8 days

Hike the most popular section of the long-distance Via Alpina in the Bernese Oberland

Walk in the shadow of the mighty Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger peaks

Cross high alpine passes and enjoy spectacular mountain views

Enjoy the fresh Alpine air as you wander through peaceful meadows to the sound of cow bells

Discover breathtaking waterfalls, shimmering lakes and tranquil forests

The ‘Bear Trek’: Walking holiday on the Via Alpina through the Bernese Oberland

Discover Switzerland at its most impressive on this wonderful alpine walk. The Bear Trek (Bärentrek in German) is the most popular section of the Via Alpina, a long distance walking route across the Swiss Alps. You are unlikely to meet any bears nowadays – the name derives from times past when only bears and wolves could navigate this route. Following in their footsteps today, you will find a stunning walking route that takes you from valley to valley, past ancient glaciers and spectacular mountain passes. You will walk in the shadow of the three famous peaks of the Bernese Oberland; the Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger. Beginning in Meiringen and ending in the popular Swiss holiday resort of Adelboden-Lenk, you will discover peaceful alpine meadows and pretty towns full of cosy wooden chalets. Walking the Bear Trek along the Via Alpina, the beauty of the Swiss Alps is sure to take your breath away!

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS From €1,130 per person sharing in category B*

From €1,255 per person sharing in category A*

*A high season surcharge of €50 pp. will apply from 29/6 to 30/8.
*A single supplement charge will apply to solo walkers.

AVAILABILITY You can start on any day of the week (subject to availability) between June 29th and September 15th.
ACCOMMODATION 7 nights accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis. You can choose between two different categories of accommodation as follows:

Category A: 6 x middle class hotels (rooms with private bathroom) and 1 x traditional mountain inn (shared toilets and showers).
Category B: 7 x family-run guest houses, all with shared toilets and showers.

7 x overnight accommodation
7 x Breakfasts
Luggage transportation while you walk
Detailed walking notes &  maps
GPS tracks
Pre-departure information pack
Access to SwitzerlandMobility App
CHF 10 Subsidy for arrival by train
24/7 telephone support
Flights & travel insurance
Lunches & dinners
Taxi transfers or public transport*
Local tourist taxes
Admissions & entrance fees of any kind
Anything else not mentioned in the “included” section
*NOTE: Journeys by post bus, mountain railways and cable cars approx. CHF 45.- with Half-Fare Card (depending on the journeys used).
Additional nights in Meiringen or Lenk
Single Room Supplement
DISCOUNT FOR DIGITAL ROUTE BOOK Join us in achieving greater sustainability by choosing our digital route book, rather than the printed version. As a small thank you we will give you a discount of €20 per room (let us know at the time of booking if you would like to do this).
DIFFICULTY This trip is graded challenging overall. The trail is well-maintained and well-signposted throughout. It is no easy stroll, however, as you have to navigate some high mountain passes. Surefootedness and good condition are mandatory. You must not be afraid of heights to go on this alpine tour. Some shortcuts are available if the weather is bad. The trip is suitable for experienced walkers who are in very good physical condition.

Day 1: Arrival in Meiringen

The Bernese Oberland resort of Meiringen is rich in tradition and lies in an idyllic Swiss mountain valley to the south-east of Lake Brienz. You can check into your accommodation before enjoying a coffee and cake in one of the many cafés – Meiringen is considered the birthplace of the meringue.

Meiringen is easily reached by train from Lucerne, Bern or Zurich.

Overnight: Meiringen.


Day 2: Meiringen to Grindelwald

Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 700 m | Descent: 980 m | 4½ hrs approx.

You begin this morning by taking with a short bus trip to Rosenlaui, where your first hike starts. You ascend over beautiful moorlands to the Grosse Scheidegg mountain pass (1,962 m). You are rewarded for your efforts with a first glimpse of the Eiger’s north face and the 4,000-metre peaks of the Bernese Oberland. You then descend to Grindelwald in the heart of the Jungfrau region and surrounded by awe-inspiring mountain scenery.

Overnight: Grindelwald.


Day 3: Grindelwald to Wengen

Distance: 16.5 km | Ascent: 1,155 m | Descent: 915 m | 5½ hrs approx.

Today’s route begins with an ascent over undulating meadows to the Kleine Scheidegg pass (2061 m). You will be surrounded by breathtaking scenery of rock and ice – with the Eiger Glacier as a backdrop and with the peaks of the Mönch, Jungfraujoch and Jungfrau to your right. The Via Alpina then continues over a sunny high trail to the car-free holiday resort of Wengen, beautifully situated high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

Overnight: Wengen.


