What are the best hikes in Switzerland? Choosing your best hiking trails in Switzerland is not an easy task. From my personal experience, I can say hiking in Switzerland is the best way to explore the natural beauty of Switzerland. It might be a small country in Europe but you can find more than 100 hiking trips in Switzerland.
While there are many scenic trails in Switzerland that can be considered as the best hikes in the Swiss Alps, I have chosen a diverse list representing a variety of difficulties, lengths and regions of the country. So, for the travel buffs who are looking for where to hike in Switzerland or the best hikes in Switzerland, here are our 10 best places for hiking in Switzerland.
#1 Hike to Lauterbrunnen Valley:
Flowing over the peaks and valleys of the Swiss Alps through the stunning landscapes of Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen definitely deserves the crown as one the most beautiful hikes in Switzerland and in the world. Jungfrau region is very popular among young hikers and couples. When the snow is finally melted, the region comes out as a paradise for hikers
You can stroll around the Lauterbrunnen Valley with tons of waterfalls falling down from both sides of the cliff walls. The hike is not tiring. Even with your kids, you can easily reach to Trummelbach falls that carve through the cliff walls. This waterfall is the main attraction of this hike with its fantastic sight and roaring sound.
Location: Interlaken, Jungfrau region
How to Get There: Drive through town to Camping Jungfrau and park in the big metered lot just before the campground. Start hiking or walking south down the road.
Trailhead/parking: Pfrundmatte 419, 3822 Lauterbrunnen
Length: 4.3 km, 1-hour
#2 Oeschinensee Lake: Hiking in Switzerland
If you are staying near Interlaken region, it is definitely worth visiting Oeschinensee lake. Interlaken is the hub of most of the picturesque hiking trails of Switzerland. Among all of them, I will keep Oeschinensee lake hiking to the top of the list. The lake itself is one of the most beautiful lakes in Switzerland and the entire trail towards the lake is equally mesmerizing. Hike to Oeschinensee lake is ideal for the first time hikers or solo hikers looking for a stunning view.
The blue-colored lake is surrounded by the high Alpine peaks and cliff walls- making it one of the best hikes in Switzerland. Hikers can stay here overnight which gives an opportunity to view the stunning sunrise of Oeschinensee lake before the day-trippers arrive.
Elevation: 1578 meter
How to Get There: The most convenient way to reach the amazing Oeschinensee lake is to start hiking from Kandersteg and hike up to the Oeschinensee lake. You can also get there by a cable car to the top of the mountain and from there it is just a 30-minute walk to the lake.
Length: 5.1 km from Kandersteg to Oeschinensee and it takes around
1and half hour to complete the hike.
Please note: The lake is closed from mid-March to mid-May.
#3 Five Lakes at Pizol:
The popular five lakes hike at Pizol attracts a lot of hikers and solo travelers with its crystal clear azure water in Alpine Lakes and a marvelous view of the Eastern Swiss Alps. It is the most beautiful panoramic mountain hike in Switzerland with an amazing view of the Glarus and Grisons mountains.
Route: Pizolhütte – Wangsersee – Pizolhütte – Wildseeluggen – Wildsee – Schottensee – Schwarzplangg – Schwarzsee – Gamidaurspitz – Baschalvasee – Gaffia
Elevation: 2227 meter
How to Get There: Start from Pizol Gondola in Wangs and reach to Pizolhutte. From here the actual hike begins. It will take around one hour to hike to the first lake Wildsee. Then continue to the other 4 lakes up to station Gaffia.
Length: 10 km, 4-5 hours.
#4 Aletsch Glacier Trail:
Aletsch Glacier is one of the most beautiful Switzerland hiking trails with a great view of the longest glacier in Europe. The largest glacier in Switzerland is located in the southern region of Switzerland. Aletsch Glacier has an impressive size and scale with a wide range of 22 km up to Jungfraujoch.
Aletsch Glacier Panorama Trail is the most popular hiking trail in this region. The scenic trail goes alongside the lower part of the glacier. Te entire hike offers a breathtaking view of the majestic glacier along with 32 4000 meter peaks.
Location: Upper Rhone valley(Valais)
Elevation: 2180-2647 meter
How to Get There: Start your journey from Rideralp town and take a gondola ride to Moosfluh. You will find the trail at the top and continue on walking till Märjelenseen. Take a short break here and click some amazing pictures, then follow the trail to Fiescheralp cable car station.
Distance: 9.3 km, 3-3.5 hours.
Difficulty: Moderate. No previous glacier experience needed, but you should be well-equipped with proper hiking gear.
#5 Eiger Trail: Hiking in Switzerland
If you are looking for the best day hikes in Switzerland, the Eiger trail is an amazing one to consider. The most popular Eiger North Face Wall hike offers jaw-dropping views of the lush green Lauterbrunnen valley to Murren and also down to Grindelwald.
Eiger is one of the main mountain peaks in the Bernese Alps with Monch and Jungfrau that make a picture-perfect landscape. You cannot afford to miss this scenic trail while hiking in Switzerland. The view from Eigergletscher station is just incredible. You will have a close look across Lauterbrunnen valley to Murren. The great Eiger north face wall will be there at your right-hand side during the hike to Grindelwald. Late June to October is the best time for Eiger Trail hiking.
Location: Jungfrau region
Elevation: 2320 meter. 140 meters up, 800 meters down.
