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4
moderate to challenging

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in 3* hotels
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days£1680GBP

Overview

Trip Code: JWS

Kandersteg & Wildstrubel Circuit Trip highlights


  • The ‘quieter’ Alpine classic
  • Walk along 2 stages of the famous Alpine Pass Route
  • Stroll between German and French speaking Swiss cantons
  • Hotel-based, circular hiking tour in the Swiss Alps
  • Bundeschrinde Pass & Gemmi Pass
  • Attractive alpine villages of Leukerbad, Lenk & Adelboden
  • 3 Nights in Kandersteg, incl. free day with option to do a circular walk up to the Oeschinensee post glacial lake

This is a one-week, 'quieter' hotel trek in Switzerland, which starts and finishes at Kandersteg. Follow a circular route around the Wildstrubel and walk along two stages of the famous Alpine Pass Route. Throughout the hike, the scenery is expansive with views extending across the Oberland, to the 4000m peaks of the Valais, and down the Rhone valley.

You will use trails that have served since Roman times to link the German-speaking Bernese Oberland and the partly French-speaking Valais. Most notoriously there is the Gemmi Pass, which has been a principal route through the Alps for centuries. We will also cross the Rawyl, Lotschen and Hahnenmoos passes to link the attractive villages of Leukerbad, Crans, Lenk and Adelboden before completing our circuit in Kandersteg.

Our final pass, the Bundeschrinde, due to its beauty and position is perhaps the highlight of this walking holiday in Switzerland. The towering crags above the pass are a superb point for watching Chamoix (mountain antelope) prancing around upon the ledges.

You have an extra day in Kandersteg in which you can do a circular walk up to the Oeschinensee: a fantastic post glacial lake. Please talk to our team if you would like to add extra nights in some of the other places.

There are some long days but lifts and cable cars can sometimes be used to shorten some of the walks (not included in the tour price).

Before the rail tunnels were bored through the mountainsides and threaded through the adjacent valleys; the mountains formed a natural barrier. Kandersteg was a hamlet literally at the end of the road. Surprisingly a lot of the trade over the high passes before rail, was done in winter with heavy oxen-pulled sledges. There wasn't much work to be done on the land at that time of year and the sledges could move quite rapidly. On the other hand it was a very risky business and many were caught out on high passes in blizzards.

Countries:

Switzerland

Starting Point:

Kandersteg

Finishing Point:

Kandersteg


There are plenty of features of interest in Kandersteg, including a heated swimming pool, saunas in many of the hotels, fishing, a museum, or perhaps you could hire a boat on the Oeschinen lake. In addition, organ concerts, folklore evenings and slideshows/talks on Kandersteg are held regularly. The friendly and welcoming tourist office will provide you with a summer information booklet with further details. Kandersteg is situated at the far end of the Kandertal Valley near the border with the French-speaking canton of the Valais. Until the early 20th century, the only way to cross between the Oberland and Valais was via the treacherous Gemmi Pass. However, nowadays the two regions are conveniently linked by the 15km Lotschberg railway tunnel. The upper Kandertal is surrounded by numerous hanging valleys and sheer faces, evidence of previous glacial activity. Towering above are beautiful snow-capped peaks and glaciers, with names like the Bluemlisalphorn, Frundenhorn, Doldenhorn, Balmhorn, Altels, Rinderhorn, Daubenhorn, Steghorn, and of course, Wildstrubel. Accommodation: Hotel Bernerhof - A 3* hotel centrally located with convenient access to the hiking trails, cable cars and lifts, shops and the railway station (5 minutes on foot).

Meals:  D

The walk takes you steeply up to Gemmipass (2314m). You then hike out over the alpine meadows of the Spittelmatte under an impressive peak called Altels, and then up the valley and around the Daubensee post glacial lake and then up to its busy ‘lip’ - the Gemmipass! You are now passing from the Bernese Oberland into the Swiss Valais. Total Ascent: 1255 m / 4118 ft , Descent: 1061m / 3484 ft Accommodation: Hotel Alpenblick - A 3* hotel in this pleasant small, Swiss spa town. *The route over the Gemmipass can be considerably shortened by taking the cable car up from Eggeschwand to Sunnbuel (1920m). *The steep, though well engineered, path down from the pass to the spa (hot spring centre) of Leukerbad (1411m) can also be avoided by use of a cable car.

