FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Have a read through our Frequently Asked Questions.
Contact us if you still can’t find the answer to your question after you’ve read them.
The weather in the Swiss Alps, including Adelboden, is variable and it is very hard to predict what the weather will be like on any particular day. Snow is likely at the village/Our Chalet level between December and March. There are also often brief periods of snow in early April. Engstligenalp stays open for skiing until late May.
Rain is not unusual! In summer (June-August) thunderstorms with heavy rain are common in the late afternoon/evening.
However, our summer months are getting increasingly hotter and drier. Temperatures of 35C (95F)+ are becoming more common in July & August and in recent years we have had fire bans in summer due to dry weather.
Some of our programme activities visit towns in the lower lying areas, where summer temperatures can reach 40C (104F).
The sun is also very strong in the mountains and you can burn easily all year round.
The weather can change rapidly and vary greatly between valley and mountain altitudes. We recommend guests bring plenty of layers, a full set of waterproofs, sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses whatever time of year you visit.
We encourage guests to travel to Our Chalet via public transport. For full details of how to get here see the Travelling to Our Chalet page.
We have limited car parking available on site for those who choose to drive. Note: Please contact us in advance if you plan to drive a larger vehicle such as an RV/campervan or minibus, or plan to tow a caravan or trailer.
Please note coaches/full size buses are not able to drive all the way to Our Chalet. In summer most coach drivers can drop groups off at the bottom of Hohliebeweg. From there it is a 5-10 minute uphill walk to Our Chalet. In winter coaches need to drop passengers off at the bottom of Bonderlenstrasse, from where it is a 20-30 min uphill walk to Our Chalet.
For guests arriving by public transport or coach Our Chalet is able to offer luggage transfer during office hours, this must be booked at least 48 hours in advance and costs CHF5 return per person (included in event/programme packages) Please note this transport is for luggage only.
Unfortunately, due to taxi licensing rules, Our Chalet is not generally able to offer transport for guests, with the exception of one group leader who may travel with the luggage for their group on a pre-booked luggage transfer.
We are able to offer ski shuttles in winter (once per day to/from Sillerenbahn Oey).
For guests who are unable to walk up the hill due to a disability we can arrange transport, if you are arriving during office hours. Contact us to discuss all access needs.
Taxis from Oey bus stop to Our Chalet can be booked through AFA, who also run the local bus service. Taxis are available 24/7. Prices and contact details for booking can be found here.
Our Chalet is partially wheelchair accessible, we recommend guests with reduced mobility contact us to discuss their needs prior to making a booking.
As a general overview, our newer accommodation building, Spycher House, has accommodation suitable for some wheelchair users. Bedrooms are up one flight of stairs, and can be accessed via a platform lift suitable for manual wheelchair users. The lift also has a fold-down seat for non-wheelchair users who cannot climb stairs.
Mobility scooters and powered (electric) wheelchairs cannot be transported on the platform lift. However, guests who are able to walk short distances, or transfer to a manual chair, are welcome to leave their mobility scooter/powered wheelchair on the ground floor, where it can be securely stored. Please note: we do not have any wheelchairs available to borrow.
A shower with a shower seat and no-step access (not roll in) is located on the main accommodation floor of Spycher House. A bathroom with roll-in shower is located on the ground floor of Main Chalet and can be used by guests staying in any building.
Main Chalet is an old building, opened in 1932, and the accommodation floors of this building are not wheelchair accessible or suitable for guests who have difficulty climbing stairs. The ground floor, including laundry room, and first floor, including dining hall, are accessible to manual wheelchair users but with some tight corners/doorways. Dining hall access is via a steep, narrow path outside. Some wheelchair users may need assistance to push up this path.
There is limited free parking available onsite.
Our volunteer accommodation is currently not wheelchair accessible, however, in the past we have been able to find alternative accommodation for volunteers who need wheelchair access. Please contact us to find out more about access in our volunteer programme.
Our Chalet has a limited number of scholarships available for girls and young women who would benefit from taking part in an event programme at Our Chalet, but would not be able to attend due to financial barriers.
Please note, applicants must be active members of Guiding or Scouting and all scholarship applications must be endorsed by the Member Organisation's International Commissioner.
