Via Alpina Switzerland

enquire now 8 Days From NZD $1,850 pp twinshare
Independent traveller
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There are few walks which capture the essence of the Alps as this classic trail through Switzerlands most stunning scenery. As you walk there is a constant backdrop of 4000m+ peaks including the Jungfrau (4158m), Schreckhorn (4078m) and Mönch (4107m) together with the famous Eiger (3970m) and the Wetterhorn (3692m). Whilst the high mountains are an obvious drawcard, there are so many other highlights such as the sound of cowbells as you make your way along scenic paths, the picture postcard villages and towns you pass through and the wildflowers lining the trail. At night experience the engaging hospitality of the hosts in our specially handpicked accommodation and sample local delicacies.

Trip highlights

  • experiencing walking across high passes to view stunning alpine scenery
  • challenging walking resulting in a great sense of achievement on arrival in Lenk
  • options to shorten sections as required
  • handpicked accommodation with classic Swiss charm


Day 1 Arrive Meiringen

Arrive in the pretty village of Meiringen. Near Meiringen are the Reichenbach Falls, scene of Sherlock Holmes’ final struggle with Moriarty, and the Aareschlucht gorge, which you may wish to visit this afternoon.

Day 2 Walk from Meiringen to Grindelwald (5hrs)

From Meiringen take the bus to Rosenlaui (allow CHF25) to begin your walk. The trail heads up to the “Grosse Scheidegg” from where you’ll have a magnificent view of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. From here you continue to Grindelwald, known as the ‘village of glaciers’ due to its location in an amphitheatre of peaks including the Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn, Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. Walking: approx 14km/8.7mi, +700m/-980m Short Option: Walk to Grosse Scheidegg then by bus to Grindelwald (2.5hrs, 6.5km/4mi, +645m/-55m). There are numerous bus stops are on the way down to Grindelwald and buses run regularly.

Day 3 Walk via Kleine Scheidegg to Wengen (5.5hrs)

Today’s trail follows the railway up to the “Kleine Scheidegg“. After a short descent to Grund (943m), continue along a steep forest track ascending to the famous pass of Kleine Scheidegg (2061m), from where you continue via a sunny trail to the car-free resort town Wengen. You will either stay here or head down a further 45 minutes past the spectacular Trümmelbach-waterfall to Lauterbrunnen (797m), deep in the Loetschinen Valley (or travel by funicular). Walking: approx 16.5km/10,3mi, 1155m/-915m Shorten: take the funicular to Alpiglen, walk to Wengen (3.5 hours, 11km/6.8mi, +475m/-795m) We recommend taking a rest day here to really appreciate the trails and attractions of the valley around Lauterbrunnen – must be requested at the time of booking.

Day 4 Walk via Brunli to Griesalp/Pochtenalp (7.5hrs)

A stunningly scenic walk today. It’s a long route and we recommend taking the short-cut (see below – cable cars, trains not included) to Mürren (at 1655m). The climb from Mürren via Brunli (2127m) is straightforward. Mostly along small paths, there’s some scree up to the pass with ropes to help, and your exertions are rewarded with panoramic views of the Eiger (3970m), Monch (4099m) and Jungfrau (4158m). From the Sefinenfurke Pass, which is often covered in snow in summer, it is a steep and impressive descent (with stairs) into the Durenberg valley and down to Griesalp (1408m) or Pochtenalp for overnight. Walking: approx +1315m/-1415m, 21.5km/13mi Optional short-cut: (recommended, especially in the event of bad weather): includes a walk or train in the valley from Lauterbrunnen then cable car up to Gütschalp and connecting train to Mürren.

Day 5 Spectacular walk across the Hohturli Pass (2778m) to Kandersteg (7.5hrs)

The ascent to the Blüemlisalp Hutt, just above the Hohturli Pass (2778m), is the most spectacular and hardest day of the trip. The trail begins along easy terrain but becomes more eroded, requiring care with your footing. After a long and steep walk up to 2843m you can enjoy an excellent meal and views at the hut on the pass before tackling the scree down. Descending on the glacier moraines, you cross the scree slopes using a series of staircases, as the gradient is very steep (trekking poles recommended). The staircases make the crossing easy, but if you experience vertigo you may have some issues here. The route down to Kandersteg is long but very beautiful. Lake Öschinen is a brilliant blue, in a dramatic setting surrounded by sheer cliffs. Continue to Kandersteg (1180m) on foot, or shorten the walk and descend by cable car. Walking: approx. 17km/10.5mi, +1450m/-1685m

Day 6 Walk to Bundechrinde Pass (2380m) and on to Adelboden (4.5hrs)

This morning you take the cable car up to “Allmenalp” from where you begin hiking up to the Bonderchrinde Pass (2380m), with some scree slopes. The view of the surrounding peaks is breathtaking. The trail then descends into the valley to Adelboden. Walking time: 11.5km/7mi, +835m/-1220m If the event of bad weather, there is an alternative walk passing farms and villages, and blue Lake Blausee.

Day 7 Ascend to Hahnenmoos pass (1956m) en route to Lenk (4.5hrs)

From the pretty village of Adelboden you walk towards the Hahnenmoos pass. Wonderful views to the peak of Wildstrubel guide you down to the Simmental Valley. You will spend your last night in the Bernese Oberland in the lovely town of Lenk, which lies below the Simmenfalle (waterfalls). Walking: 14km/8.6mi, +700m/-980m

Day 8 Trip concludes

Arrangements conclude after breakfast. If you need to return to Meiringen after the trip, the train takes around 3 hours.


What’s included

  • 7 breakfasts – buffet style usually with a selection of muesli and cereal, breads, cheese, meats, yoghurt, tea, coffee, juice and often eggs.
  • 7 nights accommodation in family run guesthouses in twinshare rooms with shared toilet and shower. Option to upgrade to 6 nights hotels with private facilities/ 1 night guesthouse with shared facilities (Cat A) or to 3-4 star hotels, some with Spa facilities (Charm category)
  • Luggage transfer (1 bag per person not weighing anymore than 20kg).
  • Information pack including brief route notes & maps (1 pack per room booked), navigation app available to use on your smartphone
  • Emergency hotline
  • Via Alpina Passport



Images courtesy of UTracks