Help needed about visit to Kandersteg

Old Feb 28th, 2006, 10:25 PM
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Help needed about visit to Kandersteg

Hi, we are a family from India and planning to travel to Kandersteg with our 2 young children. We basically want to stay at a not-so-touristy place with beautiful scenery, mountains and greenery all around. We zeroed down upon Kandersteg over Interlaken or Grindelwald/Murren etc is because we found it easy to commute with all our luggage and kids from Zurich Airport(only 1 train change and 2 hrs) plus easy to commute for day-trips to Grindelwald,Schilthorn and rest of Bernese Oberland, plus less touristy. I need to know from any of you, whether Kandersteg will be a nice sunny place in the beginning of May ( I heard that it might be much more chilly compared to the other choices) and a good place to travel to with kids. Is it a peaceful and scenic place? Whether there are plenty of restaurants or eating options there. And whether there is any other suitable place better than Kandersteg like Meiringen etc in the Bernese Oberland which is also easily accessible by train from Zurich plus easy for daytrips around Bernese Oberland. Also suggestions for very good family friendly hotels in Kandersteg are welcome.
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 11:50 PM
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Every time we pass through Kandersteg on the train, I promise myself that next time we'll stay there.

Having said that, we've yet to spend more than an afternoon in Kandersteg, so I can't answer most of your questions, except to say, yes, it's a peaceful scenic place.

The following site might be helpful in your planning:

Here's the Kandersteg Tourist Office site - they can probably help you with accommodation and the like:
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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 02:04 AM
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Kandersteg is certainly less touristed by American tourists and other European tourists, but is popular with Swiss tourists. It is in a very pretty valley, albeit narrower than the Jungfrau valley in spots, particularly where the town of Kandersteg itself is located. Kandersteg is very, very small. There is one street in the town. Restaurant options may be somewhat limited, I think there are a dozen restaurants in town, but you may find in early May that some of these are not yet open as the season has not yet begun.

I will say that the valley is quite beautiful BUT unless you like walks and hikes there is very little to do in this town or the valley. The hiking is excellent, and in June or July I would say definitely go if you like to hike; but May is really a bit early in the season for it as mentioned below. This are almost no shops, there are no museums, there is no charming old town with cobblestone streets and a castle, there are no lakes to take ferry rides on, etc as you will find in some other parts of the area (but not in May for the ferries). It is a good valley for hang gliding and paragliding, but I am assuming your kids won't be doing that. . . I am not sure it makes a great base for going to other parts, as you will spend more time on trains than you may want getting out every day to other parts if you don't want to walk every day in Kandersteg or. more likely, if the weather is bad.

You may be better of in a place like Thun which is large and has activities in case the weather is bad, like an old town and a castle and you could get to the mountains if you got a good day. Do some reading on Thun.

As for weather, any place in the mountains could be quite cool and even cold in early May, it will be a matter of luck as to what kind of weather you will get. I think you will find temps in about the range of about 15F to 22 C with a pretty good chance of rain. Of course the minute you get up into the higher elevations for sightseeing, temps will drop so bring warm clothing because even if it is 20 C in the valley it will be much cooler higher up.

I used to live in Switzerland and personally don't think early May is a good time to go to the mountains, it is too much between seasons. Winter is over and spring has not begun. I think you are better off in lower elevation places like the Lake Geneva area or the area around Zurich, although personally I would go to the Lake Geneva area over Zurich. Even then, things are still quite brown as spring flowers are just starting too bloom. If you really want to be in the mountains then, frankly, I would either move the trip back a few weeks to make sure you get winter in the mountains, or move it forward to late May or the first week in June so you can be more sure of warmer weather. One of the best activates in Kandersteg is the good walking and I am very afraid it will either be mushy snow or mud and just not good for walking then.

I can suggest a few hotels in Kandersteg. There is a five star, the Royal Park that I don't even like (strange for me), but you might want to consider, take a look at and then search under Switzerland. The others are a 4-star and two 3-stars. I have stayed at the first and seen some of the rooms at the others and they look fine to me:

Waldhotel Doldenhorn
TeL; 41- 33-675-8181
Fax: 41-33-675-8185
Four star, very nice hotel with charming rooms, most are a very good size. Wellness centre, but no pool. This is a bit out of town, so having a car would be good, unless you don't mind walking a 10-15 minutes into town, they may run a shuttle into town.

They also have a sister hotel, the Ruedihus, about 100 meters down the road, that I don't know at all but looks charming and would probably be as well run as the main hotel.

Chalet Hotel Adler
Tel. +41(0)33 675 80 10
Fax +41(0)33 675 80 11
[email protected]

Nice 3 star, I would call it eclectic Swiss charm. I believe they have cottages or family rooms in the back of the property which would be good for a family. They have a wellness centre with an indoor pool which is nice for a 3 star and good for kids.

Hotel Bernerherhof
CH-3718 Kandersteg
T: (++41) 033 6758875
F: (++41) 033 6758877

3 star. Kind of older rooms, tired by clean.

If you have not already found it, the village has a website in English at

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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 05:15 AM
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I just typed a long response which I lost. I stayed there for a week 2 years ago, as a base for a hiking trip and loved it. I will be back in July for a few days with my 13 year old.
I recommend the Victoria Ritter- it is very family friendly. Pool, tennis courts, not too stuffy. The owners Cosi and Muriel have kids of their own. It has a pool, nice grounds and is in the center of this 2 road town. The Adler is across the street, smaller and a little cheaper. I didn't get past the pub, so i don't know about the rooms.

To do with kids:
1. Cable car up to Oscienensee where you can: a. ride the rodelbahn- a kind of aluminum tobagon run, which kids (and I) loved. b. swim in the lake - though the cows in the lake made that not too appealing. c. paddle boat on the lake d. hike around the lake.

2. A different cable car on the other side of town up to the Cheese Hut where a man makes cheese, gives demonstrations, and you can eat (Cheese) and watch the hang gliders take off

3. minimal shopping but a few shops
4. a pizza parlor and otherwise, you can buy food at the grocery (next to the post office). otherise, hotel restaurants/light eating

I don't want to loose my post, but I'll post the hotel link after this.
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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 05:15 AM
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Hotel Victoria Ritter- web site
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Old Mar 1st, 2006, 04:41 PM
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At the website I see that Kandersteg is about 40 minutes by train from Thun, a very interesting small city on Thunersee. Therefore, you could do daytrips there and on to Bern as well. You're about 35 minutes from Brig, and several times a day there is a train through Brig to Montreux in just under 2 hours. So there do seem to be some sightseeing possibilities within reach, if you have a rail pass of some sort and enjoy training. J.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 12:11 AM
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Thanks so much everyone - all your suggestions are so important for me to decide where to stay! I'll definitely checkout Thun and Spiez to see if they are better options for staying. And also Cicerone you are right, several hotels are closed in early May as I just heard back from Victoria Ritter that they are closed. So let me search for some of the other options to see if we could rather stay someplace else. Thanks!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2006, 09:15 AM
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Hi modeb,

Did you see my response on the other forum about Gstaad or Weggis? Let me know if you'd like more info.

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