Adelboden is a charming ski resort in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland with an abundance of traditional Swiss chalets with red and green shuttered windows and up to 210 km of family-friendly skiing and boarding.
Hidden away at the far end of the Englstligen valley, Adelboden is a picturesque Alpine village with 3,600 local inhabitants and over 18,000 guest beds for snow sports in winter and hiking and biking in summer. The fourth most visited ski resort in Switzerland after Zermatt, Davos-Klosters and St Moritz, Adelboden's guests come mostly from Switzerland (63%) but the numbers coming from other countries, mainly Germany (16%), Benelux (10%) and the UK (5%), are increasing.
The main ski area in Adelboden is Sillerenbuhl-Hahnenmoos-Metsch, which offers a wide range of slopes for intermediates and beginners as well as a good selection of mountain restaurants. Four smaller satellite ski areas nearby are covered by the same Adelboden-Lenk lift pass, but not connected to the main ski area.
Most of the skiing in Adelboden-Lenk is between 1,500m and 2,200m and best for intermediates and beginners. While none of the ski areas are very high, there's good piste skiing on north and south-facing slopes as well as some good off-piste opportunities including ski touring at higher altitude.
The five Adelboden-Lenk ski areas have over 100 well maintained pistes, 90% of which are designated either blue (92km) or red (96km) and ideal for intermediates and confident beginners. More advanced skiing on piste is limited to a handful of black runs, none of which are very challenging, but there's also easy off-piste terrain between the pistes and more challenging off-piste at higher altitude for ski touring with local mountain guides.
The Sillerenbuhl-Hahnenmoos-Metsch ski area, the biggest in the region, has an abundance of red and blue runs with north and south facing aspect either side of the Hahnenmoos Pass and the ridge between Adelboden and Lenk. Most of the skiing is between 1,500m and 2,200m and on wide open slopes which are usually uncrowded.
Beginners in Adelboden can gain confidence and improve their technique on wide, gentle blue slopes before progressing to the red runs, many of which can also be navigated with reasonable ease by confident beginners. While the skiing is fragmented across five separate ski areas, the main ski area is varied and big enough to entertain most recreational skiers for several days or more. Advanced skiers, however, will quickly exhaust the half a dozen black runs and need to look to the off-piste terrain for more challenging skiing.
Some of the ski lifts are quite old, notably the sequence of antiquated gondolas connecting Adelboden to the main ski area and the gondola to Hahnenmoos, but these are due to be upgraded in 2013. Three smaller ski areas near Adelboden, the Tschentenalp, Engstligenalp and Elsigenalp, also offer good skiing for beginners and intermediates and Engstligenalp also has some good off-piste. There's another ski area above Lenk, but getting there from Adelboden and back is time consuming.
Adelboden's local mountain, Tschentenalp, is easily reached by gondola from the village and offers half a dozen easy red runs and a blue run for intermediates and beginners, two black runs, a popular mountain restaurant with sun terrace and ski bar at the summit (1,950m). There's also a long toboggan run and toboggans are available for hire at the gondola lift stations.
The Engstligenalp is a 2,000m high plateau and secluded wilderness, 5km from Adelboden. A cable car provides access to the ski area which includes half a dozen runs and five drag lifts on south facing slopes as well as 8km of cross-country skiing, some excellent dog sledding and winter walking on the plateau. The ice igloo with its glittering Iglu Ice Bar is recommended for its special cheese fondue produced by local cheese merchant Manfred Schmid and to admire works of ice art.
The Elsigenalp, sometimes referred to as Elsigen-Metsch, is a family-friendly ski area 10km from Adelboden (a 20 minute bus ride) with eight drag lifts serving 16 pistes - three blue, 11 red and two black runs - including wide pistes which are good for beginners and great for carving.
The small town of Lenk in the Simmental valley has its own separate ski area, but to reach it from Adelboden is not easy. By the time you reach the bottom of the Metschberg chairlift on the far side of the main ski area it is likely you will to want to repeat the excellent blue runs above Metsch rather than take time out from skiing to get to the far side of Lenk. Those determined to ski all five ski areas must ride the gondola down to Rothenbach, then catch a bus to the gondolas on the far side of Lenk which lead to a dozen more red and blue runs, and a solitary short black run; then repeat the journey in reverse direction, but don't leave it too late otherwise it's a long bus journey or an expensive taxi ride to get back to Adelboden.
