The Kander Valley in Bernese Oberland
We had decided to visit the Kander Valley in Switzerland because of the fairy tale lake of Blausee (Blue Lake), which was on our Swiss Bucket list for a while already. The Kander Valley is only 2,5 hours by car from Geneva so this was a nice option for a weekend break! The Kander Valley is so beautiful, we were amazed! In the end, even though Blausee was gorgeous, it was actually the hike at Oeschinen See with its stunning panoramas which was our favorite thing we did over this short break.
I’m sure you have seen some images of Blausee on Instagram. It is a is a natural lake with such an incredible blue color, that it almost seems surreal. The crystal clear lake lies between the villages of Kandergrund and Kandersteg in a natural park. You pay a small entrance fee which includes a short ride on the glass bottom boat on the lake. A fairy tale like forest will lead you to the lake from the entrance of the park. Now, what you should know is that the lake is not big. It is more a big pond, but the place still is really beautiful. Because of the excellent quality of the mountain spring water, there is an organic trout farm on site and you can see the trout swimming in the lake.
The legend of the lake is a sad story of a young woman who used to meet up with the man she loved at this lake. The man died and the blue-eyed woman cried her loss by the lake which then gained the blue color of her eyes. It is of course a legend, but through the clear water you can see a statue of the sad girl on the bottom of the lake.
The access to the lake is possible with strollers and there is a playground on site. The beautiful restaurant / hotel with its terrace and views right on the lake is a perfect place for a drink or a meal.
Entrance fee: CHF 8 for adults, CHF 4 for children from 6 to 15 years old.
Popular: since it is a popular place to visit in Switzerland, always check their website before going. Sometimes on Saturdays weddings are held in this magical spot, so be sure to check if it’s open on the day you would like to visit.
More information: https://www.blausee.ch/en/
Suspension Bridge: Hängebrücke Hostalde
We have been wanting to try out a suspension bridge for quite a while already, but since my little one and myself were not sure if we would dare to do it, the Hostalde Suspension bridge in nearby Frutigen seemed the perfect place to try this out, as it was close to Kandergrund and less high up than some real daredevil suspension bridges in Switzerland. The scenery of the bridge was beautiful and we knew a cute mountain bistro would await us on the other side. The suspension bridge is 153 meters long and it wiggles a bit when you walk over it, but we all dared to do it and loved the experience! I think it will not be the last suspension bridge we will try 😊. The family-run mountain hut / bistro on the other side of the bridge serves nice local cheese platters and refreshments. They have a nice terrace outside and a small slide / playground for children.
More information: https://www.adelboden.ch/en/s/suspension-bridge
Oeschinen See: Stunning views and grilling sausages on an open fire in a beautiful setting!
Even though the Oeschinen See was not the main reason we came to the Kander Valley, it ended up to be the most beautiful thing we did during the weekend! What a stunning site! Oeschinen See is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jungfrau Aletsch. This lake, and a hike there, should definitely be on everyone’s must-see-in-Switzerland-list!
The cable car leaves from Kandersteg and takes you up the mountain. From there, it is about a 15 minutes walk to the beautiful lake, if you decide to take the short route which is accessible with a stroller. There are several other walking paths and hikes. A big plus of the short route is that this path will lead you to the Oeschinen Grill and Picknick Shop where you can buy a ready-to-go grill pack so that you can grill some sausages along the lake on an open fire like the Swiss do!
We decided to do a more difficult hike. Hike no 7, which includes panoramas and which takes about 3 hours in a round loop. This is the most beautiful hike we have done in Switzerland so far!! The hiking path was a bit narrow though… so if you go with children, I would recommend to do this with bigger kids. Our 8-year-old was amongst the youngest we have seen doing this hike on the day we went and we had to brief our children not to jump and to be careful at several spots. The hike is mainly climbing up for most of it, but it leads you to such stunning and incredible places that it was totally worth it! Wear good hiking shoes!
At the end of the lake, your hike will start to take you down again, with the last part through nice fields with rocks and waterfalls. There are several cute mountain huts / restaurants here.
Once you are down by the lake side, you will see all the people enjoying this place for picnics and some grilling. In Summer, you can swim in the lake, so along with your hiking boots, bring your bathing suit! There is also a cool summer alpine slide the kids will definitely enjoy right at the arrival of the cable car. This is the perfect place to enjoy Switzerland!
More Information: https://www.oeschinensee.ch/en/
Important: several mountain huts and restaurants at Oeschinen See only accept cash, so if you would like to enjoy a refreshment in one of the stunning sites along the way, make sure you bring cash with you.
Cable Car opening times: we were lucky to be there on the last opening day of the cable car before they prepare for the winter season, so if you would like to plan a trip here, best is to plan for Spring for hiking!
In Winter, Oeschinen See transforms into a Winter paradise. We think it will be totally worth it as well to visit the area in the Winter season. Not only Blausee is supposedly really magical with snow around it, but Oeschinen See also seems the perfect place for sledging, skiing and winter walking.
We stayed in a typical Swiss, family hotel, with very friendly and helpful staff. The hotel was very well located in Kandergrund, very close to Blausee and Kandersteg. The restaurant, with typical Swiss specialties, was very good and the family room was perfect!