Switzerland is renowned for its natural beauty. The alpine meadows, lakes, and towering peaks found here globally enjoy a good reputation.
It comes as no surprise that Switzerland also has more than a few hiking trails, which are downright drop dead gorgeous. One of the reasons that hiking is such a pleasurable activity in Switzerland, is that the country values organization. Treks in this country are extremely well organized.
5 Reasons Why Switzerland is a Great Hiking Destination
- The trails are easy to follow. There are so many cool single-path trails to choose from. You cannot get lost hiking in Switzerland even if you want to. There are signposts at intervals with directions and time required to the next pitstop. One of the great things about all the trails in Switzerland is that these are government property. You don’t have to purchase tickets or obtain permissions. All you need to do is to make up your mind and get started.
- Interested in hiking a trail that’s been developed around a theme? You have a lot of choices in Switzerland. There are themed trails for bird lovers, woodland lovers, geology enthusiasts, and even sculpture lovers.
- Trails are dotted with inns where you can take a break during the day or spend the night in. These inns are reason enough to go hiking in Switzerland. These dens of cozy comfort are just where you want to be after a day’s hike. Enjoy a three-course meal and traditional wine while a cheerful fire burns in the fireplace.
- Summer hikes in Switzerland can be a gorgeous experience, and you don’t need to burden yourself with a heavy backpack to enjoy it. There are inns along the path, remember? A water bottle and sunscreen should be enough. Wear a jacket and layered clothing because the weather may just turn chilly.
- For many, one of the biggest attractions of the hikes in Switzerland is that the distances and difficulties present with a trail can be reduced using cable cars and funiculars. Lakes in the valleys are serviced by gondolas. Trek up a path and come down via the cable car, it’s up to you.
Let’s take a look at some of the best treks that Switzerland has to offer
- Burgenstock Felsenweg Hike – It’s an excellent hike for beginners and a highly recommended activity if you just so happen to be in Lucerne. Burgenstock is not a very imposing mountain and it has the beautiful Lake Lucerne at its base. Walking along the side of the cliff will allow you to take in some really superb views of the countryside. At the end of the hike, you can see the Hammetschwand glass elevator coming down to the lake. This is approximately a two-hour hike, which covers five kilometers. You can also enjoy a boat ride in the lake.
- Aletsch Glacier Trail – The Aletsch glacier is the longest in Europe and the trail leading to the glacier goes downhill, not uphill. It’s an ideal trek for you if you want to take in all the natural beauty you can without huffing and puffing uphill. This trail, considered one of the most beautiful mountain paths in Europe, offers views of the towering peaks of Jungfrau and Bietschhorn. Arrive at the Bettmerhorn cable car station and start walking towards the north. This nearly 14 km trek can be done in a little more than five hours. There’s also a gondola ride to enjoy.
- Via Engiadina – The Via Engiadina is an enchanting route above the Engiadina Valley and below the shining glaciers of Upper Engiadina that you can see during the hike. The hike starts at the quaint village of Maloja, which is also the starting point for entering the fairytale valley of Bregaglia. You will pass the village of Grevasalvas, where the classic children’s story, Heidi, was set. You will traverse classic alpine scenery with pine and larch trees, and you can quench your thirst at mountain streams. The hike ends in Silvaplana. This is an easy 13-kilometer hike that can be done in around four hours.
- Pizol Lake Hike – In a country blessed with stunningly beautiful mountain trails, the Pizol Lake hike evokes superlative praise from all those who have experienced it. From Zurich, this 5-lake hike can easily be accomplished in a day. There are five lakes to see, and these demand a bit of walking. It is best done with kids aged ten and above. This 10-kilometer trail takes you above the tree line, and you can complete it in around five to six hours. Do not miss the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sardona, and at Schwarzsee, keep your eyes open for ibex and chamois.
- Wildhaus – Santis Trek – An opportunity to catch a glimpse of Switzerland’s wildlife and view the awesome Santis massif up close, this trek in Eastern Switzerland is of little more than eight kilometers. This is a 5-hour trek that is classed intermediate in difficulty. It begins with a gondola ride to Gamplut and ends with an easy climb to Santis. There are gondolas that will take you from the heights of Santis to the valley below.
- Creux du Van – Located in a nature reserve, this natural formation stretches for 1.4 kilometers and drops down 150 feet. The valley at its bottom is four kilometers long and one kilometer wide. Located in Val-de-Travers, the Creux du Van and its surrounding forests are home to many animals and birds. The climb to this crescent-shaped rock requires some effort. It’s one kilometer long and passes through sweet-scented Alpine forests where you can take a break every time you wish to sit down, take in the view, or just catch your breath. When in this area, you may also want to visit the Areuse Gorge, which can be viewed through bridges that are reached through stone steps. This is a 14-kilometer trek that takes around five hours.
Other treks in Switzerland that are worth checking out include Uina Gorge, Hornliweg, the Oeschinen Lake region, and many others. There are so many trails and routes in Switzerland that you can actually keeping coming back to the country, simply to experience the bliss of walking these gorgeous paths, that mother nature so kindly offers us.