Location: On Western Swiss Alps to the south of Adelboden
Time to Visit: Throughout the year
Preferred Timings: Daytime for hikes and activities
How to Reach: By road from Adelboden to Unter dem Birg and thereafter on cable car or foot.
Nearest Railway Station: Frutigen
Nearest International Airport: Berne
Time required for sightseeing: 2/3 days
Engstligenalp derives its name from Andekingila, a Celtic river goddess. Andekingila was fresh and pure as was this region of Switzerland during Celt occupation of these magical landscapes. Engstligenalp in the Western Swiss Alps is a plateau of 7 square kilometers at an elevation of 1964 meters. This oval-shaped plateau extends 2 kilometers from east to west and 1 kilometer from north to south. This plateau surrounded by mountains is dominated by the Winstrubel range to its southwest. The elongated plateau of Engstligenalp has two summits and two rivers Simme and Kander. Engstligenalp plateau lies to the south of Adelboden and used as a pasture in the summer months.
These pastures are traversed by numerous mountain streams which collect to create Engstligen falls which descend for 600 meters through Engstligen Valley in the Western Swiss Alps.
The Engstligenalp pastures are owned collectively by 100 farmers from Adelboden and Frutigen. From the end of June till the middle of October the plateau is used as a grazing ground for cattle, among which the big Simmental race is the most prominent. A spectacular event of leading about 350 cows in procession through a rock wall is held every June. Milk from these cows is used for making Bernese Alp cheese by traditional methods and is sold to a selected few.
Adelboden lying to the north of Engstligenalp is the base for touring this Alpine plateau. For reaching Adelboden you need to reach Frutigen first, at an approximate distance of 10 kilometers northwards.
Frutigen is well connected by roadways and railways to all major European cities. Berne is the nearest international airport at approximate distances of 40 km and 50 km from Frutigen and Adelboden respectively.
Engstligenalp Hiking trail
The hiking trail to Engstligenalp begins from Unter dem Birg in Bernese Oberland region. The hike of about 6.5 kilometers takes about 2 hours 30 minutes. Unter dem Brig is reached by bus or car from Adelboden. From Unter dem Brig you get a remarkable view of Engstilgenalp waterfalls with its steep rock walls. From beneath the waterfalls a path leads to the plateau which bridges a gap of almost 565 meters. This .path though not dangerous needs to be treaded carefully as the rocks are loose. The hiking trail begins with a short roundabout walk across the Engstligenalp plateau. This walking trail passing through Gemmi, Chindbettipass, and Rote Chumme can also be traversed on mules.
Engstligenalp has a specially laid out path for physically underprivileged nature enthusiasts. Adapted infrastructure and wheelchair enabled mountain path of about 5 km enables these physically challenged tourists to revel in Engstligenalp.
Engstligenalp winter activities
From December to April Engstligen in western Swiss Alps becomes a heaven for winter sports enthusiasts. Ski lovers may head for this plateau with gentle and difficult slopes to try out their skills. Three ski lifts take you to the top of the plateau from where you ski down. Snowboarding is also a favorite pastime for the more adventurous types. Snowshoe tours are also popular in winter time. Begin your snow shoe tours from Wildstrubel, Ammertenspitz, or Hoernli.
Widebody Igloo is an igloo restaurant in Engstligenalp designed by Bjorn Zryd, a local artist. Enjoying fondues in candlelight in Widebody is a romantic delight while visiting this place in winter.
Dining and accommodation in Engstligenalp
While in Engstligenalp you can spend a peaceful vacation amidst village folk and in a rural alpine setting. A few hotels take care of your dining and lodging demands. Mountain Engstligenalp offers double rooms and dormitories for accommodation. These rooms are provided with cooking facilities. Their restaurant with a sun terrace can serve upto 150 guests at a time. The sun terrace in addition to being a viewer’s gallery also doubles up as an exceptional venue for parties. A large playground and a games room are a delight for young boys and girls.
If you plan to check in Berghaus Bartschi, you can choose from between double rooms and camp sites. Enjoy delectable dishes in their cozy restaurant or sun terrace. Adelbed.ch is a bed and breakfast accommodation located near Engstligenalp cable car station. A children’s playground keep the young ones occupied. Parking space allows guests to park their vehicles safely.
Indulge yourself in the Stí¤ghore and Mountain Stream restaurants while going on a hiking tour or outing to Engstligenalp.
Related Links :
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=fDYL-RiGQNI: Want to find out just how exciting skiboarding at Engstligenalp can be. Watch this video!
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=MwWlbmS4UcE: Engstligenalp turns into an idyllic green pasture land in the summer months. It is not in English, but you get a taste of the exquisite landscape of the region, along with the lifestyle of these mountainous lands including the making of the exquisite cheese. Click and enjoy!