We love walking holidays in Switzerland. The Swiss make it so easy to hike here! There are endless options, even for people with little hiking experience, and practically every town has a cable car or lift to carry you up the mountain. There are shimmering lakes to bathe in, spa resorts to relax in, and of course majestic views and fresh Alpine air. Mingle with fellow walkers from all around the world and enjoy first-class hospitality in a country where English is widely spoken. Add an experienced qualified hiking guide, like-minded people and an awesome itinerary, and you may just have the perfect holiday!
The impressive mountain world around Zermatt is an ideal starting point for your Swiss adventure. Offering nearly 400km of marked hiking and mountain trails there are climbs and distances for every level of hiker, including relaxing strolls along scenic trails. It’s not all physical. The village itself has a vibrant scene. Try the traditional fondues and excellent mountain cuisine at one of the many restaurants, and stare at the mountain scenery while you sip a cocktail or two at a sun terrace bar.
2. The Matterhorn
The majestic Matterhorn (4478m) is Switzerland’s most famous landmark and the most photographed mountain in the world. It has a magic attraction and you will be stunned by the speed at which you become hopelessly obsessed with it. At the base of the towering peak that straddles Switzerland and Italy is an igloo resort with a bar and restaurant!
3. Five Lakes Walk
The 5-Seenweg (Five Lakes Walk) is in a class of its own among hikes in the Zermatt mountains. The views of the mountain lakes are superb – with the Matterhorn reflected in three of them – and the trail is full of variety. Our path leads past the lakes of the Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee and Leisee. Each of these mountain lakes is very different in terms of shape, colour, character and size, and has its own special attraction. Remember to bring your bathers!
4. Engleberg Valley
The rustic village of Engelberg (Angel Mountain) in Central Switzerland is more rural than Zermatt and justifiably famous for its summer hiking trails. Here in the countryside you’ll find lots of lovely traditional Swiss cableways. Farming families have been operating these small 4-seater gondolas (or chairlifts) for many years. The lifts will take you to unspoilt areas of natural beauty that you wouldn’t have otherwise come across. There are some scenic walks to be enjoyed and many of the farms also have a rustic restaurant offering hearty mountain food.
5. Benedictine Monastery & Cheese Tasting
The wonderful little town of Engleberg is home to a famous 12th-century Benedictine monastery where monks still live, teach and work. The heart and soul of the monastery is its baroque church. The altar artwork by Spiegler and the largest pipe organ in Switzerland add to the church’s uniqueness. The Monastery also rents some of its land to the nearby cheese factory, which makes hundreds of excellent different cheeses and is worth a visit too.
6. Mt Titlis Massiv
Experience a mind-blowing day at Mt Titlis (3238m). Overlooking Engelberg, it provides amazing views of a high alpine world of rocks and snow. You can travel to the top by a revolving cable car, allowing you to enjoy the views all around. At the top you can take a walk into the Glacier Cave, a tunnel in the ice of the glacier. If you are feeling adventurous, the Mt Titlis Cliff Walk will take you across a spectacular suspension bridge to see the mountains from a different perspective.
7. Grimsel Pass & Bernese Alps
On this trip we’ll take you on an exquisite winding mountain drive through the panoramic Grimsel Pass (2164m), one of the highest passes in the Alps. The pass road links the Hasli Valley in the Bernese Oberland with Goms in Valai, running through a wild, sparsely grown mountainous region marked by granite rocks and sparkling reservoir lakes. Expect twisty hair-pin corners, high elevations, steep grades and jaw-dropping views of the Bernese Alps. Scenes from the James Bond movie Goldfinger were filmed here, with Sean Connery in his Aston Martin DB5 pursuing Goldfinger’s Rolls Royce.
8. Alpine Flowers
Delicate Swiss Alpine flowers in full bloom are one of the loveliest sights you can see in the Alps. In summer, bright blues, whites, yellows and pinks will surround you in the meadows. Look for primroses, heathers, gentians, daisies, bellflowers and buttercups, along with the rarer high-altitude gems that thrive at higher altitudes.
9. Spa Accommodation
On this trip you will stay comfortable 3-star family run hotels located close to the centre of Zermatt and Engelberg. The hotels have private facilities as well as spas and wellness options for some well-deserved pampering! Also included is one night at the contemporary Hotel Frutt Family Lodge and Spa Hotel, right on idyllic Lake Melchsee. This hideaway in the heart of Switzerland is Europe’s highest-altitude 4-star superior hotel. If offers magnificent views onto the mountains and hiking trails directly at the front door.
This trip is designed to be flexible, giving you the freedom to experience the best of Switzerland, the way you want. Feel like you’re ready to go, go, go? We can show you the way! Want some downtime or prefer to head out on your own? No problem! Our experienced guide will make sure you take time out for yourself without feeling like you’re missing out.
RAW Travel 8-day Swiss Alps Discovery Tour
Length: 8 days
Difficulty: 6-7 (challenging to strenuous)