The Adelboden-Lenk region includes five separate ski areas and more than 50 ski lifts, which are owned and operated by five different lift companies. Two thirds of the skiing is in the main Sillerenbuhl-Hahnenmoos-Metsch ski area with over 20 lifts serving more than 60 runs on north and south facing slopes either side of the Hahnenmoospass. The remaining ski lifts serve three small ski areas near Adelboden, each with its own cable car or gondola and a network of drag lifts higher up. There's also another ski area with eight lifts on the far side of Lenk. The official lift statistics (72 lifts) count all ski lifts including lifts in Kandersteg, which are visible on the ski map but largely irrelevant to Adelboden.
Apart from three high-speed chairlifts on the Lenk side of Hahnenmoos, many of the lifts are quite old and the gondolas between Adelboden and Sillerenbuhl need replacing with a unified high-speed gondola system covering the same entry and exit points. Queuing for main lifts can be a problem at peak periods and although there's definitely need for improvement, because Adelboden is not well so known and usually not crowded, the lift system is just about adequate.
Access to the main ski area from Adelboden (1,353m) is slow. It starts with an antiquated gondola a few minutes' walk from the centre of the village, which provides lift connection down to Oey (1,260m). A second and third gondola of similar vintage provide the main uplift from Oey to Berglager (1,491m) then to Sillerenbuhel (1,974m). There's also a free ski bus runs from Adelboden to Geils (1,707m), in the heart of the ski area, where two chairlifts and a gondola provide further uplift to Luegli (2,138m), Lavey (2,200m) and Hahnenmoos (1,957m). Geils also has a dedicated area for children with a magic carpet and drag lift, Indian Teepee and a restaurant nearby. Adelboden-Lenk Ski Lifts Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 90 90; Web: www.adelboden-silleren.ch.
The Tschenten Alp base station is visible from the main street and close to the centre of the village. A colourful arrangement of red, blue and yellow gondolas depart three at a time from the base station and provide easy access to the mountain restaurant on Tschenten Alp (1,950m) and a choice of five red runs and a blue run served by a chairlift and two drag lifts. Tschenten Ski Lifts, Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 11 06, Web: www.tschentenalp.ch.
The Engstligenalp (1,964m) is accessed by cable car from Unter dem Berg (1,405m), about 5km from Adelboden (10 minutes by car). Half a dozen drag lifts provide access to seven ski runs for all abilities and a couple of nursery slopes for novices. The Engstigenalp is popular for cross-country ski trails, winter walking, dog sledding and an exceptional Ice Igloo. It's a great place for families, but best visited in fine weather. Engstligenalp Ski Lifts, Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 32 70, Web: www.engstligenalp.ch
The Elsigenalp is a quiet ski area with 16 ski runs - three blue, 11 red and two black pistes - served by a cable car and eight drag lifts. It's 20km from Adelboden, about 20 minutes by car, but if you don't have a car there a bus service from Adelboden via Achsten to Elsigenalp. Elsigenalp Ski Lifts Tel: +41 (0) 33 671 33 33; Web: www.elsigenalp.ch.
If staying in Lenk rather than Adelboden, there's a cable car at Rothenbach (1,072m) on the outskirts of the town which provides access to the main ski area. Lenk also has its own small ski area south of the town with a network of two gondolas, two chairlifts and four drag lifts serving a dozen red and blue pistes, and one short black run. Lenk Ski Lifts Tel: +41 33 736 30 30; Web: www.lenkbergbahnen.ch
The Adelboden lift pass is valid for all of the ski lifts in Adelboden-Lenk. The 6-day Adelboden lift pass also allows access to the ski lifts in the main sector of the Gstaad Super ski area for one day only. That might be of interest to those staying in Lenk, but it's not much benefit if you're staying in Adelboden.
Bergbahnen Adelboden AG
Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 90 90
Adelboden is good for beginners but the main ski area and Snowli Kids centre is some distance from the village, which is not ideal for novices; but if you've been on a skiing holiday before, are able to ski a snow plough and used to riding draglifts, there are plenty of uncrowded blue runs for beginners.
Beginners in Adelboden can access the main ski area by riding the gondola from Adelboden (1,353m) down to Oey (1,260m), then ride gondolas C7 and C8 to Sillerenbuhl (1,974m) which is a gateway to the main ski area. Gentle blue runs (60 and 62) offer easy skiing from Sillerenbuhl to Geils (1,707m), which is in the heart of the ski the location of the Snowli Kids centre. There's also a free bus service from Adelboden to Geils, which is a useful alternative for larger groups with young children.
