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Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Self guided walking tour in the Bernese Oberland
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Highlights

  • Spectacular alpine walking with views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks
  • Staying at exquisite hotels with 4-5 -course dinners at Wengen, Grindelwald, Meiringen
  • Following the Bear Trail across the iconic Kleine and Grosse Scheidegg passes
  • The flexibility of using the Jungfraubahn, cable cars or buses to take short-cuts
  • Visiting the Reichenbach Falls, where Sherlock Holmes supposedly met his end

Enjoy classic Swiss alpine walking beneath the Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau as you explore the Bernese Oberland. Picture-postcard Wengen, Grindelwald and Meiringen nestle amongst the high peaks of this stunning region as you follow one of Switzerland’s most popular long distance walks. ,

Highlights include walking across the Kleine and Grosse Scheidegg, and an optional visit to the Jungfraujoch ‘Top of Europe’ with its ice palace and viewing platform. You can walk up to 6h30 a day, with a network of post buses, trains and cable cars at your disposal to shorten walks each day. Rest days are included so you can explore further afield or just relax in the grounds of your charming 4* hotel.

Your alpine adventure starts in Wengen, with a 3 night stay. Walk across the Kleine Scheidegg, under the impressive peaks of the Eiger, Moench and Jungfrau, through pine-scented woods and alpine meadows. Continue along the trail to Grindelwald for a 2 night stay. A must-see is the Jungfraujoch; Europe’s highest railway station at 3454m, or perhaps you’d like to take a trip on Lake Brienz or Lake Thun. Next, you’ll cross the Grosse Scheidegg, through lush pastures to the Wetterhorn restaurant, then continue down into Meiringen, for your final 2 nights. Close-by are the Reichenbach Falls, where the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes supposedly drew his last breath.

DAY 1: Arrive Wengen

You’ll find picture-postcard Wengen in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, nestled amongst the famed peaks of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Refreshingly, the village cannot be accessed by car, so you’ll take a short train ride from nearby Lauterbrunnen up to the start of your adventure.


You can fly into either Bern, Zurich, Basel or Geneva Airports then travel onwards by train to Wengen.


Dinner & Overnight: Sunstar Alpine Hotel Wengen****, Wengen


Begin your tour with a two night stay at this lovely property, built in 1898 and centrally located in car-free Wengen. Enjoy a welcome drink upon arrival. Relax in the indoor pool, sauna and steam bath. You’ll enjoy a five-course dinner with breakfast buffet every day of your stay in Wengen—with a fantastic smorgasboard of Swiss treats.


DAY 2: Free time in Wengen


Relax and enjoy the impossibly pretty alpine vistas that surround you, take a wander around this traditional village, or opt to explore one of the loop trails in the area, which include a 3-hour walk in the tracks of the great musician Mendelssohn, or the Lauberhorn Trail, which follows the legendary downhill ski race in summer!


Dinner & Overnight: Sunstar Alpine Hotel****, Wengen



DAY 3: Wengen-Kleine Scheidegg-Grindelwald


You’ll be spoilt for choice today for combinations of walking, or travelling by Jungfraubahn (train payable locally).



This morning, you can opt for a classic mountain walk, with views of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau which leads down into the unspoilt valley of the Truemmelbach. As you hike along the terrace at the foot of the Maennlichen range, the path meanders slowly up through woods and alpine meadows to Wengernalp and then around the slopes of the Lauberhorn to Kleine Scheidegg.



Alternatively, if you’d prefer an easier morning, take the cable car up to spectacular Maennlichen, then walk 1h30 on a panoramic path to Kleine Scheidegg. It is also possible to take the Jungfraubahn the whole way from Wengen to Kleine Scheidegg (25 mins by train).



This afternoon, enjoy a downhill walk over alpine pastures from Salzegg and Mettlenstutzhuetten to Alpiglen. You might like to consider taking the train from Grindelwald Grund station down into Grindelwald itself on hot days, as the short descent is quite steep!



