Tuesday, January 24, 2012

O Little Town of Adelboden

So yes, we spent six nights at Our Chalet in the little town of Adelboden, Switzerland, and besides playing in the snow and gazing at the beautiful surrounding Alps, what is there to do there?  It's actually quite an active little village.

I think the reason Adelboden is off the radar of most tourists is that there is no train service.  One must travel by train to nearby Frutigen and then board a (very punctual) bus for a 20 minute uphill ride to Adelboden.  Upon disembarking the bus on the valley floor, one must then walk a steep path uphill to the town center, Dorfstrasse.  (Although you could walk a little further from the bus stop to the valley parking lot and catch the Dorfbahn cable car into town.)  Dorfstrasse is as charming as can be, lined with restaurants, shops, hotels, and the requisite little steepled chapel with resounding carillon bells.  Horse-drawn carriages await your pleasure, and horse-drawn sleigh rides are available on winter evenings, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Dorfstrasse in Adelboden.

With 42 lifts, 85 runs, an incredible 3,445 feet of vertical descent, and a total of 106 miles of ski surface, Adelboden is one of the most attractive ski resorts in Switzerland.  Beginners will find gentle slopes:

The bunny slopes.

Intermediate skiers (such as my daughter with friend below) will find suitable slopes:

and real pros can try the Chünisbärgli run, one of the world's classic ski slaloms.  The International Ski Federation (FIS), comprised of 110 National Ski Associations, hosts the Ski World Cup in Adelboden every year - certainly that's a testament to some awesome skiing.

A lift on TschentenAlp.

There are 14 miles of cross country ski trails in Adelboden, and a snowboarding terrain park with two half pipes.

Leisure and Sports Arena
We found the large Leisure and Sports Arena to be a terrific refuge on one of our rainy days in Adelboden.  Located just on the outskirts of town, it offers ice skating, ice hockey, curling, bowling, rock climbing, and a café with a panoramic view of the mountains.

Our group had never seen curling before!

Very large and well-maintained ice rink.

Bowling lanes.

Rock climbing.

Convenient and reasonably priced café.

Love the panoramic windows in the café!

Delicious pastries, breads, and sandwiches are served in the busy bakery, Café Haueter, on Dorfstrasse.  We stopped here regularly for snacks and treats.  There's also a Coop supermarket in Adelboden if you want to stock up on groceries or get a prepared meal.

Without a doubt, our group of eight teenage girls lingered the longest and spent the most money at Holzschnitzerei Trummer (Trummer's Woodcarving Shop), also on Dorfstrasse.  Everyone bought at least one, if not more, beautifully hand-crafted wooden souvenir, and the girls were enchanted with Robert Trummer, the young man who is the 3rd generation of this family of woodcarvers.  There were blushes and giggles when he admitted he has no son of his own to take over the business because he's too busy carving wood to find himself a wife.  Unfortunately, although it was on my list of things to do in Adelboden, we never made it to Trummer's actual workshop, about an hour walk outside of town - a hike which can be combined with a stop at the stunning Choleren Gorge to see the waterfalls and raging river.

Other Sights
It's always better to arrive with a list of too much to do, rather than too little, is my motto when traveling, especially with teenagers.  With not enough time for everything, a few activities will have to wait until our next visit to Adelboden, such as a hike to Engstigen Falls and snow tubing on Engstigenalp.  Up on Engstigenalp you can also try dog sledding for 15 CHF for adults and 10 CHF for children.


  1. It looks to be a charming town! I have never downhill skied but I might be willing to give that bunny hill a go - it doesn't look too bad. I grew up with curling - it's fun, isn't it?

  2. Wish you could have packed me in your suitcase! What an amazing trip... I'm so glad it all worked out and looks like all the gals had such a great time -- they'll always remember it. SO special!

  3. This place looks great, and would be the perfect fit for someone like me, who doesn't ski. BTW, it should be noted that very few people have seen curling since that would require that they stay awake. ;-)


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