Switzerland is well-known for offering great scenic views to hikers. It is home to majestic mountains, glaciers, stunning valleys, and blue lakes. Everywhere you go in Switzerland, there is a new place for exploration. It’s a hiker’s paradise!
You can never go wrong when it comes to hiking. Our only advice is that you make sure you prepare yourself well before choosing to go hiking in the mountains. The temperatures can change drastically, and you may go from enjoying a hot blue sky to enduring downpours without warning.
The best time to hike in Switzerland is between June and September when there is no snow. If you choose to visit during these months, don’t forget to book your accommodation early, as this is usually a peak season for tourists, and you definitely don’t want to end up without any place to stay.
We have picked five amazing hikes that you can do while in Switzerland. Some of these hikes are beginner-friendly for new hikers seeking adventure.
Five Lakes Trail
The Five Lakes Trail walk is approximately 10km. This trail is in Zermatt, Switzerland, and the trail rate is considered easy for hikers. It is a beginner-friendly hike, suitable even for children aged 6-14 and above. You can use this trail not only for hiking, but also for walking and mountain biking. It is a loop trail passing through five mountain lakes: Grunsee, Leisee, Moosjisee, Stellisee, and Grindjisee.
Take a train to Zermatt; once you are there, take an underground funicular to Sunnegga. The funicular helps you to get to the steep side of the terrain with ease. Once you are at the top, ride the cable car to Blauherd. This is where your trail to the mountain lakes starts at 2,500m.
The trail starts off downhill. It will take you 3 to 6 hours, depending on your pace and detours along the trail. There are a few stops along the mountain trail where you can rest and have a bite before continuing on with the hike.
The mountain lake trail has an elevation ranging from 450m to 504m. The five lakes offer wonderful, unique, and breathtaking views for hikers. The lakes have different features and hues that distinguish them. You can see a beautiful reflection of Matterhorn from three of these lakes.
Lake Leisee has a children’s playground, picnic site, and offers an incredible view of the Matterhorn. This is the best spot to have fun with your family and friends. The descent can be a bit difficult. However, don’t panic. There is a funicular at the end which will take you back to Zermatt.
Oeschinensee Panorama Hike
To begin with this trail, you will have to first get to Kandersteg, Bernese Oberland in Switzerland. You can get to this town either by train or car. Once in Kandersteg, take the cable car up to the mountain. There are signs to help you get to the starting point of the trail.
The Oeschinensee Panorama Hike is an 8-9km loop trail. This trail will lead you to the beautiful Oeschinensee Lake. This trail starts with a steep walk, but it becomes even as you continue walking. The terrain is rocky and a bit slippery near the edges.
You should be in good physical shape before you take this hike. The trail offers you excellent scenic views of snowy cliffs, waterfalls, and flower fields. These sites are a good distraction while hiking along the steep and narrow trail.It will take you about three and a half hours on this trail. The favorable hikes preferred by hikers are the Oeschinensee to Oberbärgli and finally to Heuberg. The trail rate is considered easy to moderate for hikers. Make sure you have good hiking boots too, as the terrain can be slippery towards the lake.
The Oeschinensee Lake offers a breathtaking sight. You may rent a boat and enjoy a ride on the lake with your family and friends. The lakeshore has a children’s playground, gift shop, and restaurant for tourists.
The trail to Oberbärgli is on the left side of the lake. This trail is a bit elevated but manageable even for kids. Before entering the forest, you will encounter some fantastic wood artwork by the lakeside. From there, the trail will become steeper. Thankfully, there are benches along the trail where you can rest.
Hiking in the Oeschinensee forest is a big reward for hikers. With every step, the view becomes better and better. You can rest up and have your lunch at Unterbargli, where you may see some cows and sheep grazing.
From Unterbargli to Oberbärgli, the trail is steeper than the previous trail. It will take you approximately thirty to forty-five minutes to get there. Once you get to Oberbärgli Mountain, the trail will change. You will start moving downhill towards the lake.
At the top of this mountain, the trail splits. You can either choose to go back to the cable car or move to the right to Blumlisalphutte to enjoy a more breathtaking view. When you are ready to leave, you will head back to the cable car and it will bring you down the mountain.
The trail rate is considered easy to moderate for hikers. Make sure you have good hiking boots before you start. For those who are afraid of heights, this hike might be stressful and challenging. The descent might be difficult as there are chances of slipping, and the narrow path doesn’t make it easier.