The large Tepee in Geils marks the location of the Snowli Kids centre which is a special area for children including a small nursery slope and magic carpet lift for novices and a drag lift serving a short blue run which also has slalom gates for children to race down under the watchful eyes of their ski instructors.
There are three main ski lifts at Geils including the Luegli and Lavey chairlifts, which offer access only to red and black runs, and the gondola to Hahnenmoos which provides access to some excellent blue runs on the Lenk side of the ski area. While most of the pistes on the Adelboden side of Hahnenmoos are red runs, there are also some easy blue runs (47 and 48) from Hahnenmoos back to Geils and the red runs (44 and 43) from Metschstand to Geils are wide and quite forgiving. The best blue runs are on the Lenk side of Hahnenmoos, where beginners and intermediates can let rip on a choice of wide open blue runs served by three high-speed chairlifts and a drag lift.
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Most of the skiing is in the Sillerenbuhl-Hahnenmoos-Metsch ski area between Adelboden and Lenk with north and south facing slopes either side of Hahnenmoos. With 22 blue runs, 32 red runs and 6 black runs, none of which are particularly difficult, intermediates are spoiled for choice.
Most of the red runs and five of six black runs are on the north-facing slopes on the Adelboden side of Hahnenmoos. Some runs are relatively short and close together, especially those near the Aebi-Sillerenbuhl chairlift, but good fun nevertheless. The runs from the top of the Luegli (C3) chairlift are relatively long and include the best red and black runs in Adelboden. There's a mountain restaurant with a large terrace and sun beds half way down between red runs 42 and 43, if you feel like stopping between runs.
The south-facing slopes on the Lenk side of Hahnenmoos have the best chairlifts and offer excellent skiing for intermediates (and beginners) on wide open blue runs. They're typically uncrowded so you can choose your own line and ski slowly or as fast as you wish, within reason, then ride back up in comfort. Start by skiing blue 35 or 36 to Buhlberg then work your way along from the Buhlberg lift (B5) to the Guetflack drag lift and be sure to visit the Standhutte on Metchstand (2,100m), which is one of the best mountain restaurants in Adelboden complete with an Igloo bar and stunning views from the south-facing terrace.
Speedsters can check their speed on Luegli or on one of several permanent race pistes then check out the FIS Ski World Cup run at Chuenisbargli, which is one of the most challenging giant slalom courses on the World Cup circuit. To get to it, ski red 55 from Aebi as far as the chairlift at Reharti, or blue 46 from Geils to Berglager then blue 61, also to Reharti, take the short C6 chairlift to Eselmoos then ski to the bottom of the Boden-Chuenisbargli chairlift and ride to the start of the Chuenisbargli World Cup Run.
The Tschenten Alp offers easy skiing for intermediates and beginners including six red runs and a blue run served by a draglift and a chairlift. There's a restaurant at the top of the gondola and toboggans for hire if you feel like a break from skiing or boarding. Tschenten Alp is accessed by gondola from the lift station just off the main street, close to the centre of Adelboden. The freeride run (97) allows advanced skiers to ski back to Adelboden, but most people use the gondola to return to village.
The Engstligenalp is a small secluded ski area 5km from Adelboden with a handful of good pistes including one blue run, two red runs and two black runs from the top of the Dossen drag lifts. There's also some good off-piste but Alpine skiing is not the main reason for visiting. Most visitors come to Engstligenalp for other snow sports including cross-country skiing, ski touring and winter walking or to experience dog-sledding and the Ice Igloo, which is well worth visiting.
The Elsigenalp, 10km from Adelboden, is another family-friendly ski area with 16 pistes including three blue, 11 red and two black runs. The pistes are best for intermediates and beginners, and include Adelboden-Lenk's longest continuous descent: the blue run (120) from 2,300m at the top of the draglift (F6) at Elsighorn to Elsigenalp (1,800m) connecting to another blue run (126) all the way down to the cable car base station at Elsigbach (1,250m); over 1,000m vertical descent.
There's another ski area south of Lenk with six red runs and six blue runs, which are good for intermediates and beginners, but not so easily reached. To get there from Adelboden means skiing to the far side of the main ski area then transfer from the main ski area to Lenk by gondola, bus and two more gondolas to reach Leiterli (1,943m) at the top of the ski area south of Lenk.
The red runs below the Sillerenbuhl gondola top station are good for warming up first thing in the morning, especially red run 67 from the top of the Aebi chairlift (C9) and red 55. While riding the chairlift back to Sillerenbuhl you can visually check out the off-piste area to your right beyond the groomed ski area which is accessed by riding the Lavey chairlift (C2) then heading skier's left off black 57 or by hiking up the ridge.