To apply, choose which event you would benefit from attending, read the Info Pack carefully and make sure you meet all criteria (including physical fitness) to attend your chosen event. Then fill in this application and return it to the e-mail address listed on the form.
There is lots to do in Adelboden and the surrounding area, including skiing and hiking using an extensive cable car/gondola system. E-biking, mountain scooters, sledding, and snowshoeing are also popular local activities. The village has an Adventure Park (zip lines and outdoor climbing) and an Arena with ice skating rink, curling hall, bowling, escape room, and indoor climbing. For adults, there are also several wellness facilities, including saunas. Information about activities for all seasons can be found on the Adelboden Tourism website here.
Adelboden is 1-1.5 hours by public transport from Kandersteg, Spiez, Thun, Interlaken, and Bern. Information on things to do in these towns and the surrounding Bernese Oberland area can be found here.
All guests staying at Our Chalet have the option to receive an Adelboden guest card, which entitles the holder to free bus travel within the village and reduced prices for some local activities. Full details can be found here.
Our Chalet is only able to book activities for guests where these activities are led by our staff. If you would like to book programme activities led by our staff please contact our Programme Team.
Our Chalet strives to be inclusive and to allow as many girls and young women as possible to take part in our programmes. Our Discover, Explore, and Adventure programmes were designed with access and inclusion in mind.
As a general rule youth participants are able to take part if:
- They have the physical ability/stamina to take part in a busy, adventure programme with a lot of time outdoors. Our Discover programme has the least physically demanding activities. See the Discover programme pack for details of access options.
- They have the social and emotional ability to cope with international travel, participate in a group, and interact with peers of their own age.
- They can safely be up to a one hour journey away from the nearest hospital.
- Leaders in the participant's group can take care of all medical and personal care needs. Our Chalet staff cannot provide personal care or medical care under any circumstances (except emergency first aid).
Additional adults above the adult:youth ratio for summer programmes are permitted if needed to provide care, support, or supervision for a youth participant with a disability.
If you have questions about the suitability of a programme for a specific young person, or want to enquire about bespoke programme to meet specific access/inclusion needs, please contact our Programme Team.
Leaders are responsible for the behaviour, safety, and wellbeing of all youth participants in their group at all times. Each group needs to have a minimum number of leaders (dependant on group size) able to comfortably take part in activities such as hiking with their participants. We welcome leaders with disabilities and it is up to the group to determine if a leader is able to provide appropriate support and supervision for the participants in their group. Please contact our Programme Team if you have questions about the specific activities a leader would need to be able to take part in.
Yes, leaders must be physically fit enough to participate in the activities. Leaders are responsible for their group, including managing behaviour and attending to any first aid needs, at all times. Therefore, it is not possible for leaders to send participants on an activity without participating themselves.
Leaders should also be able to lead by example and encourage their youth participants to participate in physically demanding activities, especially in Explore, Adventure, Walking Week, Hiking Week, and Autumn in the Alps events. The exception to this is activities at the adventure park, where leaders must complete the walk to/from the park and remain in the park for the duration of the activities, but are not required to participate in the activities.
Groups that have extra leaders, e.g. leaders who are fulfilling the role of carer for a young person with a disability, may not need all leaders to be able to participate in all activities. Please enquire about this at the time of booking.
Groups (8+ people) participating in an Our Chalet event programme (including Discover, Explore, and Adventure) and staying for the entire event on the campsite may book one free caterer place.
The caterer must be age 18+. The caterer is provided with free camping accommodation for the duration of the event.
The aim of the free caterer place is to allow groups to camp and take part in the full event programme by providing a lower cost option for an additional leader to attend and take care of the group's meal prep. Due to the busy programme schedule there is otherwise very limited time for meal prep and clean up.
Adults attending as a free caterer may not join programme activities (even at additional cost). However, groups are welcome to rotate which adult takes on the caterer role each day. This allows all leaders to take part in some programme. Adults taking part in programme must be physically fit enough to fully participate in the activities and the group must have at least one adult on programme capable of providing first aid to their own group.
To book a free caterer place, simply request this when making a camping group booking for an event.
