Switzerland has magnificent alpine peaks, spectacular meadows complete with cows munching on wild flowers, a highly developed trail system (one of the best in the world), and quaint villages the likes of which you only see in movies. With all these things to offer, plus more, hiking Switzerland must be an experience not to be missed.
But before you pack your bags and board the plane for the Land of the Alps, you need to consider a few things.
Hiking Switzerland: Where to go?
When talking about hiking Switzerland, there are only three destinations to bear in mind: the Valais, the Oberland, and Engadine.
Or Wallis in Swiss-German. The Valais features many of Europe’s highest mountains with glaciated peaks and dry sunny weather. It is a true hiker’s paradise and perfect for a hiking Switzerland vacation.
Here you will find world-famous destinations such as Matterhorn, the resort town of Saas Fee and the Zermatt. In addition to top ski resorts and adventure vacations, Valais also offers numerous trails along ancient bisses and irrigation channels.
This includes the Jungrau region, offering you a classic hiking Switzerland experience of snowy peaks towering over green meadows. It is here that you will get spectacular views of Europe’s most beautiful mountain scenery, including Jungfrau, Monch and Eiger.
If you want something off the beaten path, then head on over to Gimmelwald near Murren or Wilderswil at the mouth of Lauterbrunnen valley. The first offers you beautiful views of the valley, plus accommodations in the form of a youth hostel and pension houses. The second provides you the unique experience of a small Swiss town.
Considered as the greatest hiking Switzerland region of all, Engadine in the canton of Graubunden is located in the southeastern portion of the country. It is a destination prized not only for the spectacular hiking it affords but also for the ambience, culture, and architecture it provides.
Where to Stay
Unlike in other hiking destinations in the world, backpacking or camping is not a practice in Switzerland. In fact, camping out is banned in most parts of Switzerland. So if you are planning a hiking Switzerland vacation, you’d be better off trying to book accommodation at the myriad of hotels, inns, and chalets available in most hiking spots.
Another option available is the berghauses, which are mountain inns offering simple lodging in a remote setting. Berghauses can be charming, providing you with a rare glimpse of what it is like to live in the Swiss Alps as the Swiss do. However, don’t be surprised if the toilet facilities are without showers and the often Spartan and bunk-style accommodation.
Knowing what to expect in a hiking Switzerland vacation is a good way to make the most out of it. That’s why no good vacation plan works without first considering all your options.