Meals:  B

A beautiful walk through alpine pastures and woodlands with fine views across the Rhone Valley and the Valais Alps, including the Weisshorn and the Grand Combin. Total Ascent: 1035m / 3396ft, Descent: 907m / 2979ft Accommodation: Hotel du Lac - Our 3* hotel is a centrally situated modern building in this purpose built mountain resort. It sits on the edge of Lac Grenon, with views across to the mountains on the other side of the Rhone Valley. The hotel serves an excellent set menu and has a microbrewery attached. *This day can be shortened to about 6 hours by catching a bus for the final stretch to the ski and golf resort of Crans-Montana (1500m).

Meals:  B,D

This is a long hard day and in reasonable weather it is a beautiful walk. The first part of the walk there is the option to walk along the Bisse du Rou; a high level irrigation canal with a narrow walkway. The views are fantastic. The trail passes the Tzeusier Dam and climbs over the Rawyl Pass (2429m) under the Mittaghorn (2685m), which is the high point of the week’s trek. Next you make the long steep descent down to Iffigenalp to catch the postbus to Lenk. If you prefer to walk, you drop down through the idyllic Iffigen Valley to the small spa town of Lenk (1086m). The sulphurous waters here attract people from all over. Total Ascent: 1317m /4323ft, Descent: 1747m / 5731ft total to Lenk Accommodation: Stay in the 3* Hotel Krone, located in a quiet and central location directly in the village square. *It is recommended that you reduce the walk to 18.5km/7.5hrs by catching the postbus from Iffigenalp to Lenk.

Meals:  B,D

This is a nice walk up to the grassy Hahenmoospass, which has some amazing colourful wild meadows in June/July. The pass is a popular place for flying model aircraft, perhaps due to the potentially soft landings offered by the surroundings! You will also be able to see the summit of the Wildstrubel today if it is clear. From the pass it is a casual descent down to Adelboden, a smart Swiss town which prides itself on its shops and tennis competitions. There are also some of the best overall views of the Wildstrubel from the restaurant. Total Ascent: 901m / 2958ft, Descent: 619 m / 2033ft Accommodation: Adler Adelboden - A friendly welcome awaits you at this chalet-style 3* hotel. Excellent small pool, whirlpool baths and sauna can be used. *This day can also be shortened by using the bus service from Lenk up to Buelberg (1661m), from where you ascend to the Hahnenmoospass (1956m). It is an easy descent with cable car options to Adelboden (1356m).

Meals:  B,D

A long ascent, with beautiful views, to the Bundeschrinde pass (2380m). This is perhaps the most dramatic of the passes that you go over on this route. This is followed by a steep descent to Kandersteg with fine views of the Blumlisalp Massif and the Oeschinensee Lake. This is a particularly fine pass - a breach through rocky strata – a bit like a mini Breche de Roland (in the Pyrenees) but there is nothing mini about the views: it is a spectacular location and if you are quiet, you might see Chamoix or even Ibex on the crags along here! Total Ascent: 1135 m / 3724 ft Descent: 1300 m / 4263 ft Accommodation: Return to Hotel Bernerhof for two nights.

Meals:  B

Today could be used as a complete rest day, but there are some great ‘there and back’ walks you could do including up and around the Oeschinensee Lake. This is a fantastic egg-shaped post glacial lake with a blocked exit under the Blumisalp and the Doldenhorn group of mountains. There are lower and upper trails around parts of the lakes, offering varied panoramas. On the other hand, you could take a paddleboat out onto the water, ice cream in hand.

Meals:  B

Make your way to the station for your onward journey.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 4 dinners
  • 7 nights accommodation in 3* hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Luggage transfer (1 bag per person not weighing anymore than 20kg)
  • Information pack including route notes & maps (1 pack per room booked)
  • Emergency hotline
  • GPX files of the main walking routes will be sent to you

  • 3 dinners, all lunches & beverages
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to the start and from the end point of the trip
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Unscheduled transfers required during the trip
  • Excess Luggage
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Guide - this is a self guided holiday

Accommodation


Suitability

moderate to challenging

4

Moderate on 5 days if you use the postbus/cablecars with 1 challenging (day 6) day OR challenging if you decide choose to walk the full itinerary. For fit walkers who can manage longish days with more than 1000m ascent in a day. All the walks are on established waymarked trails which can be rocky or steep at times. Walkers should also have a reasonable head for heights as some trails are on cliffs sides. The longest day can be shortened (recommended).


Departure dates

Daily from 13 Jul to 21 Sep

Priceper person from

£1680GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single Room SupplementGBP£250
  • Solo Traveller SupplementGBP£570
*Prices listed are per person

Kandersteg & Wildstrubel Circuit Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

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Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

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We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

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