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Kandersteg Ski Resort Guide

Kandersteg, Switzerland

Rated: 3/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForBeginners, Snowfall and Apres-Ski.
Total Piste Length14km
Highest Lift1,960m
Resort Height1,180m
 Nearest AirportsSion and Berne
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Picturesque, traditional village (a winter resort for over 100 years, visitors initially attracted for the curling) in the middle of stunning Alpine scenery. In the village there is an indoor and outdoor ice rink and an indoor climbing wall.


The Swiss ski resort of Kandersteg is in the Swiss Alps at an altitude of 1,180m, with 14km of marked runs.

Kandersteg has direct access to 14km of downhill skiing, with 7 marked pistes, served by a total of 7 ski lifts.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Kandersteg?

The next notable snow forecast is 30cm, expected on 30 September.

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Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Kandersteg

Ski Area Stats

Kandersteg Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
 4 9km
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
 3 6km
Total Length
Cross Country
Total Length
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts


Kandersteg Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift1,960m
Resort Altitude (Kandersteg)1,180m
Lowest Piste1,170m
Max Vertical790m

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Kandersteg
Expert Skiers

Kandersteg Overview

Kandersteg is a picturesque, traditional village with a long, long history in the midst of stunning Alpine scenery. It has maintained its relaxed and friendly character through centuries of hosting guests, first traders and for the past few centuries, tourists - for the last 100 years in winter as well as summer. It's location with a short easy transfer from Swiss capital Berne is an added bonus.

The village grew up at the northern end of the trade route from Italy over the Simplon Pass, which was busy for millenia. It was dangerous too and eventually the poor farmers of the area built the village church which still stands today from 1510 partly in order to give travellers a place to pray before and after making the Alpine crossing.

The church bell was cast in 1541 and is still used to ring in the New Year.

Tourism began some two centuries ago after a visiting doctor wrote of his experiences of the beauty of the area and the healthiness and good nature of the inhabitants. At that time in the late eighteenth century medical advice was actually against staying in the mountains and mountain air generally believed to be unhealthy. The doctor's review, along with improved access and facilities led to a growth in tourists.

In the summer of 1860, two Englishmen, a vicar and a doctor and an American arrived in Kandersteg and asked for a guide to take them to the top of the Blümlisalp (3663 m above sea level). The young Fritz Ogi was the only person with enough courage to take the job. He became the founder of a mountain guide dynasty.

The latter half of the twentieth century were boom years for Kandersteg bringing true stability and some prosperity to the locals for the first time. New hotels were built. Mark Twain stayed in the village for the night of August 23rd, 1878 and then hiked over the Gemmi Pass. His humorous but accurate account of his journey can be found in his book A Tramp Abroad. The guest book at mountain guest house and restaurant Schwarenbach half-way across the Gemmi Pass has inscriptions from many famous personalities such as Alexander Dumas, Picasso and Lenin.

Winter sports began more than a century ago, visitors initially attracted for the curling, but they have never really been the all encompassing attraction that they are at many other top ski centres. Kandersteg has far more to offer than many ski centres and a much greater proportion of its clientele visits, year round, for the hiking, fishing, flora and fauna or just the stunning scenery than is the ski resort norm.


Kandersteg has two small ski areas at Oeschinen and Sunnbüel, connected by a complimentary ski bus. A third ski area at Lauchernalp is included on a joint lift ticket which includes rail and bus services in the Lötschen valley. The ski pistes in the area are wide, open and have good visibility

Three of the seven lifts serve Oeschinen which has nine kilometres (six miles) of runs graded from easy to difficult-intermediate (blues and reds) and supported by snow making. A chairlift accesses the area from the edge of the resort and there are four drag lifts serving the different runs. There are several cosy mountain restaurants.

Sunnbüel is accessed by cable car rising to 2000 metres above sea level and has six kilometres (four miles) of easy to medium difficulty downhill pistes (all graded blue). There is a cosy mountain restaurant. Sunnbüel is the starting point for many ski tours in the Gemmi and Wildstrubel area.

A third ski option is found along the Lötschen valley at Lauchernalp. Here there are pistes for all ability levels from beginners to expert skiers. Here you can also follow in the footsteps of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Watson by following their ski touring route from when they came from Leukerbad in the Rhone valley over the Gemmi pass to Kandersteg. From here they carry on to Meiringen where the ski addict Doyle allowed Holmes to enjoy a tussle with his arch enemy Professor Moriarty.

Rail links also make it feasible to make day trips to other ski areas including Zermatt, Grindelwald and Wengen.

Cross country skiers have more than 50 kilometers of prepared tracks for skating and classical cross-country styles from 1200 to 2000 metres above sea level.

There are well-prepared cross-country tracks around Kandersteg itself and high alpine tracks at Sunnbüel. The night trail is illuminated until late in the evening.

Cross country skiers should buy a trail pass as a contribution to the maintenance of the trails. These are sold at the trail or at the tourist office.

Kandersteg offers good sking, particularly, for Beginner skiers.


Although not a major centre for boarders, Kandersteg is a good place to learn, with the ski school offering lessons on the uncrowded, low-pressure, slopes.

Location and Map

Where is Kandersteg?

This ski resort is in the Swiss Alps in Frutigen, Bern.


Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Kandersteg is Sion, 70 minutes drive away.

Berne, Basel, Geneva, Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg and Zurich airports are all within three hours drive.


Ski Lift Capacity

The seven ski lifts are able to uplift 9,400 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, on 10km of ski runs, with 20 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Kandersteg open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

Usual opening is mid December, and usual closing is Late March.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Kandersteg, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Kandersteg Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Kandersteg

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Aprés Ski

Apres ski is generally low key and hotel based. The High Moon Pub in the Hotel Alfa Soleil is one of the livelier night spots and has a pool table.

The Hotel zur Post in the village centre is also normally popular with two traditional, but fully automated, bowling lanes. The Blümlisalp also has bowling (reserve ahead!)

The Alpenblick has live music on Fridays from a traditional Swiss folk group.