Kandersteg is a homely village in the Bernese Oberland and lies in the Kander valley of the same name. The name comes from the river, which is called Kander. Surrounded by imposing mountains, often 2500 meters and higher, there are dream places around Kandersteg, like the Gasterntal or Sunnbüehl, which many people have never heard of. Of course, there are also the classics, such as the Blausee or the Oeschinensee.
We are happy to show you our top 9 places around Kandersteg so you can get the most out of your stay or day trip.
Gasterntal Valley – the most beautiful place in Kandersteg
Overwhelming, breathtaking, pure nature. For me, one of the biggest highlights in this article is the Gasterntal Valley. You can reach the remote valley above Kandersteg via a hiking trail (Chluse hiking trail) or car. If you want to come by car, you must know that the road is narrow, one-way, and costs 15 CHF daily. The ascent is always from 45-05, and the descent from 15-35. Due to snow and avalanche danger, the region is only accessible from May to about mid-November.
Gasterntal is the right place for you if you love nature and hiking. The wild rivers, various waterfalls, and views of magical glaciers and imposing mountains are impressive. There are also restaurants at the beginning and the end of the valley. That’s why the Gasterntal is the ultimate insider tip of Kandersteg.
Since there are roads, you can go by car to the last restaurant in the valley. Likewise, these paths can be traveled by bike.
Choose hiking trail
If you want to hike from Kandersteg to Gasterntal, you can take one of the region’s most beautiful and adventurous hiking trails. And this is the Chluse hiking trail, which starts at the cable car station Sunnbüehl (valley station).
In about an hour, you will walk along waterfalls, mountain streams, and the impressive road to Gasterntal. If you like, you can continue hiking in the direction of Brandhubel.
Sunnbüehl (flower meadows and hike to Daubensee)
Another great destination is “Sunnbüehl.” With the previously described cable car, you go to the top station. Already here, you have an unbelievable panoramic view of the Eastern Valley. By the way, this is also the first tip: a hike into the Eastern Valley. But since the path is very steep and the plain around Sunnbüehl is indescribably beautiful, we recommend using the time there. There are several side paths to discover lakes and rare flowers like orchids in spring. There is also the famous Swiss hike to the Gemmi Pass and Daubensee, where you can take the cable car to Leukerbad to return to Kandersteg.
Lake Blausee – famous lake next to Kandersteg
Lake Blausee is a classic near Kandersteg. It is considered one of the most famous lakes in Switzerland, so the place is therefore very well visited by tourists. A walk around the lake takes about 20 minutes. If you want, you can bring your picnic or enjoy something fine in the restaurant. The mountain lake is also open in winter. Thereby a small Christmas market is organized in December.
Although you are not allowed to swim in the lake, a boat is included in the entrance fee during the warmer seasons like summer and fall,
An insider tip and very close to Kandersteg is the Kiental Valley. Here you get the feeling that time has partly stood still. How about the steepest post-bus route in Europe? Adrenalin and beautiful views are guaranteed. The terminus is called Griesalp, with a restaurant and hotel, or you can start beautiful hikes.
If you arrive by car, it is also worth stopping at the village store. Here, too, much is as it was over 50 years ago.
Lake Oeschinen – Top lake above Kandersteg
Lake Oeschinen is located above Kandersteg. While it was an insider tip just a few years ago, the Swiss lake has become a tourist hotspot thanks to social media.
It makes perfect sense because the beauty of the place is limitless. Originally, Lake Oeschinen was formed by a landslide, which dammed up the water. Even today, there are chances of a massive rockfall. The slope is monitored, and the public is normally informed in time.
Besides swimming, you can make great hikes in summer and autumn. Probably the most popular is the circular hike around the lake. Also very famous is the strenuous hike to the Blüemlisalphütte, one of the most beautiful Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) huts.
You can take the hiking trail from Kandersteg or the cable car from the same place to get to the lake. Once at the top of the cable car station, you have to walk about 30 minutes to the lake. But there is even a small “train” to the lake that transports disabled and comfortable people for a fee.
In winter, you can ice skate on Lake Oeschinensee.
Hiking enthusiasts love the Blüemlisalphütte because the view of the mountain is simply phenomenal. But every reward has a price because the ascent takes about 4 hours.
If you want, you can spend the night at the SAC hut. Otherwise, you hike in the direction of Griesalp. All in all, the hike takes about 9-10 hours. But the effort is worth it because you have an incredibly beautiful mountain panorama and are right next to the glaciers.
Waterfall at the cable car Allmenalp (valley station)
If you are a waterfall lover, you must have seen the waterfall at the cable car Allmenalp in Kandersteg. It plunges imposingly from an incredible height into the valley, drawing attention to itself from afar with a roar. So the fall also gained attention on social media and went viral several times.
To experience the waterfall in its full glory, we recommend coming to Kandersteg in spring during the snowmelt.
Of course, Kandersteg itself is also a highlight. Because the mountain village in the Bernese Oberland, built with many chalet houses, has an incomparable charm. Especially in the village center, there are various photo spots, which already gone viral on Instagram—for example, the Kander (river) with the church and the mountains in the background.
If you want, you can stay in the village in one of the well-rated hotels or even order something delicious in the restaurant. As you can see, it will never be boring in and around Kandersteg because there are so many places to visit and activities to experience.