Alternatively, you can take the Jungfraubahn from Kleine Scheidegg to Grindelwald (40 mins by train).


Optional Walks: 2h45 (morning, ascent: 787m), 2h30 (afternoon, descent 1027m)


Dinner & Overnight: Sunstar Hotel Grindelwald****, Grindelwald



Stay three nights here at this elegant and friendly property, with stunning unspoilt panoramic views of the famous North Face of the Eiger, the Wetterhorn and First. Unwind in the Wellness Oasis, with its large pool, sauna log cabin, Roman baths with 4 climate zones and massage showers. A 5-course dinner and breakfast buffet is included during your stay.



DAY 4: Free time in Grindelwald/optional Jungfraujoch ‘Top of Europe’ trip


From Grindelwald we would recommend that you take an optional excursion to the Jungfraujoch—the ‘Top of Europe’ (payable locally). This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts the highest railway station in Europe, at 3454m, a ‘Sphinx’ viewing platform over the Aletsch Glacier at 3571m, an Ice Palace, restaurants and café, summer ski park and a dog-sledding run!



If you prefer to stretch your legs then there are easy trails to glacier gorges and waterfalls from Grindelwald, or simply sit back and enjoy the fresh alpine air and sun on your face in the gardens of your lovely hotel.


Dinner & Overnight: Sunstar Hotel Grindelwald****, Grindelwald



DAY 5: Free time in Grindelwald/optional Boat trip on Lake Brienz or Thun


Spending two days in Grindelwald means that you can choose the best day according to the weather, to get up to the Jungfraujoch.



On this second free day, why not take the train down to Interlaken Ost, from where you can take a boat trip and explore shimmering Lake Brienz or Lake Thun. You might even like to visit the fascinating Ballenberg Open Air Museum on Lake Brienz, where you will learn about iconic traditional Swiss architecture and handicrafts


Overnight: Sunstar Hotel Grindelwald****, Grindelwald



DAY 6: Grosse Scheidegg-Reichenbach Falls-Meiringen


This morning, leaving picture-postcard Grindelwald, you join the trail at the church, from where a footpath runs through lush pastures to the Horbach and the Wetterhorn restaurant, leading further uphill with fine views of the Wetterhorn. Reach Grosse Scheidegg, where you can enjoy lunch at the small restaurant.



Alternatively, you could take the First Gondola (20 mins), then walk the panoramic trail through meadows to the Grosse Scheidegg, which stays fairly level with minimal ups and downs! Grosse Scheidegg can also be reached directly from Grindelwald by bus (35mins).



This afternoon, from Grosse Scheidegg hike along a downhill path, passing shady forests and cool mountain streams towards the Schwarzwaldalp and Rosenlaui, where you can visit waterfalls gushing through small canyyons. Further along the trail reach the Reichenbach falls, well-known to Sherlock Holmes fans. From here you can either take the famous cable car or walk down to Meiringen village.



Alternatively, you can opt for a 1hr walk from Grosse Scheidegg to Schwarzwaldalp, then take the post bus (40 mins) to Meiringen, or take the post bus all the way (1hr).


Optional Walks: 3h15 (morning, ascent: 927m), 3hrs (afternoon, descent 1361m)


Dinner & Overnight: Hotel Alpbach****, Meiringen



Stay your final night in the friendly Hotel-Restaurant Alpbach. There is a wellness area with a Finnish sauna, Turkish steam bath, tropical shower and solarium (fee payable). The public indoor pool is directly behind the hotel and is available to guests free of charge. An alternative hotel in Meiringen may be offered (Hotel Sauvage****).



DAY 7: Free time in Meiringen


Meiringen is a delightful town; filled with classic Swiss architecture and tradition. No wonder Sir Arthur Conan Doyle enjoyed spending time here—he was so captivated by the area that his beloved fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, plunged to his death over the nearby Reichbach Falls. Perhaps visit Meiringen’s Sherlock Holmes Museum en homage to this great crime hero. Enjoy wandering around this pretty alpine town.



