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A Taste of Winter in Kandersteg

Bernese Oberland - a winter playground
 
Sample six fantastic winter activities with like-minded Inntravel guests in a relaxed and informal atmosphere, with equipment hire and drinks included. Between activities, explore independently, and enjoy the outstanding hospitality and panoramic pool at the much-loved Hotel Victoria.
A Taste of Winter in Kandersteg. 7 nights
A Taste of Winter in Kandersteg. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A winter ‘taster’ in Kandersteg,

an ideal first snow holiday
There are few countries as beautiful as Switzerland, and even fewer regions as spectacular as the Bernese Oberland, where majestic peaks soar skywards and glacial valleys and traditional settlements slumber below. Situated right at the heart of this impressive landscape is Kandersteg – a picture-book village which offers its visitors the chance to try a whole host of fun winter activities, making it the perfect place for a first holiday in the snow.
This specially devised ‘taster’ break introduces you to many of Switzerland’s most popular snow-based activities, while also allowing plenty of free time so that you can explore the wintry scenery at leisure. Over the course of the week, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the stillness of the mountains on a guided snowshoe hike, to take to the ice for a curling lesson, to stroll through silent, snow-laden forest by torchlight and, after an introductory lesson, to strike out along the trails on cross-country skis. Also included is a trip on the gondola to Oeschinensee, an exquisite glacial lake set above Kandersteg amid an amphitheatre of mountains.

Add to this a stay at the Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria, a wonderfully welcoming establishment which has featured in our programme for many years, and you have all the ingredients for a truly enjoyable winter holiday.
 

A Slow Film on Kandersteg

 

Our expert says

“If the idea of a snow holiday appeals but you’re nervous about ‘taking the plunge’, this holiday is for you! It’s an easy way to try out half-a-dozen different activities, all of them organised on your behalf, so all you need to do is turn up at the allotted time.”
Rebecca Bruce, Inntravel snow holiday expert
 
Gallery
 

Winter activities

There is an included activity on most days; below we’ve detailed our suggested itinerary for the week, but the hotel will confirm the exact schedule on arrival.
  • Arrival in Kandersteg
    Depending on your time of arrival, you may like to take a stroll around the village or just settle into the hotel. Your first activity will take place on Monday, so if you choose to arrive on a Saturday, you will have a ‘free’ day, which you may like to spend trying out one of the non-group activities (see Days 5-6 for full details).
  • Torchlit stroll
    There is something very special about heading out under the cover of darkness during the winter months: the snow muffles your footsteps and lends an ethereal glow to the sky. For this included activity, each of the group is supplied with a flaming torch before being taken on a guided walk through the nearby forest. The trail culminates back at the hotel, where you will be treated to a glass of warming mulled wine.
  • Cross-country skiing
    Consisting of 52 kilometres of trails, the cross-country network around Kandersteg offers plenty of options for beginners. A half-day lesson with a local ski instructor will teach you how to glide effectively; you then have the rest of the day to practice your technique on the easy trails which criss-cross the meadows surrounding the village. (Classic cross-country ski and shoe hire is included for the full day.)
    Cross-country skiing in the valley
  • Curling
    Learn the basics of this surprisingly intricate sport with a curling lesson at the village’s indoor rink. There is quite an art to the brushing technique, and it won’t take long for some healthy competition to spring up between the teams!
  • Snowshoeing
    This easy-to-learn activity is perfect for anyone looking to escape the beaten track. Once you’ve got the hang of the basics – essentially, once you have adjusted to wearing the broad shoes – your guide will take you on a trip into the mountains.
    Head off the beaten track on snowshoes
  • Tobogganing, gondola rides & more
    On your free days, you may like to try out some of the other winter activities on offer:

    Tobogganing
    Toboggan hire is included for the duration of your stay at the hotel, so why not pick up a sledge and head to one of the two local toboggan runs? The first is located at Oschiwald – a 40-minute walk from Kandersteg – and descends over a kilometre to finish back in the village, while the second is a thrilling, 3.5-kilometre run from Oeschinensee down to the bottom of the gondola station.

