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Location

Departs Zermatt

Difficulty

6-7

Challenging to Strenuous

Length

8

Trip Cost

From $3790 pp
twin share

Overview

  • For active travellers with a love of exploring and having fun, but prefer creature comforts.
  • Spectacular scenery and amazing mountain views
  • Superior lodgings

Fall in love with the Swiss Alps mountain wonderland of Zermatt and the Matterhorn, then get off the beaten track and discover the rural culture of Engelberg, with its 12th century monastery, weaving trails, shimmering lakes and fresh alpine air. Enjoy first-class hospitality on this trek, all with an experienced hiking guide and like-minded people.

When you arrive in Zermatt (1600m) you will be stunned by the speed at which you become hopelessly obsessed with the sharks-tooth Matterhorn (4478m), the most famous of Switzerland’s mountains. It’s impossibly pointy shape sticks up from an otherwise uncrowded horizon above Zermatt.

The rustic village of Engelberg (Angel Mountain; 1000m) 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, which will take you to unspoilt areas of natural beauty that you wouldn’t have otherwise come across. Engelberg is also home to a famous 12th-century Benedictine monastery (where monks still live, teach and work). Other highlights include cheese tasting (of course!) and the spectacular Mt Titlis Massiv (3238m); the cliff walk will take you across one of the world’s highest suspension bridges!

This memorable trip offers a rewarding combination of physical challenges, new cultures, natural wonders, and time to relax in comfort.

As featured in Women’s Fitness Australia February 2018

Extend Your Holiday – City Breaks

Double your holiday experience by including a stopover on your journey! A city break is a great way to explore another place, indulge in some extra shopping, dining or sightseeing and is a great way to break up a long flight. Our fabulous array of RAW Travel city breaks can be tailor made to your requirements and usually include an arrival transfer, 2 nights accommodation and a city sightseeing tour.

Read more about our city breaks.

Are you a first-time or solo traveller?

We’ll support you all the way! View our preparation and training resources.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Zermatt

Zermatt lies at the foot of the Matterhorn. The town’s touristic development is closely linked to what is most probably the world’s most famous mountain. Zermatt is a car-free zone, has preserved its original character and offers almost unlimited possibilities as far as excursions are concerned. Today is arrival day, so there are no planned activities and you may arrive at any time throughout the day (please note that check-in at the hotel is usually around 2-3pm). Our hotel is located close to the train station and the centre of town. Meet your guide and fellow travelling companions at a short meeting at 5 pm in the hotel lounge. This evening we will have our first included dinner, where you can get to know your fellow trekkers and enjoy some excellent Swiss cuisine.

Day 2: Zermatt to the Gornergrat and the Five Lakes hike from Zermatt

Today’s hike combines the best of the mighty Gornergrat, which at 3000m has excellent views of the Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa, and the pretty Five Lakes walk. As we use the railways and cable cars, you have maximum flexibility to hike as much or as little as you like today. First we ascend by the Gornergrat railway to Riffelberg at 2582m, then we hike to the Riffelsee, where you can enjoy the views of the Matterhorn reflected in the lake. From here we continue to the Gornergrat summit for the unparalleled views of the Monte Rosa, before hopping on the train for the scenic descent to Riffelalp. Here, we start hiking again, on a spectacular contouring path across to the beautiful little Grunsee (“green lake”). We then continue across to our second lake, the wooded Grindjisee. From here you can if you wish return to Zermatt via Stellisee and the Blauherd cablecar; or you can continue on a looping track to the mountain refuge at Fluhalp and then a contouring mountain path down to Leisee and the Sunegga funicular railway to Zermatt. The timing and detail of today’s hikes may vary depending on the time of year, as we aim to take every advantage of the excellent railway/cable car network and give you the best opportunities to see the Matterhorn and the Alps at sunset and sunrise. Evening is at your leisure in Zermatt.