If you prefer to venture further afield, you can visit the ‘Kirchet’ - a huge solid wall of ice age rock found in the middle of the Hasli Valley. The Aare River has eaten away at the rock, creating the deep Aare Gorge; up to 180m deep and 400m long. Excursions are available from Meiringen.


Dinner & Overnight: Hotel Alpbach****, Meiringen



DAY 8: Onward Travel


After breakfast check out of your hotel. It is easy to take the train to connect with various Swiss airports or other destinations in Switzerland.



Additional Nights


You can add additional nights at any point along the walk (subject to availability). Please contact us to make arrangements.

Accommodation


Your trip includes 7 nights in lovely 4 star Swiss hotels. At Grindelwald you can make good use of the Wellness Centre - a real treat!


Meals

This trip is on a half board basis so a buffet breakfast and a delicious evening meal are included each day (5-course dinners whilst staying in Wengen and Grindelwald, 4-course dinners in Meiringen).



 

 

 



Sunstar Alpine Hotel Wengen



Sunstar Alpine Hotel Wengen

Begin your tour with a two night stay at this lovely property, built in 1898 and centrally located in car-free Wengen. Relax in the indoor pool, sauna and steam bath. You’ll enjoy a four-course dinner with breakfast buffet every day of your tour—with a fantastic smorgasboard of Swiss treats.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Sunstar Hotel Grindelwald



Sunstar Hotel Grindelwald

Stay three nights here at this elegant and friendly property, with stunning unspoilt panoramic views of the famous North Face of the Eiger, the Wetterhorn and First. Unwind in the Wellness Oasis, with its large pool, sauna log cabin, Roman baths with 4 climate zones and massage showers. A 4-course dinner and breakfast buffet is included during your stay.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Alpbach - Meiringen



Hotel Alpbach - Meiringen

Stay your final 2 nights in the friendly Hotel-Restaurant Alpbach. There is a wellness area with a Finnish sauna, Turkish steam bath, tropical shower and solarium (fee payable). The public indoor pool is directly behind the hotel and is available to guests free of charge. An alternative may be offered to this hotel (Hotel Sauvage**** in Meiringen).


 

 

 

Grade & Fitness

This trip is graded easy to moderate, with plenty of opportunities to tailor your days to include morning/afternoon walks of between 1 and 3h15, which can include over 1000m of ascent and descent. However, it is easy to have shorter walks or to avoid walks altogether by using trains, cable cars or buses. This gives you the greatest possible flexibility.


The route follows mountain paths, which can be rough underfoot and wide tracks. You should have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this walk, however it is possible to shorten walks if you wish (you will need to plan ahead each day in order to do so).



Navigation

The trails in Bernese Oberland are very comprehensively way-marked with yellow route signs, indicating distances and directions to all destinations. We provide you with maps so you will have no problem following the route from village to village.


Single Rooms


If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you, and there is no supplement payable if you are happy to have a single room (there is a 50% supplement should you request a double room for single occupancy).


Solo Walkers

This holiday is also available for solo walkers and again there is no supplement for staying in a single room; this tour offers great value for solo travellers.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.



Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

Availability

This trip is available to start on Saturdays, from the beginning of June to mid-October.


Time of Year

The best months for walking are in the summer months between June and mid-September when the wild flowers are in bloom and the weather is generally fair.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you and there is no supplement payable. Should you request a double room for single occupancy, then there is a 50% supplement payable. This trip is also suitable for solo travellers.


Grade & Terrain 

The walking is graded easy to moderate so you will enjoy the holiday more if you already enjoy an active lifestyle.  Most of the paths are easy to follow and although undulating in parts the paths are generally easy, and where they are tougher, there are alternative walks that day.  Walking each day is between 0 - 6.5 hrs, and all walking is optional (you can take the mountain railways or post buses to shorten your walk, or to travel between locations each day - these are payable locally).


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The network of paths and trails in the Bernese Oberland is comprehensively way-marked as are all the variations we suggest. We provide you with detailed route notes and maps so you will have no problem following the route suggested, or indeed if you wish to take alternative routes according to your wishes.