    Oeschinensee
    A free trip on the Oeschinensee gondola is also included in your stay. You may choose to use this to access the toboggan run (see above), but another lovely option is to follow a scenic winter walking path from the top of the gondola station to the lake’s northern shores, from where the views across the often-frozen waters are unparalleled.

    Winter walking
    The Kander Valley is particularly renowned for its excellent winter walking, with routes to suit all tastes and abilities. If you’re just looking to stretch your legs, we recommend our trail around Kandersteg – it’s a great way to learn more about the village’s long history and rich architecture – while a highly rewarding option is to take the bus and cable car up to Sunnbüel, from where a spectacular route winds along the Gemmi Pass.

    Downhill skiing
    The two small downhill areas around Kandersteg – at Oeschinen and Sunnbüel – are particularly suitable for beginner and intermediate skiers. The 13 kilometres of pistes at the top of the Oeschinensee gondola offer the chance to ski overlooking the beautiful lake, while Sunnbüel has three easy pistes.
    Plenty of trails for winter walking
    Take the gondola to Oeschinensee ©Oeschinensee Tourismus
  • Bern & the Lötschental
    As Kandersteg has a railway station, you can use the trains (pay locally) to visit the medieval capital, Bern, or head to the unspoiled Lötschental.

    Bern
    Switzerland’s capital may be compact, but it is also a charming and surprisingly fascinating city. It’s the birthplace of Lindt and where Einstein developed his career-defining theory of special relativity, and the wonderful arcaded streets and grand squares of the Old Town are home to many tempting artisan boutiques and world-class museums. We provide notes for a self-guided city walking tour, highlights of which include the visit to the Gothic Münster – the 360-degree views from the top are superb – and the impressive Zentrum Paul Klee, a museum dedicated to the works of this Swiss-born artist.

    Lötschental
    Alternatively, for a very different day out, you could travel by train and bus to the delightfully remote Lötschen Valley. Lying between the Bernese Oberland and Valais regions, this unspoiled valley is home to a series of beautifully authentic villages, which can be explored by following one of the area’s cross-country skiing trails or winter walking paths. One of our favourite options is the 9-kilometre walk from Blatten to Fafleralp, which follows the river through forest and offers the chance to call at the Hotel Fafleralp for lunch.
    Visit the quiet Lötschental
 

Where you stay

Nestling in the broad Kander Valley and surrounded by dramatic mountains, Kandersteg (altitude: 1200m) is a picture-book village with a pleasantly bustling centre where you will find a variety of shops, banks and cafés within an easy stroll of the centrally located Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria.
Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria

Bedrooms

 

Options to extend or shorten your stay

 
Prices & travel
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 7 nights: 16 January 2021 - 24 January 2021 & 27 February 2021 - 07 March 2021

    Start Saturday or Sunday | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Adults
    16 Jan - 17 Jan 2021 £1445
    27 Feb - 28 Feb 2021 £1490

    Includes all elements of the holiday itself (accommodation, meals and any additional elements as described), plus flights (usually, but not always, from London) and onward travel as described.

    Included travel: British Airways or Swiss Heathrow-Zürich or Geneva (1h45) (hold luggage included; timings vary, please call for details), connecting journey by rail from the airport (Zürich 2h30, Geneva 3h10) & transfer (0h05)

    A supplement is payable for a single room – see 'Additional prices' below

    Prices are subject to availability and flight supplements may apply. Book early for Christmas, New Year and school holidays. We can also book different flight routes (see flight section below). Please contact us to discuss any pricing implications.

    7 nights: 16 January 2021 - 24 January 2021 & 27 February 2021 - 07 March 2021

    Start Saturday or Sunday | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Adults
    16 Jan - 17 Jan 2021 £1540
    27 Feb - 28 Feb 2021 £1585

    Includes all elements of the holiday itself (accommodation, meals and any additional elements as described), plus Eurostar and onward rail services from London St Pancras, Ebbsfleet or Ashford, plus any transfer to the hotel as described below (see 'Rail option from London' section).

