The choice of our last trip was a bit difficult due to the fact that by the end of the week, the snow had fallen in the mountains. I mean, not that I wouldn’t rejoice that it seems like winter is finally coming at the end of November, but I still haven’t been “set” to wade through the snow (which can become a solid slurry during the day). So after a while of searching and watching web cameras nearby, I chose the route to Niesenbänkli for us. So to the bench high above Lake Thun, from where there is a beautiful view of Mount Niesen. And not just for it. Basically the entire Bernese Oberland. And that you could sit still on that bench all day and enjoy yourself (unless there was a risk that your a** would freeze, just like ours 🙂). So come and see how to get there and what awaits you!
The starting point of this route is the village of Heiligenschwendi, which is located about 35 kilometers southeast of Bern. From Thun, follow Goldiwilstrasse and Heiligenschwendistrasse to Heiligenschwendi. We parked in the free parking lot right in the center, in front of the tennis courts. Another parking option is possible about 400 meters away, right next to the clinic “Berner Reha Zentrum”. Parking costs 1 franc per hour (2 francs / 2 hours, or 4 francs / 3 hours). There is another car park about 200 meters away.
Route to Niesenbänkli
If you have parked in Heiligenschwendi, take the sidewalk along the road towards the REHA Rehabilitation Center. Then walk along the clinic buildings to the end of the second parking lot. From here, follow the signs for Niesenbänkli / Chrinden / Rundweg 7. The road first leads about half a kilometer down the road and then turns left into the Brüggliwald forest. Basically there is nowhere to get lost, you still walk through the forest for about a kilometer according to the signs to Niesenbänkli. Through the trees, you have a view here and there of a view of Heiligenschwendi, Goldiwil and later of Lake Thun and Stockhorn.
After about half an hour you will reach Niesenbänkli. Here you will find a unique view of Niesen, across Lake Thun with the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau peaks in the background.
It looks as if the journey on the horizon at Niesenbankli is over and no longer leading. But don’t be fooled. Head down the pasture as if you were going towards Niesen. When you walk between the two buildings, you will get back to the paved road and then to the asphalt road.
At the signpost, turn right in the direction of Chrinden, then back to Schwendi. But watch out, here you are walking on the road again. I’m not saying it’s extra busy, but cars and agricultural/forestry machinery drive here, so you need to be careful, especially if you go with children.
After about a kilometer, the Wanderweg turns left down into the forest and descends to the valley through which the Riderbach stream flows. You cross it over a wooden bridge and then you start scratching up. And basically, you go uphill till the end of the route. The reward will be wonderful views at the end if you turn your head back.
- The route measures less than 6.5 km – on the Tourenplaner website from Wandermagazin SCHWEIZ you will find its altitude profile.
- There is also a fireplace at Niesenbänkli.
- With the stroller, the route can only be managed to Niesenbänkli. Then go the same way back (don’t worry, you won’t miss that much of the views on the way back 🙂)
- Last year, before Christmas, I wanted to go to Heiligenschwendi to walk the Weihnachtsweg, but it didn’t work out, so I hope we can do it this year!
- On my “watch-list” is also the local Spycherweg – a ten-kilometer route representing wooden granaries typical of this region.