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3 incredible places to hike in Switzerland – AFAR Media | Gmx Pharm

Glistening glacier fields, alpine lakes, roaring waterfalls and velvety green slopes – these are just a few of the elements that make hiking in Switzerland an all-star event. And you won’t be short of options, thanks to the 38,000 miles of trails that weave like a spider’s web across Switzerland’s peaks, valleys and hills, an astounding number considering the entire country covers less than 16,000 square miles.

Hiking is more fun here, too, thanks to the network of alpine huts, inns and inns that cater to weary hikers and make it relatively easy to trek from inn to inn with just a day pack.

Ready to take part in the country’s unofficial national sport? Here are some of the best hiking areas and trails in Switzerland.

The Jura Mountains: Vaud Jura Natural Park

Dotted with 2,081 named peaks, none taller than 5,600 feet, the rolling Jura mountains form the natural border between Switzerland and France and offer a peaceful retreat. It rises from the shores of Lac Léman near Lausanne to the 5,500 foot summit of La Dôle, the 270 square mile Vaud Jura Natural Park includes quiet villages, shady river banks, rugged cliffs and steep slopes densely forested with spruce and pine.

You can’t help but wander through the story Romainmôtier heritage trailwinding through the sleepy valley of the Nozon River, beginning and ending in the 10th century Romainmôtier Abbey, one of the best preserved examples of a Cluniac Romanesque priory in Switzerland and probably also the oldest monastery in the country. The stone church is open to visitors, as is the newly renovated restaurant, which serves regional specialties like rosemary chicken on a skewer and fresh fruit tarts in a courtyard setting.

The route is a section of the 200-mile Cluny Way, following the ancient Way of Saint James from France’s powerful Cluny Abbey, founded in 910, through Burgundy and the Loire Valley to Le Puy-en-Velay. Just outside the park, another historic hike follows a section of the Alpine Panorama Trail Lavaux vineyardswhich has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the long history of its characteristic terraces and wine-growing traditions dating back to the 11th century.

Another of the park’s most popular hiking options is the Jura Crest Trailthe oldest long-distance hiking trail in Switzerland, covering almost 200 miles from Zurich to Geneva, crossing the ridge and offering far-reaching views of the Alps.

how to get there

The park is 45 minutes from Geneva numerous entry points accessible by car or bus. The Visitor Center is located at the Hôtel du Marchairuz on the Marchairuz Pass, which can be reached using Postbusis a good starting point.

The Engadine Dolomites: Swiss National Park

founded in 1914, Swiss National Park was the country’s first national park – and curiously remains the only one so designated, despite the creation of numerous nature parks and reserves. This relatively small, remote area of ​​eastern Graubünden, at 65 square miles, had been decimated by logging and mining, its ecosystem all but destroyed and wildlife banned when it was selected by the government for protection in 1914. Today it is as much a wilderness area as a park, its once-bare slopes are surrounded by dense forest and are home to an estimated 250 ibex, 1,800 red deer and many other species including chamois, marmots and bearded vultures.

Elevations in the park vary from 4,500 feet to 10,500 feet, resulting in varying levels of challenge. Hikers looking for a serious challenge can opt for the 10-mile hike to the Fuorcia Val Sassa Pass or the climb of the 10,933-foot Piz Quattervals, a five-hour climb that requires finding a path over scree-covered slopes. One of the most popular hikes in the park, the 13km Munt la Schera traverses tundra-like high mountain steppes overlooking Italy’s Stelvio National Park to the south, past old mine tunnels and meadows teeming with wildflowers. The 13-mile route from Lavin to Zernez crosses the Zeznina Valley to the Alps Macun Lakes before ascending to the 9,350ft Fuorcletta da Barcli pass.

Cyclists come to ride the 86 mile loop Around the Swiss National Park as well as Graubünden routeone of nine marked national cycle routes that also skirt one edge of the park.

how to get there

The Swiss National Park is easily accessible Swiss railway via Zurich to Zernez, with the restaurant busor from bus from Livigno in Italy.

Switzerland-Hiking-ChrisRinckes-Shutterstock.jpg

Hiking in Switzerland can be tiring, but there’s plenty of delicious local cuisine to help replenish those calories.

Photo by Chris Rinckes/Shutterstock

The Valais

The Valais Alps, the highest mountains in Western Europe, form the backbone of Valais, which boasts the highest concentration of 12,000-foot peaks in the Swiss Alps.

So remote that the streets here were among the last to be paved, this piece of southwestern Switzerland is steeped in tradition, and fresh cheese, homemade sausage and freshly baked bread are everywhere. These are still the Alps of your grandparents’ postcards, where slated wooden haylofts dot the hills and the tinkling of cowbells and the tinkling of sheep and goats sing you to sleep at night and wake you in the morning.

You will never forget to hike the historical Leukerbad via ferrata, a series of eight precarious ladders built to carry goods up the almost sheer mountainside. The terminus, Albinen, has been declared a National Heritage Site for its many 16th and 17th century gabled houses.

No trail in Switzerland is better known than the Walker’s Haute Route, an inn-inn trekking route that runs from Chamonix in France to Zermatt below the Matterhorn, with possible stops in the villages of Trento, Champex-Lac, Verbier, Arolla, Les Hauderes , Grimentz and Gruben. A center of mountaineering since the first ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865, Zermatt celebrates its adventurous history in the vernacular Matterhorn Museum.

how to get there

Both Chamonix and Zermatt are accessible Swiss railwaywith Zermatt having the added benefit of being the terminus of the Glacier Express, a tourist favorite for its transalpine route. To reach the Leukerbad via ferrata, take the train to Leuk and then the postbus to Leukerbad.

Updated: September 17, 2022 — 12:32 am

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