In Switzerland, you can hear the Alps beckoning from everywhere. You are surrounded by towering peaks that are covered with snow and old glaciers. All roads lead to mesmerizing mountain lakes that reflect the ominous peaks above.
You can choose between soaring mountain climbs and languid hills that make you feel little.
Switzerland is a hilly nation in Central Europe that is home to many lakes, towns, and the lofty Alps. Medieval neighborhoods may be found throughout its cities, like the Zytglogge clock tower in Bern, the nation’s capital, and the wooden chapel bridge in Lucerne. The nation is renowned for its hiking trails and ski resorts.
Here are some favorite treks in Switzerland to get you motivated and begin planning your trip.
Maanlichen To Kleinsheidegg
One of the best hikes in Switzerland for families is the one that descends through the picturesque Jungfrau region. The easy track, which starts in Maanlichen, is primarily downhill and offers stunning views of the well-known Lauterbrunnen Valley.
Take a small diversion at Restaurant Grindelwaldblick before reaching Kleinsheidegg for some of the best views of the day and a well-deserved feast. You can catch the train to Grindelwald or continue on to Wengen from Kleinsheidegg. The hike should last no longer than two hours, making it a fantastic choice for families with young children.
Zermatt 5 Lakes Hike
Zermatt, in the southern part of Switzerland, is a great place to start a number of outstanding hiking trails. You can’t go wrong with the lovely 5 Lake Trail if you only have time for one. The trail includes the best parts of trekking in Switzerland, including snow-covered mountains, alpine meadows, and glacial lakes.
With a series of stunning high-altitude lakes in your path, it is the ideal complement to this journey. The lakes are ideal for a swim after working up a sweat, and all three provide stunning reflections of the famous Matterhorn, despite being frozen. Be sure to stop by the Chez Vrony Hut for a treat before arriving at the Sunnegga Upper Cable Car Station.
Mount Rigi Panorama Trail
The Rigi Panorama Trail, an easy, seven-kilometer hike that is generally flat (apart from a few small steep spots), provides some of the nicest vistas you’ll see while hiking in Switzerland. The majority of the trail is made of dirt and gravel, but it is well-maintained such that it is simple to navigate throughout the year.
The trail begins at a great height, at the peak of Rigi Kulm, just at the line of the mountain railway station. Already, the views are breathtaking, spanning across blue and green valleys and clouds. As you wait to go, find a bench, get a coffee, or just take pictures.
One of the tallest summits in the Alps is the Matterhorn. It doesn’t get much more difficult for hikers who want to put themselves to the test than climbing a portion of the 4,478-meter peak that lies directly on the boundary between Switzerland and Italy.
It will take eight to twelve hours to ascend the Matterhorn, which is considered a moderate hike, depending on fitness, breaks, and any route changes made along the way.
The best place to begin a Matterhorn walk is in Zermatt. If you only want to hike for one day, leave as soon as the light comes up, locate the cable car line, and begin going upwards.
Note that the Matterhorn may get chilly even in the summer. You’ll need to bring a jacket and probably some layers with you on a hike this long in order to stay warm and comfortable.
Höhbalmen Alpine Meadows
The Höhbalmen Alpine meadow, a balcony filled with wildflowers with a direct view over the Valais Alps, is a short distance from Zermatt, one of the most well-known mountain resort towns in southern Switzerland. If you’re up for the challenge, the Höhbalmen-Höhenweg hike, which leads you directly past the majestic Matterhorn’s northern face, is among the most picturesque in the region.
This challenging 18-kilometer climb passes through scarce forests, meadows where sheep graze, a water reservoir, and offers views of Zermatt below. It begins at an elevation of 1,605 meters and ascends to 2,740 meters at one point.
The Eiger Trail
Many of the best treks on this list allow you to see the massive Eiger summit. But failing to obtain a first-hand experience would be negligent on your part. The Eiger Trail is one of the most rewarding climbs in Switzerland, offering stunning views of the north face of the Eiger up close, as well as the valley below.
