Trails of the Swiss Alps

8 days
from
£1,479
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Moderate
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Trip code: 
TDU
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
4–15
Min age:
16

Discover the western end of the Bernese Oberland range

Located in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, where the great arc of the Alps culminates in some of its highest and most spectacular peaks, Kandersteg is a walker's paradise. This area epitomises the 'chocolate-box' Alps: lush green meadows bright with wildflowers, against a backdrop of rugged, wild mountains, topped with glistening glaciers. We stay at the charming Hotel Alfa Soleil, owned by the Seiler family, and discover the best of the region offers, including towering cliffs, a hidden valley headed by a glacier, a sheer gorge carved out by glacial meltwaters and more.

Highlights

  • Centre based in the pretty village of Kandersteg
  • Classic Swiss landscapes
  • Views of the Eiger, Monch, Jungfrau and Matterhorn
  • Waterfalls and wildflowers (best in early spring/summer)

Key information

  • 7 nights 3-star Hotel Alfa Soleil, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days of summer walking, 1 free day

  • Altitude maximum 2400m, average 1525m
  • Travel by train, cable car and bus

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 packed lunches and 6 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - limited availability)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Moderate

Terrain:

Mountain walking on good (though sometimes narrow) paths with occasional steepish climbs.

Day by day breakdown
Day 215.0km/9.4miles
Day 320.0km/12.5miles
Day 415.0km/9.4miles
Day 616.0km/10.0miles
Day 713.0km/8.1miles

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Fly to Basel, take the train to Kandersteg.

    Fly to Basel, take the train to Kandersteg.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Walk along the Kandertal Valley to the world famous Blausee Lake.

    A gentle walk to start our week, this varied and peaceful route takes us along the bottom of the upper Kandertal Valley to the world-famous Blausee - Blue lake. Lunch can be taken at the lake, followed by an optional swim. The afternoon is free to enjoy the hotel’s facilities and the wonderful views of the valley.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Ride on the Sunnbüel cable car to the start of the walk. Cross the cantonal border into the Valais; hike to the northern end of the Daubensee.

    In the morning we take ride on the Sunnbüel cable car to the start of the walk. We then cross the cantonal border into the Valais and walk to the Schwarenbach Hotel, where even Lenin and Picasso have signed the visitors' book! From here we walk to the northern end of the Daubensee (sometimes still partially frozen) to the famous high Gemmi Pass (2322m), a major transalpine route first used by the Celts. The extraordinary panorama of the Valais Alps to the south includes the Matterhorn (4478m) and Monte Rosa on the Italian border.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Short ride on the Oeschinensee cable car followed by a circular walk to the Heuberg viewpoint.

    Widely regarded as the jewel in the crown of the Bernese Oberland, Oeschinensee is, in our view, the most beautiful Alpine lake in Switzerland. After a short ride up on the cable car, we climb to the viewpoint at Heuberg. Nothing can prepare us for the cobalt blue of the water surrounded by the razor-edged peaks of the Doldenhorn (3638m), towering 2000m above it, and striped by dainty waterfalls trickling down from the Frunden glacier.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day.

    Optional activities include rowing on the Oeschinensee or a visit to the lakes near Interlaken.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Ride on the Allmenalp cable car followed by a walk along the paths into the Ueschinen valley; descend to Kandersteg.

    It's a gentle start today with a spectacular cable car ride to ascend to the Allmenalp (1725m), a colourful meadow brimming with rural mountain charm. There are stunning views across the valley to the Oeschinensee with its magnificent turquoise-coloured waters and towering cliffs adorned with waterfalls. From the summit the 360° view is nothing less than spectacular, with 12 mountain peaks above 3000m in close proximity, and occasionally eagles frequent the adjoining peaks.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Walk through the Gasterntal Valley to the Kanderfirn Glacier; return with local bus.

    This is a day full of thrilling experiences, starting with an exciting 20 minute minibus ride along a narrow road literally carved out of the rock wall. The Gasterntal is Kandersteg's 'hidden valley', dozens of snow-fed waterfalls thundering down the sheer rock faces carved out by a gigantic glacier 10,000 years ago. From this romantic nature reserve, and with the mighty rock walls of the Tatlishorn and Atels towering up on the right, we meander through woods and open meadows; look out for lady slippers, fire lilies and more than 25 varieties of orchid before we return to the hotel with a local bus.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Kandersteg; fly to London.

    Following breakfast we say our goodbyes. We take the train to the airport and fly to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

 

Visas

Switzerland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Switzerland

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 packed lunches and 6 dinners included. For dinner, we enjoy regional dishes.

With such a mixture of language and tradition co-existing in such a small country, it is no wonder that there are so many regional dishes. In the Bernese Oberland, Austrian and German influences predominate; gastronomic local delicacies include geschnetzeltes Kalbsfleisch (veal in a rich cream sauce), Kandersteger Bratwurst au Mad re-Jus (roast sausage with a Madeira sauce), Lammbraten gefüllt mit Kraütern (herb roasted lamb) and smoked pork with sauerkraut, and a selection of colourful salads. Typical desserts include Caramel-Birne mit Rum-Sabayon (caramelised pear with a rum sabayon) and Aprikosen-Symphonie (apricot gateau).

Weather

June through to August have the nicest weather, pleasant for walking. On average July is the warmest month. The rainy season falls between May and September, so rain is expected, remember to take your waterproofs. A word of caution - Switzerland can be hot in high season - remember your sun hat and suncream and take plenty of water with you. Our minimum recommendation is 1.5 litres per person per day.

Is this trip for you?

Activity level: 3 (Moderate)
The walks on this trip are graded moderate and they include mountain walking on good (though sometimes narrow) paths with occasional steepish climbs. Some walks will get your pulse racing but we will also have plenty of time to rest. Although the walks are not technically challenging, you do need to be steady on your feet. All walks take between 4 and 6 hours including lunch stops and require a moderate level of fitness.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel Alfa Soleil

The Hotel Alfa Soleil is a traditional, cosy and family-run hotel on the edge of the village (only 5 minutes' walk from the centre) with a wonderful view over fields to the mountains behind. It has been owned by the same family for three generations. All rooms are en suite and have a television, telephone, hairdryer and wifi. 
For the evenings, the hotel has a cosy lounge bar with a pool table which is open to both hotel guests and the general public. There is also a large lounge area for residents with an open fire, gym, indoor pool, Jetstream and soft-jacuzzi and sauna.

Single rooms are available for a supplement - subject to availability. 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936