How to Get There: This a point to point hike that starts from Eigergletscher and ends at Alpiglen. Jungfrau region is well connected with Basel and Lucerne by intercity trains that run every half hour. If you rent a car in Switzerland then the fastest way to come from Basel and Geneva is via Berne. You can take Brunig Pass via Lucerne if you come from Zurich.
Distance: 7.25 km, 2-3 hours.
Difficulty: Easy. Don’t need to be super fit for this easy hike as it is mostly downhill walking.
#6 Rigi Hiking Trails:
Switzerland has a good number of hiking trails throughout the country. If you are puzzled seeing so many Switzerland hiking tours, choose Mount Rigi Panoramic Trails without any hesitation. People who are looking for day trips from Zurich or Lucerne can also go hiking in Rigi. This is a trail on the lush green slopes of Mount Rigi with spectacular views of the Swiss Alps, lakes and valleys.
From the very start of the walk, you can see the mesmerizing views of the Grosser Mythen and the Bernese Alps. Once at the top you can enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of Lucerne along with its home mountain, Pilatus.
Location: Central Switzerland(south of Zürich and east of Luzern)
Route: Rigi Scheidegg – Unterstetten – First – Rigi Kaltbad – Chänzeli – Staffel – Rigi Kulm
Elevation: 1029-1556 meter.
How to Get There: Reach to the top at the Rigi Kulm Station from Vitznau or Arth Goldau by the cogwheel train. From there hike downwards to Rigi First that links to Rigi Panoramic Trail. Follow the scenic trail all the way to the Rigi Scheideg station from where you can take the cogwheel train down.
Distance: 7.5 km, 3 hours.
Difficulty: Easy. A perfect hike in Switzerland for families.
#7 Seealpsee Hike Trail:
Seealpsee is one of the most beautiful and most photographed alpine lakes in Switzerland. The lake can be reached within an hour from Wasserauen Train Station or with more spectacular hiking routes throughout Alpstein. This ease of accessibility and moderate incline make it one of the most popular hiking trails in the Alpstein and Appenzell regions. On a sunny day, the lake remains very busy and you will see many day-trippers from Zurich.
Location: Alpstein region of Appenzell
Elevation: 1142 meter.
How to Get There: There are two ways to reach the Seealpsee lake. The first option is to hike up the service road from Wasserauen. The second and easiest option is to take the Ebenalp cable car or by your own car to the top of the mountain then walk down to the lake, stopping by the popular Ascher restaurant on the way down.
Distance: 2.6 km from Ebenalp, 1.5 hours.
Difficulty: It is Easy hiking in Switzerland for inexperienced hikers.
#8 The Hardergrat Trail
As of now, I have mentioned some of the easy hikes in Switzerland. Now I will talk about one of the most dangerous hikes in the world. If you are an advanced hiker and looking for adventure, Hardergrat can be an excellent option to experience the real thrill of hiking in Switzerland.
The adventurous trail offers the incredible views of Lake Brienz along with Jungfrau region’s highest peak- the Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau, Finsteraarhorn and Schreckhorn. If you don’t have fear of heights, you will have a thrilling experience walking along the grassy ridgeline with significant drops on both sides for 18 km. The Hardergrat trail is a long full-day hike in Switzerland.
I will highly recommend to take trekking pole and to start early from Interlaken so that you can make the Brienzer Rothorn’s last train down to Brienz.
Elevation: 3000 meter.
How to Get There: Take a funicular ride to Harder Kulm and reach to the top from where the Hardergrat trail begins. Follow the 27 km long thrilling trail along the ridgeline until you reach Brienzer Rothorn and then take the train down to Brienz.
Distance: 27 km, 10-11 hours.
Difficulty: Moderate to hard. Mostly preferred among advanced hikers and adventure seekers.
When we are talking about hiking in Switzerland, I shouldn’t miss Hornlihutte hike. Zermatt is undoubtedly one of the best places for hiking in Switzerland. I will highly recommend this hike in the Swiss Alps for the travelers who flock to Zermatt to see the majestic Matterhorn. Hornlihutte hike offers a closer view of the popular Matterhorn peak from afar.
Along the way to Hornlihutte you have great views of other high peak mountains surrounding Zermatt. You won’t need any climbing equipment to complete the hike, but the air is very thin at this high altitude area. You may get tired very quickly and can become dizzy if you are not enough fit.
Elevation: 3260 meter.
How to Get There: Take a cable car ride from Zermatt Bergbahn to Schwarszee. Hornlihutte hike starts at Schwarszee. The last cable car down is at 4:30 pm so either be back at Schwarzsee by then or you have to walk down to Zermatt.
Distance: 8km, 4 hours(round trip).
#10 Creux du Van:
Creux du Van is another popular day hikes in Switzerland you can do to see the stunning natural wonder. It is a huge rock wall in a crescent shape that attracts the hikers with its breathtaking panoramic view. You have to climb around 725 meters to find yourself standing in the middle of an arena of superlatives. This natural amphitheater has a diameter of one km and is the result of constant erosion by water and ice. It is a paradise for mountain hikers and trekkers.
Elevation: 1462 meter.
How to Get There: Go to Noiraigue railway station and continue straight ahead to Rue des Tilleuls. Cross the railway station and turn left at the first intersection. Then crossing the bridge continue the journey over the Areuse.
Distance: 14km, 4.5 hours.
Difficulty: Moderate trail