climbing. Today, the mountain has been tamed, as a train now brings us to the top where alpinists once battled vertical rock faces, dodging rockfall and avalanches. This through hike from Meiringen to Kandersteg, combines fine hotels, unequaled vistas, amazing train journeys and a variety of superb walks, including the Eiger Trail.
Luckily, the Bernese Oberland is not just a backdrop for stunning cinematography, but a lush landscape of huge mountain faces, waterfalls, tiny hamlets clinging to limestone cliffs and plump cows enjoying the abundant grass that grows here.
Located just south of Interlaken, the Bernese Oberland is mainly known for two peaks, the Jungfrau and the Eiger which tower above the tourist town of Grindelwald. Our Bernese Oberland Traverse begins in the town of Meiringen, famous for the death of Sherlock Holmes in Sir Conan Doyles’ novel and finishing in the equally charming town of Kandersteg. Easily reached from either Zurich or Geneva, a few hours on fast trains can get you to pretty much anywhere in Switzerland.
Trip Difficulty: Difficult to Strenuous
Meiringen – Kandersteg
9 Days, 7 Days of Hiking
Price per person: CAD $4700
Single supplement: CAD $350
Day 1: Meiringen
Meet in Meiringen, trip briefing and Welcome Dinner.
Day 2: Meirengen-Maegisalp-Meiringen
An early morning stroll through town, made famous by the fictitious death of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Conan Doyle’s ingenious detective. A gentle walk up hill takes us to the cable car, allowing us to easily reach the Maegisalp, and the high pastures above Meiringen.
Day 3: Meiringen-Rosenlaui
We begin our walk by crossing the Aare River, heading due south, climbing through meadows and small hamlets past the Reichenball Falls, where Sherlock Holmes staged his own death, presumably falling from the top platform. Following the Reichenbach River, our trail takes us through forested sections above the gorge to the Rosenlaui Hotel. First accepting guests nearly 240 years ago- they have since updated the rooms!
Day 4: Rosenlaui – Grindelwald
Soaring above the Rosenlaui Hotel are the cliffs of the Wellhorn and the Wetterhorn. Our trail allows us to discover meadows and fields of wildflowers, before reaching the obvious pass at the Grosse Scheidegg, with spectacular views out to the Eiger North Face. From Grosse Scheidegg, we descend steeply, making our way to the Grindelwald Valley.
Day 5: Grindelwald – Jungfraujoch
From Grindelwald, our goal is the Eiger Bahn, leading to Kleine Scheidegg, a large plateau just below the North Face of the Eiger. We will then take a different train up to the Jungfraujoch and the Sphinx Observatory at nearly 3500m. The train tunnels into the rock, made famous by the classic Eastwood movie, The Eiger Sanction. If the weather does not allow for the train ride, an alternative hike will be chosen lower down. We stay in Grindelwald for a second night.
Day 06: Grindelwald – Muerren
Our train brings us back to Kleine Scheidegg, giving us an easy descent to Lauterbrunnen, past Wengen. A steep cable car ride followed by a short train journey to Muerren and our hotel.
Day 07: muerren – Bundalp/Griesalp
Heading west out of town, our path is a wide, paved trail up towards Gimmela and the high pastures above Gimmelwald with the Breithorn in full view to the south. The trail snakes steeply to Bryndli, where a contour trail leads to the Rotstockhutte for an early lunch of organic soups and homemade pastries. In the afternoon, a steep climb of 600m leads us to the Sefinenfurgge. If the group is fit and the time allows, we will take a side-trail towards the spectacularly perched Gspaltenhornhuette, overlooking the Gamchigletscher, before heading down to Griesalp.
Day 8: Griesalp/Bundalp – Kandersteg
Most of the morning will be spent walking steeply uphill to the Bluemlisalphutte where, a delicious lunch will be our reward. Home-made cakes, coffee and great views of the Thuner Lake and Interlaken, complete the feast.
A steep descent on a trail hewn out of the rock face takes us past a series of hanging glaciers to the south, before leading us to a series of summer alps above the turquoise coloured Oeschinen Lake, located just above Kandersteg. A beautiful trail leads us through Larch and Fir forests and down to Kandersteg.
Day 9: Trip ends after breakfast.
– All accommodation during the tour
– Breakfasts, three-to four course dinners
– Certified hiking guide
– Luggage transport except for one night.
– Detailed Trip Package