Black 51 from Lavey (2,200m) to Geils allows access to another off-piste area between pistes which can be reached skier's right of 51 or by following red 49 along the top of the ridge line towards Hahnenmoos to find a suitable entry point skier's left of red 49, black 50 or blue 48. The slopes on the Adelboden side of Hahnenmoos are north-facing and hold good snow for longer than on the Lenk side of the ridge, but when it snows you can find good powder on either side of the pass, but check snow conditions and avalanche risk locally to make it's considered safe to ski!
Luegli (2,138m) is reached by chairlift (C3) and offers a choice of four excellent runs, black (40 and 41) and red (42 and 43) which are fun to ski fast and offer a roller coaster style experience over undulating terrain all the way down to Geils. These are among the best pistes in the region so allow time to ride the chairlift repeatedly and be sure to ski all four of pistes at least once.
The Hahnenmoos pass and the ridge between Lavey (2,200m) and Metschstand (2,100m) is the dividing line between Adelboden in Engstligtal and Lenk in Simmental. With the exception of one short black run (30), the runs on the Lenk side of the pass are mostly easy red and blue runs, but not to be missed. These wide, open runs are usually quiet and great fun for cruising at speed, then ride back up quickly on high-speed chairlifts (B5, B3 and B2) and work your way along the slopes from Buhlberg to Metschberg and to the top of the Guetflach draglift (B4). From there two excellent red runs (45 and 43) offer a long and fast return to Geils.
While there's plenty of ungroomed terrain close to many pistes, strong skiers and boarders seeking more challenging off-piste, should hire a mountain guide privately or join an off-piste group. The Alpine School Adelboden offer easy ski and snowboard tours off-piste for "beginners" and longer freeride tours of Wildstrubel or Bunderspitz for more advanced off-piste skiers and boarders. To ski off-piste with a guide, you need to be fit enough to hike up for 2-3 hours or more! The Alpine School also offer weekend, 5-day and 7-day ski touring off-piste in Adelboden with accommodation at the Berghotel in Engstligenalp.
The Adelboden-Lenk region has a total 210km of well-maintained pistes spread across five distinct ski areas. The single biggest area, Sillerenbuhl-Hahnenmoos-Metsch, is centrally located between Adelboden and Lenk and is where you'll find 60% of the marked runs and the Gran Masta Park for boarders and freestylers.
Boarders will like the mostly wide runs over undulating terrain and easy lift-accessible off-piste terrain between many marked runs. There's also plenty more off-piste terrain on the north and north east facing slopes beneath Lavey, which are easily visible from the main ski area, making it easy to enter and exit the off-piste area from the pistes.
Boarders may be less impressed by Adelboden's drag lifts, which could be an issue for newcomers to boarding, but they're mostly on gentle slope and easy to ride. Moreover, although the statistics show high number of drag lifts, they are located mostly in quiet satellite ski areas which have no need for major high speed lifts.
A highlight for many boarders and feestyle skiers is the large Gran Masta Park with its own lift and a Quik Silver hut and bar. The Gran Masta Park is a popular venue for many boarding and freestyle events including the Salomon Jib Accademy international freestyle ski tour event for top teenage freestylers.
Gran Masta is around 600m long, 60m wide and located at 1,850m next to the Brenggen drag lift and close to the top of the Hahnenmoos pass. The park faces south and west and is best between January and April with different size kickers from 3m to 18m and three different skill levels from easy (blue) to red (medium) and black (hard).
Other Gran Masta attractions include numerous straight jumps (6-18m), the 18m Hubba Bubba box, straight boxes (3-6m), kink boxes (4-6m), C-boxes (6-9m), a 9m wave box, 9m double kink box, 12m S-box, a 6m straight to rainbow rail, rainbow boxes (3-9m), 2-6m wallride with extension tube, 4m mailbox and an 8m downrail.
Adelboden's Tourist Office literature includes 25 officially recognised restaurants in four ski areas surrounding Adelboden (excluding Lenk). Several farm buildings dotted throughout the main ski area also double up as restaurants and offer an even more authentic Swiss mountain experience as well as good food and fair prices.
