For those living under a cave, Switzerland, officially known as the Swiss Confederation, is a country at the confluence of Western, Central, and Southern Europe. Switzerland shares borders with Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the east, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.
Evidently, being a landlocked country in the temperate region of the world, it experiences cool temperatures and is an obvious destination for hiking, trusts me, hiking in Switzerland is big.
So, now you might be wondering how to prepare yourself for a hike. Well, there are a few critical factors to keep in mind before you go hiking in Switzerland. Just like hiking anywhere in the world, hiking in the Switzerland mountains can get treacherous or tricky if you’re not prepared for it.
Weather in the mountains can really differ from time to time, making hiking a bit challenging in Switzerland. It’s essential to have a weather app, Google Maps, or any Maps app that works well in the region you’re traveling to. Be prepared not only to have secondary warm clothes but also to carry some regular medicines for dizziness. Also, carry an umbrella, I don’t have to tell you how important it is.
The best time for visiting Switzerland would be in June, and the hiking season continues until late September, or ever October, depending on the weather. Global warming, anyone? Since the best time for hiking in Switzerland is the same for everyone, it could get pretty crowded with people looking to spend some quality time.
So, it’s best to plan and book accommodation way ahead of time, to be sure to have a place, especially for places like Lucerne, Interlaken, or Zermatt. If you’re looking to avoid the crowd (who isn’t), you could find a good time to go hiking in Switzerland; now only your only hope is too many people don’t get the same radical idea you.
Jokes aside, temps are lower, you’d get to see the beautiful colors of fall, and if you’re a lover of colder temperature, well, it’s a win-win…
Before we finally attack our subject at hand, hiking in Switzerland, we should know what kind of clothing to have on ourselves to not die of hypothermia in the name of having a good time. The best idea is to layer it without thinking too much.
Temps do fluctuate a lot on mountains, and you’d want to be prepped for that. Remember your mom layering sweaters on sweaters? Well, now you can thank your mom for it. Go, call her, worth the time, you’ll see.
Now that we’ve graduated from the pleasantries class let’s get to the tacks of brass. We’re going to talk about 5 spots that are just out of this world for which you would want to go hiking in Switzerland.
Hiking in Switzerland
1. Mount Rigi Panorama Trail
Okay, this one’s for the beginners or the faints of hearts, or for the people who don’t want to lose many calories. Welcome to Mount Rigi Panorama Trail, one of the better places for hiking in Switzerland.
It’s a 7 km, almost flat except-for-some-places hike, and it offers some of the best views you’d get to see in entire Switzerland. For the most part, the trail is dirt and gravel, but the path has been well-maintained to make it easy for the aforementioned group at really any time of the year.
The trail has an already high-altitude beginning at the top of Rigi Kulm. The views here are amazing; you might want to sit on a bench and enjoy the views there.
On the trail, you’d see green flowering valleys, the Goldau mountain in the background, or even the blueish mountains faint in the distance.
Without spoiling too much, take the paths that are higher in altitude to get cleaner views. The trail ends at the Rigi Scheidegg cable car. You could spend some time there before taking the cable car enjoying the views once again, as you make a conscious effort to keep those views in your memory forever.
Being one of the highest summits in the Alps, this one is not for the faint of hearts. Don’t over-estimate your fitness levels, but if you ARE feeling confident based on real facts, you could give this a try. Even though this is considered a moderate hike, this one is for hikers who want to test themselves. It takes 8-12 hours, depending on your body fitness, of course.
The city of Zermatt can be considered as a good starting point for this hike. You’d want to start at dawn to make this a one-day hike. After reaching Schwarzsee Paradise, a restaurant will begin the hard part of the trek. After an easy one-hour easy hike, the weather starts to change, and you’d be quickly reaching the end of the easy part.
After a hefty 90 minutes of clambering over rocks, you’d reach the Hörnli Hut, where you’d take a break and probably spend the night.
From here, the trail goes down until the Glacier trail, from where you’d get an amazing view of the Matterhorn peak. Jump into the cable car at the end of the trail, and it should take you back to the city of Zermatt unless you want to spend the night near the mountain you worked so hard to get to.