  • Ascent 450–800m/Descent 200–500m  (between 4 and 6 hours hiking, as you choose)
  • Meals: B L

Day 3: Zermatt to the Trift Hutte

We ascend steeply from Zermatt to the stunningly-situated Edelweiss Mountain Hotel at 1961m. Then we follow an ever-steeper trail across narrow rocky patht until we reach the Trift Hutte at 2337m. This is a true mountain hut, accessible only by foot, and with stunning views. No less impressive is the apple tart, baked fresh and providing a welcome excuse for a stop! If you’re really lucky, you’ll hear the magical Swiss Horn being played, with the echoes from the nearby cliffs making this an unforgettable experience. Once we are refreshed and revived, we continue on our journey, ascending in zigzags until we turn a corner and at 2600m have a sudden splendid view of the Matterhorn. We descend steeply in zigzags until we reach a point when we can contour around to the traditional hamlet of Zmutt, where there is no car access and the village remains much as it was 100 years ago – but with the added advantage of a cafe where we can get refreshments! Then we descend on a gentle track to Zermatt.

Please note, it is possible to shorten this route and miss out on some of the ascent by taking another, easier, path from the Edelweiss Mountain hotel; if you do so, you will need to be prepared to make your own way down to Zermatt from here as the group will continue up.

  • Ascent  1100m/Descent 1100m (8 hours walking)
  • Meals: B L

Day 4: Zermatt to Engelberg

Today we transfer from Zermatt to the smaller town of Engelberg. The journey takes approx. 4.5 hours, including a coffee stop at the magnificent Grimsel Pass en-route, and we aim to be in Engelberg by about 1pm, leaving you the afternoon free. There are many options for your free afternoon in Engelberg – you can choose to ascend Mount Titlis by cable car and enjoy the 3000m+ glacier walk and cable car ride on offer; you might wish to take a train to visit nearby Lucerne (45 minutes) with its historic medieval centre and covered bridges; or you could stay in Engelberg and visit the 900-year-old Benedictine monastery, and learn about the history of this fascinating town.

  • Meals: B L

Day 5: Engelberg Valley Hike

Using the local lift system, we enjoy a full-day hike in the Engelberg valley, with magnificent views of the surrounding peaks and glaciers. You will learn more about the traditional pastoral agriculture, and also have the opportunity to enjoy a coffee/rest break in a mountain refuge.

Dinner is on your own tonight and you can choose from a variety of restaurants in the village.

  • Ascent 800m/Descent 500–800m (11–17km, 4–6 hours walking)
  • Meals: B L

Day 6: Engelberg to Engstlenalp

Today feels like a genuine step into the reality of alpine trekking, as we set out on foot to ascend the Jochpass and cross over into the beautiful Engstlen valley. It’s hard work gaining the high point of the Jochpass, at over 2200m, but well worth it for the stunning views. We then descend to the beautiful blue waters of the lake at Engstlensee, and on to the tiny hamlet of Engstlenalp. Tonight we stay at a traditional hotel, with furnishings and fittings from 100 years ago, giving you a real feeling of the past. Although not ensuite, the rooms are full of charm, and we are sure you will love your stay here. Note that you will need to carry whatever personal effects you might need for an overnight stay up in the mountains. All bedding, linen and towels are provided, but you will need to carry your personal clothing and toiletries. Although today may feel a bit daunting, don’t worry – if you don’t feel up to the hiking, especially the big ascent to the Jochpass, there are cable cars available to assist you.

  • Ascent 1250m/Descent 300m (6 hours walking)
  • Meals: B L D

Day 7: Engstlenalp to Engelberg

Today we set off on a well-graded ascent to Tannalp. Our path is not too narrow or steep but is exposed; there are metal cables to assist as handholds but you do need to be OK with heights as there is quite a steep slope to the left. Then we take a delightful narrow path that ascends across rocky limestone terrain, with superb views to the glaciers ahead. This returns us to the Jochpass from where we descend to Engelberg.

  • Ascent 600–900m/Descent 300–600m (6.5 hours walking)
  • Meals: B L D

Day 8: Departure day

Today your journey ends after breakfast. If you have extra time, we recommend the following activities: the Mt Titlis Rotating Gondola, the Ice Cave and sculptures, the Mt Titlis cliff walk (if you are not frightened of heights), and a day trip to Luzern (50 minutes by train). Accommodation in Luzern is expensive, so we recommend staying in Engelberg.

