Ibex Treks

2017 Bernese Oberland Self Guided Challenge Tour Itinerary

This self-guided tour is 13 nights long, but can be customised for any number of nights. We will provide detailed maps and itineraries, and you will be your own leader! Travel at your own pace comfortably and independently. Stay in 3-star hotels at 7 different locations. See also the Dates & Prices page.

Swiss cow This tour is designed for our more experienced guests. (See fitness requirements.) Basically, we follow the famous Alpine Pass Route from Adelboden to Grindelwald. Instead of hiking straight through, we have designed this tour with an extra day in each new area to allow guests to explore or relax before moving on. The hotels are situated in the valleys. Each valley has beautiful scenery, waterfalls, lakes, streams or smaller valleys to visit. Spending two nights in each hotel allows guests to enjoy and explore the unique attractions of each area.

Although it is possible to hike the entire trip from Adelboden to Grindelwald, it is also possible to hike parts of the itinerary. For example, from Adelboden to Griesalp or from Griesalp to Grindelwald, etc.

Accommodation will be in 3 star hotels, specially chosen for there location, hospitality, and cuisine. Guests will have to hike an average of 6 hours every other day. (This does not include stops or breaks for photos, chocolate, or lunch! A typical day will last between 7 and 8 hours.) The optional day at each hotel will vary in length depending on how you feel and what you choose to do.

the challenging Ibex! Ibex Treks will book all the hotels for you at half-board (the price will include dinner and breakfast). Lunches will not be included, but we will recommend possible lunch stops offering panoramic views.

Upon booking the trip, you will receive a detailed, topographical map showing the entire route with various easy and difficult optional hikes, together with a comprehensive itinerary. We will also include train timetables from Zurich airport to the mountains and back to the airport.

Finally, we will advise you on your equipment. Although excess baggage can be sent on to your end destination, we recommend that guests travel light, and try, if possible, to carry everything in one backpack (7 to 10 kilos, or 15 to 20 pounds). This makes for a rewarding and challenging tour. Remember, guests basically only have to carry clothing in the rucksack or backpack. (See equipment list.)

    


Day 1

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Hotel in Adelboden

Adelboden

Arrive in Adelboden. Zurich Airport is the closest International airport, although it is possible to fly to Bern. Good train and bus connections will take you to Adelboden.
 

Day 2

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Adelboden area

Adelboden area

Day hike in the Adelboden area. From Adelboden, various buses and lifts will take you to higher areas quickly and efficiently where the sights and panoramic views can be admired while hiking on more elevated paths. Alternatively, hike on a loop trails from the village to these areas.
 

Day 3

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hotel in Kandersteg

Adelboden to Kandersteg

Hike to Kandersteg. Descending to the valley floor a meander on small roads will eventually bring you to small hiking paths through woods to alpine meadows. As the terrain opens to more barren landscape, rocky cliffs and moraine will start to dominate the views. At the pass you will be confronted with an incredible sight! A steep descent brings you back to meadows. An optional cable car will cut out 2 hours of descent. Hiking back through trees, descend to the valley floor to the quiet village of Kandersteg.
 

Day 4

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overlooking Oeschinensee

Kandersteg Area

Day hike in Kandersteg area. Hike to a beautiful lake with a loop trail near and above the lake. Or hike to a hidden valley with steep 500meter cliffs (1600ft) and cascading waterfalls. Or, relax near the hotel and enjoy the views from a distance.
 

Day 5

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Griesalp

Kandersteg to Griesalp

Hike to Griesalp. Two possible hiking trails will take you to Griesalp. The higher option will take about 8 hours to complete, and should be made only in reasonably good weather conditions. Leaving Kandersteg, start the traverse route, but soon head up a small valley though trees to a small cluster of farm buildings and alpine pastures. The view opens to reveal wonderful mountain landscape, totally rewarding upon reaching the pass. Steep at first, descend into the Kiental valley. The sleepy picturesque village of Kiental greets us below. The second option takes you on a high traverse, gradually increasing in height. This route is long but does not reach the same altitude. As you head on down the valley, the views increase as the valley broadens. Pass villages below you, and the small town of Frutigen, and finally see a magnificent view of Lake Thun before tuning up into the Kiental valley. This optional hike is long but less strenuous, and ideal if the weather looks doubtful or threatening. Possible chair lift and bus to relieve tired feet, cutting out 2 hours of hiking.
 

