The best and most beautiful hikes in Switzerland! This post is your go-to hiking guide with everything you need to know about hiking in Switzerland, as a beginner.
Switzerland is a true hiking paradise for any mountain lover: thousands of trails, breathtaking views of 4.000m / 13.000ft high peaks, fresh air, and adorable cows all around!
In my experience, it is one of THE best countries for hiking in Europe and, dare I say, in the whole world.
Is it Easy To Hike In Switzerland?
Switzerland hikes not only fit and excite the best mountaineers out there, but they are extremely well suited for hiking beginners (such as myself 🙂 ) as well.
I consider myself a hiking beginner because:
- I have not hiked “professionally” before. The last hiking trip I remember was during my high school years. It was fun but tough.
- My trips to the mountains used to consist of riding the cablecars, enjoying the views at the top of the mountains, and then coming right back down again. So there really wasn’t too much hiking involved.
- I am in relatively good physical shape: I work out on a (somewhat) regular basis. I like to mix things up depending on my mood, so I do a variety of yoga, running, and strength training, but nothing too extreme.
If you’re reading this post, I’m sure you can relate. I wanted to write this to show how accessible the hikes in Switzerland are for those of us who are not “professional hikers”. That we too can experience the gorgeous scenery of the mountain trails without much prior hiking experience.
Note: I might talk about beginner hikers, but don’t confuse that with unprepared tourists. Please don’t be one. 🙂 All the hikes I mention below require good hiking shoes and appropriate clothing. They are not suited for flip-flops or regular sneakers.
(More on what to pack for a hike, in the section below).
Of course, these trails are perfectly fitted for experienced hikers as well who want to discover the wonders of the Swiss Alps.
So let’s have a look now at the best hikes in Switzerland you should definitely add to your list when planning your Swiss vacation:
12 Best Hikes in Switzerland
Gornergrat to Riffelberg Hike (Zermatt, Matterhorn view)
We’ve done this hike twice, that’s how much we love it! The first time we discovered it was last year, during our first trip to Zermatt. We decided to do it again this year, and we were lucky to have much better weather this time.
The Gornergrat to Riffelberg hike has one of the most spectacular mountain views in Switzerland, starting at the Gorner Glacier. Take the Gornergrat Train from Zermatt all the way to the last stop. From here, you will hike down with the majestic Matterhorn in front of you for mostly the entire time.
Make sure to stop at Riffelsee and admire the stunning reflections of the mountain in this beautiful Alpine lake. This is one of the most famous (and super Instagrammable) photo spots of the Matterhorn. I’d recommend coming here as early in the morning as possible, as during the summer season it gets very busy.
The hike is easy to moderate in difficulty and takes about 1 -1.30 hours.
Riffelberg to Riffelalp Hike (Zermatt, Matterhorn view)
Catch your breath and enjoy the views at the Riffelhaus restaurant and, if you’re feeling good, continue hiking down to Riffelalp.
This hike offers beautiful views of the valley and the Zermatt village. I highly recommend it.
It might get a bit tricky at times if you are afraid of heights, but nothing too scary. You can continue all the way down to Zermatt, but for us, it would have been too much for one day. Even though you are hiking down, it might seem easy, but it can still be challenging for your legs, especially your knees.
The hike is a downhill descent, with moderate difficulty, and takes about 1h 30min to complete.
Blauherd to Sunnega Hike (Zermatt, Matterhorn view)
This is my favorite of all the hikes we’ve done in Switzerland this year and you will surely see why! There is no other hike that offers such stunning, panoramic views of the Matterhorn, and all the other peaks around.
First, take the cable car from Zermatt all the way to Rothron, the views are even more incredible from up there. To reach Rothron, you will have to change cable cars at Sunnega and Blauherd. On your way down, get out at Blauherd and continue the rest of the journey on foot to Sunnega.
You’ll have a chance to see Stellisee Lake if you don’t mind adding a few extra minutes to your hike. It is definitely worth it! From here it will be 1h 05min to Sunnega, on one of the most exciting hikes you’ll ever do in Switzerland! You will hike mostly flat or down, always with the Matterhorn in front of you!
For more exciting things to do in Zermatt in summer, have a look here.