Baggage Transfers

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jackets and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking shoes or boots, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer and a day pack.


Getting to Wengen

By Air: You can fly into either Bern Belp, Basel, Geneva or Zurich airports and transfer by train via Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen (2h30, 3h20, 3h50 or 3hrs) respectively. It is also possible to take a direct train from Lucerne station to Lauterbrunnen (1h14). From Lauterbrunnen, take the Wengernalp railway on a scenic ride to Wengen (14 mins approx.).


Please check the Swiss Rail network for up to date timetables.


By Car: It is not possible to take a car to Wengen, so if you are driving, then you will need to leave your car at Lauterbrunnen (parking spaces can be reserved in advance when staying min. 7 days at www.jungfraubahnen.ch/ph).


Getting from Meiringen

By Air: You can fly out of Bern Belp, Basel, Geneva or Zurich airports. From Meiringen you can take the train to Bern Belp Airport (2hrs, changing at Interlaken Ost and Thun), Lucerne station (1h30), Basel Airport (3h25, changing at Interlaken Ost), Geneva Airport (3h30, changing at Interlaken Ost & Bern, Zurich Airport (2h30, changing at Lucerne).


Please check the Swiss Rail network for up to date timetables.

Getting to Wengen

By Air: You can fly into either Bern Belp, Basel, Geneva or Zurich airports and transfer by train via Interlaken Ost to Lauterbrunnen (2h30, 3h20, 3h50 or 3hrs) respectively. It is also possible to take a direct train from Lucerne station to Lauterbrunnen (1h14). From Lauterbrunnen, take the Wengernalp railway on a scenic ride to Wengen (14 mins approx.).


Please check the Swiss Rail network for up to date timetables.


By Car: It is not possible to take a car to Wengen, so if you are driving, then you will need to leave your car at Lauterbrunnen (parking spaces can be reserved in advance when staying min. 7 days at www.jungfraubahnen.ch/ph).


Getting from Meiringen

By Air: You can fly out of Bern Belp, Basel, Geneva or Zurich airports. From Meiringen you can take the train to Bern Belp Airport (2hrs, changing at Interlaken Ost and Thun), Lucerne station (1h30), Basel Airport (3h25, changing at Interlaken Ost), Geneva Airport (3h30, changing at Interlaken Ost & Bern, Zurich Airport (2h30, changing at Lucerne).


Please check the Swiss Rail network for up to date timetables.

Included

  • 7 Nights in 4* Hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts (buffet)
  • 7 Dinners (4-5 -courses)
  • Drinks from minibar during stay at Wengen and Grindelwald
  • Bag transfers of one bag of up to 20kg per person between hotels as per itinerary
  • Maps and walking route notes with QR codes and GPS tracks
  • Detailed pre-departure information pack
  • 24-hour emergency telephone assistance

Excluded

  • Flights and transfers to Wengen/from Meiringen
  • All public transportation; buses, trains, cable cars, ferries or otherwise
  • Hotel tax of 3-4CHF per person per night (payable locally)
  • Optional excursions mentioned during rest days
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program

Extras

  • Additional nights
  • Upgrade to superior double room

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the region is very popular, especially over the summer months. However we will always try our best to accommodate your plans.

How fit do I need to be?

The walking is graded easy to moderate so you will enjoy the holiday more if you already enjoy an active lifestyle.  Most of the paths are easy to follow and although undulating in parts the paths are generally easy, and where they are tougher, there are alternative walks that day.  Walking each day is between 0 - 6.5 hrs. If you prefer not to walk each day, then you can take mountain railways or post buses between locations.

How do the baggage transfers work? 

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person. 

Which is the best airport to fly to?

You can fly into Zurich, Basel, Geneva or Bern Belp airports in Switzerland, check out the travel details section for more detailed information.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a day pack, warm clothing in the early/late part of the year and hats etc during the summer. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.  

When is the best time of year?

