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.
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 is a good choice for families given the relaxed atmosphere, unintimidating ski areas, short transfers and long list of family-friendly activities off the slopes. There are, however, limited organised facilities for children. The ski school accepts children aged four and over for a few hours each day (week days) - sometimes in the afternoon as well. Babysitting is available locally but that's an expensive option if you are looking for more than a few hours.
There's more than two dozen eateries to choose from around the resort. The Chalet-Hotel Adler is typically cosy and snug and offers roesti-corner, bio-beef from a wood fired grill and fresh blue-lake trout served up to 10.30pm. The Oberländerstube in the Hotel Alpenblick also offers traditional Swiss food in a rustic environment. Specialities include local steak, An Emmentaler salad in a crisp basket, melted cheese sandwiches, raclette, fondue and roesti. The Hotel Blümlisalp's restaurant offers market fresh ingredients, delicious fish dishes, tempting desserts. and is a member of the "Guild of Good Cooks". The Landgasthof Ruedihus offers traditional Swiss ambience and creativity and finesse in its cuisine combined with simplicity, natural and traditional recipes. The Waldhotel Doldenhorn is another good choice for great food, being rated by both the Gault Millau and Michelin guides.
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.
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.