The Matterhorn Glacier Trail (Zermatt, Matterhorn view)
You will absolutely love this hike for its variety of scenery. You will walk on, and experience the fascinating site of a retreating glacier. Small, turquoise lakes and fast glacier rivers will accompany you along the way. You will also get REALLY CLOSE to the Matterhorn, and see it from a different angle.
If you prefer to hike down, start this hike at Trockener Steg (at almost 3.000m altitude), which you can reach via the Matterhorn Glacier Paradise cable car from Zermatt. From here follow the signs to Schwarzsee.
This was one of the more challenging hikes we did in Switzerland, in a way that the terrain is more difficult, with bigger rocks on the path and several sections of an uphill climb.
It is marked as moderate in difficulty on official sites and they say it takes 2 hours. With a short stop for lunch and pictures, going at a comfortable pace, we completed it in 3 hours.
PRO TIP: Zermatt is the best place to use as a base if you are planning to hike in this area of Switzerland. We stayed at the Matterhorn FOCUS Design Hotel this summer and loved it. You can read all about our experience HERE.
The Eiger Trail (Grindelwald, Jungfrau region)
This is a must-do hike if you are traveling in the famous Jungfrau region of Switzerland.
A truly spectacular hike, starting at the Eiger Glacier (Eigergletcher cable car stop), and winding down to the North face of the Eiger mountain. You will enjoy breathtaking views of Grindelwald on your left side, down in the valley, and the snow-covered mountain peaks in front.
I recommend doing this hike later in the day (after 12 pm) if you prefer to hike in the sun. During the morning hours, it is mostly covered in shade from the mountain tops.
The Eiger Trail ends in Aplinglen, where a small restaurant with gorgeous views awaits you. A few meters away there is the Aplinglen train station, from where you can take the train down to Grindelwald.
The trail is moderate in difficulty. There are easy parts but also more challenging ones, with rocks and steep descends on the side. So watch your step and make sure to take your good hiking boots.
While the sign says 2 hours, we completed it in 3 with several stops for picnic and pictures along the way.
The Mountain View Trail (Mürren, Lauterbrunnen region)
This is one of the most impressive hikes you can do in the Lauterbrunnen area, with stunning views of the 3 famous peaks: Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau.
You can do this hike in either direction: start in Mürren to Grutschalp or the other way around. We took the “hard way” this time and chose the more difficult part: from Grutschalp train station.
It is a beautiful trail, starting off with an ascend through the forest which then opens up to gorgeous views of the 3 peaks. You can spot Jungfraujoch and Eigergletcher from the trail.
The hike is moderate to easy (some might say), with not that many rocks. We saw families with kids along the way so it was not that challenging. While the sign said 3 hours, we actually completed it in 2h 30min.
The Northface Trail (Mürren, Lauterbrunnen region)
A beautiful and relatively easy hike, The North Face Trail is a great way to explore the mountains in the area of Mürren.
It is a loop trail, starting and ending at Murren cable car. It starts off with an uphill walk on a paved road and then continues on an easy walking path (mountain trail) through forests, hills with charming wooden cottages, and stunning views of the Alps. You will have the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau to your left as you start your hike.
This is an easy hike, on not very challenging terrain (just some tree roots through the forest), as it’s mainly a dirt path, without many stones. Shoes with good grip are recommended to prevent sliding.
The Royal Walk (Männlichen, Jungfrau region)
Another easy yet impressive hike is the Royal Walk at Männlichen. Maybe “hike” is even a too big word for it, as it is mainly a road, but quite an uphill one.
I highly recommend going up to this point as no other spot will give you this incredible sight: you will see the Grindelwald valley on your left side and Lauterbrunnen on your right. Both of them at the same time! It’s surreal!
To reach it take the cable car from Grindewald Terminal to Männlichen. At the top, you will find an amazing kids’ playground and a restaurant. Perfect spot for lunch or dinner, high up in the mountains.
Blumental Panorama Trail (Mürren, Lauterbrunnen region)
The Blumental Panorama Trail starts at the Mürren cable car station. You will go over the Mürrenbach bridge, to Supenalp restaurant, and continue to Allemendhubel.
