Zermatt, home of the pyramidal-shaped Matterhorn, and the storybook realm of the Engadine Valley, with its age-old villages and pure mountain air, are the setting for this splendid Swiss journey. We designed the trip with two different hiking options each day (your choice!). Whichever you choose, you’ll enjoy high balcony trails with stupendous vistas of glaciers, ice cliffs, cool lakes, sheer valleys, and snowy summits. We use the country’s ingenious transportation system—from funicular railways to cable cars—to whisk you high up into the mountains for unbelievable views on each hike, and our wonderful team of Trip Leaders makes each day a delightful adventure.
We had a wonderful trip and appreciate the fine arrangements and leaders. I certainly recommend this to others who want a moderate and beautiful hiking trip in the Alps with excellent food, accommodations, and guides.
— John D., Davis, CA
Zermatt / Matterhorn
In car-free Zermatt, with its ancient barns and horse-drawn carriages, all our hiking choices offer show-stopping Matterhorn panoramas. One ramble brings us through stone-pine forest to a charming hamlet of slate-roofed wooden houses with good views of the northeast ridge of the Matterhorn. We can take the Gornergrat Railway up to 10,135 feet for surpassing views of a ring of some 50 peaks, including the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa, or head out for a high-level hike across the Matterhorn Glacier Trail, close enough to the glacier to see the meltwater running out.
Glacier Express / Engadine
An exhilarating rail journey (and a champagne lunch) on Switzerland’s most famous train, the Glacier Express, carries us to scenic Pontresina in the Engadine Valley, where we are warmly welcomed at the 4-star yet family-run Hotel Walther, a Belle Epoque gem.
Pontresina / Guarda
In the deep Engadine Valley, the heartland of Romansch culture, our trails lead to classic mountain villages where traditional homes are adorned with ancient floral designs called sgraffitti. Alpine farming is still done here the traditional way, as it has been for centuries. From Pontresina, one hiking option brings us along the moraine of the Morteratsch Glacier, and another follows the Via Engadina, a long-distance footpath along the Inn River leading through the graceful little towns of Zernez, Susch, and Lavin. From the beautiful village of Guarda, set a thousand feet above the valley floor, we hike past meadows grazed by pampered Brown Swiss dairy cattle to reach Tarasp, a dreamy medieval castle and a perfect spot for our picnic lunch. Depart on Day 8.