The best months for walking are in the summer months between June and early October when the wild flowers are in bloom and the weather is generally fair.

What happens if I can't walk a stage? 

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

Wonderful in Every Way!

5

I gave this trip to my wife for her 50th birthday. She was blown away. The scenery we experienced while hiking the Swiss Alps was extraordinary, stunning vistas rivaling anything we'd seen across the world. Two Sunstar hotels in Wengen and Grindelwald offered us the highest level of accommodations, amenities, comfort, and friendly service. One even upgraded our room to a plush, three-room suite with a double balcony. Our luggage always arrived at the next hotel before we did. The trails were all clearly marked. And, having the cable cars, buses, and trains available as alternatives to hiking was a great option. Thanks Macs Adventure!

Wilson

Cape Coral, Florida, U.S.A.

Great walking holiday

5

Very good organisation prior to holiday. Good walks, through spectacular scenery. Visit to Jungfrau a must, if weather good. Hotels good; comfortable, clean, good breakfasts and dinners, with pool and saunas.

JohnGib

Gibraltar

true

Great help for first time to the area

4

Very helpful guidance for those not experienced in Alpine travel. Accommodations were excellent quality. We did find all the materials sent ahead of time somewhat overwhelming and some of the intstructions seemed to contradict others. (It appeared there was a 'template' for this tour and some of the content applied to us and some did not). The maps were a bit overwhelming but became more clear once we were onsite. I would recommend NOT pre-purchasing dinners as it would have been better to be able to order off the menu in every location. The dinners were fine but our group would have preferred not to have the menu determined on our behalf.

pat

California

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An awesome week of hiking

4

It was a great trip. There were great recommendations for hikes and it was really great to have our bags moved from hotel to hotel while we hiked. There are three areas I would recommend for improvement: 1) We were never introduced to our fellow Mac's Adventure travelers. It wasn't until the third hotel on the sixth night that 4 parties were seated near each other at dinner and we all realized we were with Mac's Adventures. It would have been good to meet them and possibly coordinate with them from the beginning. 2) On the hike from Grindlewald to Meiringin, it would have been good if the Route Guide had another suggested option: hike to Reichenbach falls and take the funicular down. With hindsight, this would have been the best way to go (avoiding the final steep downhill). 3) It would also have been great if the Route Guide had something about KletterSteigen (easy rock climbing with ladders and cables for protection). For example, where to rent the required equipment and giving a couple of options: Rostock from Eigengletcher on the way back from Jungfraujoch or Schwartzhorn from First.

Scott

Sunnyvale, California

true

Great mountain hiking

5

The views were amazing and there are many ways to go from town to town. It is very well organized and marked by the locals. Nature at its best. The hotel in Meiringen was horrible. The Sunstar Alpine (Wengen and Grindelwald) were fine. Although I appreciate the kind responses I received from MacsAdventures during the inquiring process, at the end of the day, its a package sold by Sunstar Alpine and they have all the updated information and maps and it can be booked directly with them.

Lala

Tel Aviv

false

Fantastic Walking Trip, Breathtaking in July

5

A fantastic Journey through the Alps, Plenty of walks - long and short. Wengen is delightful, Grindelwald is bigger and more touristy but fine, Meiringen is very, very quiet.

Pyrolator

London

true

Beautiful area

5

I took this trip in June,2015 with my 2 adult daughters. It was an excellent trip and a great experience for the 3 of us. The scenery, trains,lifts were wonderful. The Swiss people were great hosts. We loved the hiking and the beautiful cows so much. It is an area that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. Patricia, Trisha,& Beth

Badger hikers

Wisconsin & Indiana USA

true

bernese oberland and tour du mont blanc

5

maps and accommodations fantastic baggage transfers... the best! Erin did an aMazing job!!!!!

debra and auburn

switzerland

true

great Swiss hiking adventure

5

This hiking trip was perfect in length and accommodations. The many alternative hiking experiences makes this a trip for everyone.

Bass

portland oregon

true

Bernese Oberland: The Bear Trail

4.8 9

87.5

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