Kandersteg in Switzerland is the perfect place for you if you are looking for a quiet, yet traditional town with plenty of activities and tranquil lakes surrounded by snow-topped mountains.
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Kandersteg, a resort village of just over 1000 people, is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts. Kandersteg is far enough from the tourist trail not to be overrun or gimmicky but close enough to the main road to provide a convenient infrastructure for travelers. It will sweep you off your feet.
The Kandersteg travel guide includes tips and tricks on when to go, how to get there. Where to stay, what to bring, and other useful information
How to get to Kandersteg & Lake Oeschinensee
Trains are the fastest and most efficient method to reach Kandersteg. Trains depart from Bern and Brig every hour, while if you are coming from Zurich it takes about 2.5 hours.
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Once you are in Kandersteg you can take the cable car up to the top of the mountain and then the No. 1. Walking trail. It takes about 30 minutes to walk the path from the cable car to the lake. As you get closer, the trail veers down.
Best Time to Visit Kandersteg & Lake Oeschinensee
Kandersteg’s summer and December-March ski seasons are the busiest. If you don’t enjoy winter activities, visiting Kandersteg in the shoulder season close to summer is your best option to avoid the crowds.
Climate in Kandersteg & Lake Oeschinensee
Kandersteg’s summer is the hottest, but temperatures are usually below 25 degrees celsius. Extreme temperatures in winter are rare and usually hover around 0 degrees.
Things to do in Kandersteg & Lake Oeschinensee
- Visit Lake Oeschinensee
Lake Oeschinensee, surrounded by the majestic Swiss Alps, is a turquoise paradise. It is a bit chilly, but it is definitely swimmable in summer because the lake is fed from glacier waters. Kandersteg offers guided paddle tours if that is not your thing.
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If you are planning to visit the lake between December and May, it will likely be frozen. However, cross-country skiing is possible in the deeper winter months.
- Visit Blausee
Lake Blausee, which literally means “blue”, is only a 15-minute drive from Kandersteg. It is surrounded with dense forest. You can enjoy a picnic in the park, go on glass-bottom boats to the lake, or visit the museum. The lake is also home to an organic trout farm, which hosts a fishing tournament every October.
You can either drive or take the bus from Kandersteg to get to Lake Blausee. If you are driving, I recommend arriving early because parking lots can fill up quickly, especially on weekends.
- Tropical House Frutigen
Tropical House Frutigen is home to an integrated fish farm as well as a tropical garden and interactive exhibition. It’s unlike any other place you’ve visited in the Swiss Alps.
Stop by the Tropengarten restaurant while you’re there for a quick bite. To create truly original dishes, the chef uses fresh fish, caviar and fruits as well as spices that are made on-site.
You’ll find a variety of hiking trails to choose from if you’re an avid hiker headed to Kandersteg. Some of these hikes were used by traders hundreds of years ago. Before you go, make sure to get a trail map!
- Summer Toboggan Run/ Mountain Coaster
Are you looking for a more adventurous way to descend the mountain than skiing, hiking, or using a cable car? You’ll love Kandersteg’s summertime alpine slide and winter toboggan run!
This is an activity that should be done if you are in the area. However, you will be going down a mountain and it is not for the weak of heart.
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- UNESCO-Ice Walk Winter
The UNESCO World Heritage Site Jungfrau-Aletsch has an ice walk that takes you through the mountains to the frozen Lake Oeschinensee. You can choose from a 30-minute or 90-minute hike, as the trails have been pre-kept.