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Hiking the Oeschinensee, Switzerland: the complet guide

Are you planning to go hiking around the Oeschinensee soon? Find out everything you need to know here before going hiking in the Oeschinensee region !

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You have probably already seen many pictures of the beautiful Oeschinensee. This beautiful lake with its clear blue waters is one of the largest mountain lakes in Switzerland. The Oeschinensee is also part of the Bernese Oberland mountain region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Oeschinensee

This place is known for its famous azure lake, the Oeschinensee. This lake is located in the beautiful Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland. Easily accessible, it has become one of the most famous places in the country over the years.

Serrounded by the impressive rocky falaise, the Oeschinensee est surplombé par le Blüemlisalp, Oeschienenhorn, Fründenhorn et le Doldenhorn

The Oeschinensee is the perfect place to spend a day with family and friends. Hike, eat by the lake and jump in the water if you like cold water. I did it and it was super refreshing !

In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful places in Switzerland. From the Oeschinensee, there are several hikes, one of which I really like and I wanted to share with you today !

Hiking the Oeschinensee

The Oeschinensee hike is one of my favorite hikes in Switzerland! I have done it several times at different times of the year and each time I am amazed by the surrounding nature.

The hike I am proposing you do is not technically very difficult, but it is physically challenging if you have never done any physical activity. Even though it’s a challenge, the views will help you get through it !

There are other hikes you can easily do from the main restaurant. Once you arrive, follow the trail along the lake until you get tired! These trails are almost flat and also offer a beautiful view of the lake.

How long is the Oeschinensee “Oberbärgli” hike? 

This hike takes between 2.5 and 4 hours depending on your physical condition and the number of stops you make! If you plan to start from Kandersteg, add at least 2 hours to your program.

Clockwise trail

Instead of going directly to the lake, hike up on the left side and follow the trail ” Oberbärgli”. The Oeschinensee hike starts by going up and then you will arrive on an almost flat trail. From there the views are stunning over the lake. There are multiple places to stop and to enjoy the scenery.

After this easy part, you will start to make your way down at the other side of the lake. After the down hill, you will still have to walk around 30-45 minutes before arriving at the restaurants and boat rentals places.

Be careful, this hike requires a minimum physical condition. It is not always flat and some passages are very steep!

Here is the itinerary I suggest you to hike. It is called the Oberbägli trail.

Good to know: You can definitely hike the trail counterclockwise. In my opinion, the views are less impressive and the hike more difficult.

Entrance Fees & Opening Times

The access to the Oeschinensee is totally free, you don’t have to pay anything to go hiking there. Of course, if you plan to use the cable car, you will have to pay tickets.

Directly on the lake, you have the possibility to rent a boat. The price is 29 CHF/USD for one hour or 18 CHF/USD for 30 minutes. The rental is open from 9 am to 5 pm every day in summer when the weather is good.

Tips for Hiking the Oeschinensee

  • If you want to be almost alone on the trail, at least for the first part. Start walking as soon as possible! The first gondola goes up at 8:30 am. But you can get there by walking much earlier.
  • Like many mountain huts, the Oeschienensee huts do not always accept credit cards. Make sure you have cash on hand or ask in advance if it is possible to pay by card.
  • If you plan to hike the entire Oeschienensee, pack snacks and drinks for your trip. The hike can take up to 4 hours, depending on your speed.
  • Even if you are hiking on the Oeschienensee on a cloudy day, don’t forget to put on sunscreen. The UV rays are much stronger from a certain altitude.
  • Please bring all your trash with you! Make sure to leave every place you pass by clean. Nature will thank you and so will we, the locals will appreciate it!
  • If you want to save money, pack a lunch. You can find places to buy food, but most of the time they are expensive.

What to Wear

As everywhere in the Alps, the weather can change very quickly, from a sunny day to heavy rain or snowfall if you are in winter. I recommend checking the weather forecast before you head out on the Oeschinensee Trail. No matter what weather you encounter, hiking the Oeschinensee is an amazing experience.

Try to adjust your layers to the weather forecast. I recommend that you take a few changes of clothes so that you can change at the top of the hike. Also take good shoes, either mountain shoes or trail shoes, to be stable and safe while hiking the Oeschinensee.

How to Visit the Oeschinensee

Many people visiting the Oeschienensee come either for a day trip from the valley or for a stay in the town of Kandersteg. If you are staying in the Interlaken area, you can easily reach Kandersteg by car or public transport and then hike up the Oeschienensee.

Getting to the Oeschienensee from Kandersteg

From Kandersteg there are two main options. The first is hiking, you can walk to the Oeschienensee from the valley. This hike takes about 1 hour 15-30 minutes. The trail is well marked and not difficult, but it is only uphill for the duration of the hike.

The second option is to take the cable car from Kandersteg. Prices range from 11 CHF/USD to 30 CHF/USD. If you have the Travel Swiss Pass, a half-fare card or a regional card, you can get a discount.

Once you reach the top, you will have to walk another 15 minutes to the Oeschienensee. Don’t worry, this part is quite flat and easily accessible with children or a wheelchair (road 4).

From the top station of the cable car, a mini-bus runs every 30 minutes to the Oeschinensee during the summer season.

Where to Stay

The nearest town to visit the Oeschinensee is Kandersteg. Kandersteg is a traditional Swiss mountain village, located in the middle of the Alps. From the town, you can easily reach the Oeschinensee, either on foot or by taking the cable car.

Kandersteg offers a few hotels of different standards. If you are looking for a more traditional stay, I recommend the Arva Berghaus, located directly on the lake. Here are all your hotel options in Oeschienensee.

Best Time to Visit the Oeschinensee

The Oeschinensee is accessible all year round. The cable car is also almost open all year round, except for one or two weeks in the low season. The best time to hike on the Oeschienensee-Oberbägli is probably between mid-spring and mid-autumn. The high season takes place in summer !

Good to know: Always check the trail for snow, if it is. It may be better to do another hike! The trail can be very slippery in some places! This can also be the case in case of heavy rain !

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