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Hiking in Switzerland

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Where hiking is concerned, there are few places in the world that can compete. Walks in Switzerland place you in the beating, glacier-encrusted, lake-speckled heart of the Alps. The world-famous mountains are the stars of the show, whether you’re getting up close to them on neighbouring high passes or gazing back towards them as you traverse the awe-inspiring ridges of their smaller, foothill cousins.

Hikes in Switzerland should be on everyone’s bucket list, the adventures are life-changing. Experience gorgeous chalet towns where traditional timber stores stand on stilts to save their produce from vermin and the melodic clonk of cowbells carry on the breeze. Grasshoppers leap along the trails and insects buzz in the warm, alpine air from wildflower to wildflower. Golden eagles patrol the skies and ibex and chamois perform unbelievable feats of balance on precipitous rock faces.

Difficult
04:57
7.36 mi
Difficult
05:02
7.82 mi
Intermediate
04:50
7.24 mi
Intermediate
04:24
7.17 mi
Difficult
05:22
8.12 mi
Difficult
04:00
5.54 mi
Difficult
06:33
11.9 mi
Intermediate
02:26
5.12 mi
Difficult
07:37
12.2 mi
Intermediate
02:26
5.46 mi
Intermediate
04:30
7.53 mi
Intermediate
03:30
5.99 mi
Intermediate
04:12
6.30 mi
Intermediate
03:51
6.06 mi
Difficult
07:45
12.3 mi
Difficult
06:47
10.7 mi
Intermediate
02:13
4.56 mi
Intermediate
03:09
7.56 mi
Easy
01:33
3.61 mi
Intermediate
03:10
6.03 mi

Top 20 best walks and hikes in Switzerland

    1
    Difficult
    04:57
    7.36 mi
    1.5 mph
    2,350 ft
    2,350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.
    2
    Difficult
    05:02
    7.82 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,700 ft
    2,700 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    04:50
    7.24 mi
    1.5 mph
    2,250 ft
    2,250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    4
    Intermediate
    04:24
    7.17 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,425 ft
    2,425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    5
    Difficult
    05:22
    8.12 mi
    1.5 mph
    2,625 ft
    2,625 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    6
    Difficult
    04:00
    5.54 mi
    1.4 mph
    2,025 ft
    2,000 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.
    7
    Difficult
    06:33
    11.9 mi
    1.8 mph
    2,950 ft
    2,950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    8
    Intermediate
    02:26
    5.12 mi
    2.1 mph
    725 ft
    725 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    9
    Difficult
    07:37
    12.2 mi
    1.6 mph
    3,925 ft
    3,925 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.
    10
    Intermediate
    02:26
    5.46 mi
    2.2 mph
    525 ft
    525 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    11
    Intermediate
    04:30
    7.53 mi
    1.7 mph
    2,550 ft
    2,550 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    12
    Intermediate
    03:30
    5.99 mi
    1.7 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,350 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    13
    Intermediate
    04:12
    6.30 mi
    1.5 mph
    2,275 ft
    2,275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    14
    Intermediate
    03:51
    6.06 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,450 ft
    2,450 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    15
    Difficult
    07:45
    12.3 mi
    1.6 mph
    4,525 ft
    4,525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    16
    Difficult
    06:47
    10.7 mi
    1.6 mph
    4,350 ft
    4,350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    17
    Intermediate
    02:13
    4.56 mi
    2.1 mph
    750 ft
    775 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    18
    Intermediate
    03:09
    7.56 mi
    2.4 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    19
    Easy
    01:33
    3.61 mi
    2.3 mph
    200 ft
    200 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    20
    Intermediate
    03:10
    6.03 mi
    1.9 mph
    1,400 ft
    1,400 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

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Some of the world’s most iconic peaks

There are so many incredible trails and fascinating places to discover, but perhaps the best hiking trails in Switzerland are those that get up and close to some of the world’s most iconic peaks. The Valais region is home to what is, for many, the quintessential mountain. There is only one Matterhorn and it’s in Switzerland (and on Toblerone packaging). For a close-up view, you can hike up to the historic refuges at its base, or hike into the surrounding hills where its striking pyramidal form is reflected in mirror-still glacial lakes.

There are few mountain triptychs as famous as the Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger in the Bernese Oberland. The Eiger’s legendary, infamous and awesome north face can be gawped at by hiking to the pass of Kleine Scheidegg, which links the remarkable Lauterbrunnen and Grindelwald valleys.

Lauterbrunnen is a hiker’s dreamland, with monumental limestone walls towering above the green pastures. Numerous waterfalls cascade from these ramparts, often falling so far that they are nothing but an ethereal, windblown spray by the time they reach the valley floor. 

The character of Swiss hiking

For multi-day hikes in Switzerland, you will need somewhere to rest and refuel after a great day on the trails. Whilst the charming towns and villages offer every form of accommodation, from simple hostels to world-class spas, perhaps the richest experiences are found amongst the myriad stylings of Switzerland’s mountain huts.

Most of the longer trails are peppered with these wonderful refuges, where your payment will entitle you to a bed, a hearty meal and often breakfast. It is advisable to book huts in advance in peak season, especially if trekking near Zermatt, Lucerne or Interlaken.

Hiking all year round

Walks in Switzerland are delightful all year round, though the main alpine trekking season runs from June until September. This is when the majority of high mountain passes are free of snow and the mountain huts are all open. Despite this, it is not uncommon for snowstorms, thunderstorms, hailstorms - in fact just about any type of storm - to swoop down from the glaciated monsters above. Always be prepared for all conditions, with waterproofs and extra layers.


In the lower foothills, your hiking window is wider, running from May into late October. In winter, the mountains are generally the realm of those wearing skis, snowshoes or crampons. However, some of the more popular bases have winter hiking trails through groomed snow that allow hikers to discover the sort of winter vistas usually reserved for those with heavier footwear.


Switzerland's best walks and hikes on the map

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