3. Val Trupchun Hiking Trail, Swiss National Park
One of the best hiking trails in Switzerland, Val Trupchun, is not the one to miss if you’re going hiking in Switzerland. This is a 14 km hike, but with moderate terrain and near-flat terrain (ascent of 600 m), this is fortunately very doable for hikers. Overall, this is a more or less, 4-hour trail.
The hike starts from Prasüra’s car park. From the park, you’d notice the valley straight ahead, just keeping walking forward, and you’d greeted with beautiful spots to observe wildlife. You’d have to run into wildlife like deer, ibex, or maybe if the stars align, you’d see the rare Swiss bearded vulture.
Following the trail, you’d reach Ova da Trupchun. On the way, you’d notice two resting spots that you could avail for yourself. They some of the best views even of areas where animals gather. After this, the trail returns to your starting point.
4. Oeschinensee Panorama Hike
Another one of the most covetable places to go hiking in Switzerland, the Oeschinensee Panorama Hike, is an 8.5 km loop that makes you experience the deep turquoise water of the Oeschinensee Lake. It is located height above the town of Kandersteg. The waters in the lake are crystal clear, and it’s worth the pain to go there hiking if you’re hiking in Switzerland.
You could start your hike from the town of Kandersteg, but it’s kind of steep, or you could also take the cable car if you so wish. After you get off from the cable car, it’s only a 30-minute walk to the edge of the lake. Although doing this would not probably quench your thirst for hikes, but to each his own, I guess.
One of the best hiking loops you do around here is from Oeschinensee to Oberbärgli to Heuberg, which should take about 3.5 hours to do it without taking a break. Once you reach the lake, you can wander about and enjoy the different perspectives that nature has to offer up there.
You’d find a lot of adorable cows with bells tied around their necks, peacefully grazing away in the valley and on the path leading up to it.
The area is busy, with quite a few restaurants, places dedicated to kids’ playing grounds, and souvenir shops. Really a very popular place for hiking in Switzerland.
5. Parc Ela
If you don’t like crowded places, maybe Parc Ela is the perfect place for you on your hiking journey in Switzerland. Parc Ela is this huge stretch of virgin, untouched natural area in the canton’s heart of an area called Graubünden. It is the biggest national park in Switzerland. It has preserved villages with a living culture in three languages, Romanche, Italian, and German.
It is a place where you’d find traces of roman chariots, medieval forts, churches, hotels from the old times, and the postal carriages along with picturesque villages which, even today, stand witness to the importance of the history of the region.
Having an extraordinary culture, the parc is coiled up very varied. A multitude of vibrant colors characterizes the countryside… The natural park is a shelter to groves, beautiful prairies, profound gorges, arid country views that are enough to stop you in your tracks and make you gasp.
If you want to follow my advice about hiking in Switzerland, I’d recommend starting from the Hängebrücke Val Meltger trail.
This trail ain’t hard either. With an elevation of just 400 m, you’d do just fine, even if you’re not a proper hiker. This trail is mostly gravel and offers wonderful views over the valley of Oberhalbstein.
The trail starts from the village of Lentsch, and you’d find yourself in thick beautiful woods and forests. From there, you’d reach a hanging bridge by the name of Val Meltzer.
As you cover the territory, you’d end up in a single hut. Yeah, a single hut. It is apparently a favorite photo spot for tourists. Catch your breath, take a photo, Yay! This region also offers amazing views of the Engadin Alpine Valley region and a pass called the Julier Pass.
With a heavy heart, as you start your way back to the village of Lentsch, you’d descend through thick forest and deep-green woodland that would be branded in your heart and mind forever.
Having said all that, I hope to go through this article about hiking in Switzerland; you don’t feel like reading, but experiencing the pictures I tried to paint with words, that’s all I have really at my disposal. Well, what are you waiting for? Curious to see if your imagination matches the vibrant reality?
Well, you could see the pictures online, but it’s well worth the pain to buy tickets, fly there and gather a lifetime of memories by hiking in Switzerland, that’d also count for many rainy-nights or campfire stories.
These were only a few; many others were found in Switzerland, many other trails for hiking in Switzerland, just waiting to be explored. Here’s an article on the 20 beautiful walks in Switzerland: Top 20 best walks and hikes in Switzerland
While hiking in Switzerland, you’d want to take long exposure landscape photography. Here’s an article that elaborates on this topic: Best Ideas For Long Exposure Photography
With that, we come to the end of our guide to hiking in Switzerland.