Day 6

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Griesalp area

Griesalp Area

Day hike in the Griesalp Area. Various hikes are available from easy to strenuous. The easy hikes can be made above Grieaslp following loop trails or hiking beside the valley's streams. The strenuous hikes can be made to peaks high in the surroundings or to mountain cabin or guest houses. The easiest option is to remain near the hotel and enjoy the hospitality!

 

Day 7

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hotel in Mürren

Griesalp to Mürren

The hike to Mürren takes you over a Mountain Pass. If the weather was incredibly bad it would be possible to public transport around to Mürren! Following a good track out of the trees you head on up the valley passing small farms. The view opens up to reveal snow capped moutains and glaciers. Gradually the rout gets steeper until near the Pass where it is incredibly steep. The view at the top is worth the effort as the Jungfrau range of mountains apears across the valley. Small steep descent, and a gentle traverse through meadows to Mürren.
 

Day 8

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Mürren

Mürren Area

Day hike in the Mürren area. A strenuous hike awaits those of you who would like to hike one of the peaks in the area. Various loops offer more relaxing hikes. Of course the village has many terraces and bars too!
 

Day 9

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waterfalls

Mürren to Wengen

Various hikes down are available to Wengen. If guests would like to avoid the village of lauterbrunnen we have a hike available in our itinerary. It is possible to hike directly down from Mürren to Lauterbrunnen, but we usually recommmend a longer hike which takes guests through the valley below where waterfalls drop 650m (over 2000ft) An optinal visit to Lauterbrunnen where supermarkets, banks and welcoming terraces are available.
 

Day 10

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Mannlichen

Wengen Area

Day hike in the Wengen area. Several pleasant loop trails will give you the feel of where Wengen is situated in relation to the beautiful mountains surrounding this famous village. However, other hikes combining either a Cable car (gondola) or Cog train are also recommended. Visiting the Junfraujoch Europe"s highest railway system is certainly worth the extra expence. The views at the top are out standing with spectacular glaciers. Other attractions at the Jungfraujoch are: a museum, an observitory, slide shows, resturants, ice pallace, and dog sleigh runs!
 

Day 11

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Hotel in Grindelwald

Wengen to Grindelwald

Hike to Grindelwald. Two possible routes are available for this hike. With variations along both routes regarding how long and how wild. The longer the hike the wilder the scenery, and you will see fewer hikers an the path. There is no avoiding Kleine Scheidegg though, the main hub for trains and visiters going up the Mountain to the Jungfraujoch. Although usually crowded, it is really famous for historical stories around the climbing of the North Face of the Eiger. Our recommended paths pass along side the Eiger North Face! We will give guests information regarding the best hiking in the area in our detailed itinerary and maps.
 

Day 12

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Grindelwald area

Grindelwald Area

Day hike in the Grindelwald area. So many choices are available here! They vary from hiking to a mountain cabin, to taking various cable cars (gondolas') to near the famous peaks in the area. Many loop trails are available too. Just to sit at a terrace in the village and be mesmerized might be enough for some guets!
 

Day 13

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Hotel in Wilderswil

Grindelwald to Wilderswil

Hike to Wilderswil. From Grindelwald guests hike out of the village through forest and up a valley to a beautiful lake. From the lake a donkey path takes guests up to a really famous guest house where you can get lunch, and fantasic views can be admired. From the guest house you begin one of the most famous traverses in Switzerland. This leads you to where views can be seen of the Brienzsee (lake) more than 1600m above. Needless to say the descent is long and tiring. However a cog train will help!
 
 

Leaving the area

Morning train back to Zurich Airport on the 14th day.

    


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Updated 3 November 2010
Contact Ibex Treks at ibextreks@yahoo.co.uk