  • Meals: B

Important information

Accommodation: The hotels used on this trip are comfortable 3-star family run hotels located close to the centre of Zermatt and Engelberg. The hotels in Zermatt and Engelberg have private facilities, although our hotel on night 6 does not.

Transfers: Zermatt is a car-free zone and any transfers to/from each day’s hike are shared and will usually involve a cable car. Your guide will be able to give you more information regarding schedules and timetables.

Terrain: Due to Switzerland’s rugged terrain, you can look forward to some exhilarating – but steep – climbs along rocky and sometimes uneven paths. There is no van support on this trip, so you should be comfortable with the Alpine elevation.

Dates

Start date
14 Jul 2019
End date
21 Jul 2019
Price
$3790
Availability
Sold Out
Start date
01 Sep 2019
End date
08 Sep 2019
Price
$3790
Availability
Available
Start date
15 Sep 2019
End date
22 Sep 2019
Price
$3790
Availability
Available

Inclusions

  • 3 nights in Zermatt, 3 nights in Engelberg, 1 night mountain hotel
  • Experienced and qualified hiking guide
  • Small group (max. 12 people)
  • 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Guaranteed to depart with 6 people

Not Included:

  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplement
  • All items of a personal nature
  • Mt Titlis Cable Car and cliff walk

Map & Guide

Reviews

Janice O’Neill, Quindalup (WA) – September 2018
The highlight was the experience of hiking in such a different environment to which I am accustomed.

Sherryn Tosch, St Lucia (QLD) – July 2018
I loved the stunning Swiss scenery, the sound of cowbells in the fields, and the opportunity to visit Alpine dairies and cheese makers on some of our hikes.

Margaret Jones, Hawthorn East (VIC) – July 2018
Zermatt was an excellent choice for the first part of the Swiss Alps tour. Just loved everything about this area of the Alps. The Matterhorn, OMG, so majestic, my first view of it from the village actually made me weak at the knees! The glacial valleys, the snow-covered peaks, the views from Gornergrat, the lakes, the rugged trails, the waterfall – all magnificent and worth the effort to explore. Would definitely go back to Zermatt to spend more time exploring the area.

Debra Carey, Miranda (NSW) – July 2018
WOW! The Swiss Alps and our guide David exceeded our expectations. The scenery was absolutely amazing and Dave carefully planned each day’s hike around weather forecasts brilliantly. We are so happy we booked this hike!

Kylee Delios, Kew (VIC) – September 2017
Hiked the Swiss Alps. It was absolutely breathtaking. Such astounding scenery that it made you want to crack open a chocolate bar at the top of every peak. The organising, guides and overall knowledge was fabulous as was the accommodations. Great experience and I definitely will be climbing another mountain with RAW Travel in the future.

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What our Clients Say

Absolutely breathtaking. Such astounding scenery that it made you want to crack open a chocolate bar at the top of every peak! Great experience. I definitely will be climbing another mountain with RAW.

Kylee Delios, Kew (VIC) – Sep 2017

WOW! The Swiss Alps and our guide David exceeded our expectations. The scenery was absolutely amazing. We are so happy we booked this hike!

Debra Carey, Miranda (NSW) – July 2018

The Matterhorn, OMG, so majestic, my first view of it from the village actually made me weak at the knees! The glacial valleys, the snow-covered peaks, the views from Gornergrat, the lakes, the rugged trails, the waterfall – all magnificent!

Margaret Jones, Hawthorn East (VIC) – July 2018

Loved the stunning scenery, the sound of cowbells in the fields, and visiting Alpine dairies and cheese-makers on some of our hikes.

Sherryn Tosch, St Lucia (QLD) – July 2018

The highlight was the experience of hiking in such a different environment to which I am accustomed.

Janice O'Neill, Quindalup (WA) – September 2018

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Trip Expert

Jodie Mayo – European Alps & Great Ocean Walk

(03) 5976 3763

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Trip Grading

This trip has a difficulty rating of 6-7 out of 10.