Hiking Switzerland's Via Alpina

Traverse the ‘Top of the Alps’ through the best sections of the Bernese Oberland


Hike the high trails of the Via Alpina in Switzerland’s Jungfrau region, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage area that encompasses the impressive massifs of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, and the mighty Aletsch Glacier, the largest in the Alps. Amid this mountain glory, we set out on the famed Eiger Trail (as close as hikers can get to the awesome North Face of the Eiger), on the Aletsch Glacier between the massive Jungfrau and Mönch, and through some of the most gorgeous settings in the Alps. One special overnight is at the historic Hotel Bellevue des Alpes, right at the foot of the Eiger and brimming with mountain-climbing lore. If you love exhilarating hikes and Swiss mountain splendor, this is the adventure for you!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Engelberg / Meiringen

From the village of Engelberg, we hike to Surenenpass for a magnificent view of fjord-like Lake Uri and the Reuss Valley. We’ll stop for refreshments at a mountain refuge in high pastures. Our hike up to Planplatten (7,254') brings us 360-degree views far into the peaks of the Bernese Oberland, and we descend by cable car to the charming village of Meiringen.

Hotel Bellevue Terminus
Engelberg, Switzerland
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
Hotel Victoria
Meiringen, Switzerland
Day 3 (1 night)
Days 4-5
The Eiger Trail / Grindelwald / Kleine Scheidegg

We hike a balcony trail above Grosse Scheidegg Pass, with an overnight at Grindelwald, a Swiss town with a stunning location below the Eiger. Taking the train to Alpiglen, we head out on the famed Eiger Trail, one of the top walks in Europe, leading along the foot of the infamous North Face of the Eiger. Views are phenomenal, stretching across the Grindelwald Valley and to the Wetterhorn. Afterwards, we’ll overnight at the turn-of-the-century hotel below the Eiger to soak up alpine history in a special setting (The Eiger Sanction was filmed here).

Sunstar Hotel
Grindelwald, Switzerland
Day 4 (1 night)
Hotel Bellevue des Alpes
Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland
Day 5 (1 night)
Days 6-7
Jungfraujoch / Aletsch Glacier / Murren

An unforgettable ride on a century-old cogwheel train brings us to Jungfraujoch (11,371'), Europe’s highest railway station, set on the saddle between Jungfrau and Mönch. Here we’ll hike on the great Aletsch Glacier flanked by 12,000-foot peaks. Hiking options the next day are in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, with its towering granite walls and 72 thundering waterfalls.

Hotel Bellevue
Murren, Switzerland
Days 6 to 7 (2 nights)
Days 8-10
Sefinenfurke Pass / Kandersteg

Vistas are breathtaking as we hike from lovely Murren up to dramatic Sefinenfurke Pass (8,600'), with a spectacular descent into the end-of-the-road hamlet of Griesalp. Our last hike brings us up to Hohtürli Pass and past glaciers to Oeschinensee, a surreal blue lake encircled by mountain ramparts, with a descent to the village of Kandersteg. Depart on Day 10.

Griesalp Hotel
Kiental, Switzerland
Day 8 (1 night)
Waldhotel Doldenhorn
Kandersteg, Switzerland
Day 9 (1 night)



Challenging hikes on the Via Alpina and stunning views of the Bernese Alps
Hike the famous Eiger Trail below the North Face of the Eiger
Explore mountain-ringed Swiss villages, from Engelberg and Mürren to Kandersteg
Cross Hohtürli Pass to descend past icefalls and glaciers to majestic Lake Oeschinensee
Enjoy the ancient alpine heritage and chalet architecture of the Jungfrau region
Overnights in lovely hotels, including the historic hotel right below the Eiger


Length: 10 days
Cost From: $7095  
Arrive: Engelberg, Switzerland
Depart: Kandersteg, Switzerland
Lodging: 9 nights hotels and mountain inns
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

8 challenging hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 5-8 hours a day, altitudes up to 11,500 feet, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day's hike). This is a strenuous hiking trip, read “What the Trip is Like” for more details.