Adelboden is a traditional Swiss mountain village on a terrace looking south to the Engstligen waterfalls. Also part of the village are the inhabited valleys of Gilbach, Stigelschwand, Boden, Hirzboden, and Ausserschwand.
Adelboden ski area
Adelboden-Lenk skiing is one of the biggest snow sports resorts in Switzerland comprising 5 separate ski areas: Engstligenalp, Tschenten Alp, Elsigen-Metsch, Silleren-Hahnermoos and Lenk-Betelberg with a total of 210 km of slopes and 72 cable cars and lifts. Adelboden ski area is the heart and soul of the region, emanating from its namesake quaint ski village. Adelboden’s trails are interconnected with Lenk, and the region is renowned for excellent snow.
Gondolas, four and six passenger chairs with bubble covers and even T bars serve Adelboden’s prepared ski slopes from 1353 m. to the 2362 m. summit and off-piste as well, with beautiful views of the surrounding Swiss Alps.
The main slopes are easily accessible from Adelboden, including the World Cup run down Chuenisbärgli. The resort has a good range of pistes for all abilities, with most of the challenging runs above Geils. There are a few long runs but some of them are flattish in places, and the best of the longer runs is probably the 5.5km, 700m drop from Lavey to Aebi.
The bus ride out to the pistes at Engstligenalp are worth the round trip. A bus runs regularly on the half hour from Adelboden bus station to Unter dem Birg at Engstligenalp in about 20 minutes and there is ample free parking at the bottom station. With a designated free-ride area (which has it's own Facebook group!) and the longest season in the area, the Engstligenalp plateau is a good place for reliable, untracked snow and ski touring. The area is never crowded, the only real drawback being you need to take the cable car back down at the end of the day.
The Elsigen-Metsch ski area is particularly convenient for Frutigen and provide the closest slopes for people driving into the area, with roughly 30km of pistes and a larger drop than that at Adelboden itself. The runs at Elsigenalp (2344m) and Metschalp (2142m) are accessible from the lift at Elsigbach which also has ample free parking. A bus runs from Frutigen to Elsigbach during the winter every hour.
Tschentenalp is just above Adelboden and has long cruisy runs with extensive off piste. There is also a relatively easy, if narrow, unpatrolled trail back into Adelboden.
A traditional village, Adelboden is located off the beaten track on the mountainside at the start of a long valley. Almost all of the properties here are chalet style, including the shops on the long main street. The village is quite small, but there are busses to nearby Engstligenalp and Elsigen-Metsch.
Unlike other popular resorts in Switzerland, the Adelboden ski resort has kept its quiet natural village spirit although there are still some sights to see outside of bars and restaurants.
Adelboden’s main Dorfstrasse street has a good range of stores offering sports equipment, apparel, and souvenirs, as well as Backerei Confiserie Haueter and Confiserie Tea Room Schmid, all of which are worth stopping by for afternoon tea or coffee with pastries and Swiss chocolates.
Time Out Pub, with a patio that extends out over the town center and screens for live sports, is one of the primary après locations here. Scott’s bar offers a more modern vibe and a big cocktail menu (try the Toni Sailer), whilst Alte Tavern hosts a DJ on Friday and Saturday evenings.
The wellness in Adelboden is among the substantial parts of this town. Due to the deluxe Spas are offering all kind of health treatments, relaxing steam baths and saunas.
Adelboden’s pride in being a constant presence on the FIS Ski World Cup circuit is commemorated in the main street with two statues depicting the foot impressions of previous race champions, notably five-time winner Ingmar Stenmark and three-time winners Hermann Maier and Benny Raich.