At a glance
- Largest town: Thun (76 000 inhabitants)
- Specialities: Suure Mocke (pot roast), Berner Platte (meat and sausage dish)
- UNESCO World Heritage: Jungfrau-Aletsch
- Overnight stays/year: 4.1 million
A paradise for hiking and skiing
The Bernese Oberland is one of Switzerland’s most diverse regions. In summer the green hills and mountains attract hikers and the clear mountain lakes are popular with swimmers, while in winter the entire region is transformed into a winter sports paradise.
The Bernese Oberland has several dozen skiing areas, of which 10 have 30 or more kilometres of ski slopes. The largest winter sports resorts in the region are Adelboden/Lenk, Schilthorn – Mürren/Lauterbrunnen, Kleine Scheidegg – Grindelwald/Wengen, Meiringen/Hasliberg and Gstaad/Saanen.
The region is a paradise not only for skiing and snowboarding but is also perfect for tobogganing and snowshoe hiking.
The world’s longest toboggan run is located in the Bernese Oberland
The Bernese Oberland has over 100 km of toboggan runs, including a record-setting run in the Jungfern area. Known as Big Pintenfritz, it begins on the summit of the 2 681 metre high Faulhorn mountain and is 15 km long. Before tobogganers can enjoy the run they must, however, put in some hard work – the climb to the starting point takes over 2 hours. The Eiger Run may not be as long but with gradients of up to 36% is breathtakingly spectacular. Further toboggan runs in the Bernese Oberland are located in Beatenberg, Grindelwald, Adelboden, Oey-Diemtigen and Kiental.
In summer the Bernese Oberland’s many mountain lakes are a tourist attraction
Almost 40 years ago rock bank Span, who sing in Swiss dialect, sang “I gloube I gange na (no) meh a Louänäsee” (I think I’ll go to Lake Lauenen again). Tourists should definitely follow their advice and pay at least one visit to the lake, which is located between Saanen and Lenk. In addition to swimming in the lake you can also hire a rowing boat to explore or stop off at Restaurant Lauenensee to relax and enjoy a meal or drink.
Although only just over half a hectare in size, thanks to its beautiful surroundings the Blausee (literally, the blue lake) is one of the Bernese Oberland’s most famous and popular lakes. Although in recent years this idyllic spot between Kadergrund and Kandersteg has become almost overrun by tourists, with a bit of luck mid-week visitors can still experience the idyll which has made it so famous.
In addition to the many other mountain lakes, such as the Oeschinensee, Arnensee, Hinterburgseeli or Seebergsee lakes, it goes without saying that the region’s larger lakes such as Lake Thun and Lake Brienz also have plenty to offer.
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The Bernese Oberland in summer
Watch native wildlife
The regular guided trips to admire the wildlife on the Niederhorn mountain are an insider tip for anyone who missed the 2019 Hotelcard Hiking Day. The area’s native fauna is extremely abundant, including chamois, ibexes, marmots and golden eagles.
Lake Thun panoramic circular hike
The highlight of this hike is, without a doubt, the two spectacular suspension bridges across Spissigraben Ravine and Gummi Gorge. The latter bridge is 320 metres long and offers a unique view across Lake Thun.
Day out to the Bachalpsee lake
Located in a nature reserve, the Bachalpsee lake is considered the jewel in the crown of the Grindelwald area. On sunny days its surface reflects the many surrounding peaks, which include the Finsteraarhorn, Wetterhorn and Schreckhorn mountains. To access the lake visitors must first take the cable car to the First station and then hike. The easy route takes just under an hour.
The Bernese Oberland in winter
A winter hike to Lake Lauenen
This wonderful winter hike begins in Lauenen, located at an altitude of 1 241 m, and takes walkers up to the same-name lake. Made famous by rock band Span, who sing in Swiss dialect, the mountain lake is known for its rejuvenating effect and spectacular view of the majestic Spitzhorn mountain.
Tropenhaus Frutigen tropical centre
Visitors who are not particularly keen on wintery temperatures should be sure to go to Frutigen’s tropical centre. In addition to regular exhibitions on specific topics there is also an integrated fish farm. The on-site restaurant serves fish fresh from the farm, even including Bernese Oberland caviar.
Engstligenalp fondue igloo
After a short walk across the snow-covered Engstligenalp plateau above Adelboden, visitors can warm up while enjoying fondue and white wine – in an igloo. This is the ideal place to spend some romantic quality time with your significant other or a sociable evening with friends.
Hot spots in the Bernese Oberland
Thun is the gateway to the Bernese Oberland. The Alpine town, situated on the banks of the same-name lake, is, however, well worth a visit in its own right. Visitors should plan to spend one or two days discovering the town, which has a wide range of cultural and culinary attractions. It goes without saying that we would also be happy to welcome you to our offices at Burgstrasse 18.
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Adelboden is a well-known World Cup venue, annually hosting the world’s best slalom and giant slalom skiers, who race on its Chuanisbergli course. During the competition, the entire village becomes one giant party chalet. Visitors who prefer a quieter life should visit Adelboden in February or March. Or wait until summer and enjoy the numerous hiking trails.
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The name Interlaken is derived from Latin and means ‘between the lakes’. Which is exactly where the town is located, nestled between Lakes Thun and Brienz. Famous for its many shops, restaurants, bars and cultural offerings Interlaken is the ideal starting point to explore most of the skiing and hiking areas in the Bernese Oberland.
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What our members say
"The mountains are our favourite destination. Switzerland has so many beautiful places to go and, thanks to Hotelcard, we can explore them at a discount."Oli Steffen
"I celebrated my 70th birthday with my husband in a pretty, charming hotel on Lake Constance thanks to the Hotelcard - a dream came true! For retired people like us Hotelcard is great hit."Verena Tanner
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