Off to Abländschen: Hiking and Leisure Tips Around the Idyllic Mountain Village

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Nestled between the long ridge of Hundsrügg and the rugged limestone cliffs of the Gastlosen lies the perfect place for those seeking relaxation in nature: the mountain village of Abländschen. Since last summer, an electric PostAuto bus has been serving the beautiful hiking area between Saanen and Jaun.

But it’s also worth a visit for those who don’t even let the prospect of a grand mountain panorama entice them into strenuous summit climbs. We experienced this ourselves during our visit in early June. Our ambitious hiking plans literally fell through due to the rain. Instead, we met friendly PostAuto drivers, warm hosts, and dedicated hut keepers, enjoyed local delicacies, and were enchanted by the mystical atmosphere.

Tip 1: Relaxing arrival by PostAuto

The one-hour journey over narrow mountain roads from Saanen through the Grischbach Valley, over the Mittelberg to Abländschen and on to the valley station of the Jaun cable car is scenic and winding! And sometimes unexpectedly relaxing. For example, when you encounter curious Simmental cattle calmly chewing and inspecting the PostAuto. Yes, here on the edge of the Gruyère Pays-d’Enhaut Regional Nature Park, the journey truly is the destination.

Electric PostAuto Saanen Jaun

Cows on the road

Every PostAuto driver on this route has similar anecdotes. On our journey from Saanen to Abländschen, we learned that the PostAuto crosses a cantonal border five times on the nearly 50-kilometer route, taking us through the cantons of Bern, Vaud, and Fribourg. With four trips a day in both directions, this amounts to about 200 kilometers and 5,000 meters of altitude – all without recharging the electric vehicle’s batteries. In 2023, this was the first seasonal route operated by PostAuto with an electric vehicle.

On this day, we were on the last course towards Jaun. “How much battery do you have left?” I asked the PostAuto driver when we got off at the Abländschen, Hubel stop. “19%,” he willingly replied, adding, “on the remaining route to Jaun, it’s mostly downhill, so the battery can recharge.” Even though this is just a snapshot, I found the insight fascinating.

Tip 2: Check-in at the Berghotel zur Sau

Right next to the PostAuto stop Abländschen, Hubel is the Berghotel zur Sau. The former Weisses Kreuz was brought back to life in the summer of 2021 after a gentle renovation. The somewhat unconventional name initially caused a stir. In the meantime, the waves have calmed. The Berghotel zur Sau impresses with a cozy atmosphere, comfortable rooms (ten in total), and good cuisine that relies on fresh regional products, such as the finest mountain potatoes from Abländschen. A delicacy! And the breakfast buffet also features numerous local specialties.

Abländschen Berghotel zur Sau

Berghotel zur Sau Interior

Room at Berghotel zur Sau

The Berghotel zur Sau is both a recommended spot for an extended lunch break and the perfect base for a short mountain getaway. Directly in front of the hotel, signposts guide you to hiking trails that lead over hill and dale in all directions to scenic heights. The hosts are happy to provide tips.

Good to know: The Berghotel zur Sau is open from Wednesday 10:00 AM to Sunday 4:00 PM | Room rates start at 180 CHF (single room) or 230 CHF (double room) | More information: Berghotel zur Sau

Tip 3: Hike from Abländschen to Grubenberghütte

And we took a closer look at one of these hiking trails after a relaxing stop at the Berghotel zur Sau. The continuous rain the previous evening had kept us from taking longer exploratory tours. Instead, we made ourselves comfortable with a book in the hotel’s lounge. But now the rain front has moved on, and here and there the view of the impressive mountain scenery clears up.

Signpost in Abländschen

We follow the signpost along the paved road towards “Grubenberghütte”. The ascent is indicated as taking 2 hours. We make good progress in the first third, which follows the pass road towards Mittelberg, and along the way we cross paths with the first PostAuto of the morning from Jaun heading towards Saanen. From Abländschen, Jaungrund, the trail markers lead us off the road and uphill through pastureland towards Ruedersberg. Between the mist, the rugged cliffs of Wandflue, Zucker, and Dent du Ruth peek through. A small preview of the grand mountain panorama we experienced a few years ago during the Gastlosen circuit (starting in Jaun, also reachable by PostAuto) in good weather.

PostAuto Mittelberg Line

Abländschen valley landscape

Mountain landscape Mittelberg

Today, we focus instead on the small discoveries along the way and enjoy the blooming gentians. After about 1.5 hours, the Grubenberghütte appears before us. The view from here on clear days is “phenomenal!”, assures us hut keeper Ruedi Hählen, as he serves us a warming tea and a piece of chocolate cake. The relatively easily accessible SAC hut – from the PostAuto station Mittelberg, the (steep!) ascent takes just under half an hour – is a popular starting point for climbing tours. Additionally, from here, mountain hiking trails lead up to the impressive mountain slopes of Dent de Ruth and Dent de Savigny. In good weather, you can also easily spend a few hours on the sun terrace enjoying a Grubenberg platter, cheese slices, or a Bernese Rösti.

