Last month I wrote a blog on the best things to do in Kandersteg. Now I’ve decided to write on some the best excursions you can do during your stay here, so that you can see the best of the wider area too.
Taking the 230 bus from Kandersteg (most likely labelled as Fruitigen), in 50 minutes you’ll reach the village of Adelboden.
Adelboden is a traditional Swiss mountain village, home to the Engstligen waterfalls. Falling 2,000ft, the Engstligen river feeds in to the second tallest waterfall in Switzerland and one of the most impressive in the whole of the Bernese Oberland. From the top of the Elsigenalp you can also take a fairly low-level, scenic walk down to Fruitigen before returning home. You can also visit Choleren gorge – a 100m long rock gorge accessible through a system of walkways and steps.
There are numerous beautiful walks and mountain trails in this area. One of the most popular being the TschentenAlp – Schermtanne which offers beautiful panoramic views. Taking the cable car up the mountain you’re able to enjoy the view across the valley from the restaurant at the top. From here you can begin the decent which treats you to flowering meadows, cooling forests and picturesque barns along the way.
Brig is just 50 minutes on the train from Kandersteg. There’s a lot to see and do here and it’s especially good if you’re aching slightly and you fancy a day off from the hiking! In the old part of the town you will find aristocratic houses, a pilgrimage and collegiate church as well as Sebastians Chapel. You can also check out Stockalper Palace: a baroque palace built by the merchant prince Kaspar Jodok von Stockalper. If you manage to make it here on a Saturday morning, there is also a weekly farmers market held in the picturesque town center selling organic produce.
Fancy a bit of peaceful relaxation? Then pop in to Brig Baths! Here you have one of the biggest open-air thermal spa centres in Switzerland; it has a spa grotto swimming pool, water chute, fresh water and Olympic pools for you to choose from.
If however, you just can’t bear to go a day without a good hike then there’s a wonderful mountain walk along the sunny step-like southern slope of the Lötschberg railway line: a walk famous for its breath-taking panoramic scenery.
Just 20 minutes on the train from Kandersteg, alighting at Mülenen station, you will find the Neisenbahn, simply translating at the Neisen train, which whisks you up 2,362 metres to the top of the Neisen mountain. Often referred to as the Swiss Pyramid due to its triangular shape, at the top there are a number of stunning sky line walks, where you can peer down on Lake Thun and across panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. There’s also several mountain hikes up and around the mountain for anyone feeling particularly agile.
Just further along, Spiez is 30 minutes on the train from Kandersteg. From the station you can enjoy the peaceful walk down towards Spiez castle, nestled next to the harbour. From there you can catch the boats travelling across Lake Thun, hopping on and off at various lake side locations as you please!
The Old Town of Bern is the capital of Switzerland and boasts one of the longest weather-sheltered shopping promenades in Europe. This medieval city has many fountains, sandstone facades, narrow streets and historic towers. The elevated Rose Garden above the Bear Park and the platform of the cathedral tower offer the best views of the old town, around which the River Aare flows. You can take your pick of museums too – there’s the Einstein Museum, the History Museum, Art Museum, Swiss Alpine Museum and Communication Museum. The Houses of Parliament (Bundeshaus) rise above the city just a stone’s throw away from the railway station and you are likely to find the doors open to visitors the vast majority of the time, just be sure to remember your passport!
Words by Lauren Crossley, Resort Representative in Kandersteg.