Sillerenbuhl is an attractive rustic looking building at 1,970m featuring a self- service restaurant with a soup corner, salad buffet, pizza and desserts, and a table service restaurant for more traditional dishes. The Sillerenbuhl also has a large sun terrace, sometimes with live music later in the afternoon and the Mara-Bar (Snow Bar) just 30 metres from the main restaurant is handy if you just want to stop for a drink. Get there by riding gondolas C7 and C8 (the main approach from Adelboden) or chairlift C9 from Aebi. Tel: +41 33 673 38 40.
Chuebodmi is a small rustic hut with a large sun terrace beside a red piste running from Sillerenbuhl to Aebi (1,530m) and approximately half the way down. (No phone number listed).
Restaurant Aebi is a stunning farmhouse over 220 years old with an impressive collection of Swiss cow bells hanging from the eaves, one of the largest sun terraces in Adelboden and the popular Rangers Treff umbrella bar next door. Open daily for lunch and dinner it offers traditional Swiss cuisine using only fresh products from the farm and the region and a gourmet menu for dinner from 6pm each evening. Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 13 56.
Restaurant Chujerstube is an authentic and charming mountain hut, with a fairly priced menu of fresh ravioli, special cheese and meat dishes, with wines from the Valais and Ticino and a choice of desserts including meringue, profiteroles and ice cream. Follow that with coffee, an Ovomaltine with rum or a glass of Abricotine 40°, Poire Willamine 50° or a 1978 Armagnac 48°. The Chujerstube is located in the middle of the main ski area near Geils. Tel: +41 33 673 23 02.
Berghotel Hahnenmoos is a mountain hotel with 34 beds in single, double and family rooms, and dormitory accommodation for up to 44 more guests. Located in the middle of the main ski area at 2,000m, the Berghotel Hahnenmoos was fully renovated in 2010 and features an open-plan self-service restaurant offering a wide choice of regional delicacies. Outside there's a large sun terrace and umbrella bar with amazing views and those that stay can also enjoy legendary sunrises and sunsets as the sun rises and sets behind 4,000m Alpine peaks. Tel: +41 33 673 21 41.
Buhlberg is a scenic mountain restaurant at 1,664m, overlooking Lenk and with panoramic views to the south. It's on the far side of the main ski area (from Adelboden) and easily found by riding gondola C1 to the top of the Hahnenmoos pass then skiing blue 32 and the delightful blue 35 to the bottom of the Buhlberg chairlift which returns you to the top of the pass. Tel: +41 33 733 15 60.
Chumihutte is a small mountain hut with a self-service counter, a restaurant and a large south-facing snowy sun terrace with tables, bench seats and ten sun beds for serial sunbathers. Ride chairlift C3 to Luegli (2,138m) then ski red run 42 and you will find the Chumihutte to the left of the piste, about half way down. (No phone number listed).
Standhutte on Metchstand (2,100m) is the highest mountain restaurant in the Adelboden-Lenk ski area with accommodation for up to 25 guests. Open in winter only, the Standhutte restaurant serves tasty traditional Swiss dishes including Rosti, Cheese Rarebits, Fondue and Bratwurst and offers excellent 360° panoramic views from the sun-terrace and Iglu bar. Tel: +41 33 736 30 00.
Chuenisbargli is an authentic and cosy mountain restaurant serving traditional Swiss dishes including fondue. Situated at the top of the World Cup piste (black 80) at 1,730m, Chuenisbargli is open for lunch daily in winter and in the evening only for small groups with a reservation. Call in for lunch or late afternoon drink; return to Adelboden using the free ski bus from Boden. Tel: +41 (0) 79 356 09 31.
Bergrestaurant Tschenten Alp is easily reached by gondola from the centre of the village in just 7 minutes and worth visiting for splendid views of the Bernese Oberland as well as for traditional dishes from an Argentinean barbecue, daily specials and quality Swiss wines. Tel: +41 33 673 16 53.
Engstligenalp is a self-service restaurant offering traditional food and a large sun terrace. Allow time before or after lunch to try the dog sledding nearby and to visit the large Ice Igloo which is an experience not to be missed. You can walk around inside and admire the igloo structure's many rooms and the collection of ice sculptures, enjoy a cheese fondue washed down with a glass of bubbly or white wine from the region. Tel: +41 33 671 10 26.
Berghaus Bartschi (closed Mondays) is another restaurant on Engstligenalp plateau which serves delicious Rosti and a good sun terrace. Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 13 73.
Elsigbach is a guest house and restaurant and known for good cooking including traditional Swiss dishes such as fondue, raclette and rosti. It's located next to the base station of the Elsigenalp cable car at 1,250m. Tel: +41 33 671 13 45.