Our Chalet has a small shop selling souvenirs, postcards, stamps, and snacks. The shop is usually open from 08:00-09:00 and 16:00-18:00 (winter) or 16:30-18:30 (summer). Opening hours may vary and are posted on the shop window.
The shop will also be opened for those taking part in a tour of the site and/or a pinning ceremony.
We are able to accept cash in Swiss Francs only, we cannot accept euros or any other currency. We accept all major credit and debit cards. We do not currently accept TWINT.
We also have an online shop, which sells a different range of clothing, stickers, and tote bags than that available in our onsite shop. You can visit our online shop here.
The Our Chalet shop sells a small range of snacks including soft drinks, chocolate, ice cream, crisps/chips, and fruit. The shop does not sell toiletries.
Groups using the campsite or Squirrel House can order groceries using the Coop@Home service. With prior notice Our Chalet staff can accept a delivery and store it until the group's arrival.
The nearest grocery store/supermarket is Coop in Adelboden, a 30-45 min walk from Our Chalet (5 min drive). There is a small bakery/convenience store next to Oey bus stop, a 20-30 min walk from Our Chalet. Please note that most shops in Adelboden, including Coop, are closed on Sundays (except during peak ski season).
Lockers are available to store valuables such as passports, laptops/tablets, and money. A cash deposit of CHF 10 is required for each locker key. The deposit is returned when the locker key is returned to reception.
Lockers are in area that is wheelchair accessible.
Skis, snowboards, and boots can be stored in our ski cellar but are left there at the owner's risk. There is also ski storage available at the Sillerenbahn station.
Our Chalet’s kitchen facilities are operated by volunteer staff and all dietary requirements are catered for to the best of the Centre’s ability. We cannot guarantee food to be 100% free of any specific allergen. Guests with food allergies eat Our Chalet meals at their own risk.
Guests must notify Our Chalet of all dietary requirements at least one month in advance of their visit, or at the time of booking meals, whichever is earliest. Notification later than this may mean Our Chalet is not able to cater for the required special diet. In some cases special diet meals may be offered only at an additional cost. Guests with severe and/or contact allergies must note this on their Personal Details Form and be aware that we cannot guarantee that other guests will not bring allergens on to the Our Chalet site.
Our Chalet is located in rural Switzerland and is not able to source as many special diet options as would be available in other countries and/or larger cities. This particularly applies to snack foods. We recommend guests who follow a special diet, including gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free, bring some snacks with them to supplement what Our Chalet is able to offer.
Ticks are present across most of Switzerland, including in the Adelboden area, where Our Chalet is located. Ticks in Switzerland can carry two diseases: ticborne encepahlitis and Lyme disease. While the risk of visitors contracting one of these diseases is low, Our Chalet recommends all guests, including day tour visitors, take appropriate care to reduce the risk of tick bites and infection.
Information on how to prevent tick bites and how to reduce the risk of infection if you are bitten can be found here.
Our Chalet is not able to provide medical advice; therefore we cannot tell guests whether or not to get vaccinated against ticborne encephalitis.
We recommend guests consult their own doctor for advice on whether or not the vaccine is necessary and suitable for them. The following information can be used to aid in making a decision as to whether or not to get vaccinated:
- Programme hikes stay on trails; however the trails may cross through areas with long grass very close to the trail edge and/or through forested areas.
- Irrelevant of whether or not a guest has been vaccinated against ticborne encephalitis Our Chalet recommends taking preventative measures against tick bites and checking carefully for tick bites at the end of each day.
- Lyme disease is also carried by ticks in Switzerland and there is no vaccination available against this disease; therefore good prevention practice is important for all visitors.
- Insect repellents which are effective against ticks are available and guests may also wish to consider using these. Repellents are not sold on-site at Our Chalet.
- Detailed information on ticborne encephalitis in Switzerland is available here (in German)
WiFi is available in our common areas and is free.
A lunch box is a reusable, often plastic, box in which you can keep your lunch in without the need for single-use bags. In the USA some call the smaller versions sandwich keepers. Click here to see an example. A small lunch bag is also suitable. Whichever version you bring should be compact enough to fit in your backpack with everything else you need for hiking/day trips.
