Léa and Paul, our ambassadors, travel around Europe aboard their van Marcelino.
Accompanied by our van Marcelino, we have just hit the road to travel the roads of Europe for a year.
After thinking for weeks about our final itinerary, we finally managed to make a (difficult) choice: heading to Switzerland for our first destination rich in outdoor activities and beautiful discoveries in the heart of nature.
On the program: 10 days of adventure, outdoors and acclimatization to our new house on wheels.
Through this article we will reveal our 3 favorites located in the canton of Bern. If you like hiking and 360 degree panoramas, you will not be disappointed.
Let's go for an adventure in the mountains and peaks of the Bernese Oberland!
Favorite n°1: Oeschinensee
This mountain lake located at 1578 meters above sea level is fed by glacial torrents from many surrounding peaks. Nestled in the heart of the Bernese Alps, Oeschinensee is a paradise for lovers of hiking and pure nature.
To access it you have two options:
- A gondola ride from the village from Kandersteg then a 20-minute walk through the forest to discover this fabulous lake.
- A 1h30 footpath from Kandersteg to reach the lake directly.
Personally we took the option of the cable car to go directly to the lake because we wanted to hike on the heights of the lake.
For information, the price per person and per trip for this ski lift is 22 Swiss francs. The place is very popular in summer so prefer a morning departure to avoid the crowds and high temperatures.
On your way you will find very nice little high altitude cafes to take a break and enjoy the 360 degree panorama that awaits you!
Many hiking trails are available and allow everyone to appreciate the environment of the lake. For the more motivated, you can even reach a refuge at an altitude of 2800 meters which offers a sleeping and catering solution.
Regarding our hiking route , we chose the Blüemlisalphütte trail . After more than 2 hours of climbing from Oeschinensee we see the second lake which is called the Blüemlisapsee and is located at an altitude of 2300 M. But the most impressive remains the path on the peaks which allowed us to be face to face with a glacier! The spectacle is impressive between eternal snow and absolute silence which reigns in this beautiful mountain.
For the return we decided to walk to the village of Kandersteg! This descent is quite easy and still allows for a few moments to appreciate this beautiful Swiss valley. We will keep excellent memories of this lake nestled in the heart of the mountains!
Impossible not to fall in love with its translucent water….
Favorite n°2: Eigertrail
For our second favorite of our van route in Switzerland, we have decided to introduce you to the Eiger Trail hiking trail . Located at the foot of the highest peak in Europe (the JungFrau), this marked trail is breathtaking !
In the valley of Grindelwald , you are spoiled for choice! Highly recognized for its winter season through skiing and snowboarding, this valley does not have to be ashamed in summer. Many activities are offered and will delight young and old: hiking , mountain biking , paragliding etc.
Switzerland is also known for its large number of cable cars and cabins to access mountain peaks. So to carry out this hike you also have the choice between the 2 options: the ascent by cable car or on foot.
- If you opt for the gondola , you have to pay CHF 32 per person per trip. A new, faster system has just been put in place, it will only take you 20 minutes to reach the starting point of the hike.
- If you prefer to climb by the footpath from the village of Grindelwald, it will take you 3 hours and almost 1300 meters of elevation gain.
Personally we took the cable car to go up to the Eigergletscher located at 2300 meters. This is where the famous trail begins, which sees hundreds of runners disembark every year!
During your journey you will come face to face with the grandiose north face of the Eiger. More than 1600 meters high, it is appreciated by the best mountaineers who come from all over the world to climb it.
Switzerland is known for its many waterfalls and this hike will not escape it! Perfect for cooling off when the temperatures are pleasant in the summer.
After 3 hours of descent you will reach the village of Grindelwald to complete your trail. This hike is accessible to everyone! We met a lot of families who do this trail.
For the practical side, remember to equip yourself well because the temperatures can quickly drop at this altitude and to watch the weather forecast before leaving.
Favorite n°3: Crossing the 3 passes (Grimselpass-Furkapass-Abulalpass)
For our third favorite this time we keep our hands on Marcelino's steering wheel. To reach Austria, which is the second country of our European road trip, we decided to cross several passes.
It was a first for us to drive through 3 high passes with the van and we are very happy to have made this choice. So certainly we weren't the fastest, but what a pleasure to take your time to be able to enjoy the surrounding landscape.
We therefore took this famous picturesque road which crosses the canton of Bern towards the canton of Graubünden . Anchored in the heart of the Swiss peaks, nature so verdant, we were confused by the images that surrounded us.
We felt like we were back in Ireland with all that greenery around us. Switzerland is full of beautiful surprises and has never ceased to surprise us throughout our road trip.
Nothing better than pictures to illustrate my point, right? It was difficult for us to make a choice to select our 3 favorites in Switzerland!
While wandering only in the canton of Bern, we made such beautiful discoveries. There is no doubt that this country has a lot to offer for lovers of adventure and outdoor activities.
Our 3 tips for a road trip in Switzerland
If you decide to roam in Switzerland, I give you 3 tips to approach your trip more serenely:
1. Always have cash on you as many stores don't take credit cards.
2. Find out well in advance about the regulations of the canton(s) where you are going to wander. Each has its own provisions regarding wild camping.
3. For convenience, there are very few self-service laundromats. So if you park in a campsite, take advantage of the places to do your laundry!