WILDFLOWERS OF THE BERNESE OBERLAND
Join our Wildflowers of the Bernese Oberland tour and enjoy wonderful day hikes amongst the wildflowers, immersed in the extraordinary mountain scenery of the Swiss Alps, with splendid panoramas of Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau. Overnight in the charming towns of Meiringen, Grindelwald, Adelboden.
Our hiking tour Wildflowers of the Bernese Oberland is a true celebration of summer with a myriad of wildflowers and an explosion of colours! Pleasant day hikes immerse us in the extraordinary mountain scenery of the Bernese Oberland, one of the most spectacular regions in the Swiss Alps. Mountain ranges with several glaciated peaks, surpassing 4,000 meters in height, enclose lush valleys and emerald blue lakes. The greatest array of the most delicate wildflowers, blooming in perfect harmony from mid-June to mid-August turn grazing pastures and mountain slopes into a colourful palette. The glaciated peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, create a stark contrast and frame this idyllic environment. Hiking on well-maintained trails and paths, we reach vantage points where the panoramas are simply superb, and where we have ample time for reverie and for an appreciation of the perfection of Nature. Starting in Meiringen, a beautiful town still relatively unspoiled by tourism and part of the [Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage] property, we journey across this splendid area. Glaciers, swooping down from the surrounding peaks seem to reach our fingertips. We conclude our days in the exquisite and characteristic towns of Meiringen, Grindelwald, Kandersteg and Adelboden. Extend your stay and combine this trip with our [Ticino | Sunny Side of Switzerland] tour.
DAY BY DAY
Day 1 Meiringen
Meet you guide at Zurich HB train station, in Zurich’s city centre and transfer by train to Meiringen, located at the eastern edge of the Bernese Oberland. The train ride is very panoramic, along Lake Zurich to Luzern, and over the Brunig Pass, on a cogwheel train, past enchanting alpine lakes. Meiringen’s proximity to several natural wonders, and the infinite hiking possibilities in its surroundings, made it a foremost tourist destination in the 19th century. In an effort to sustain and protect this unique high-alpine region for generations to come, in 2007 Meiringen was included in the [Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage] property. This enchanting small town is also the birthplace of a delicate dessert, the meringue. In fact, in the pre-Revolutionary 18th century, an Italian baker by the name of Gasparini invented a baked concoction of egg whites, sugar and cream, and named it after Meiringen, the scene of his inspiration. Louis the 15th liked Gasparini’s creation, whereupon the French name “meringue”. A short afternoon hike through neat farmhouses, traditional homes and manicured flower gardens introduces us to a truly serene region.
Day 2 Above Meiringen Short transfer by public transportation to higher elevations. Comfortable trails through summer grazing pastures take us on an open balcony over splendid glaciated mountains, right at our fingertips. Alpine lakes and wide, green slopes filled with colorful wildflowers, and a few shy marmots. An idyllic environment that could fill with envy even the protagonists of “The Sound of Music”! At the highest point of the day, the panorama spans 360° over the breathtaking beauty of the Bernese Alps, encompassing some of the tallest peaks in the Alps, such as the Finsteraarhorn, Oberaarhorn, Wetterhorn, and more. We descend gradually into what once was a glacial basin, where cowbells resonate harmoniously amongst spotless farmhouse. We may have the opportunity to buy some cheese made at the pasture. Public bus to Meiringen.
Day 3 Grindelwald We wind our way on a public bus through the astounding beauty of the Rosenlaui valley. Sheer waterfalls, caves and cliff formations stand in testimony to the work carried out by the glacial waters. A spellbinding contrast between alpine meadows and a desert of rock and ice surround us, as we hike on a panoramic path through the most renowned area of the Bernese Oberland. The glaciated sentinels of the Eiger, Schreckhorn and Wetterhorn frame the Grindelwald valley, which was isolated until the late Middle Ages, when a slight migration from the Valais started to penetrate in the area. In the 19th century, the town became internationally renowned, and it enjoyed a reputation of “glacier village”. In fact, glaciers swooping from the mountains reached the valley floor as late as the 20th century, when ice was mined commercially and exported to Paris. We descend into the valley, past beautiful farmhouses, prestine summer pastures filled with wildflowers.
Day 4 Above Grindelwald – Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau Short train ride to the trailhead. A spectacular hike leads us along the base of the famous north face of the Eiger, a background of ice and rock that has challenged many climbers throughout the years. Hard to imagine, as we leisurely hike along, that this imposing rock face has taken so many lives since the first summit attempts in the early 20th century. In 1938, Heinrich Harrer and three other alpinists successfully summited the mountain. A story he later retold in his famous book “The White Spider”. On our way, we can be on the lookout for climbers and spot the windows of the Jungfrau railway, one of the locations of James Bond’s “The Eiger Sanction”. Our panoramic hike amongst the wildflowers gives us constantly different perspectives over this splendid world and that of the Bernese Oberland. Return to Grindelwald by gondola.
