Nestled beneath the iconic the Matterhorn in Switzerland, Zermatt is a picturesque town that beckons hikers from around the world. It’s probably the best base for hiking in Switzerland if you’re after a diverse range of trails and hiking experiences.
Zermatt is a car-free haven, ensuring a peaceful atmosphere for your hiking adventures. The Matterhorn itself, with its distinctive pyramid shape, is a mesmerizing backdrop to your hikes. You can explore a guided Matterhorn highlights hike, or even try to attempt the summit if you're experienced enough.
Here are a couple of popular trails around Zermatt.
This classic trail is a favourite among visitors. It's relatively moderate in difficulty, making it accessible to a wide range of hikers.
The reward is the stunning, unobstructed panorama of 29 peaks rising above 4,000 meters, with the Matterhorn taking centre stage.
Be prepared for a memorable journey filled with awe-inspiring vistas. Hiking here, especially in the morning or during sunset, can provide unforgettable moments.
This family-friendly trail takes you past five pristine alpine lakes, each reflecting the surrounding peaks like a mirror. The terrain is relatively flat, making it suitable for all levels of hikers.
Be sure to bring your camera to capture the vibrant colours and reflections. If you're wondering what to wear while hiking in Switzerland, remember to put on comfortable shoes and pack a picnic to savour the tranquillity of this natural wonder.
For experienced hikers seeking a thrilling challenge, the Haute Route is a multi-day trek that connects Zermatt to Chamonix in France. The journey involves traversing high mountain passes, glaciers, and remote terrain.
Be well-prepared, as this is a demanding adventure that may require mountaineering skills. Make sure to check the weather conditions and have the necessary equipment and permits.
The reward is the sense of accomplishment and the chance to explore some of the most pristine and remote corners of the Alps.
Anyone wondering where to stay in Switzerland for hiking will definitely need to consider Grindelwald.
Grindelwald, a charming village in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, is surrounded by some of the most iconic peaks in the Swiss Alps. It's an excellent base for trekking Switerland’s Alps, and the picturesque scenery is simply unmatched.
Here's what you can expect when hiking in Grindelwald.
First Cliff Walk
This thrilling suspension bridge trail offers an adrenaline rush with its swaying platform and vertiginous drop beneath. The hike to the First Cliff Walk is relatively short and straightforward, making it accessible for most hikers.
Along the trail, you'll witness breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, deep valleys, and the stunning Eiger North Face.
If you have a fear of heights, take it slow and steady, and focus on the incredible scenery. Also, consider hiking in the morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds.
This scenic hike takes you up close and personal with the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, the "Oberland Trinity." The trail is well-maintained and offers a moderate level of difficulty, with some sections providing close-up views of the iconic north face of the Eiger.
Bring a pair of binoculars or a zoom lens to spot climbers on the north face. As you hike, keep in mind the changing weather conditions, especially in the high mountains. Proper gear, including warm clothing, is crucial.
This lovely trail leads you through wildflower-strewn meadows, providing some of the most breathtaking panoramic views in the region. It's a relatively easy hike with gentle ascents and descents.
You'll come across an alpine garden with an array of alpine flowers and plants, offering an opportunity for botanists and nature lovers to marvel at the diversity of flora.
When hiking in Schynige Platte, be aware of the weather, as conditions can change rapidly in the mountains. Layered clothing and sturdy hiking boots are advisable. Carry water and snacks as there are limited facilities on the trail.
Interlaken, strategically situated between Lake Thun and Lake Brienz, provides a convenient hub for exploring the hiking trails in the surrounding region. It’s one of the best places to stay in Switzerland for hiking if you’re interested in the country’s beautiful lakes.
The surrounding landscapes are breathtaking, and there are hikes suitable for hikers of all levels. Here's what you can look forward to and some things to consider.
Accessible via a funicular railway, the viewpoint at Harder Kulm offers spectacular panoramas of Interlaken, Lake Thun, and Lake Brienz, with the towering Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau as a backdrop.
The short and easy hike from the funicular station to the viewpoint provides an excellent opportunity to savour the beauty of the region.
Dress warmly, even in the summer, as it can be windy and cooler at the summit. Consider visiting at sunrise or sunset for a truly magical experience.
This is a leisurely valley walk that takes you along the lush Lauterbrunnen Valley, famous for its numerous waterfalls, including the iconic Staubbach Falls.
The path is flat and suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Bring your camera, as the valley's serene meadows and cascading waterfalls provide ample photo opportunities.
Be prepared for occasional wet conditions due to the waterfalls' spray and wear suitable footwear to navigate potentially muddy paths.
Known as the "Top of Europe," Jungfraujoch is accessible via a cogwheel train. The high-altitude experience is one of a kind, as you'll be surrounded by snow and ice year-round.
The hike here is more about exploration at high altitudes than traditional walking. Dress warmly, even in the summer, as temperatures at the Jungfraujoch can be below freezing. Be mindful of altitude sickness and stay hydrated.
Swiss National Park, the country's only national park, is a haven for nature lovers and hikers. If you’re wondering where to stay in Switzerland for hiking, this is absolutely high up on the list.