This is an easy hike, around 1h long. If you are doing the Mürren Mountain View Trail, you will walk this trail as well, so it will be a 2-in-1. 🙂 The Panorama Trail offers impressive views of the mountains and the village Murren from above.
Lauterbrunnen To Stechelberg & The Trümmelbach Falls
This isn’t really a hike, more of a walk on a flat surface, but due to its impressive views, I believe it deserves a place on our list.
The path will take you along the Lauterbrunnen Valley, past waterfalls and high mountain walls. It starts in Lauterbrunnen, near the Staubbach Falls.
While you are here, you could also check out the Trümmelbach Falls, an incredibly impressive natural phenomenon. You will see 10 glacier waterfalls carve their way through the inside of a mountain at mindblowing speed. The entry ticket is 14CHF and that gives you access to the elevator in case you don’t want to hike yourself. Definitely take it on the way up, it’s a great experience as you can see the tunnel that has been created inside the mountain through its glass ceiling.
On the way down, you should take the stairs as you’ll have a great view of the Lauterbrunnen Valley from there.
Stoos Ridge Hike (Klingenstock to Fronalpstock, Schwyz)
The ridge hike from Klingenstock to Fronalpstock in Stoos is definitely one of Switzerland’s must-do hikes.
It offers incredible views of the mountains and turquoise lakes. It is a gorgeous (but sometimes difficult) 2h 30 min hike, with lots of stairs and some uphill climbs.
I wouldn’t recommend it if you are afraid of heights as there are some steep slopes on the sides. It is safe though if you watch your step and walk on the path. (I am slightly afraid of heights and I managed to complete it).
Jungfraujoch Glacier Hike To Mönchsjoch Hut
This is one of the most unique hikes in Switzerland because the trail is actually a glacier! Yes, you read that right, you will be walking on snow.
To reach this hike you need to arrive all the way up at Jungfraujoch, also known as the Top of Europe. From here, it is a 45 minutes hike to the Mönchsjoch Hut, the highest service hut in Switzerland.
We’ve only completed about half of it as we had to be mindful of the return time of our train ticket. Make sure to plan in advance if you’d like to do this hike, so you don’t miss your train. You don’t want to be stuck up there. 🙂
Switzerland Hikes – Travel Tips and Q&A
What to pack for your hikes in Switzerland?
Whether you are hiking in Switzerland or somewhere else, here are the essentials you need to have with/on you for a summer hike:
- Top/t-shirt from a moisture-wicking fabric (check out The North Face for some great options)
- a breathable mid-layer (love this one from Mammut)
- Leggins and waterproof hiking pants (I used them both at higher altitudes)
- Light windproof and waterproof jacket
- Warmer windproof and waterproof jacket (I used them both at higher altitudes)
- Hiking shoes
- Sun hat (super important, do not forget about it)
- Backpack with: water bottle (thermos), SPF for face & body, sunglasses, and snacks for the hike
Is Hiking The Swiss Alps Hard?
You’d be surprised, but hiking in Switzerland is not hard at all.
Now, there are some tricks that made our hiking experience easier:
- most of the time we hiked down. We took the cable car to the top of the mountains and started our hikes down. It was much easier than the other way around, believe me.
- always follow the path. The trails in Switzerland are very clearly marked with signs along the way and yellow posts that give you updates on how long you still have to walk and which way.
- most famous trails are a combination of dirt and rocks, but nothing too difficult that can’t be done with some good hiking shoes.
- there are toilets and shops at all cable car or train stops so make use of them before starting your hikes
- use hiking sticks. we don’t have them yet but most hikers we’ve seen were using these sticks and I am sure they help a lot.
Where Is The Best Hiking in Switzerland?
For the best hiking experience in Switzerland I can definitely recommend, in the order of preference:
- Zermatt (Matterhorn) area
- Grindelwald, Jungfrau Region
- Lauterbrunnen Region
What Is The Best Time Of The Year To Hike In Switzerland?
The best time of the year for hiking in Switzerland is July and August. During these 2 months, you will (hopefully) have the least amount of rain, lots of sun, and blue skies. It’s also when generally all the trails are open as the snow would have melted by then.
Final Thoughts – Best Switzerland Hikes
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on the best Switzerland hikes and that it was helpful for planning your next Swiss adventure! Happy travels! 🙂
Leave a Reply