If you are planning a trip to Switzerland and you don’t really know what to do for a day, I have a great tip for you: Oeschinensee. It is an Unesco lake region near Kandersteg where you can spend a whole day hiking, walking, picnicking, cow watching and enjoying the view.
I went early August with my family, and our dog Djuli, on a short caravan trip and we stayed 4 days in Switzerland. I saw on youtube a mountain coaster video from this place and I had to visit!
How to get there
You will have to get to Kandersteg first. You can either drive or take the train there.
This is a very lovely, typical Swiss town. There you will find signs to drive to the parking lot at the foot of the Oeschinensee area. After a short drive, you will have to park the car here as the are is not accessible for cars.
The best way to get to the cable car station is with this GPS Address: Oeschistrasse 50, 3718 Kandersteg
Gondelbahn ~ Cable car
So now you can take the cable car. You have to pay attention of the opening hours. Especially if you don’t want to stay up there. I listed it here below for you:
13 May – 16 June: 9:00 to 17:00
17 June – 10 September: 8:00 to 18:00
11 September – 22 October: 9:00 to 17:00
The cable car isn’t free, so keep that in mind. In fact it isn’t even that cheap, like most things in Switzerland. The best is to check the rates at the moment on their site.
As you can also hike all the way from the parking lot up to the cable car, you can choose to have it one way or return. We paid for a return ticket per adult 26 Swiss franc, which is about 22 euros.
The region has several walking and hiking paths. Of course the better time to do them will be Spring or Summer. Here under is a map they provide of the hikes around the Oeschinensee.
We first took the cable car and then followed number 2 all the way down the lake and took the number 1 back to the cable car. The easiest one is the number 1, they also provide a little bus shuttle on this road for elderly or whoever is tired.
If you love to hike and have the time, you can take the big route in the forest/mountains number 7.
Our walk in pictures
I just want to show you guys some pictures we took along the way and how AMAZING the view is over there. As usual the pictures on my blog aren’t edited! I prefer it this way, showing you how it really is. Best view is clicking and enlarging in full size!
We also encountered many cows! Swiss cows are so cool, you can hear them from afar with the huge bells around their necks. Just be careful not to get too close, some may be a bit offensive.
P.s. : meet my family. My mother Mara, my little brother Anton, my stepdad Piet, my boyfriend Sung and our dog Djuli!
Arrived at the Oeschinensee
The last hike down on number 2 was a bit tricky and steep, so be careful. But when we arrived there, the lake felt so unreal. A perfect place to relax for a while.
So there are some restaurants there if you would like to eat and boat/kayak rentals if you want to get on the lake. They also have winter activities and accommodations options. if you are interested you can always check their site here.
Rodelbahn ~ Mountain Coaster
TUM TUMMM… the thing that got me to visit the Oeschinensee in the first place: the mountain coaster! I have made a video of the ride. so do check it out below!
It is located just next to the cable car station on top. And it is open on:
13 may – 16 june
09.30 till 16.30
17 june – 10 september
09.30 till 17.15
11 september – 22 october
09.30 till 16.30
Tickets for adults costs CHF 5 for one ride, CHF 20 for 5 rides, CHF 35 for 10 rides. Children till 15 pays a bit less.
The ride, that kind of looks like a bob sledge, is about 5 minutes in a little cart. You can control the speed with the handle. If you push it forward you go faster and if you push it back it breaks a bit. It is no rocket science, which makes it so simple and fun. And to do it in this beautiful mountain view spot is just too cool to not try it.
It isn’t scary, and everyone should do it in my opinion!
Final thoughts and tips
I have to say… I never seen such a pretty lake and region in my life as Oeschinensee. Switzerland really amazed me. The only downside is that everything is so expensive.
So the best tip I can give you is: Bring enough water/drinks/snacks and food for on the way as the restaurants offer pricey dishes and drinks. You can always grab an ice cream if you really want to, but I wouldn’t waste money eating there. You will enjoy this gorgeous view better anyway having a picnic with your hiking mates.
Also: wear comfy shoes! and a hat/cap/sunglasses. It can get really sunny there, so depending on the temperature that day, don’t forget sunscreen.