At Our Chalet we do not provide sandwich bags/Ziploc bags for packed lunches, so you will need to bring your own container for your packed lunch. A lunch box/bag may be available to purchase from our shop but we cannot guarantee to have these in stock at all times.
Indoor shoes are any clean shoes you can wear inside our buildings. Slippers, trainers/sneakers, and Crocs/clogs are all suitable indoor shoes. We ask guests to change into indoor shoes before entering our buildings to help us keep the floors clean and dry.
For safety reasons we recommend that guests wear indoor shoes rather than walking around in socks or bare feet. Some of our floors are old and wooden and may have splinters/rough patches!
Hiking boots, ski boots, snow boots and other wet/muddy footwear can be left in our boot rooms or ski cellar.
Jeans retain moisture instead of wicking it away; therefore once jeans get wet, it takes a long time to dry. This moisture on your skin draws away body heat leaving you not only cold and miserable, but more susceptible to hypothermia and chafing. It's better not to risk ruining your trip by wearing the wrong clothing!
For the same reason you should not wear thick/heavy cotton trousers (such as tracksuit/jogging bottoms) for hiking.
We have two washing machines (washers) and two dryers available for guests to use. These are relatively small front-loading machines (not industrial machines). The cost is approxmately CHF 3 per cycle in the washing machine and CHF 3 per 90 mins in the dryer. Laundry detergent is available and included in this cost. We also have a small area available to line dry clothing.
We welcome day visitors for guided tours, pinning ceremonies, and self-guided tours. Details can be found here. Please note we are not open to day visitors every day and we are only able to accept a limited number of visitors per guided tour. Please contact us to book your visit up to six months in advance.
Unfortunately, we are not able to offer any other programme activities for day visitors.
As a WAGGGS World Centre Our Chalet places girls and young women at the centre of all our work. Our programme aims to enable girls and young women to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world.
In line with this mission Our Chalet works to ensure as many girls and young women as possible are able to take part in the event programmes offered. To facilitate this Our Chalet uses an adult:youth ratio to keep as many Explore/Discover/Adventure event places as possible open to youth participants, while also making sure groups are able to be accompanied by the correct number of adult leaders to keep all participants appropriately supervised and safe.
The ratio is two adults (aged 18+) for each eight youth participants (age 12-18 on the Explore and Adventure events, 11-18 on the Discover events only). Those aged 18 years may book on to the event as a youth participant if they are a youth participant in their organisation. If an 18-year-old is a leader in their organisation they must book on to the event as an adult.
Exceptions to this ratio can be made if extra adults are needed:
- to provide support, supervision, or care for a youth participant with a disability or medical condition which means the participant requires 1:1 support; or
- to meet the international travel requirements of the group's Member Organisation.
Evidence of the need for additional adults to fulfill these criteria may be requested at the time of booking.
One extra adult may also be permitted for groups camping outdoors who require an extra leader to attend in the role of caterer for their group.
Adults above the 2:8 ratio not needed to fulfill these criteria may book on to the event at a later date and subject to an additional fee, provided there is availability. Full details of the adult:youth ratio and how to book additional adults can be obtained by contacting us.
Details of how to make a payment can be found after the terms and conditions on your booking confirmation. To pay by credit or debit card please call us on +41 336 731 226 during office hours (8am-6pm UTC+1) with your card details.
Our Chalet is not able to provide any medical care, except for emergency first aid. There is an automated external defibrillator (AED) in reception and staff are trained to use this. Staff have basic first aid training, however, leaders are responsible for the first aid needs of their groups at all times, including on programme activities.
Our Chalet cannot provide guests with any medications. We recommend that guests bring medications with them as preferred brand/type of medication may not be available in Switzerland. Most medications (including basic painkillers, anti-histamines, etc.) are only available to buy in pharmacies, which have limited opening hours.
There is a doctor's practice in Adelboden with English speaking doctors. The practice has x-ray facilities and can handle non-life threatening emergencies. Outside of peak ski season the practice is closed most weekends.
The nearest hospital is a 20 minute drive from Our Chalet. However, please note, ambulances can take more than 20 minutes to arrive as they cover a large, rural area. It is the responsibility of all guests to ensure they have appropriate travel medical insurance.
Contact Our Team
If you still have any questions please contact us so we can provide support for your trip.