Do it yourself 7-day tour "Hiking the Swiss Alps"
This tour suggestion includes hiking in two very different regions: the Bernese Oberland and the Upper Engadine. A ride with the famous Glacier Express takes you from one place to the other.
The itinerary of this tour can be booked as displayed here (see the shopping list), or you can extend it by booking extra nights in Zurich, Wengen or St. Moritz.
Whether hiking is possible, always depends on the weather. Generally, the suggested tour is possible from mid June to mid October.
Shopping list for this tour
Please note that this is a sample itinerary. You can make any changes you like, to adapt the tour to your preferences and available time. The list below is what you would need to book if you choose to make the tour as described.
8-day Swiss Travel Pass. This includes all train transfers. It provides discounts on some of the mountain transport like cableways and cogwheel trains;
Seat reservations for the Glacier Express;
Hotel in Wengen (3 nights);
Hotel in St. Moritz (3 nights);
Optionally: Hotel in Zurich or near Zurich Airport.
Day 1: Zurich to Wengen
You will take the train from Zurich to Wengen (about 3 hours). If you plan an early arrival you could visit the village of Mürren and the Schilthorn first, and then continue to Wengen to check into your hotel.
The next days you will explore the Jungfrau region on foot. Hiking options are weather dependent, so it's good to have some alternatives in case of rain:
- The national capital of Bern (1:45 by train)
- The nearby Trümmelbach Falls
- The Glacier Gorge near Grindelwald
- Shopping in Interlaken
- Great for kids: Heimwehfluh in Interlaken
- Great for kids: JungfrauPark Interlaken
Day 2: Hiking to Kleine Scheidegg
Most tourists will reach Kleine Scheidegg by cogwheel train. But it can be done on foot as well. Take the cableway from Wengen to Männlichen. Then take the panoramic hiking trail to Kleine Scheidegg.
After enjoying the view of the Jungfrau from Kleine Scheidegg, you can visit Jungfraujoch or go straight back to Wengen by train. Alternatively you can walk to Wengen on a mostly easy wide trail.
Day 3: Hiking near Grindelwald
Today you'll travel to Grindelwald by train, and take the gondola up to First from there. From First, there are many hiking options. Our suggestions are:
More hiking options can be found here.
Day 4: Wengen to St. Moritz by Glacier Express
This is a long day of traveling, but with great views. You will first travel to Brig. There you will switch to the Glacier Express which arrives in St. Moritz around dinner time. The whole journey takes about 9 hours. You can also travel via Zurich, which is the regular, less scenic route. This is one to two hours quicker.
The next days you will explore the Upper Engadine on foot. Here are some alternative activities in case bad weather prevents you from hiking:
- The cantonal capital of Chur (2 hours by train);
- Shopping in St. Moritz;
- A trip on the Bernina Express route to Tirano, Italy.
Day 5: Panorama trail Muottas Muragl to Alp Languard
A funicular takes you up to Muottas Muragl, from where you can walk to Alp Languard. There are great views on St. Moritz, the lakes of the Upper Engadine, and Piz Bernina, the highest mountain in this region. From Alp Languard, a chair lift takes you down to Pontresina, from where you can quickly travel back to St. Moritz.
Day 6: Hiking from Piz Nair to Bever
The final hike of this tour is a long and strenuous one, but it's not particularly difficult. From St. Moritz you'll take the funicular and cable car up to Piz Nair. From there you gradually descend back into the valley until you reach the village of Bever. Then take a train back to St. Moritz. Details can be found here.
This walk starts at a high altitude, so you need good weather and Piz Nair needs to be clear of snow. Alternative walks are:
But of course there are more options.
Day 7: St. Moritz to Zurich
Today's transfer will take about 3h30, so if your schedule allows you to arrive late in Zurich, you can still enjoy part of the day shopping in St. Moritz, doing a short hike, or visiting a local mountain top such as Piz Nair (if you did not get the chance on day 6) or the Corvatsch.
There are various routes to reach Zurich:
- If you travel to Zurich via Chur, you'll duplicate part of the Glacier Express route;
- Another option for today is to travel to Zurich via Klosters. You'd travel into the Lower Engadine region, and then you continue via Klosters and Landquart to Zurich;
- A third option for today is to travel via Filisur, Davos, Klosters and Landquart; this also duplicates part of the Glacier Express route, but not as much as via Chur.