Alpine hiking - new trail to open
A new long distance walking trail across Switzerland's Bern Canton is set to open this spring. The 305km long Via Berna will comprise 20 stages, ascents totalling 13,600m and is designed for hikes of medium fitness. Passing through cities, along lakes and across mountains, it is the first multi-stage route in the country to be awarded European certification as Leading Quality Trail for its marking, scenery, access, website and facilities. It starts in gentle hills at the edge of the Franches-Montagnes, crosses the highest points in the Jura, visits the city of Thun and runs along its eponymous lake. It follows Alpine trails with views of famous peaks including the Eiger and the Jungfrau, descending three times to U-shaped valleys created by ice age glaciers. The route finishes with a climb from the village of Gadmen on an old mule track to the Susten pass on the border with the Canton of Uri. En route are the Swiss capital of Bern, whose old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Reichenbach Valley, on whose falls Sherlock Holmes fought to the death with Professor Moriarty. Details of a wide range of accommodation along the way can be found here.