Day 5 Lauterbrunnen Valley – Adelboden Transfer by public transport to Lauterbrunnen valley, an area included in the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage property, and one of the most impressive glacial valleys in the Alps. Home to the largest Nature Reserve in Switzerland and a protected area, it embraces seventy-two waterfalls, three hundred and eighty rivers, crystal-clear mountain lakes and the impetuous Lütschine, the main river. Sheer rock walls rise up from the valley floor, and a cirque of glaciated mountains frames many secluded and unspoiled valleys, as well as magnificent alpine meadows strewn with wildflowers. Settled in the 13th century by people from the Swiss Canton of Valais, the valley opened up only in the 17th century, with Enlightenment and the heroic-romantic spirit. Hiking on a beautiful trail through conifer forests and open alpine pastures, we visit Mürren and Gimmelwald, enchanting and serene villages sitting on an open balcony, and displaying an exquisite, traditional architecture. Transfer by public transport to Kandersteg. Once a small hamlet with only an inn and an oratory, where wayfarers could find solace and spiritual support, Kandersteg, through the centuries, has developed into the small but prosperous town we see today.
Day 6 Above Kandersteg A beautiful hike takes us into a beautiful glacial valley. We then make our way to a vantage point from which the view over the surrounding glaciated peaks and Oeschinensee basin is simply astounding. The spectacular cirque of mountains framing this unique, splendid alpine lake, once upon a time was the bottom of an ancient ocean. Numerous fossils found in the area testify to forms of life of the original sea. Powerful tectonic movements exposed these sedimentary layers during the formation of the Alps. The majestic peaks surrounding Kandersteg are, in fact, the highest limestone formations in Europe. An extraordinary natural environment, where orchids, lilies, gentians, alpine roses, and edelweiss find their ideal habitat. Hiking in silence and with a keen eye, we can spot ibexes, chamois (wild goats) and marmots.
Day 7 Above Adelboden Adelboden is an exquisite traditional Swiss village, tucked away in a secluded valley. Perched on a sunny terrace, it is immersed in a splendid and thriving alpine, natural environment. Forests, green alpine meadows, plateaus, and grazing pastures offer to the eye the typical serene, Swiss setting. Hiking through this extraordinary area, we have one last blast of vibrant wildflowers. We pass farmhouses and pastures where cheese is made in an artisanal way during the summer months. We hike above Engstligen waterfall, one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Bernese Oberland, and reach a peaceful glacial amphitheatre echoing with the sound of cowbells. We follow the official “Alpaufzug” (the way to the pasture), which every year, in early summer, sees a few hundred cows make their way up to the alpine pastures, skirting the waterfall. We will be below the Wildstrubel, a glaciated plateau soaring above the Simmen Valley.
Day 8 Departure The trip ends in Adelboden. After breakfast, transfer on your own the destination of your choice.
From SFr. 3350 per person.
SFr. 490 | Single supplemen.
Prices are quoted in Swiss Francs and based on double occupancy.
What Is Included:
English-speaking local guide for the duration of the trip.
Guide’s expenses (hotels and meals) while with the group.
Six nights in four-star hotels, one night in three-star hotel.
All breakfasts, six lunches, six dinners.
Water and coffee/tea with your group meals at hotels/restaurants.
Half-price passes for public transportation (with some limitations).
Private and public transportation, as per itinerary.
Visits to points of interest, and activities, as specified in the itinerary.
Gratuities to porters, drivers, and at restaurants.
What Is Not Included:
Any transfers on Day 1 and Day 8 from/to Zurich Airport.
One lunch, one dinner.
Insurances other than evacuation (cancellation and medical insurance, etc.).
Expenses due to unexpected changes to the itinerary.
Activities not specified in the itinerary.
Personal expenses (laundry, sodas or alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, etc.).
Anything else not mentioned in “What’s Included in the Price of the Trip”. Unused transportation during the tour will not be reimbursed.
TRIP DATES & DETAILS
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Extend your stay and combine this trip with our [Walking and Hiking in Ticino] tour.
Season: June – September
Trip Length: 8 days
Trip Activity [more details]:
Hiking History | Culture
Scenery | Flora | Fauna
Trip Rating [more details]: moderate
Your Guide [more details]
The guide(s) will be confirmed about thirty days prior to the beginning of the trip.
ACCOMODATIONS & MEALS
Day 1, 2 – Four-star hotel in the heart of Meiringen village centre, a two-minute walk from the train and bus station, and from all the shops. True hospitality and extraordinary service in an atmosphere of modern luxury and comfort. Outstanding, creative cuisine.
Day 3, 4 – Four-star hotel located a very quiet area overlooking the Grindelwald valley, and a few minutes from the town center. The rooms enjoy a marvellous panorama of the mountains and of the north face of the Eiger. Wellness center, with indoor swimming pool, terrace.
Day 5 – Family-run, three-star hotel in the heart of Kandersteg, walking distance from the hiking trails. Designed in a traditional chalet style, with an intimate atmosphere and a home feeling. Small indoor pool, and each room has a bathtub with whirlpool
Day 6, 7 – Newly renovated four-star hotel in a quiet area of Adelboden, walking distance from the town centre. Sober and with a hint of modern, it offers all comforts. Wellness centre. Rooms have splendid views of the mountains. Family-run, friendly and excellent service. Participants booked on the trip will receive a complete list and detailed descripion of the hotels.
Breakfasts – They consist of a generous spread of meats, cheeses, fruit, yogurt, juice, cereal, fresh bread, and other baked goods, accompanied by coffee or tea.
Lunches – On most days, we enjoy elaborate picnics with local meats, cheeses, olives or sun-dried tomatoes, at least one vegetable, fruit, and freshly baked bread. When not a picnic, we have lunch at a mountain hut, or at a simple mountain restaurant.
Dinners – With the exception of Day 4, when participants have dinner on their own, we dine at the hotels. Generally, meals consist of a set, three- or four-course menu. The cuisine is excellent.