The mountain, which is roughly 13,000 feet tall, welcomes a wide range of daring climbers who want to succeed in scaling the gigantic wall. This hike is not among the riskiest in the Bernese Alps, unlike the rock climb itself.
Lauterbrunnental Glacial Valley
One of the most well-known alpine settlements in the world and a must-hike trail may be found in the Valley of the Seventy-two Waterfalls. There are numerous short treks available in the Lauterbrunnental (Lauterbrunnen Valley). But this hike is for you if you want to see the best scenery in the valley. Beginner-friendly, grab your trekking poles, and get ready for a wonderful hike that takes you from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg while passing dozens of spectacular waterfalls. With only a slight rise and through picturesque Swiss villages, the hike takes less than two hours, allowing you plenty of time to explore the side paths on a nice day.
The Graubünden canton, which is located in the easternmost part of Switzerland, contains a sizable area of unspoiled wilderness known as Parc Ela. Although there are several walks here, a wonderful location to start is the Hängebrücke Val Meltger path. This climb provides wonderful open vistas of the Oberhalbstein valley along an eight-kilometer, primarily gravel path with a total elevation gain of about 400 meters.
The track begins in the town of Lantsch and ascends steeply through stunningly dense woodland. The Val Meltger hanging bridge, which was constructed to replace a previous one destroyed by an avalanche, can be reached by continuing down the path. Once you cross the bridge and continue walking, you will ultimately come across a lone Alpine lodge.
The journey begins in the village square of Maloja and proceeds down a trail that descends into the Engadin Valley, passing quaint mountain cottages and blooming Alpine meadows.
The settlement of Grevasalvas, which serves as the backdrop for Heidi by Johanna Spyri, can be reached by continuing on the walk. The trail descends till it reaches the old Sils-Baselgia church, then climbs once more until you reach Silvaplana, all the while offering wide views over the Upper Engadine lake and being surrounded by glaciers. You can return to Maloja via train from here.
An alternate that is considerably more accessible is Mount Titlis in the Uri Alps. Even better, the mountain provides a number of paths that range in difficulty from simple one-hour strolls to strenuous climbs that can take you to the summit of the 3,000-meter mountain, all while taking you through a breathtaking landscape of Alpine flowers and sloping, green meadows.
The Trubsee Circular Trail, which is less than an hour long and includes multiple fire pits along the way (bring a picnic), a lakeside rest spot, and easy hiking without compromising vistas, is a good choice.
The Hardergrat Trail
Amazing views of Lake Brienz beneath your feet and the enormous Bernese Alps in the distance are provided by the difficult but beautiful trek.
It’s not the best hike for people with a fear of heights because the ridge drops off sharply on either side. In fact, you’ll be walking down the edge for two-thirds of the 17-mile excursion.
For this reason, ditch your casual footwear in favor of climbing boots and hiking poles, which will help you maintain your balance along the razor-sharp ridge. Start early at Harder Kulm to ensure that you have enough time to catch the final cable car from Brienzer Rothorn.
Oeschinensee Panorama Hike
The 8.5-kilometer Oeschinensee Panorama Hike loops around Oeschinensee Lake’s deep, emerald-green waters.
Although the trail begins with a strong incline, it eventually flattens out. You’ll still need to navigate the rough ground of the path and frequently navigate around tight, slippery curves. This climb requires good physical condition to complete, however there are many stunning locations to pause for a break if necessary.
2.5 hours from Zurich, in the village of Kandersteg, the trail begins. Find the Kandersteg cable car and ride it up the mountain to start your journey; once you arrive, follow the instructions to the trailhead for Ober Bergli.
The sights as you pass tumbling and roaring waterfalls, snow-covered cliffs, and flowery meadows will provide enough diversion to make the walk more than manageable. This is the highest stretch of the trail, with some tricky footing.
Along the trip, you can anticipate seeing lots of cute cows with bells calmly feeding in the valley. There is no chance of getting lost or winding up on a separate track because the way is clearly defined. You will have completed half of your hike once you have passed the Ober Bärgli mountain lodge. The trail then descends till it meets the lakeshore.
What are you waiting for? Gear up and discover these amazing trekking places and experience a wonderful time with nature.