Ascent to Grubenberghütte

View from Grubenberghütte

Warmed and fed, we then follow a gravel path downhill to the PostAuto stop Mittelberg. This certainly wasn’t our last trip to the Grubenberghütte. The explanations from hut keeper Ruedi Hählen have definitely whetted our appetite for more mountain tours in the border area between Saanenland and Pays-d’Enhaut.

Good to know: The Grubenberghütte is open and staffed on weekends from May to October. In July and August, the inn is open continuously | An overnight stay in the dormitory costs 24 CHF for SAC members, non-members pay 30 CHF | Musical and cultural events are also held regularly | More information: Grubenberg

Key data of the hike Abländschen – Grubenberghütte – Mittelberg

The following hiking map shows the route of our hike from Abländschen, Hubel via Grubenberghütte to Mittelberg. The first third is a yellow-marked hiking trail (T1) that follows the course of the little-used paved road. After the PostAuto stop Abländschen, Jaungrund, the hiking trail becomes a white-red-white marked mountain trail (T2). The descent from Grubenberghütte to Mittelberg is quite steep. To relieve your knees, it’s best to pack hiking poles in your backpack.

Starting point PostAuto stop Abländschen, Hubel (1,299 m above sea level)
Accessibility Accessible by public transport
Length 5.95 kilometers
Elevation gain ↗ 565 m ↘ 230 m
Duration 2:15 h
Destination PostAuto stop Abländschen, Mittelberg (1,634 m above sea level)
Refreshments Berghotel zur Sau (for the starting coffee at the starting point) and Grubenberghütte

Tip 4: Stopover at Restaurant Zitbödeli

We reached the PostAuto stop Mittelberg in time to catch a course towards Jaun. The perfect opportunity to explore another culinary tip in the valley. Restaurant Zitbödeli is located at the bottom of the valley below the scattered settlement of Abländschen, right next to the PostAuto stop Abländschen, Zitbödeli, and boasts a large sun terrace with an adjacent children’s playground. Here too, we were warmly welcomed and sampled the Zitbödeli aperitif. The various cheeses from the valley are particularly delicious.

Aperitif plate at Restaurant Zitbödeli

Good to know: Restaurant Zitbödeli is open Friday to Tuesday from 9:00 AM | More information: Zitbödeli

Tip 5: Detour to the mountain chapel Abländschen

In the meantime, the weather had improved, and the sun unexpectedly peeked out from behind the clouds. This tempted us to use the remaining time until the next PostAuto course back to Saanen for another short hike from Restaurant Zitbödeli up to the mountain chapel Abländschen. The ascent takes just under twenty minutes, with the first 15 minutes leading through very steep terrain. A slightly less strenuous option is the short, ten-minute walk along the paved road from Berghotel zur Sau.

Zitbödeli Abländschen

Mountain chapel Abländschen

Regardless of which path you choose – the visit to the mountain chapel is worth it in my opinion. Especially since you can even enjoy a PostAuto stop here at the end of the road. The last course of the day is already in sight. With this, we head back to Saanen. That I wanted to ask how much battery was left at the end of the day unfortunately only comes to mind again on the train towards Zweisimmen. But who knows, maybe one of you can soon fill this knowledge gap for me.

Practical tips for your trip to Abländschen


    • The Mittelberg Line (185) operates seasonally from early May to late October.

    • From early May to late June and in September, the PostAuto serves the route on Saturdays and Sundays and on public holidays (including bridge days) with four courses per day in each direction. It is advisable to plan your trip according to the PostAuto schedules.

    • From early July to late August and during the autumn holidays (28 September to 27 October), the route is served daily with four courses in each direction.

    • At the end stop of Line 185 (Jaun, Bergbahnen), there is a connection with TPF towards Gruyères and Fribourg. At times, there is also a connection towards Jaun Pass.

    • Since this summer, there is a limited option for bike transport with a rear carrier. This requires a reservation (by 4:00 PM the day before). Reservations are also required for groups of 10 or more. Further information can be found here: Mittelberg Line

    • With the Gstaad Card, overnight guests in the Gstaad destination benefit from free public transport (including the Mittelberg Line) from the first night.

    • Another excursion destination on the Mittelberg Line is the Chalet Grat, located directly on the Gastlosen Tour. It is accessible from the PostAuto stop Jaun, Abzw. Chalet Grat with a hike of about 1.5 hours or via the Jaun cable cars.

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