— the bernese oberland
alpine heart of switzerland 

italian switzerland
ticino – best of 2 cultures

matterhorn & zermatt
iconic switzerland




The iconic Lauterbrunnen Valley: regional geographic centerpiece, and part of the Bernese Oberland World Heritage Site.

Photo looking south up the Lauterbrunnen Valley to the wall of north faces of the Bernese Alps copyright Home At First.

Explore Switzerland from the Bernese Oberland

In this central Swiss region visitors encounter the daunting north faces of the imposing Bernese Alps, glistening mountain lakes, alpine meadows alive with the music of cowbells, and chocolate box villages of geranium-jeweled wooden chalets.

Home At First’s Bernese Oberland Region of Switzerland (the “Highlands of Bern”) is a mountainous region just west of the geographic center of Switzerland. The region is bordered on the south by an impressive range of vertical mountain walls fronting famous climbing peaks including Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau, and Blüemlisalp. This line of glaciated high peaks with forbidding north faces comprise the Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage Site, a UNESCO-designated landscape of awe-inspiring natural beauty: the formidable 4,000-meter-high Bernese Alps.

  • Eiger, Mönch, & Jungfrau — iconic peaks of the Bernese Alps north wall.
    THE BERNESE OBERLAND: Eiger, Mönch, & Jungfrau — iconic peaks of the Bernese Alps north wall, viewed from the Mountain View Trail above Winteregg.

The Bernese Alps are quintessential Cheese Alps



Swiss Cheese —  The mountains of the Bernese Oberland are cheese alps. Their grassy slopes are the prime meadows for grazing Braun Swiss and Simmental cows that famously roam the heights, filling the valleys with the cacophony of their large bells, and producing fat-rich milk that alpine farmers transform into richly-flavored cheese: alpine alchemy. The cheese, potatoes, pork, veal, beef, and vegetables of many small alpine farms make up the staple cuisine of the Bernese Oberland and the hearty, delicious fare found on restaurant menus through the region. Cheese is made throughout alpine Switzerland, but here in the Bernese Alps the local mountain cheese is readily accessible at the source by walking to the alpine farm, or in local dairy stores and groceries.

Home At First’s Bernese Oberland — How it Works: Locations & Lodgings

Chalet Apartments in Kandersteg!



Explore Switzerland from your own vacation chalet apartment in the Bernese Oberland.
Home At First
guests in the Bernese Oberland have their own chalet apartments in either of two chocolate-box-pretty alpine villages. Located in the heart of Switzerland, these villages make excellent bases for exploring the Bernese Oberland and beyond into other regions of Switzerland. Equipped with our exclusive New Swiss Dream Book activity guide and using the Swiss Travel Pass — valid for transport throughout Switzerland on intercity trains, postal buses, city transit, the lake boats of the Bernese Oberland, you explore Switzerland independently, taking day-trips throughout much of Switzerland and even into northern Italy, returning to your cozy Swiss chalet each evening. Our two Bernese Oberland lodging locations are picture-postcard villages you will quickly feel at home in, where you will happily return after each day’s adventures.

Where are the chalet apartments? What are they like? Home At First’s vacation chalet apartments are located in two chocolate-box-pretty alpine villages in two different areas of the Bernese Oberland in two picture postcard alpine villages sequestered from tourist throngs: Kandersteg and Mürren.
       Both locations are outdoorsy: deservedly popular with skiers, hikers, and climbers. Both villages are also cheese producing, their alpine meadows alive with the joyful noise of cowbells and small cheese farms where you can see cheese made traditionally, and buy cheese from the producers.
       All Home At First Bernese Oberland apartments have English-speaking hosts either on-site or available nearby for questions, information, recommendations, and help should a problem or emergency arise.

       While both villages share many characteristics, there are some key differences, too, differences that may make one more appealing to you than the other. Click on MÜRREN or KANDERSTEG for greater detail and to see a selection of chalet apartment lodgings in each village:


Mürren — perched high above the Lauterbrunnen Valley with dramatic alpine views — is accessible only by cablecar.

    Cablecar descending from the Schilthorn to Mürren (south end).

MÜRREN — Not far southwest of the geographic center of Switzerland, mile-high (5,413′), chocolate box Mürren — set on along a steep cliff face a vertical half-mile above the valley floor below — is reachable only by aerial cablecars. Mürren is a car-free village of alpine chalets offering fantastic views of the peaks and glaciers and superb walking and hiking possibilities. Despite Mürren’s remote eagle’s nest setting, the village is a fine base for exploring the Bernese Oberland and its alpine core, the Jungfrau Region and is ideal for those looking for the romantic Switzerland of Heidi. Mürren’s popularity as a day-trip destination has much to do with its location along the cablecar route to the 9,742′ high summit of the Schilthorn, with its tourist-magnet revolving restaurant, Piz Gloria, and associations with James Bond and extreme downhill skiing. Mürren can be very busy during the ski season and during the high summer (July-August), but even at these times the village — lacking major hotels, bars, & shopping centers — quiets again at dusk. Mürren’s town COOP grocery and dozen or so small restaurants — all owned and operated by local families — are sufficient to handle its busiest times graciously. Active guests choose from hiking, climbing, mountain-biking, or chancing Mürren’s unique via ferrata. Less active guests find Mürren ideal for a spa, strolling the traffic-free village streets, nursing a coffee, a beer, or a glass of wine at any of several cafés in the village or in neighboring Allmendhubel, Gimmelwald, Grütschalp, and Winteregg — all reached by short cable-car or train rides. Regardless of the pace of your visit, Mürren promises you peace.


Kandersteg — an important stop on the Lötschberg Railway Line —
offers hourly express trains between northern Switzerland & Italy.

  • Kandersteg - The Church
    Church in the very center of Kandersteg

KANDERSTEG — Deep in the Bernese Alps near the western end of the Bernese Oberland, Kandersteg village sits on a high (3,852′), flat plain at the southern end of a “hanging valley” carved out of the Alps by Ice Age glaciers. Surrounded on three sides by snow-capped peaks, the village is the end of the line for auto traffic driving south from the Swiss capital of Bern. But Kandersteg’s setting is greatly enhanced by its placement on a major north-south railway that connects Germany to the north with Italy to the south. Hourly modern trains provide passenger service to destinations on both sides of the Alps and throughout much of Switzerland, making Kandersteg our top lodging location for exploring Switzerland. But Kandersteg is no mere base camp for day-trips throughout Switzerland. Surrounded on three sides by 10,000′ high peaks, blessed with some of the finest grazing alps in the Bernese Oberland, and offering access to one of Switzerland’s most stunning alpine lakes, Oeschinensee, and one of its most extraordinary, hidden, natural glacial side valleys, the Gasterntal, Kandersteg offers excellent walking, hiking, climbing, exploring, and cheese-tasting. The village features a wide range of restaurants, plus two just-large-enough groceries, a sports center, a via ferrata, and, wonderfully, one of the region’s finest cheese shops.

THE BERNESE OBERLAND readily combines with all Home At First Swiss
destinations as well as
most Home At First European destinations.

Achieve more than one European travel goal for just one transatlantic airfare.

Request Free Proposal for a Custom-Made Combination Trip with Price Quote Here


Contact HOME AT FIRST: (800) 523-5842 (toll-free USA & Canada) • +1 610 543 4348 (worldwide) • info@homeatfirst.com