Hands up how many people have been to Adelboden? If it is bragging rights you're after from a holiday, then Adelboden should be on your “to go” list. This pretty as a picture hidden gem, tucked away at the end of a valley in the Bernese Oberland, but less than an hour's drive from the capital of Berne, is one of Europe's best-kept secrets. And while summer may be over, there's still plenty to do in Adelboden through Autumn.
The globally renowned Golf Mountain pop-up course on Adelboden's Engstligenalp, the only one of its kind in the world, is now enjoying its sixth season and remains open till 23rd October. During the summer, this plateau is used for grazing cattle as it has been for centuries, while during the winter, it's a winter wonderland offering downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snow tubing and a fondue igloo, hence the limited window of opportunity for the pop-up golf course.
With 18 holes ranging from par 3s to a par 5s, Golf Mountain provides even the most skilled of golfers with a unique challenge. Hazards include streams and rocky outcrops as well as swirling mountain winds and extreme weather conditions – one minute, golfers might be in bright sunshine, the next in dense cloud.
The unpredictable conditions are worth enduring, however, as the stunning setting is a sight to behold. Located at 1,964 metres, making it the highest golf course in Europe, Engstligenalp is a nature reserve of other-worldly character with breathtaking views over the village of Adelboden, where the stresses of the everyday easily slip away.
For those who do not have the patience or aptitude to battle the elements on a golf course, there are plenty of hiking trails to suit all abilities in and around Adelboden, from guided tours of the village to all-day outings. The latest, opened up thanks to a new four-seater chair lift conveying passengers from Bergläger to Höchst, leads walkers from the Chuenisbärgli (a famous World Cup skiing slope) to the climbing tower in front of the Niesen mountain chain. This three-and-a-half hour, horseshoe-shaped walk is not for the feint-hearted, with the start taking place at almost 2000 metres above sea level, but it's well worth it for the stunning panoramic views from the Hahnenmoos Pass and, of course, the fun to be had whizzing back down towards the village on a Trottinett scooter.