The winter ski resorts of the Bernese Oberland are world-famous. And in summer these same slopes are filled with mountain bike riders making the most of terrain that’s every bit as enjoyable on two wheels!
Cross-country and mountain bike beginners have some 280km of signposted easy routes to explore. All-mountain riders can head out on their own or book a guide. For the little ones – or just for fun – the Velosolutions pump track in Zweisimmen, was opened in 2016 and the downhill run on the Rellerli above Schoenried is a gravity scene favourite.
Interlaken, straddling the two lakes of Thun and Brienz, is the Bernese Oberland’s premier adventure destination, offering a brilliant choice of routes, from pleasant rides alongside the lakes to challenging tours in the surrounding peaks.
In the Jungfrau Region, home of the breathtaking Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, choose from 160km of marked MTB trails – from an ambitious 88km tour to easygoing family rides.
With its inatural splendour, the Kander Valley is one of the Alps’ best-kept secrets. Kandersteg offers a dozen spectacular mountain trails against the backdrop of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the high-altitude Lake Oeschinen, or visit the Blausee Nature Park.
Adelboden and Frutigen offer everything from demanding single trails to gentle routes for families. Between Hahnenmoos Pass and Lake Thun there are 20 marked trails of varying distance and difficulty. Thrill-seekers can even bike down the 10km Skiing World Cup course in Adelboden!
For more information see madeinbern.com
Interlaken. Niederhorn trail
The route starts at Interlaken train station, and quickly becomes steep. You’ll even need to get off and push for 5-10 mins! It’s a a mix of paved path and trail up to the Oberburgfeldalpe. After a 10-min sliding section, you pick up a good track to the Niederhorn. A decent descent joins the route to the Beatushöhle and back to Interlaken.
Watch out for: Hikers, with whom you’ll share much of the route!
Length 42.4km Vertical 1920m Time 5hrs Difficulty Tough
Kandersteg. Gasterntal Bike tour
A wonderful ride into the unspoilt scenery of Gasterntal. From Kandersteg follow the road to Eggenschwand. An unpaved stretch up to the Gasterntal is steep but short and offers superb views. The route continues to Selden and as far as Heimritz. The return tour is possible via the winter path,
Watch out for: Short dark tunnels on your descent.
Length 23.86km Vertical 526m Time 2hrs 50mins Difficulty Moderate/Tough
The first 2km are flat, even sloping. Once the actual ascent starts you rise steadily past Bütschegge and Möser, and through forest up onto the 1,940m Tschentenalp. Enjoy a break before the thrilling descent to Schärmtanne – not recommended for inexperienced riders.
Watch out for: The lunch menu at Bergrestaurant Tschentenalp!
Length 18km Vertical 829m Time 1.5hrs Difficulty Moderate/Tough
Grindelwald, Wengen, Mürren loop
A wonderful way to see the best resorts in the Jungfrau Region. This circuit, starting and finishing in Grindelwald, takes in the pretty mountain villages of Wengen and Mürren, includes a couple of steep climbs up the lower flank of the Eiger, and later out of Lauterbrunnen over Winteregg, plus sharp descending and rough terrain.
Watch out for: The magnificent trio of the Eiger, MÖnch and Jungfrau.
Length 67km Vertical 644m Time 6hrs Difficulty Tough
Saanen - Gstaad - Feutersoey - Gsteig
This easy out-and-back ride is mostly on narrow asphalt roads, though there are dirt road sections along the River Saane. From Feutersoey a short climb takes you up to Saali and the descent down to Gsteig opens the view to the main Alpine summits. You can ride back on the same route or take the bus (reservation required).
Watch out for: Also suitable for an e-bike tour.
Length 15km Vertical 242m Time 1.25hrs Difficulty Easy
Gstaad SAANENLAND. Rellerli Bike Nr 890
This tour skirts the edge of the cantonal border. Start in the village of Saanen with its narrow chalet-lined streets and lanes, and 15th-century Mauritius church. Head through the narrow Grischbachtal up to Mittelbergpass. The first part of the descent is steep and technically demanding.
Watch out for: Alpine farms, where you can buy delicious cheeses.
Length 24.5km Vertical 1035m Time 3hrs Difficulty Moderate
Lenk. Betelberg route
This ride over Betelberg showcases the best of Lenk and offers wonderful panoramas to Wildstrubel and Plaine Morte. Most of the trail is on gravel roads and technically easy, but your legs will have the challenge of conquering the difference in altitude.
Watch out for: The loud and spectacular Iffig Falls.
Length 22.3km Vertical 901m Time 3hrs Difficulty Moderate