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Hiking across Switzerland on the Trans Swiss Trail

Patrick Kurmann

Hiking across Switzerland on the Trans Swiss Trail

Hiking Collection by Tamara

23-52

days

3-6 h

/ day

325 mi

48,175 ft

48,275 ft

The Trans Swiss Trail from Porrentruy to Mendrisio is one of the most varied routes in Switzerland. You will hike through picturesque landscapes, get to know the country’s different cultures and pass many historical sights. Along the way, you will find beautiful lakes and mighty peaks, charming villages and impressive cities. During 32 official stages and 520 kilometres (323 miles) of hiking, you will experience Switzerland at its best.

This Collection guides you through three different language regions, from the French-speaking part of Switzerland to the German and on to the Italian region. You’ll also experience this wonderful diversity in the architecture and the food.

The Trans Swiss Trail starts in the small town of Porrentruy. From there, it takes you over the hilly Jura mountains and to the lake district near Bern. Next, you will walk through the idyllic Emmental and arrive at the impressive Lake Lucerne. Historic paths guide you to the Gotthard pass, the highest point of the Trans Swiss Trail.

On the southern side of the pass the landscape and climate change. You will see the Italian influence in the idyllic villages and the Mediterranean flora and fauna. Next, the route continues through the sophisticated city of Lugano to impressive vantage points over Lake Lugano. Finally, you reach the town of Mendrisio, the final destination of your adventure which is known for its historic buildings.

Each stage ends in a town or city with a good choice of accommodation. During the high season, however, you should reserve your accommodation in advance. Thanks to the extensive public transport network, you can shorten most of the routes by taking a bus or cable car. Both the starting point and the destination of the Trans Swiss Trail have a railway station. If you only want to walk a section of the trail and not the entire route, you can, for example, walk only as far as Bern or Stans on Lake Lucerne. Other stage destinations are also well connected by rail: sbb.ch/de/home.html

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Trans Swiss Trail

317 mi

47,325 ft

47,625 ft

Last updated: November 5, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    04:57
    10.2 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,675 ft
    1,625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Your long-distance hike through Switzerland starts at the Porrentruy train station. Through the picturesque old town you walk to the natural history museum and the botanical garden there, which is one of the oldest in the country. After a tour of the remarkable garden, we continue across fields to the

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  • Intermediate
    04:07
    9.54 mi
    2.3 mph
    625 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The second stage is marked by the course of the Doubs: at Saint-Ursanne you cross the river on a stone arch bridge and follow the path along the bank. At the beginning you hike almost exclusively on curved nature trails in the immediate vicinity of the blue-green shimmering water. The Trans Swiss Trail

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  • Intermediate
    04:12
    7.90 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,400 ft
    725 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The first section of this stage continues along the romantic banks of the Doubs. A highlight is the red suspension bridge, which you can reach after about three kilometers. From the elevated jetty you can enjoy a completely new perspective on the natural river.

    

    At the old mill Jeannottat you turn left

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  • Difficult
    05:06
    10.9 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,275 ft
    1,875 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On the fourth day you leave Saignelégier heading south and hike across vast meadows and between mighty fir trees through the Parc de Doubs. Small villages and settlements are on the way and offer opportunities for refreshments. You can reach a very special place at the Relais du Roselet: Many horses

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  • Difficult
    05:35
    11.2 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,075 ft
    2,200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From Saint-Imier you can reach the granary of the Neuchâtel region via the small village of Sonvilier. It goes past wide fields and quiet forests through the hilly landscape. A climb to the ruins of the Château d'Erguel is worth it for the view alone.

    

    Then it goes through a cliff, a rocky valley, as is

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  • Intermediate
    03:26
    7.39 mi
    2.1 mph
    600 ft
    1,675 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The fertile plain of the Val de Ruz is an ideal hiking area. On the sixth stage, you initially hike through the wide valley with its colorful fields and quaint villages. In each one you can see a massive church tower that marks the center. The Trans Swiss Trail then runs along the forested and shady

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  • Difficult
    06:50
    15.9 mi
    2.3 mph
    925 ft
    825 ft
    Ferry
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    Stage seven starts off very relaxed with a crossing to the other bank of the Lac du Neuchâtel. From the ferry you can enjoy a wonderful view back to the city and the surrounding hills. Once at the port in Cudrefin, you will explore the Grande Cariçaie nature reserve. In the BirdLife Nature Center La

