Hiking in Switzerland. A short walk along the trails

3 min. reading
/ 9 October, 2019
Hiking in Switzerland. A short walk along the trails

Leticia Peña Escribano Client Solutions

The Swiss landscape entices visitors and residents alike to hike and enjoy nature through trails across the country. Routes designed for all preferences and levels of difficulty make Switzerland a benchmark for hikers and nature lovers. When visiting Switzerland, remember to take a walk in one of the countries with the most trails anywhere in the world. Discover Switzerland through these trails.

Maloja, in the canton of Graübunden.

Maloja is located near St. Moritz, an area for winter sports enthusiasts. In the town that bears the name of the valley, hikers can start next to Lake Sils. Depending on the weather (i.e. in winter) you might even be able to walk over it. Going through the town and heading towards Lake Sils takes hikers to Isola, a small group of houses halfway between Maloja and ‘Sils im Engadin’. From there, the route to Sils can be treacherous in winter given the large accumulation of snow.

So, before embarking on any route, you should ask the local tourist office which one is best based on the weather and the conditions of the terrain. Hikers may come into contact with cross-country skiers on these routes during the winter months, crossing from one frozen lake to another.

Niesen, in the canton of Bern.

In the heart of Switzerland. Neisen, the ‘Swiss Pyramid’, arises between the cities of Thun and Interlaken. This mountain is reminiscent of the Egyptian pyramids because of its shape and the perfectly triangular shadow it casts on Lake Thun. From Mülenen station, which joins the base and mountain top at an altitude of 2,362m, hikers can take the funicular to start their route or begin the climb on foot. Those taking the funicular can get off at the halfway point at Schwandegg, then walk up the rest of the trail.

Here you can take a circular route that ends up at this same point. From this altitude to the top, this route gives hikers views of Thun and Brienz lakes and of some of the Alp’s most well-known peaks, e.g. the Eiger, the Mönch or the Jungfrau.

Zermatt, in the canton of Valais.

From spring to the beginning of autumn, the town of Zermatt provides an excellent starting point for numerous hiking trails. The Five Lakes Trail is one of the most popular. It weaves around five small lakes, with the famous Matterhorn reflected on some of the lakes’ surfaces.

It is an easy trail, but at an altitude of over 2,000 meters, hikers should take a jacket, even in summer. Each of the five lakes has its own characteristics, with rest stops all along the trail.

Before starting any trail, remember to check with the local tourist offices to find out which one is the most appropriate for the time of year, your physical condition or the weather forecast that day.

Swiss routes in figures:

  • Switzerland’s hiking path network is around 65,000 kilometers long.
  • There are three types of trails in Switzerland:
    • 63% are hiking trails.
    • 33% are mountain trails.
    • Nearly 1% are alpine trains, for the most experienced hikers. These trails require the use of a compass, rope, an ax, and crampons.
  • There is an average of 1.9km of hiking trails per square kilometer in Switzerland.
  • Graubünden, Bern, and Valais have the most hiking trails of any Swiss cantons.
  • 10% of hiking trails are by the waterside, along a river or around a lake.
  • hiking trails are by the waterside 69 trails are obstacle-free, prepared for people in wheelchairs.

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