Elsigenalp is a restaurant and guesthouse at 1,800m at the top of the Elsigbach-Elsigenalp cable car with accommodation in winter for 12 guests. Tel: +41 (0) 33 671 10 26.
Elsighutte is an attractive traditional alpine hut at 1,946m with a sheltered sun terrace and located beside the red run 121, but can also be reached on foot with snowshoes. Traditional Swiss dishes include raclette, rarebits, fondue, winter salad and special mountain hut coffee. Tel: +41 (0) 33 671 46 80.
Hochst is a guesthouse at 1,565m offering beautiful views, cosy guest rooms and a restaurant at the foot of the Hochst-Metsch ski lift. Tel: +41 33 671 44 25.
One of Switzerland's less well known resorts Adelboden is a pretty village on a south-facing hillside featuring attractive dark wood chalet style buildings with red and green shuttered windows and Swiss flags flying from their upper floors. The main street, Dorfstrasse, runs for about one kilometre through the middle of the village and is the focal point for most hotels, shops and restaurants.
Adelboden's main street includes a reasonable selection of shops selling sports equipment, clothing and souvenirs, and Backerei Confiserie Haueter and Confiserie Tea Room Schmid, which are worth visiting for afternoon tea or coffee with pastries and Swiss chocolates. The pretty village Church hosts festive concerts and is famous for its stained glass windows by Augusto Giacometti, the father of sculptor Alberto Giacometti examples of whose work can be seen on the reverse of a 100 Swiss Franc banknote.
From Christmas to Easter, skiers and boarders throng Adelboden's long, narrow, main street, then in the spring and summer the hikers and bikers arrive. There's plenty of hiking also in winter with numerous routes signposted from the centre of the village ranging from a short 30 minute walk to full day hiking routes to Matten and Kandersteg. If you prefer a more romantic and effortless form of transport, horse drawn sleighs are available for hire outside the church. The village is best explored on foot but a car will come in handy for getting to and from some of the smaller ski areas 5-10km from Adelboden.
For nearly 500 years until the beginning of the 20th Century, Adelboden's main activity was farming and the centre of the village still features a beautiful old farmhouse built in 1855 with a hay store outside for winter feeding. The local economy was boosted by slate mining from 1833 to 1874 then by manufacturing match boxes from 1867 to 1913. The first tourists arrived in 1873 leading to the construction of many hotels, the arrival of the first winter guests in 1901 and the founding of the Adelboden Ski Club in 1903.
From 1943-1945 Adelboden was home to 1,200 wartime "guests of the government" including 600 American pilots who managed to crash land their stricken aircraft in neutral Switzerland before being rounded up by the Swiss Army and pleasantly accommodated in Adelboden hotels. The wrought iron gates to the church were "presented by interned American Airman and escaped POW's of the British Commonwealth in memory of many pleasant months spent in Adelboden 1943 - 1945".
Adelboden's pride in being a permanent fixture on the FIS Ski World Cup circuit is celebrated in the main street by two monuments showing foot imprints of past race winners, including five time winner Ingmar Stenmark and three time winners Hermann Maier and Benny Raich.
Recent and planned development in the village includes a new ice centre, finished in 2010, and the Swissspagroup's plans for a CHF 140 million investment in the ground-breaking Adelboden Alpine Spa project. The project plan, still subject to approval at local level, features a 5-star superior spa hotel with 91 rooms and over 7,200 m² including underground parking for 100 guests and an impressive 4,500 m² spa and wellness facility with 840 m² of pools, 19 treatment rooms, eight saunas and 16 mineral water pools.
Adelboden Tourist Office
Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 80 80
Scott's Bar at the Cambrian hotel is Adelboden's best bar and an ideal place for après-ski from 4pm, pre-dinner drinks or a beer while watching major sporting events on the big-screen television. It's also a fun place to chill out or shale a leg late in the evening with visiting DJs hosting regular parties until 1am.
The World Cup Bar in the main street is also quite appealing if you are lucky enough to find a vacant stool at the bar, but Adelboden is a relatively quiet traditional Swiss village - definitely not a party town - and there are not very many bars in the village other than hotel bars the best of which, in addition to the Cambrian, are the Adelboden, Baren, Beau Site and Bellevue hotel bars.
Time Out Pub is a quite popular bar, despite its cheap unappealing exterior. The Alpenrose Fumoire bar in Dorfstrasse is frequented mainly by local youth and noteworthy only for getting around anti-smoking laws by installing sliding glass screens to separate the bar staff from the smokers.
