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Home » Destinations » Europe » Switzerland » Headwater Classic Swiss Alps Walk
This eight day walking holiday uncovers the very best of the Swiss Alps. A walker’s nirvana, full of stunning natural beauty full of turquoise lakes, rugged peaks and emerald green foliage. Visit the stunning Oeschinensee Apline lake surrounded by towering mountains, the hidden Gasterntal Valley with glacially-carved walls and impressive waterfalls, and the renowned high Gemmi Pass which has been used since Celtic times.
Arrive at the *** Hotel Alfa Soleil, well known locally for its excellent cuisine and enjoy a welcome drink before dinner which is included all week along with picnics or light restaurant lunches. Below is a suggested itinerary for the week but you are free to pick and choose when and where you walk each day.
This easy-going walk to start your week begins with a spectacular cable car ride (included) up to the Allmenalp, a colourful meadow brimming with rural mountain charm. There are stunning views across the valley to towering cliffs, snow-capped peaks and glaciers. Continue into the pastures of the Alpbach, sheltered by a colossal mountain bowl where marmots ‘cohabit’ with farmers and their cattle. An afternoon descent of the Alpbach Gorge takes you down to the valley floor for a relaxed stroll along the River Kander to the hotel.
This super walk begins with an exhilarating 20-minute minibus ride (fare included) along a narrow road carved out of the rock wall. The UNESCO-recognised Gasterntal is Kandersteg’s ‘hidden valley’, with snow-fed waterfalls splashing down sheer cliff faces. After an optional, loop-extension further up the valley, you meander down the River Kander, through woods and open meadows to the Waldhaus Nature Reserve – look out for lady slippers, fire lilies and more than 25 varieties of orchid. With the mighty rock walls of the Balmhorn, Tatlishore and the Atels towering high, follow the spectacular Klus Gorge where glacial meltwater rushes down over thunderous waterfalls.
Widely regarded as the jewel in the crown of the Bernese Oberland, Oeschinensee is one of the most beautiful Alpine lakes in Switzerland. After a short ride up on the gondola lift (included), follow a marvellous mountain path up to the Heuberg Viewpoint and picnic spot. The cobalt blue water of the lake, surrounded by the snow-capped, razor-edged peaks of the Doldenhorn (3,638m) and the Bluemlisalphorn (3,663m) towering 2,000m above, will be a lasting memory. Call in at the mountain chalets at Obberbargli and Underbargli for refreshments and soak up this unforgettable scenery as bell-toting cows munch at the grass in the pastures below, while dainty waterfalls trickle down from the Frunden Glacier.
A gentle hour’s stroll takes you down to the Natural Park of Blausee – the Blue Lake (entry included with short boat ride). Here you can wander through verdant woodland around the little lake, visit the organic trout farm and enjoy a drink on the lake terrace. Cross the valley at Kandergrund and pick up the Nordrampe Bahnwanderweg – a fabulous walking trail that in part follows the impressive railway as it makes huge loops and swirls through tunnels along the side of the mountain. Enjoy panoramic picnic spots and great views up and down the valley as you stroll past the evocative ruins of the Felsenburg tower. Hillside pastures and shady forest then leads you back to your hotel.
The Sunnbuel cable car (included) whisks you up to nearly 2,000m to begin today’s walk. Enjoy refreshments at the renowned Schwarenbach Hotel, where Lenin and Picasso have signed the visitors’ book. It’s then on to the Daubensee and the famous high Gemmi Pass (2,322m), a major Transalpine route first used by the Celts. The extraordinary panorama of the Valais Alps to the south includes the Weisshorn (4,506m) and the Matterhorn (4,478m).
Today starts with a 25-minute train ride (payable locally) through the Lotschberg mountain rail tunnel (14km long) to Hohtenn. The walk takes you high above a youthful River Rhone, through a landscape of gorges and hidden side valleys – and small hillside villages boasting traditional wooden chalets built on the upper edges of this fertile, vineyard-adorned valley. You follow part of the Lotschberger-Sudrampe railway trail – superb railway engineering, viaducts, tunnels and bridges – but you don’t need to be a train buff to enjoy this great little hike.
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.
Please note, prices listed are guide prices only and are based on 2 people sharing and don’t include any additional supplements. Holiday prices are fluid and dynamic and may be changed at a moment’s notice, prior to booking, at which point they are confirmed. Please call the team free on 0800 707 6229 for more departure dates available and a quote.
Please call us free on 0800 707 6229 for pricing and availability
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