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  • Intermediate
    04:04
    9.22 mi
    2.3 mph
    825 ft
    700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You leave the historic Murten and walk south. You soon left the last settlements behind and immersed yourself in beautiful nature. Alternating between meadows and forests, the Trans Swiss Trail winds through the beautiful landscape. Numerous hiking and mountain bike trails run through the Galmwald, so

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  • Difficult
    06:44
    15.7 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,000 ft
    875 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The first part of today's route follows the course of the scythe. You hike from Laupen along the dark blue water and can enjoy the wonderful nature. Shortly after Thörishaus you cross the railway line and then keep left to follow the Scherlibach. In countless turns, the water finds its way through forests

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  • Intermediate
    04:18
    10.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    625 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The tenth stage starts in the picturesque old town of Bern. From the elevated Nydeggbrücke your gaze wanders over the Aare and the Bärengraben. The delightful stage leads you along the Aare: initially through the lively urban area, then through one of the most idyllic river landscapes in Switzerland

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  • Difficult
    05:38
    12.0 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    You can start this stage with a detour to the fairytale Worb Castle: Unfortunately, the complex is not open to the public, but the many pointed towers are also worth seeing from the outside. The route leads from Worb over the Worbberg up to the 923 meter high Lüüseberg. The wide view over the plain to

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  • Intermediate
    03:18
    7.95 mi
    2.4 mph
    300 ft
    25 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This route is determined by the course of the Emme, which gave the Emmental its name. From Lützelflüh you follow the course of the river and pass elongated gravel banks and river sleepers: these are perfect for a break in the sun. The old wooden bridges that span the Emme and open up completely new perspectives

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  • Intermediate
    03:28
    6.74 mi
    1.9 mph
    1,600 ft
    1,400 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This stage takes you from Langnau on the banks of the Iflis across the forested Hohwacht-Girsgrat range of hills. You walk through a mosaic of harrows, valleys and corridors typical of the Emmental. From the 1,035 meter high Hochwacht you can enjoy a wonderful panorama. Historic farms, Emmental cheese

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  • Intermediate
    04:14
    7.88 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,250 ft
    1,600 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Trans Swiss Trail winds from the Emmental up to the Obere Steinbodenalp. The views become more impressive with every meter of altitude and you hike through a picturesque landscape. From the summit of the Pfyffers it goes on a safe ridge to the 1,415 meter high watchtower, from which you have a breathtaking

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  • Difficult
    05:52
    12.0 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,225 ft
    1,475 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Through the valley of the young Emme you walk from Schangnau through a wild and romantic landscape. Splashing brooks, wood-paneled courtyards and colorful flower meadows line the path. The steep rock faces of Hohgant and Schrattenflue are particularly impressive. In the restaurant of the former bath

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  • Difficult
    05:56
    11.2 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,050 ft
    4,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The 16th stage takes you on a popular hiking trail from Sörenberg to the Heidberihubel. On the promising summit you will break the 1,600 meters mark and you can look forward to an alpine panorama. The Trans Swiss Trail brings you very close to the massive rock walls of the Rossflue.

    

    Every now and then

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  • Intermediate
    02:49
    6.18 mi
    2.2 mph
    900 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    At just under ten kilometers, this stage is one of the shorter on the Trans Swiss Trail and is characterized by the magnificent Lake Sarnen. From Giswil you walk along the picturesque bank. Ships, sailing boats and ducks accompany you on the first section of the day and you always come to small bathing

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  • Intermediate
    04:33
    9.83 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,025 ft
    1,725 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Right at the beginning of this stage you will reach the Ranftkapelle, which are located in the idyllic valley of the Grosse Melchaa. As a place of rest and reflection, the two chapels and the former hermitage of Brother Klaus ’surround a very special atmosphere. Wide hiking trails lead through the beautiful

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  • Difficult
    06:22
    12.7 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,275 ft
    1,125 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After a good night's sleep, you leave Stans and go to Buochs on the picturesque Lake Lucerne. With the turquoise water always in view, you hike through the small towns on the lake shore. After a good nine kilometers you come to the chapel Maria im Ridli, which is the pilgrimage chapel of the boatmen

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  • Difficult
    06:30
    14.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,050 ft
    2,125 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The first section of this stage is characterized by impressive views high above Lake Lucerne. From Seelisberg you follow the Höhenweg, which is more than 800 meters above the shore of the deep blue water. At the most beautiful viewpoints, benches invite you to take a break.

    

    When building, you descend

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    32
  • Distance
    325 mi
  • Duration
    158:14 h
  • Elevation
    48,175 ft48,275 ft

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Hiking across Switzerland on the Trans Swiss Trail

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