    A supplement is payable for a single room – see 'Additional prices' below

    Prices are subject to availability and supplements may apply. Book early for Christmas, New Year and school holidays.

  • Room upgrades (supplement per room per night)

    Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria, Kandersteg
    Mini-suite: 16 Jan - 07 Mar 2021 £70
    Single room: 16 Jan - 07 Mar 2021 £10
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Zürich or Geneva (latest flight arrival time: 1730; earliest flight departure time: 1300 for both airports)

    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend Zürich or Geneva. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Geneva easyJet 
    Aberdeen - Zurich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Aberdeen - Zurich (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Belfast Intl. - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Geneva easyJet 
    Birmingham - Zurich Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Basel easyJet 
    Bristol - Geneva easyJet 
    Bristol - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Geneva jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Basel easyJet 
    Edinburgh - Geneva easyJet,  jet2 
    Edinburgh - Zurich Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Geneva easyJet,  jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Geneva jet2 
    Leeds Bradford - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    London City - Geneva British Airways,  Swiss 
    London City - Zurich British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Basel easyJet 
    Gatwick - Geneva British Airways,  easyJet,  Swiss 
    Gatwick - Zurich easyJet,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Basel British Airways 
    Heathrow - Geneva British Airways,  Swiss 
    Heathrow - Zurich British Airways,  Swiss 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Basel easyJet 
    Luton - Geneva easyJet 
    Luton - Zurich easyJet,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Geneva easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Basel easyJet 
    Manchester - Geneva easyJet,  jet2 
    Manchester - Zurich Swiss 
    Manchester - Zurich (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Manchester - Zurich (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Geneva easyJet 
    Newcastle - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Newcastle - Zurich (via Paris CDG) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Norwich - Zurich (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend Zürich or Geneva. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of alternative flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated above, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice if you would prefer to fly via a different route to the one included in our standard arrangements. A supplement may be payable for other flights.

  • Combining high-speed Eurostar and TGV with the clockwork efficiency of Swiss railways, this is relaxed independent travel at its finest. You’ll be in the Bernese Oberland in time for dinner!

    If you would prefer an alternative route, our rail specialists can tailor the arrangements to suit you.

    > Travelling by train to Switzerland: what to expect
    > More about 'by rail' prices

    Route on which prices are based

    Outward journey Departure time
    from London
    Arrival time
    at hotel
    St Pancras–Paris–Basel–Kandersteg (Eurostar, TGV & regional rail, 9h45), transfer from Kandersteg station (5 mins) Approx 0755 Sat, 0920 Sun Approx 1840 Sat, 2040 Sun
    Homeward journey Departure time
    from hotel
    Arrival time
    in London
    Transfer to Kandersteg station (5 mins), Kandersteg–Basel–Paris–St Pancras (regional rail, TGV & Eurostar, 10h20) Approx 0900 Approx 1830
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 7 dinners
    7 breakfasts
  • cross-country ski lesson
    snowshoe excursion
    torchlit stroll with mulled wine
  • curling session
    toboggan hire
    other equipment
    gondola trip
  • detailed documentation
  • return rail or flights from London (regional flights available)
  • rail travel from/to Zürich or Geneva airport (if flying)
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

  • In the Alps, most hotels have a vegetarian menu. Please contact us for specific information about this particular hotel.
  • Living far from the capital ourselves, we know better than most that flying from London can be a bind, so we are very flexible with our travel arrangements. Call or email us, and one of the team will be happy to list the different options available to you, and any price implications.
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our travel insurance policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    We'll ask you for the details of your alternative policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Switzerland, but not a visa. If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/before-you-travel and the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC). You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance.
  • The official languages are German, spoken in the majority of the country; French, spoken in the south-west; Italian, spoken in the south-east; and Romansch, mostly limited to the Engadine valley. The currency is the Franc. Swiss time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 7/14/2020 4:45:52 AM