Available: mid May-mid October and mid December-mid March
Bernese Oberland Regional Pass: Free cable car from Kandersteg
Half Fare Card & Swiss Travel Pass: 14 Sfr from Kandersteg
Lake Oeschinen - Oeschinensee - lies at 1,578m in the UNESCO World Heritage region of the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch. This stunningly beautiful lake is surrounded by mountains and can be enjoyed in the summer and winter with completely contrasting panoramas. The closest resort is Kandersteg, but a day trip to the lake is accessible from most of the Bernese Oberland and Brig.
The walks around Oeashinensee offer the chance to immerse yourself in beautiful scenery. The walk from the cable car station to the lake takes around half an hour through meadows and pine woods. The trails are well maintained and feature plenty of benches should you need to rest awhile. You can even walk up to the lake from Kandersteg, without taking the cable car. This would take about 90 minutes and affords fantastic views en route. The descent takes around an hour.
There are several other walks around the lake. The Heuberg panoramic hike is one of the most beautiful in the region for more experienced walkers, with breathtaking views over the lake. The hike takes 3 hours in a loop from the cable car mountain station to Heuberg, onwards to the lake and back again.
Daytrippers have been taking rowing boats onto Lake Oeschinen for well over 100 years. Experience the romance for yourself and let time stand still as you bob on the water. Rowing boats are available to hire during daylight hours of the summer season and cost 26 Sfr for an hour.
The Berghotel mountain restaurant is open summer and winter to coincide with the cable car dates. The 5th generation of the same family run the Berghotel and offer delicious regional cuisine with some produce coming from their organic farm in Kandersteg. Fresh bread, cake and strudel is prepared daily. The restaurant is just a few metres from Oeschinensee and the panoramic terrace offers a magnificent view as you enjoy your drinks or meal.
If you prefer a picnic, there are plenty of scenic spots to sit and enjoy your lunch al fresco.
Summer toboggan run
thrilling ride for young and old, the Alpine Slide is 750m long and operates
daily in the summer season, unless it is raining. You can find the start of the
run at the mountain station. It is possible to ride alone or as a pair.
Payable locally: Adults 1 ride - 5 Sfr, 5 rides - 20 Sfr. Children (aged 6-15) 1 ride - 4 Sfr, 5 rides - 15 Sfr.
Winter at the lake
A visit during the winter has much to recommend it: the
snowy winter scenery is simply beautiful and you'll have a choice of
activities. There are 3 different winter hiking trails all starting from the
Berghotel restaurant. One of the trails involves walking on the frozen lake itself when the ice is thick enough. A short loop takes around 30 minutes; a longer walk around 90 minutes. Either way, the experience is just unique. Skating is also possible on the lake.
Alternatively, you can enjoy sledging on a prepared run of 3.5km, whisking you down the steep mountain side to the cable car valley station. Sledge hire for a day is from 12 Sfr and a day's pass for the cable car is 44 Sfr per person.
You may of course simply like to take in the views over a hot chocolate in the restaurant!
From Kandersteg railway station, you can take the short walk or the bus to the cable car station.
After the cable car ride to the top, it is a 30 minute walk to the lake. During the summer season of May-October however, a shuttle bus operates every half an hour between 11.30 and 16.30.