It's a place where nature takes centre stage, and you'll have the chance to experience pristine wilderness. Here's what to expect for hikers in the national park.
This trail offers a diverse range of landscapes, from lush meadows to rocky terrain, all within the bounds of the Swiss National Park.
The trail is well-marked and relatively straightforward, suitable for hikers with varying levels of experience.
Keep an eye out for the park's diverse wildlife, including ibex, chamois, and marmots. Since it's a protected area, strict regulations apply, so ensure you follow park rules and respect the environment.
This loop trail is ideal for those seeking a deeper connection with the park's wilderness. As you hike, you'll have opportunities to observe wildlife and appreciate the untouched nature.
Make sure to carry essentials like a map, and first aid kit, and bear in mind that camping and fires are not allowed in the park. It's crucial to adhere to Leave No Trace principles.
Piz Plavna Dadaint
This is a challenging hike, and it's essential to be well-prepared. Hikers should have experience with high-alpine terrain and be comfortable navigating rugged landscapes.
Keep in mind that you may encounter snow at higher elevations, even in the summer. Proper gear, including hiking poles and suitable clothing, is a must. Take extra caution when hiking in small groups, and always inform someone of your planned route.
5. Engadin Valley
The Engadin Valley is a hidden gem for hikers, with its diverse landscapes and numerous trails to explore. It might just be the best place to stay in Switzerland for hiking if you’d like to hike lesser-known, and less busy, trails.
Here's what you can expect when hiking in this region.
This hike begins with a picturesque cable car ride and leads to a panoramic viewpoint offering breathtaking vistas of the valley.
The trail is well-maintained and accessible for hikers of varying levels. Bring water and snacks, as facilities may be limited on the mountain. Consider visiting during the shoulder seasons or weekdays to avoid crowds.
The hike through Val Roseg takes you into a glacial valley where pristine streams run crystal clear. The terrain is mostly flat, making it suitable for hikers of all levels.
Since the trail passes through a wildlife-rich area, be respectful of the natural environment. You may have the chance to spot deer, marmots, and other wildlife.
Bernina Express Trail
This trail follows the scenic route of the Bernina Express train, which passes through remote landscapes and charming villages. The terrain is relatively easy, but some sections may be steeper.
Keep in mind the changing weather conditions in the high mountains and dress in layers. Visit local information centres for updates on trail conditions and transportation schedules.
Lauterbrunnen, a peaceful valley, is known for its cascading waterfalls and provides a gateway to remarkable hiking experiences. Here are some of the best hiking trails around Lauterbrunnen.
Staubbach Falls Trail
This short but picturesque hike takes you to the base of the stunning Staubbach Falls. You'll feel the refreshing mist from the waterfall as you approach.
Be cautious of the slippery paths near the falls and wear sturdy footwear. Visit early in the morning to avoid crowds and enjoy the serene atmosphere.
Accessible by cable car, Mürren is a charming car-free village that offers a range of hiking opportunities amid stunning alpine landscapes.
The trails around Mürren cater to different fitness levels, from gentle strolls to more challenging hikes. Be prepared for varying weather conditions and dress in layers. Remember to check the cable car schedule for your return trip.
Gimmelwald is a tranquil hamlet that serves as an excellent starting point for various hiking trails. The village provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
When hiking from Gimmelwald, make sure to have a detailed map of the area, as some trails may be less marked. The region offers a sense of serenity, so respect the tranquillity and nature that surrounds you.
7. Lucerne and Lake Lucerne Region
Lucerne, with its medieval charm and idyllic location on the shores of Lake Lucerne, is a fantastic starting point for explorations in the surrounding region. Hikers will find a variety of trails to suit their preferences.
Here's what you can expect when hiking in the Lucerne and Lake Lucerne Region.
The Pilatus Mountain range is a prominent feature of the region, and hikers can access it via cable cars or cogwheel trains.
Trails on Pilatus range from easy walks to challenging routes. The Panorama Trail, for example, provides breathtaking views of the surrounding lakes and mountains.
Weather can change rapidly, so it's crucial to check conditions and be prepared for various terrains, from meadows to rocky paths.
Often referred to as the "Queen of the Mountains," Mount Rigi offers an array of hiking trails.
The classic Rigi Panorama Trail provides uninterrupted views of the Alps and the Lake Lucerne region. Some trails may include steep sections, so ensure you have proper footwear with a good grip. During the summer, keep an eye out for the vivid alpine flora.
The lakeshore offers level walking paths, making it accessible for hikers of all ages.
You can embark on a leisurely stroll along the promenades while enjoying views of the pristine lake and the surrounding mountains. It's an ideal option for a relaxed family outing.
Remember to bring sun protection, as the reflection off the water can be intense.
These seven destinations in Switzerland offer a wide range of hiking experiences amidst the breathtaking alpine landscapes. Whether you're seeking challenging mountain treks or leisurely valley walks, Switzerland provides something for every type of hiker.
Remember to plan ahead, check weather conditions, and respect the natural environment to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking adventure.
You’ll also be able to find a wide range of accommodation options in each of these hiking bases. Just be aware that bookings fill up quickly during Switzerland’s hiking season, so be sure to make your booking early with us at Skyhook Adventure.