If you’re looking for an incredible day hike amongst the Swiss Alps, this one is absolutely gorgeous. The trail takes you up over a gorgeous lake with a panoramic view of the Alps. Hiking isn’t really your thing? You’re in luck! There’s a mountain coaster here too, and it is FUN.
Oeschinensee is one of my favourite places in Switzerland. Oeschinesee hiking is truly breathtaking and the Kandersteg mountain coaster is so much fun. It’s also VERY affordable for Switzerland and is listed in my Switzerland on a Budget post as one of the top activities! Here’s everything you need to know about both the mountain coaster and a short but sweet Oeschinensee hike!
How to get to Oeschinensee by Train
Getting to Oeschinensee is definitely best by train. First, the views coming into Kandersteg are amazing! Second, it’s a very fast and efficient way to get to the mountains, and you can get there easily from most major cities.
To get to Oeschinensee, you’ll have to take the train to Kandersteg, then take a funicular ride up to the lake. Kandersteg is a sweet little town and the views are already spectacular. It’s a 15-minute walk from the Kandersteg train station to the place where you catch the funicular up to Oeschinensee. Don’t worry – there are plenty of signs that lead you in the right direction!
The Oeschinensee Cable Car
The cable car is the best way to get to the Oeschinensee hiking area. I highly recommend taking the cable car up to Oeschinensee, but you could also walk if you have tonnes of time!
Oeschinensee Cable Car Cost
The cost of the funicular depends on the season.
From December until June, the cost is 20 CHF for a single trip (aka one way) or 26 CHF for round trip. Kids, half fare, and GA travelcard holders pay 10 one way or 13 round-trip.
July to November, or peak season, is slightly more expensive. It costs 22 CHF for a single trip and 30 CHF round trip for adults, and kids, half-fare, and GA travelcard holders pay 11 CHF one way, or 13 CHF round trip.
Oeschinensee Cable Car Times
The Oeschinesee cable car runs pretty regularly throughout the day. It’s just important to remember the first departure (aka the earliest you can get up there without walking) and the last cable car down.
Again, this depends on season.
From May to mid-June, the first cable car up is at 9 am, and the last one down is at 5 pm.
From mid-June to mid-September, the first cable car up is at 8 am and the last one down is at 6 pm.
And from mid-September to late-October, the first cable car up is at 9 am and the last down is at 5 pm.
Kandersteg Mountain Coaster
As soon as you get off the funicular, you can turn left to the MOUNTAIN COASTER. It’s official name is the Rodelbahn Oeschinensee. This is such a fun activity. My mother, sister, and I all went and had a blast. It does not matter how old you are, it is absolutely worth doing. You have control over your little vehicle (well, just the brakes) and you get to glide around the track with the most stunning view ahead of you.
This was honestly such a fun thing to do. And get this- its only CHF 5! You can buy a pack of 5 rides for CHF 20, which I recommend. You’ll want to do it more than once. You can split those between people, as well, so if you have multiple people going, get this option!
After having your fun on the Kandersteg mountain coaster, you should definitely take advantage of being in such a beautiful place and go on a short hike! Before we set out on our hike, we went down to the lake and had lunch. The restaurant is super cute and if you can find a space outside, there’s a fantastic view of the alpine lake’s turquoise water and the mountains behind it.
Hiking in Oeschinensee is a year-round activity. While the summertime is when I did this hike, there are many other winter hiking options and snowshoeing options. You won’t be doing anything as steep as this hike, but it’s still absolutely worth going to Oeschinensee in the winter. Cross-country skiing is another option!
Hiking near Oeschinensee in the summertime is one of my favourite things to do in Switzerland. The scenery is out of this world and the mountains are breathtaking! The colour of the water looks like it’s been heavily photoshopped, but it’s just nature showing off. In the spring and summer, cows graze the fields – it’s quintessential Switzerland and it is AMAZING.
Okay okay, back to the hike! To follow our path, from the restaurant, walk left along the lake, following the trail.
The trail brings you up into the mountains, where you get a stunning view of the lake, and then you circle around it. The trail isn’t too technically difficult and is a great way to get moving. There was some uphill at the beginning (photo above!), but after that, it levelled off. The downhill was a little tricky for us because it was wet and slick, but in better weather, this won’t be a problem. Just make sure you have supportive shoes!
Needless to say, I loved this hike. Being surrounded by mountains is a feeling like no other. These are the classic Swiss mountains you think of when someone says ‘Switzerland’. Oeschinensee hiking truly is special and it’s SO beautiful. After living in Switzerland part-time for 3 years, this is still one of my top 5 hikes in the country. It’s THAT good.
The trail takes about 3 hours to complete. It’s a loop, so you end up back near the restaurant, which would be a great place to grab a snack or drink!
When you’re done with hiking, you can either take the funicular back or walk down the mountain back to Kandersteg. I recommend taking the cable car back down, as downhill can be especially hard on your knees.
The trains out of Kandersteg only come once every hour, but luckily, Kandersteg is a really cute little town. You can grab a drink at a restaurant and look at the views, or grab something from the supermarket for the train. The supermarket is open on Sunday, which is rare but wonderful!
Kandersteg is one of my favourite places to visit in Switzerland, but there are so many other incredible places to visit in Switzerland too!
On a Sunday, the train will be pretty packed with hikers. There are plenty of areas around Kandersteg for hiking, and Sunday is THE day that shops close and everyone just hikes. My kind of country. On weekdays, crowds won’t be as much of a problem.
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