Day 4: Wengen to Griesalp/Pochtenalp

Distance: 21.5 km | Ascent: 1,315 m | Descent: 1,415 m | 7½ hrs approx.

Begin with a short trip down to Lauterbrunnen, where you can admire the mighty impressive Staubbach Waterfall. From here, a cable car brings you up to the sunny terrace of the Mürren. The trail leads on via Alpine pastures, vantage points such as Bryndli and mountain huts such as the Rotstockhütte to the Sefinenfurgge, the impressive mountain pass into the Kiental Valley. In the early months of summer there is often still snow at the Sefinenfurgge. The views over the valley and Blüemlisalp Mountain will take your breath away. A steep descent takes you down into the Kiental Valley to Griesalp or Pochtenalp.

Overnight: Griesalp/Pochtenalp.


Day 5: Griesalp/Pochtenalp to Kandersteg

Distance: 17 km | Ascent: 1,450 m | Descent: 1,685 m | 7 hrs approx.

Today you face the king’s stage over the 2778m-high Hohtürli Pass, the highest point on the Via Alpina. This is also the most spectacular and rewarding stage on the Bear Trek.

After a long and step walk up to 2,843 meters you can reward yourself with a sustaining meal at the alpine cabin Blüemlisalphütte. The trail then takes you up over the Hohtürli before a descent to the beautiful lake Öschinensee. This is a truy idyllic site – the deep blue lake is surrounded by 500 m cliffs, glaciers and centuries-old fir trees.

From Öschinensee, you can either continue your descent on foot or take the cable car down to Kandersteg.

Overnight: Kandersteg.


Day 6: Kandersteg to Adelboden

Distance: 11.5 km | Ascent: 835 m | Descent: 1,220 m | 4½ hrs approx.

Begin today by taking the cable car up to Allmenalp, then ascend to the Bunderchrinde Pass at 2382 m. A stunning panoramic view of the surrounding summits is your well-earned reward. A steep rocky path takes you downhill before you reach the beautiful meadows of Vordere Bunder. Continue down into the valley to Adelboden. The village on the foot of Wildstrubel Mountain with its wooden chalets is a popular holiday destination throughout the year.

Overnight: Adelboden.


Day 7: Adelboden to Lenk

Distance: 14 km | Ascent: 700 m | Descent: 980 m | 4½ hrs approx.

Your final walking day on the Bear Trek will feel quite easy compared to what has gone before. From Adelboden you follow riverside, meadow and woodland paths to the Hahnenmoos Pass (1956 m). Wonderful alpine views accompany you as you descend to the green Simmental Valley, passing many cosy wooden chalets along the way.

Your last night in the Bernese Oberland is spent in Lenk, superbly set in the Hinter Simmental basin, with spectacular waterfalls and the perfect backdrop of the Wildstrubel massif.

Overnight: Lenk.


Day 8: Departure from Lenk

Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning unless you have booked any additional services with us. You can take a train from Lenk back to Meiringen or to other destinations in Switzerland.

Getting to Meringen

/ You can fly into ZurichGeneva or Bern then continue by train to Meiringen. For general travel planning and information in Switzerland, please go to: www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/transport-travel/getting-around
  If arriving by car

Affordable parking is available at the cable car station in Meiringen. CHF 5.- per day. No reservation necessary.

Departure from Lenk

You can take a train to Geneva, Zurich or Bern airports. Please see SBB’s website for train timetables.
  If you need to return to your car: return travel from Lenk to Meiringen with the train in approx. 3 hours.
Hiking the Bear Trek Via Engiadina
Meiringen in the Bernese Oberland
The Via Alpina
The village of Grindelwald under the Eiger
Alpine cows, Grindelwald
The pretty alpine village of Wengen
Lauterbrunnen and Staubbach Falls
Alpine panorama, Mürren
The Rotstockhütte en route to Griesalp
View of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau en route to Griesalp
The Blüemlisalp glacier
Via Alpina signposts at the Sefinenfurgge mountain pass
Hiking the Bear Trek at the Hohtürli
Hikers on the Via Alpina - Bear Trek
The Via Alpina winding its way through the Snow-capped peaks of the Bernese Oberland
Wonderful alpine views on the Bear Trek
The beautiful lake Oeschinensee
Beautiful mountain view in Adelboden
Walking on the Bear Trek between Adelboden and Lenk
Walking on the Bear Trek between Adelboden and Lenk

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