The new Belle Vue restaurant at the Parkhotel Bellevue has 13 Gault Millau points and is recommended for modern French and Mediterranean cuisine, exceptional wines and stunning views. The Cambrian hotel restaurant also serves beautifully presented "New Alpine" dishes made using only the finest seasonal locally sourced ingredients sourced and has an extensive wine list.
The restaurant Kaminstübli at the boutique Hotel Beau-Site is also worth visiting and the restaurant Alpenblick, awarded 14 Gault Millau points, is recommended for speciality meat dishes and creative desserts. The Hohliebe-Stübli, closed on Sunday and Monday, has 13 Gault Millau points and is recommended for excellent food in a cosy and rustic ambiance.
The restaurant at the 3-star Hotel Adler serves reasonably good food and has a large sun terrace which is busy at lunchtimes and for après ski later in the season. The restaurant at the 3-star Hotel Baren offers a selection of local and international dishes and over 160 wines to choose from.
If you like "Italian" food, grab a pizza at the Hotel Kreuz Pizzeria or try the Pizzeria Trattoria Alfredo or for Asian and Oriental cuisine try the Viktoria Eden Thai Mandarin restaurant. For afternoon tea or coffee with local patisserie and Swiss chocolate visit Cafe Haueter and Tea-Room Schmid, both of which are highly recommended.
Adelboden has 21km (13 miles) of cross-country skiing (skating and classic) including 8 km (5 miles) of well-prepared high altitude trails on the Engstligenalp plateau at 2,000m and 11km of floodlit cross country trails beside the river Engstligen in Boden which are open until 9m from December until late March depending on snow conditions. The cross-country trails at Boden begin next to the Wildstrubl restaurant. Use the free ski bus to get from Adelboden to Boden (5 minutes) or ride the Luftseilbahn cable car to get to Engstligenalp at 2,000m. Cross-country ski passes can be purchased at the Adelboden Tourist Centre: Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 80 80; Web: www.adelboden.ch.
There's night skiing in Adelboden on the World Cup slope at Chuenisbargli, which is open for floodlit skiing each Friday evening from early February until the beginning of March from 7pm. It's free of charge if you have already have a valid ski lift pass, otherwise tickets are available from the Adelboden Lift company: Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 90 90.
The new indoor Adelboden Leisure and Sports Arena replaces the original open air ice rink and features a bowling alley (six bowling lanes and a bar), four indoor curling rinks, ice rink for skating and ice hockey, Alpine curling, indoor climbing hall with boulder room, a restaurant and meeting rooms. The curling hall incorporates state of the art technology and infra structure for amateur and professionals and the climbing hall is suitable for beginners to advanced climbers on walls up to 13 metres high: Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 17 77; Web: www.arena-adelboden.ch
The Adelboden-Lenk ski area includes 24 km (14 miles) of specially prepared toboggan runs including floodlit tobogganing and a ski hut party on Tschenten Alp each Saturday night from the end of December until March. Adelboden's longest toboggan run is the 5km long Sillerenbuhl-Berglager run. There's also snowtubing at Engstligenalp (www.engstligenalp.ch) and a 2km long airboard run at Tschenten Alp (www.techentenalp.ch). Toboggans can be hired at the summit lift stations. For more information about tobogganing contact Adelboden Tourist Centre or the Swiss Ski and Snowboarding School in Adelboden: Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 80 80; Web: www.skischule-adelboden.ch
Markus Rothlisberger spends the entire winter living with two teams of dogs in a large igloo on the plateau at Engstligenalp at 2,000m above sea level. The dog sledding really is an experience not to be missed and can be pre-booked through the Engstligenalp lift company: Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 32 70; Web: www.engstligenalp.ch.
Gentle guided snowshoe tours in Adelboden are suitable for all ages and are available through the Alpine School and through 4wellbeing on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and on specified dates from January to March and otherwise by prior arrangement. Afternoon snowshoe tours are between 1pm and 4pm and night snowshoeing by moonlight is from 7pm until midnight: Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 46 40; Web: www.4wellbeing.ch.
Enjoy a cheese fondue lunch or a romantic candlelit dinner in the large and spacious ice world Igloo at Engstligenalp surrounded by a snow covered landscape. For more information and to book: Tel: +41 (0) 79 666 05 83; Web: www.fondue-iglu.ch.
There's a natural ice climbing arena on frozen waterfalls on the cliffs at Engstligenalp (1480-1960m) with mixed routes and varying levels of difficulty from beginner to advanced ice climbing. Contact the Engstligenalp Lift Company for more information: Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 32 70.