There is a toboggan run at Kandersteg near the gondola rail. This can be a sweet reward for you and your family after hiking the glacier valley. The kids will have fun and love it. This hike will take you a maximum of five hours if you have children accompanying you.
Aletsch Glacier Hike
This is a UNESCO world heritage site. This alp is in Fieschertal, Switzerland. If you are looking for a memorable adventure, visiting the Aletsch Glacier is the best option. The hiking trail is 12km long.
You can take a train or drive to Fiesch town. From there, you will take a gondola to Fiescheralp. This is your starting point to the glaciers. If you have a guide, you can meet with them at the gondola station or Fiescheralp.
The Aletsch area is among three mountain areas: Fiescheralp, Riederalp, and Bettmeralp. On a typical day without snow blocking the trail, you will ride your cable car to Eggishorn, at 2,880m, and hike down to the hut at Vordersee then down to the ice.
You should have warm layers and good hiking wear. This is because it gets pretty cold on the glaciers, even on a warm day. Once you get to the ice, that is the end of your trek. You can make a detour when going back to Fiescheralp to Marjelensee for a serene view of the ice.
Mount Rigi Panorama Trail
The view of Lake Lucerne from the Mount Rigi trail is pure bliss and provides you with a feeling of tranquility. This trail will offer you the best sights while hiking and is easy and beginner-friendly. It’s mainly flat with a few exceptions of steep places. This trail is 7km long and rated easy to moderate.
Make sure you have good hiking clothes and shoes for your comfort. The paths are well-maintained to make it easy for hikers. You can visit Mount Rigi at any time of the year. It would be best if you got to Rigi Kulm by train first before you start trekking through Mount Rigi.
At the top of the mountain, the blue and green valley views are breathtaking. You can sit here to enjoy the scene, take pictures, or have a snack before going back down. Follow the signs put out to direct you to Mount Rigi. Take a left on the trail when it splits.
The Mount Rigi Panorama Trails have an elevation of 2,550m. The trail is full of beautiful peaks, flowering valleys, and you can witness the beautiful sight of Goldau Mountain as well.
Along the main path, you will encounter small and short trails. You can make a detour for a short exploration and get back again to your trail if you’d like. Keep following the signs on the trail to Rigi Scheidegg to Felsenweg. You can have your lunch there and enjoy the peak view in the distance.
Before you reach Scheidegg, you will see your trail splitting into two. One of the trails is steeper than the other. You can choose to go with the steeper trail for clear and fantastic scenery if you don’t mind high elevations.
These two trails lead to the same destination where your hike ends. Once at Rigi Scheidegg, you will take the cable car back to your awaiting train.
Lauterbrunnental Glacial Valley
Lauterbrunnental is one of the more unique places in Switzerland. It is located between mountain peaks and rock faces. It has one of the highest waterfalls in Europe, hanging at 300m. It is home to seventy-two waterfalls, beautiful alpine fields, and gorgeous valleys.
If you love waterfalls, then this trail will serve you with the best sights. This glacial valley is also known as the “valley with many waterfalls.” This valley has an elevation of 795m; if you want an easy and relaxing hike, visit the Lauterbrunnental glacial valley.
The valley slopes gently, and the flowering meadows offer comfortable terrain for hikes. To get there, you will start your hike at the Lauterbrunnental train station. You will see signs directing you to the trails in the valley.
It will take you around 20 minutes to get to the sandy road that is flat and smooth. For the next 40-50 minutes, you will have your waterfall thirst quenched. You will be able to witness the beauty and enjoy the sounds of rivers, waterways, and waterfalls gracing the cliffs.
After an hour, your trail will split into two roads. One of the roads will have a sign directing to Stechelberg town. Follow the second trail that will take you to Grindelwald. This trail will have a slight elevation, offering a clear and panoramic view of the area.
Along your hike, you will go through a forest and pass rivers. This is before you get to the open meadows surrounded by breathtaking waterfalls and mountains. This trail offers you a picturesque landscape.
You might hike for two hours on this path, depending on how many stops you take. The town of Grindelwald is a mountain village among the snowy peaks. Here you will find spots to take a break, like hostels and restaurants, and once you are well-rested, you can go back to Lauterbrunnental or Murren and catch a train back.
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