This summer (2019), instead of going to the seaside, we decided to go to Switzerland. However, we went by car, so we could stop whenever we wanted and choose our destination as the day went on.
The trip took around 12 hours from London to Locarno, where our friends live.
As we spent 8 days travelling there, we got to know several places, and one of them was Kandersteg.
In fact, I chose Kandersteg because it was near Lake Blausee, which I really wanted to visit for a long time.
Little did I know that I would discover the most beautiful place I have ever been to, the Oeschinensee, but I’ve written about it in a separate post here.
For now, I will tell you about this very charming little town that is worth visiting.
Kandersteg is known for its magnificent mountain and rural landscapes.
The village is located on the northern of the Bernese Alps, and it is part of the Berner Oberland, the highest region of the Canton of Bern.
Being right in the middle of the Kander Valley, the city is surrounded by towering mountains, and it is awe-inspiring to walk around it and watch the sunrise reflect on the rocks of these mountains. I just loved it!
Kandersteg has preserved its traditional Swiss character, with beautiful wooden chalets, small restaurants serving traditional food and high prices (how expensive this country is, OMG!).
Talking with the residents, we found out that, although the village is equipped for winter sports, with a ski resort and such, the strong point of tourism is in the summer. This is due to hundreds of kilometres of marked hiking trails, various climbing areas, etc.
Then in wintertime, you can enjoy one of the most extensive cross-country skiing tracks in the country. Or the more than 50 kilometres of ski/snowboard trails. However, it is worth remembering that these tracks are for beginners only.
Oh, I can’t forget to mention that Kandersteg is home to the International Scout Center, which annually hosts over 11.000 scouts and guides from all around the world. I think in only an hour while I was walking around town, over 100 scouts passed by me.
There are 3 cable cars in the city:
– Sunnbüel: which takes you to an altitude of over 1,900 meters. It has a restaurant of the same name, offering a unique panoramic view. It is the starting point for the famous Gemmi Pass trail to Leukerbad.
– Allmenalp: which rises up to 1,700 meters above sea level and there you will have gorgeous mountain scenery. It has hiking trails that take you to the Ueschinen Valley or the Bunderkrinde to Adelboden.
– Gondelbahn Kandersteg – Oeschinensee, which will take you near the Oeschinensee lake.
What to do?
Oeschinensee is a beautiful lake, and it sure is a must-see if you are in Kandersteg. As mentioned above, you take the cable car to reach it (or you can hike). More info here.
Blausee is another beautiful lake that I’ve written about it here. To reach it, by car it takes about 12 minutes, or walking it takes about one and a half hours.
Gasterntal is a slightly hidden and tranquil valley as it has little tourism. The valley is on the south of Kandersteg, and I really wish I had visited there, but unfortunately, I had no time.
To reach the valley, you pass a road, the Chluse Gorge, which is so narrow that cars need a limited permit and are given a 20-minute window every hour to pass through it. You pay a CHF 12 fee to cross this street and reach the valley.
Gemmi Pass is one of the most famous mountain routes, passing through the Bernese Alps, connecting Leukerbad in the canton of Valais to Sunnbüel in the canton of Bern (with cable cars operating at either end). The distance is about 13 km, with a walking duration of 5 hours or so. For more information, I really enjoyed this post here: https://swissfamilyfun.com/gemmipass-suennbuel/
Lötschenpass is the oldest route in these mountains, connecting the Canton of Valais and Bern. It looks like you can take a bus from Kandersteg to Selden and from there, walk to Lötschenpass Hut.
Mountain Tubing – I didn’t see where that place was, but it looks like it’s pure adrenaline: slide down the ski-jumping hill into a tube and reach a top speed of 90 km / h.
Anyway, as you can see, you won’t lack activities to do in this beautiful side of Switzerland.
I just adore this country, and every time I go there, I fall more and more in love. And inevitably, Kandersteg did not fail to impress me. But wait for the posts about the lakes, you won’t believe how magnificent they are.
I hope you enjoy your day! Bye-bye!
Ah! I forgot to tell, I don’t know if this is something every hotel do, but the hotel we stayed at, the Alfa Soleil, gave us a card (we paid a deposit, and when we returned it, they gave the money back). This card allowed us to use any cable car in Kandersteg for free. A huge economy!