Oeschinen Lake – UNESCO World Cultural Heritage region, by Thomas Kalau

June 1, 2017 — 5 comments

A hiking paradise lies hidden above Kandersteg in the Bernese Oberland – one of the Swiss Alps’ finest – since 2007 part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage area Jungfrau-Altesch-Bietschhorn: Oeschinen Lake.

Kandersteg is the starting point for a ninety minutes uphill hike to the lake. If you don’t feel like uphill hiking, take the cable car from Kandersteg and reach the lake from the top station in a 20-minute walk. The lake, located at 1,578 meters above sea level, offers something for everybody – fishing, rowing, swimming from May to October; ice-fishing, skating, sledding and skiing during the winter months. And of course hiking at all levels. Different restaurants from elegant hotel catering by the lake to the simplicity of the alpine hut on Oberbergli, above the lake, make sure you won’t go hungry.

Enjoy the lake and its surroundings not only for a day trip or a day hike, but check in for the night in one of the accommodation facilities by the lake or higher up in the surrounding Alps.  The Swiss Alpine Club SAC runs an alpine lodge on the Blümelisalp (2,834 meters above sea level) and the Fründen lodge (2,562 meters above sea level).  Both houses are reachable with good hiking gear in four to five hours. An overnight stay in an SAC hut is a special experience: absolute alpine peace, rare fauna and flora, breathtaking views and interesting talks with climbers, locals, top athletes – and a fabulous home made soup for dinner!

If you are looking for a special challenge and are free from giddiness, take the Fründenschnur (Fründen cord) on the way down from the Fründen lodge, or on the round-the-lake hike.  The path leads straight through the scarp face of the east wall along the lake and is secured only with a cord to hold on to.  The lake is 200 meters straight down below you.

Back in Kandersteg, enjoy coffee and local goodies in one of the bakeries to close the wonderful Oeschinen Lake experience.

You can leave a comment below for Thomas if you’ve been to the gorgeous Oeschinen Lake and area. 

About Silvia and Swiss Wanderlust


Switzerland travel enthusiast. Cat lover, bicyclist and classical music fan. I prefer walking over running and enjoy a good Swiss card game of Jass with friends.  More about Silvia and Swiss Wanderlust »

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Slider Photos: Thomas Kalau or as per credit

Guest writer Thomas Kalau with wife Mary and sons Dominik (13) and Daniel (12)

Oeschingen Lake

Above photo of Kandersteg: wikimedia commons

Oeschinen Lake

Above photo of Fründen Lodge: Thomas Kalau

Oeschinen Lake

Above photo Lake Oeschinen winter fun: Thomas Kalau

Oeschinen Lake

Above photo of Lake Oeschinen in autumn: wikimedia commons


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  1. Hans Voegeli
    Hans Voegeli says:

    Silvia; finally took some time to read your Wanderlust newsletter; congratulations, well done and many interesting stories. But I can see that it’s a lot of work producing it. Several choir Kamerade mentioned that they read it and also liked it; and they were not Swiss.
    Hope all is well. Best.

    • Silvia
      Silvia says:

      Dear Hans
      It’s great to hear that you and your friends like the website. Thanks for the compliment. Keep reading it and keep your suggestions coming, too! Best wishes for a wonderful summer.

  2. Priska
    Priska says:

    Love your article, Thomas! We were at the Oeschinensee in winter 2015/16, when the lake was frozen. We went ice-skating in this gorgeous landscape, something me and my family will never forget!

    • Thomas
      Thomas says:

      Dear Priska – thx for your feedback! Indeed, the Oeschinensee is one of the Alps’ most beautiful hangouts – we’ve been visiting again a couple of times this summer! Enjoy and have a great fall!


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