Adelboden has two paragliding schools - Cloud-7 and Kropf Fly - offering tandem paragliding flights with qualified instructors. Contact Hanspeter Schmid: Tel: +41 (0) 79 630 98 93. Web: www.cloud-7.ch or Sami Kropf: Tel: +41 (0) 33 654 45 30; Web: www.kropf-fly.ch. Or for a bigger picture view of the Alps from a light aircraft, round trip flights to the Eiger-Monch-Jungfrau, the Matterhorn and Mont-Blanc are offered nearby at Reichenbach: Tel: +41 (0) 33 676 23 43; Web: www.fluggruppe-reichenbach.ch.
Horse drawn sleigh rides in and around Adelboden from 30 minutes to 2 hours duration can be pre-booked or available for hire outside the church in the centre of the village. Tel: +41 (0) 79 666 76 69
Adelboden is a popular destination for winter walking with a network of 112 km (70 miles) of well-prepared footpaths and trails for winter walking through forests and across snow fields with magnificent panoramic views and plenty of mountain restaurants for refreshment. There are a total of 14 defined routes varying from 45 minutes to 2 hours duration and including lift accessible walking trails in the ski area. For more information including route maps for walking and winter walking lift pass prices, contact the Adelboden Tourist Center: Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 80 80; Web: www.adelboden.ch.
If your accommodation does not have wellness facilities and you feel like pampering yourself, a modest entry fee will buy access to the spa and wellness facilities at several hotels in Adelboden including the spa at the 4-star deluxe The Cambrian Hotel (Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 83 83). Voted "one of the Top 20 Swiss Hotels with Wellness", The Cambrian spa is open daily from 9am and has one of the "Top 10 outdoor pools with Amazing Views Worldwide". The Parkhotel Bellevue & Spa (Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 80 00) is also recommended and has a beautiful outdoor pool with a stunning view as well as a large sauna area including saunas in the park. Contact Adelboden Tourist Office for details of other hotels with wellness facilities open to non-residents.
The museum in English Church in Landstrasse on the outskirts of Adelboden charts the history of the village and is open for guided tours every Wednesday in winter from 2-5pm. It's worth visiting and exhibits include local crafts, a superb collection of Swiss cow bells, historical exhibits depicting village life long before tourism, the fire in Adelboden in 2003 and the achievements of local mountaineer Robert Allenbach pictured planting the Swiss flag on the summit of Mount Everest 8848m on 16 October 1978. Contact the Adelboden Tourist Centre: Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 80 80; Web: www.adelboden.ch or local expert Hanspeter Oester: Tel: +41 (0) 79 685 41 86 who is a charming guide.
The Tropical Centre in Fruitgen (20-30 minutes by bus from Adelboden) is an interesting place to visit and comprises specially constructed greenhouses with exotic tropical plants and sturgeon swimming in pools fed by a free and sustainable energy source of warm water flowing from below ground at the base of the mountain at the rate of 100 litres per second. Great for nature lovers and to visit the adjoining restaurant and bar serving fresh foods made from products of the Tropical Centre and with sturgeon swimming in the pools that includes caviar! Tel: +41 (0) 33 672 11 44; Web: www.tropenhaus-frutigen.ch.
Adelboden and guests greet the winter with the traditional "Winterylüte" celebrations on a Saturday mid-December.
Adelboden is a permanent feature in the AUDI FIS World Cup Ski race calendar and hosts one of the World Cup's most challenging giant slalom ski races on the famous Chuenisbargli course in January each year. The world's ski racers are cheered on by a crowd of 30,000 spectators so book your accommodation early if you want to join them for the giant slalom on Saturday and the slalom on Sunday.
Another race event with a difference is the Adelboden Horaschlitta-Rena in February each year, which is a crazy toboggan race and an amazing spectacle, as 100 or more traditional long-horned sledges, manned by crews of two, race at breakneck speeds down the slopes at Chuensbargli to finish the course in the shortest possible time. Some teams wear modern winter sports clothes but many are kitted out in traditional old clothes as a reminder of days gone by when farmers used Horaschlitta style sledges to bring hay down to the valley for winter.
Adelboden is the host venue for the Children's Olympiad, with children from all over Switzerland competing for victory. Organised by the Swiss Ski and Snowboard School in Adelboden, the event takes place towards the end of March.
For more information contact the tourist office in Adelboden:
CH 3715 Adelboden
Tel: +41 (0) 33 673 80 80