Kandertal Valley

Kandertal Valley

Route: Kandertal Valley

Area: Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

Date of walk:  17th June 2019

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 12.1 miles

Ascent: 1,000 feet

Weather: Sunshine and blue skies, hot

Having spent 3 nights in Kandersteg on our walking holiday in the Bernese Oberland, booked through Inntravel, it was time to move on to pastures new. Our next destination was the village of Adelboden. There are 2 possible ways of walking there. One of these involves a high altitude climb over a mountain pass. We were quite early in the season, and the pass was still off limits to walkers on account of lingering snow. This left us with the other option – a lower level walk along the Kandertal Valley to the town of Frutigen. From there we could take the bus to Adelboden

Having said our goodbyes to the friendly staff at the excellent Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria, we set off on our linear walk, initially through some beautiful wild flower meadows which were at their peak. A little further along we climbed up into the woods and followed a narrow path, quite airy at times as it weaved its way in and out of several steep gullies

We emerged from the wood into more wild flower meadows. By this time we’d gained height and were walking at mid valley level at an altitude of around 4,000 feet above sea level, giving us some lovely views along the valley. We left the path to descend into the valley in order to visit Blausee (Blue Lake), which is renowned for its crystal clear blue waters. When we arrived at the entrance, it was obvious that this is a commercial enterprise, geared up to attracting tourists. Having come this far, curiosity had to be satisfied, and we paid the entrance fee. The lake is small and its waters are blue and crystal clear, but there is a lot of tourist infrastructure – including a cinema screen strung halfway across the lake, and tiered seating for spectators. The place was also crammed with tourists taking selfies and having walked around the circumference of the lake we left as fast as we could. Blausee to us was a Disneyfied version of Switzerland

The diversion to see the lake meant that we’d have to climb back up to rejoin the mid-valley path which we’d left earlier and equilibrium was restored as we followed deserted paths through woodland and wild flower meadows in the direction of Frutigen. Eventually Frutigen came into view, and we made the long and easy descent into the town, arriving at the main station just in time to catch the bus to Adelboden, the springboard for our next walk. It had been a wonderful journey but in retrospect we wished we’d ignored the diversion to Blausee

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