For 2020 departures our trip inclusions are changing - please contact us for full details
The pretty village of Kandersteg sits in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, where the great arc of the Alps culminates in some of its highest and most spectacular peaks. Awe-inspiring and dramatic, the area epitomises the 'chocolate-box' Alps: lush green pastures and lowland slopes carpeted bright with wildflowers against a backdrop of rugged mountains - all topped off with sun-glistening glaciers.
A stay here uncovers the very best of the region: the stunning Oeschinensee mountain lake enclosed by towering cliffs; the hidden Gasterntal Valley with its glacial meltwaters thundering down a narrow gorge, and an Alpine pass that has been used since Celtic times.
Did we mention the spectacular views? One moment you will be spellbound by the glacial legacy, whilst in another it will be the cobalt blue of the Oeschinensee that will take your breath away. Woodlands, pine forest and open meadows are decorated with lady slippers, fire lilies and more than 25 varieties of scented orchid, where you walk to the the tuneful ringing of cowbells. With the company of the occasional swooping eagle, it is easy to feel on top of the world. Amazingly, all this is accessible on well-defined paths directly from the hotel or after a short bus or cable car ride.
On arrival at the 3 star Hotel Alfa Soleil, your hosts, the charming Seiler family, will provide you with a Regional Travel Pass giving you unlimited use of cable cars and the local bus service. They'll also ensure you receive a full introduction to the area, including insider tips on where to spot the best alpine flowers!
When you feel like a rest from walking, there's an elegant lounge, swimming pool, sauna, solarium and gym to keep you entertained. In the evening you can relax and enjoy regional dishes and fine wines in Nico's restaurant.
The walking is of moderate difficulty and includes mountain walking on good (though sometimes narrow) paths with occasional steepish climbs. NB: Some gondolas/cable cars do not operate in early/late season when alternative walks will be proposed.
You arrive in time to settle in and perhaps enjoy an aperitif before dinner.
You stay at the Hotel Alfa Soleil for 5 nights (breakfast and evening meal)
It's a gentle start today with a spectacular cable car ride (included) to ascend to the Allmenalp (1,725m), 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 3,000m in close proximity, and occasionally eagles frequent the adjoining peaks.
This is a day full of thrilling experiences, starting with an exciting 20-minute minibus ride (included) 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 on the right, you follow the spectacular Klus Gorge where glacial meltwater rushes down over thundering waterfalls.
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 gondola (included), you climb to the viewpoint at Heuberg. Nothing can prepare you for the cobalt blue of the water surrounded by the razor-edged peaks of the Doldenhorn (3,638m), towering 2,000m above it, and striped by dainty waterfalls trickling down from the Frunden glacier.
A gentle, peaceful route takes you along the bottom of the upper Kandertal Valley to the world-famous Blausee - Blue Lake. Here you can wander through the woods and around the turquoise lake, perhaps visit the trout farm and take a trip on a boat. Headwater customers receive a 50% discount on the entrance with a boat trip included with their regional card.
If you'd prefer a slightly longer holiday, take a look at our 7 night Classic Swiss Alps Walk.
NEARBY: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. The restaurant is managed by owner/chef Nico Seiler and has an excellent reputation and is rated highly by Headwater customers so you will enjoy fine dining whilst staying here.
Room upgrades: Superior Double with Balcony, Junior Suite or Suite.
Junior suites have a seating area and balcony. The recently refurbished Suites have two rooms - bedroom and living room with south facing balcony.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.
Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
Tremendous week in the Swiss Alps, walking and eating. The wildflower meadows were wonderful at this time of year.
You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.
Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.
For 2020 departures our trip inclusions are changing - please contact us for full details.
This 5 night self-guided walking holiday includes:
Single-centre accommodation in a hotel
All meals including picnic lunches
Management by local hotelier
Route directions and maps
Standard transfers to/from your hotel
Kandersteg guest card (for discounts at local sites and attractions)
Regional travel pass for local buses and cable cars
Free entry to the Blausee (Blue Lake) Nature Park
How to book:
|Aug 2019||Tour only||Availability|
|23rd Aug||US$1749||Check availability|
|25th Aug||US$1679||Check availability|
|Sep 2019||Tour only||Availability|
|1st Sep||US$1649||Check availability|
|8th Sep||US$1649||Check availability|
|15th Sep||US$1649||Check availability|
|22nd Sep||US$1599||Check availability|
|29th Sep||US$1599||Check availability|
|Oct 2019||Tour only||Availability|
|6th Oct||US$1599||Check availability|
Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided walking Managed locally by hotelier.
Sundays from 23rd Aug 2019 to 6th Oct 2019, for 5 nights. All dates are subject to availability, please contact us to check.
All meals including picnic lunches
You should allow £20pp for the train journey at the start of day 7.
Transfers included from Kandersteg train station at 16:41, and back to Kandersteg train station at 10:00.
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for . Simply complete the form below (fields marked * are mandatory) and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 to discuss your requirements in more detail.