One of the great attractions of Switzerland is its alpine scenery. This mountainous land has some of the most beautiful highland country in the world, and the treks through its high meadows, green forests and high passes have drawn visitors since trekking went from being a means of transportation to a leisure activity. A great trek in Switzerland can range from a day trip out to see the views, a few nights spent exploring small alpine villages or an expedition to cross the breadth of the entire country.
For those looking to take in a day hike in the mountains of Switzerland, the best base is the town of Zermatt. There are a few local options that take in some truly gorgeous scenery, but arguably the best is the Hohenweg Hohbalmen. This is an 11-mile trail that takes a person of average fitness an entire day to circuit, so be sure to bring plenty of water and a picnic lunch in addition to the camera. It ascends through lower alpine meadows into forest country until it goes above the treeline and into the Hohbalmen. This high alpine meadow affords excellent views of the Swiss Alps. The descent goes on to grand views of the Matterhorn and Zmutt Glacier.
An excellent choice for a two-day overnight hike is the Strada Alta. The 31 miles of this trail may be tough for a tenderfoot to complete in two days, and, therefore, it might be best for anyone who is not a veteran, fit trekker to plan on making it a three-day trek. This goes along the Valle Leventina in Italian-speaking Switzerland. It starts at Airolo station and ends at Biasca station, so getting in and out of the area by train is very straightforward. Winding its way through small highland villages, the trail clings to the north wall of the valley and takes in a lot of great, snow-capped mountain scenery along the way. With so many villages on the path, there is no need to haul a tent and camp for the night either.
The ultimate mountain trek in Switzerland is to walk across the county. This adventurous foot journey can be done in 18 days by the hardened trekker, but that means a good deal of hard slogging and little time for stopping to enjoy the scenery or the many scenic villages that the route passes through. Most itineraries plan for 25 days. The trek requires some study, as over the years trekkers have built up a number of side hikes and variants on the route, but they all share the same terminus points: Gargellen in the east and St. Gingolph in the west. However, one great feature is that it can be planned so that every overnight stop is made in a town, village or lodge, so there is no absolute need to pack a tent to make the trek.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.