Great Hikes from Zermatt, Pontresina, and Guarda

Overview

Want the perfect taste of Switzerland? We’ve crafted a superb adventure with easy or moderate hiking options each day (take your pick!) in two of the country’s most enchanting regions—and a gorgeous journey on the famed Glacier Express links the two. From the captivating town of Zermatt, home to Switzerland’s most famous icon, the Matterhorn, to the Upper Engadine, a storybook setting of mountains, lakes, and jewel-box villages, our exclusive itinerary offers incredible day hikes in a magical realm of mountains, glaciers, and sun-splashed meadows full of wildflowers. We use Switzerland’s ingenious transportation system to get you high into the mountains for exhilarating hikes and unbelievable views, while cozy hotels with Old World ambiance are your wonderful reward at the end of each thrilling day.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Zermatt

From Zermatt, the quintessential and pedestrian-friendly (no cars!) mountain town, our hikes bring you to an alpine plateau with iconic views of the Matterhorn and its reflection in the deep blue lake at its base, and to a ridge overlooking the five-mile-long Findel Glacier. From the top station of the historic Gornergrat Railway, our trail offers surpassing views of a glistening sea of ice and a ring of some 50 peaks including the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa.

 View Lodging
Day 3
Glacier Express / Pontresina

Our ride (and fun champagne lunch) on the Glacier Express is an exhilarating journey past tumbling waterfalls, deep forests, and green pastures surrounding tiny villages with steepled churches. In the Engadine Valley, with its string of alpine lakes set amid the magnificent Bernina Alps, we are welcomed like family at the wonderful 4-star Hotel Walther, a Belle Epoque hotel in the historic resort town of Pontresina.

 View Lodging
Days 4-6
Pontresina

From Pontresina, hike on panoramic trails and explore the Engadine’s timeless villages, where sturdy stone-built houses are adorned with colorful floral designs called sgraffitti. One moderate hike brings you along the lateral moraine of the Morteratsch Glacier to the Boval Hut, where you can sample classic Engadine specialties and soak up absolutely stupendous views of glacier fields, ice cliffs, and snowy summits. An easier hiking option leads to Alp Languard (7,421'), with its spectacular views of the entire Engadine Valley, while another follows the Via Engadina, a long-distance footpath through the charming towns of Zernez, Susch, and Lavin.

 View Lodging
Days 7-8
Guarda

Set on a sunny terrace above the valley of the Inn River, Guarda is our base for a hike past lovely hamlets, farmhouses, and meadows grazed by cattle to Tarasp, graced by a picture-book medieval castle. Depart on Day 8.

 View Lodging

Highlights

Highlights

Easy to moderate hiking options each day—your choice!
Enchanting Zermatt and the picture-perfect mountain towns of the Engadine
Ride Switzerland’s Glacier Express through an incredible mountain panorama, take the Gornergrat Railway for absolutely stunning views of the Alps
Wonderfully atmospheric hotels and terrific food, from rösti to Engadiner torte

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $4895  
Arrive: Zermatt, Switzerland
Depart: Guarda or Ardez, Switzerland
Lodging: 7 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

6 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 2-6 hours a day (depending on trail option), van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day's hike)