Switzerland is probably one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe if you like hiking and nature. The many lakes, rivers, mountains and valleys and small villages make a long walk absolutely worthwhile. Especially in spring and summer, hiking in Switzerland is perfect, because it is not as hot as the more southern countries. In winter there is snow in most places which makes it very special to go at this time of year. Below I recommend a number of beautiful hiking routes in Switzerland.
Lake Lucerne – Central Switzerland
The name alone indicates that this area is perfect for nature lovers. The lake with an area of 114 km2 is sometimes compared to a fjord. It is surrounded by high mountains, beautiful villages and the pleasant city of Lucerne . It is also a perfect place for camping and swimming in the summer.
The Rigi mountain is one of the most famous mountains in the area and here you will find 120 km of hiking trails. One of the most beautiful walks is the one from Rigi Kaltbad to Hinterbergen. This walk is 5.7 kilometers long and takes an average of 2.5 hours. You can reach Rigi Kaltbad by taking the funicular or a mountain train from Vitznau (a lakeside village). During this walk you will see the beautiful peaks of the Alps with their eternal snow. You will also discover the most beautiful flora and fauna and you often have a great view over Lake Lucerne. Once you have arrived in Hinterbergen you can take a cable car back to the starting point in Vitznau.
There are also several options for a hut tour through the mountains. You walk here in a number of days to different huts, where you spend the night. You can determine the duration of the hut tour yourself.
Valais – Southern Switzerland
Valais is a fairly large area in the south of Switzerland and has 8000 kilometers of hiking trails. Enough to keep you busy for your entire holidays. An advantage of this area is that the weather in the southern part is often better than in the rest of the country. Valais begins in the west with Lake Geneva and borders Italy in the south. So you can encounter many different landscapes during your hiking tours and you also have a wide choice in the length of the tour.
Most beautiful walks
One of the beautiful walks in this area is the one from Leukerbad to Albinen. This is a walk of 6.6 kilometers and it will take you about 2 hours. The special thing about this tour is that in some parts you have to climb further via wooden ladders. Starting in the village of Leukerbad, the trail leads through the Lochwald forest before arriving at the Albinen ladders. These were once the only link between Leukerbad and Albinen and were mainly used for the transport of agricultural products. Via the ladders you climb up about 100 meters to arrive at Flaschen-Torrentalp.
Just enjoy the view
In the restaurant that you can find here you can rest and enjoy a snack and drink, so that you continue walking through forest, fields and meadows until you reach Albinen. This is a particularly beautiful village that you can explore even further on foot. Optionally, you can choose to walk back to Leukerbad via a different path through the forest.
Interlaken – Central Switzerland
This city is located in the Bernese Oberland and at the foot of the famous Jungfrau mountain . It is also located between two beautiful lakes, namely Lake Thun and Lake Brienz. All this makes it a perfect place for the most beautiful hiking trails in Switzerland.
A recommended and fairly easy walk is that from Stechelberg to Obersteinberg. This walk runs through the Lauterbrunnen Valley and takes about 2.5 hours. This is the world’s largest glacial valley so you will certainly be impressed by the beautiful nature. In addition, in the summer you can discover as many as 72 waterfalls and see mountain ranges all around you, some of which have snow all year round.
From the last bus stop in Stechelberg, take the paved footpath uphill. There you’ll cross a river and continue uphill, following the signs to Trachsellauenen, a small guest house and restaurant near a 300-year-old mining site. Then the path becomes narrower and steeper. After this path you arrive at the Obersteinberg which lies at an altitude of 1777 meters. From here you have a spectacular view over the valley and the glaciers.
Pizol – Northern Switzerland
Pizol is a mountain in the Alps in northeastern Switzerland, about an hour’s drive from Zurich. A well-known walk that you can do here is the 5-lake walk. This one is longer and more difficult than the previously described walks. The walk is 10 kilometers long and takes about 4 to 5 hours.
Beautiful mountain lakes
The route is characterized by five crystal clear mountain lakes, namely the Wangersee, Wildsee, Schottensee, Schwarzsee and. On the Schwarzsee you can see ibex, chamois and, with a bit of luck, even eagles. You can also enjoy the most beautiful view of the mountains of Glarus and Grisons, the Rhine Valley and Lake Constance. In many places you walk on the eternal snow. However, this route is not suitable for the winter months. The hiking trail is open between July and October, making it perfect for your summer vacation. If necessary, you can easily continue your holiday on Lake Zurich from here .
Tips for hiking in Switzerland
- Switzerland has the best drinking water, coming from the many glaciers. So take a refillable water bottle with you so that you can drink this delicious water on the go.
- Take some food with you for the road because you are in the middle of nature and often cannot buy food. So it is convenient to bring small snacks or a picnic.
- Check the weather before you go, because it can also rain or be colder in summer. And in the winter you should of course be prepared for snow. Not all paths are then passable, so check this in advance.
- If you would like to do a hut tour, book it well in advance so that you are sure of a place in the huts.