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 €955 per person sharing in category B*
From €1,095 per person sharing in category A*
*A high season surcharge of €44 pp. will apply from 1/7 to 8/9.
|AVAILABILITY||You can start on any day of the week (subject to availability) between July 1st and September 24th.|
|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).
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.