Jemand mit Wanderschuhen in den Bergen, Nahaufnahme.


Five long-distance hikes in Switzerland

  • #Hiking
  • #Trekking
Portraitfoto von Jessica
Marketing, Zurich Office
© Fotos

Got a big appetite for long-distance hiking? Do you want your next hike to be really long, rather than just one or two days? We’ve picked out five long-distance hikes in Switzerland to inspire you.

Is a one-day hike just not enough for you? Here are five multi-day treks. Choose the long-distance hiking trail that suits you and discover new regions and landscapes in your own country, whether it’s in eastern or western Switzerland, in the mountains, in the valley or along a lake.

Five days: Four Headwaters Trail

As the name implies, water will be your constant companion right along this five-day hike in the impressive Gotthard Massif. It leads to the sources of four rivers: the Rhine, Reuss, Ticino and Rhone. In terms of numbers, this route has much to offer: the 81-kilometre hiking trail leads you through four cantons and crosses six passes: the Maighels, Sella, Gotthard, Lucendro, Nufenen and Furka. Starting in Andermatt, trail number 49 offers a rich variety of nature: picturesque wetlands alternate with longer sections above the tree line. During daily stages of between 4.5 and 6.5 hours hiking time, you will pass through unique alpine landscapes featuring an enormous array of plants and animals. En route, you will also discover the tallest wind turbine in Europe, a historic stone bridge and typical Walser houses.

How to plan a long-distance hike

Thorough planning is key to a safe and enjoyable hike: before you go, please check the route and weather conditions, required safety precautions, fitness and technical specifications and accommodation options with the local information centre. The routes presented here may be closed or blocked depending on the time of year and weather conditions. Find out about conservation areas and adhere to the relevant legal regulations if you are spending the night outdoors. Also worth considering is where you’ll fill up your water. How much weight can I carry over long distances? What equipment do I need?

Seven days: the Waldstätterweg

If you just can’t get enough of one of Switzerland’s most impressive lake landscapes, then the Waldstätterweg is exactly what you’re looking for. The cultural trail runs along all sides of Lake Lucerne. It combines charming landscapes and fantastic views with this centrepiece of Swiss history. The 115 kilometres are split between lakeside paths, mountain trails and urban promenades with daily stages lasting between 4.5 and 6.5 hours. The start point is Brunnen, the finish is Rütli. If you join the ‘Weg der Schweiz (Swiss Path)’, you can add two more stages and walk around the entire lake.

Seven days: the Bernina Trek

A Swiss all-time great and rightly so: this trail leads from one SAC hut to the next, from the beautiful Albula Valley, across the impressive Julier region, to the Bernina region and ends up in the lovely Poschiavo Valley. The daily stages of this classic route take between eight and ten hours and are suitable for hikers with good fitness levels. The stages take you through romantic forests and the mighty Alps. If you prefer a more leisurely pace, then the ‘Pachific’ option is ideal: with extra overnight stays, you can shorten the stages and explore the UNESCO World Heritage route of the Rhaetian Railway, for example.

Hütte auf dem Bernina-Trek, im Hintergrund Berge und ein Gletscher.
Photo ©

Eleven days: Grand Tour des Vanils

On foot, Alpine shepherd style: you can hike and explore the beautiful region of the Gruyère-Pays d’Enhaut Nature Park for up to eleven days on the Grand Tour des Vanils. Treat yourself to breathtaking panoramic views of the diversity of the Alpine foothills and encounter active alpine farming, inns and mountain huts. This multi-day hiking trail along imposing mountain peaks is ideal for experienced mountain hikers who know their way around and have a head for heights. The hiking time per day is between four and seven hours. Public transport allows you great flexibility: the start and end point of the 157-kilometre route is Charmey.

Up to eleven days: Via Rhenana

Technically easy but good fitness is still required: even the so-called ‘flatlands’ hold great appeal. From Romanshorn on Lake Constance, towards the Untersee lake, along the Hochrhein river, the Via Rhenana follows the water and the German-Swiss border on beautiful nature trails and small roads. The route leads past the largest waterfall in Europe, historic towns such as Stein am Rhein and nature reserves. If you want, you can hike to the lively tri-border area of Basel or even hop on a boat. Once again, the public transport connections offer great flexibility. And of course you can also walk the 170-kilometre route in the other direction.

Equipment for long-distance hiking

  • #Hiking

  • #Trekking

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