I can’t think of many places in the world that are more perfect for a hike. Switzerland is an outdoor lovers paradise and the hiking opportunities could fill an entire book. I wanted to highlight just a couple of hikes in Switzerland that I have been fortunate enough to experience myself. Hopefully to inspire your next adventure, or at the very least, add them to your lifetime travel bucket list.
Zermatt, Switzerland – This charming little town is located at the base of the amazing Matterhorn. This iconic peak is so famous that even the chocolate maker Toblerone features its craggy peak on its logo. Zermatt is an expensive little hamlet but offers some of the most beautiful hiking I have ever come across.
I visited Zermatt on my honeymoon and wearing a pair of old blue Converse my new wife and I failed to convert kilometers to miles properly and ended up spending 12 hours hiking through some beautiful alpine terrain. My heals were bleeding but it was such a spectacular hike I didn’t care! Zermatt takes their views of the Matterhorn so seriously that the entire town is a car-free zone. They simply don’t want any pollution to muck up the air and this rewards hikers with pristine conditions.
If you visit Zermatt you will be able to simply walk out the front door of your accommodations and begin your hike on clearly marked trails. It took us about 4 hours to reach the base of the Matterhorn and eventually came upon a large glacier. This photo was taken in the middle of July. The best way to reach Zermatt is by train. For details about the 400 km network of trails that surround Zermatt look here: http://www.zermatt.ch/en/hiking
Lauterbrunnan, Switzerland – This tiny village is located in a spectacular valley in the middle of the alps. It is known as the valley of the waterfalls and you can spend hours hiking past 72 waterfalls that pour over the cliff edges that surround the Lauterbrunnan valley. I stopped here after our hikes in Zermatt and was blown away by the beauty.
The great thing about Zermatt and Lauterbrunnan is that you can simply strap on a backpack and walk out your front door to begin epic hikes. We visited this valley during the height of the summer tourist season (July) and were delighted to find our hikes mostly void of people. We were even chased by a loan mountain goat through the valley. This valley is also popular with adrenaline junkies and as you hike, paragliders float through the air high above you after they hurl themselves from the cliff walls above. For details about all of the great hikes in this area check out wikiloc here.
Planning Resources for More Great Hikes in Switzerland:
- 32 Most Enjoyable Hikes in Switzerland
- 5 Best Day Hikes in the Swiss Alps
- Grindelwald, Switzerland – World’s Best Hike National Geographic