Culture and traditions
Even before Christ, the Germanic tribes and the Celts held traditional ceremonies on the longest night of the year - December 21st /22nd . The traditional rites surrounding these days were known as "The Twelves" and the central characters were frightening animal portrayals. Whole groups of people would practise various folkloric customs to promote the forces for good and frighten off evil spirits. In Kandersteg the "Pelzmartiga" roam through the streets on Christmas and New Year's day from noon until the late evening. They gain access to hotels and restaurants and their antics often frighten both children and adults.
Culture in other forms
When the members of the Yodelling club meet they are continuing a traditional form of singing which is rooted in the population. The same is true for the traditional costume dancers who are extremely proud of their ornate "Sunday-best" costumes and the intricate dance steps which have been passed down from previous generations. They all want to show off their prowess at guest evenings and to involve the public in their efforts. The brass bands, which play in the open air, add to the friendly atmosphere as does the church choir. The Sport Club offers a variety of sports to toughen the body.
The village presents a complete village life to our guests. The historical backgound to our village can be found in a small exhibition located in the lower floor of the Church Parish House and, during the season, Dia-shows and guided tours of the village.
We do not just pay lip service to these sentiments but we live them in our daily lives. The fascinating mountain landscape has influenced the lives of the villagers for centuries. Over the years we have learned to treat each other with respect.
Dive into the unique natural beauty around Kandersteg. Discover fascinating plants from the magnificent mountain pines to the alpine roses and edelweiss. Observe ibex, eagles, chamois and marmots as they live their lives in their natural habitats.
PS: If you want to help preserve our pure nature, travel by public transport. Kandersteg has excellent train connections!
Sport and leisure
Sport and leisure possibilities, both in summer and winter, are almost limitless. There's always something which will appeal to you. How about a hiking tour or a biking tour? In winter we're the ideal winter sport area for cross-country skiing as well as downhill skiing and snowboarding and ice-climbing. There are many more sports on offer.
Kandersteg offers 550 km of hiking paths and trails and 50 km of these are suitable for wheelchairs and baby carriages. We recommend the use of the map 'Kandersteg and surroundings' which uses the scale 1:25000 and can be purchased for CHF 16.80 at the Kandersteg Tourist Office. The Ice-Falls in Kandersteg gladden the hearts of all ice-climbing fans. There is something for everyone, from beginners to professionals.In the area of the Oeschi Forest there are some simple waterfalls which are excellent for courses as well as much more difficult classic routes. This area is well known and very popular so that on busy days one must choose ones route carefully in order not to endanger other climbers.
The Allmenalp Waterfall is a very exciting tour but the temperature and conditions must be right before setting off.
The Sunnbüel area also offers shorter, easy waterfalls - ideal for courses.
The longer tours in the Gastern Valley, at Giesenen and at the Oeschinen Lake should only be attempted by experts with a great deal of experience.
Ski and save money too!!
Yes - this is possible in our ski areas Oeschinen and Sunnbüel. We have 7 ski-, chair- and cablecar lifts. The ski areas are connected by a complimentary Sport-Bus. Our ski pistes are wide, open, have good visibility. Should there be too little natural snow we can augment it with man-made snow. Families, less adventurous skiers and beginners will find the very best conditions.
Enjoy the 57 km of prepared pistes in and above Kandersteg (1200—2000 metres above sea level). Along the rushing Kander river, through the snowy Oeschinen Forest, across the diverse fields in the valley around the village, at the Oeschinen Lake in front of the imposing Blümlisalp Massive or on the wonderful high plateau at Sunnbüel - all these routes give the pistes in Kandersteg a special charm. Kandersteg is a meeting place for skiers: to enjoy their sport, to train, to take ski-hikes, for cross-country skating, for cross-country classical skiing, for exercise. . . .