Hiking Around Oeschinen Lake
Oeschinen Lake (or Oeschinensee) is one of Switzerland’s most stunning lakes. As part of the Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn UNESCO World Heritage Site, it sits elevated high in the mountains at 5,177 ft above the town of Kandersteg in the Bernese Oberland region.
When you come here you are struck by its beauty of deep blue water and surrounding dramatic peaks. However, Oeschinen Lake is not only worth a visit for its incredible backdrop. It also has a ton of activities which will keep you entertained the whole day. So there is no need to rush off anywhere else. You can slowly explore and enjoy everything this amazing location has to offer.
Getting to Oeschinen Lake
There are two options to reach Oeschinen Lake. The first is to follow the marked trail of switchbacks and complete the 1-hour and 30-minute hike up. The second is to take the easier route and jump on the cable car (don’t forget if you have one of the Swiss rail passes you can get a discount).
The great thing about having these two options is that you can choose to take the cable car up and hike down, so you get to enjoy both experiences.
Hike and Explore
The best way to take it slow and explore the area is to pick up one of three hiking trails. The marked paths take you directly to and around the lake. We followed trail 7 which took us up high into the mountain.
The trail took us over gushing waterfalls, around a very narrow cliff edge and spat us out to a viewpoint overlooking the lake. We did have quite a bit of cloud when we were there so the viewpoint couldn’t fully be appreciated. But when the clouds did momentarily break, we were rewarded with a glimpse of the impressive landscape.
Once you’ve made it down from the surrounding peaks you can take it all in and relax on the shore of the lake. The area is superbly set up for picnics with benches and even disposable barbeques. If you fancy something more substantial then you can also dine in the nearby restaurant.
Have some fun
The Swiss certainly know how to have fun in the outdoors. Oeschinen Lake caters for everyone and has some pretty awesome activities to try.
The toboggan run is a 750-metre long mini rollercoaster looks great fun (and it’s affordable too, only CHF 5). Unfortunately, it wasn’t running when we were there because of the wet weather, but we would have loved to have had a go!
You can also hire a boat to go rowing or try your hand at fishing, and if you love it that much you can even stay overnight at the hotel.
Still feels remote
The great thing about Oeschinen Lake is that even though it seems to be quite a popular location with quite a few activities going on, it still felt peaceful and remote. Ok, perhaps not as remote as the summit of the Matterhorn, but nowhere near as busy as places around the popular resort towns Interlaken and Luzern.
If you want a day of easy and enjoyable hikes, with outstanding scenery and the option to try some fun activities then definitely include Oeschinensee into your next Swiss adventure.
Want to know which other nearby places are worth a visit?