Swiss Via Alpina Trail

Swiss Via Alpina Trail

  • Enjoy Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau panoramas

  • See the amphitheatre-like Oeschinen Lake

  • View Bernese Alps from the Planplatten Ridge

  • Enjoy traditional food and hospitality

  • Daily luggage delivery

Why Choose Cloud 9 Adventure

  • Outstanding fully-qualified guides

  • All breakfasts and dinners included

  • Stay in authentic 2* and 3* hotels in small towns and villages

  • 7-day version of this classic trek

Swiss Via Alpina Trail: Dates and Prices

AT A GLANCE

 

7 nights

6 days' trekking

Group size 4-10

 

Luggage delivery

 

Price: £1795

 

Join: Engelberg

End: Kandersteg

 

Nearest Airports: Zurich & Geneva

ACCOMMODATION

7 nights in hotels

 

DIFFICULTY GRADING

8

Challenging

Swiss Via Alpina Trail: Overview

Join this wonderful week-long trek to experience one of the most spectacular sections of the Swiss Via Alpina Trail. The whole Trail is 385km long, but this one week trekking adventure is packed full of highlights. It promises breath-taking views throughout and a level of variety that's hard to beat. Watch the landscape unfold as one massive mountain after another comes into view, from the Eiger to Mönch and Jungfrau.

 

What to expect

This week-long trek is graded as Challenging, so you’ll need to have a good level of fitness. We’ll trek through challenging and rewarding Alpine terrain by day including the rock amphitheatre around Oeschinen Lake, spending evenings in authentic 2* and 3* hotels. The towns and villages en route are, for the most part, steeped in history and brimming with charm, you can see 15th century paintings and 14th century frescoes. There are also waterfalls and the possibility of seeing marmots and waterfowl. It goes without saying that there’ll be no shortage of local cheese!

Swiss Via Alpina Trail: Itinerary

 

Day 1 – Arrival into Engelberg

Arrive at the hotel in Engelberg in good time to join your guide at 6pm for the trip briefing. Engelberg is famous for its Benedictine monastery. Kloster Engelberg, which was formed in 1120 and re-built in the 18th Century after a fire. Monks still live in today. If you choose to arrive a day or two early, there's no shortage of things to do in and around the town, it's the largest summer and winter holiday destination in Central Switzerland. The Titlis Cliff Walk involves a 100m-long suspension bridge with breathtaking views, or there's the Titlis Glacier Cave to explore. 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Day 2 – Trek from Engelberg to Engstlenalp

Today is our first day on the Trail. We leave Engelberg - one of central Switzerland's largest hiking regions - on a steep trail through the forest to Trübsee lake, which lies at the foot of Mount Titlis. We then head on to the Jochpass, entering the canton of Bern. From our vantage point we enjoy views of the mighty Titlis, standing at an impressive 3028m, as well as views of the village of Engstlenalp which, after a short descent, will be our base for the night. Engstlenalp was noted by Professor John Tyndall (vice-president of the Alpine Club) in 1866, as 'one of the most charming spots in the Alps', part of which is designated as a nature reserve.

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Access to luggage

Distance: 14 km / 8.7 miles

Altitude gain / loss: + 1230m / -400m

Walking time: Approx 5 hrs

Day 3 – Trek from Engstlenalp to Meiringen

First we'll ascend to Tannalp, with its working dairy and pretty lake. The path then ascends to the Erzegg/ Planplatten ridge - arguably one of the highlights of the trek - with its stunning views of the giants of the Bernese Oberland, including the Eiger (3967m) and Bernese Alps. As our long descent begins, we pass boards showing cartoons of Hasli (a local cartoon character), before reaching Reuti. The path to Meiringen is home to various beautiful wooden sculptures and we enjoy the remainder of our long descent into Meiringen, a small but thriving town with a long history. Although many of the buildings were destroyed in the catastrophic fires of 1879 and 1891, the old parish church of St Michael (as you enter the town from Reuti), gives a taste of what once was, complete with 14th-Century frescoes and 15th-Century paintings.

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Access to luggage

Distance: 20 km / 12.4 miles

Altitude gain / loss: +640m / -1870m

Walking time: Approx 7 hrs

 

Day 4 – Trek from Meiringen to Grindelwald

Though today's trek is one of the longest, it's a relatively easy one that takes us into one of the more well-known areas of the Bernese Oberland. Our trail leads us close to the Reichenbachfälle (the Reichenbach Falls), made famous by Arthur Conan Doyle, who chose it as the location for Sherlock Holmes' final showdown with his nemesis Moriarty. We then head up to the Grosse Scheidegg pass, trekking between the peaks of Schwarzhorn and Wetterhorn (the fabled 'Peak of Tempests' and one of the most recognisable peaks in the Alps), whilst granting us our first close view of the magnificent Eiger. A gentle and pleasant descent brings us to Grindelwald, one of Switzerland's best known (and busiest) resorts. It's buzzing with life in both summer and winter, which is hardly surprising, given the exceptional scenery surrounding it.

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Access to luggage

Distance: 23 km / 14.3 miles

Altitude gain / loss: +1410 m / -980m

Walking time: Approx 8 hrs

 

Day 5 – Trek from Grindelwald to Lauterbrunnen

In terms of our fellow hikers, this is one of the busier stages, thanks to Grindelwald, the Kleine Scheidegg and the year-round popularity of Wengen. The ascent up to the Kleine Scheidegg is steeper than it looks, with a gain in altitude of over 1000m. Whilst it's no 'walk in the park', our close proximity to the Eiger's north face and the glorious views of Mönch and Jungfrau (as we start our descent to Wengen) add that extra sweetness to our victory. We pass the Wengernalp - a beautiful alpine meadow, sitting at 1870m, described by Leslie Stephen in The Playground of Europe (1871) as, 'the loveliest place in this world' - and, after a short but steep descent, we drop down into Lauterbrunnen, one of the most impressive U-shaped valleys in the Alps, where we'll stay overnight.

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Access to luggage

Distance: 19 km / 11.8 miles

Altitude gain / loss: +1100 / -1330

Walking time: Approx 6 hrs

Day 6 – Trek from Lauterbrunnen to Griesalp

Today's pass is the highest of our trip so far, with a long but relatively easy trek, aside from the final 150m climb, which is steep and shale-covered. Leaving Lauterbrunnen and crossing the Sefinenfurgge pass, we escape the busier parts of the Bernese Oberland and enter a quieter, more remote area. After crossing several streams, we pass the imposing Staubbach Falls before crossing the valley and gaining access to a magnificent view of the Jungfrau, all the way from its base to its peak at 3200m. Soon after, we arrive in Mürren, known for being the highest permanently inhabited village in the area. It's also the birthplace of the modern slalom, invented by Sir Arnold Lunn in 1922 when he introduced slalom gates there. Then we complete our ascent for the day, all the way up to the top of Sefinenfurgge pass, the last part of which consists of a steep zigzag path over shale and scree, but which, with a backwards glance, affords stunning views of both the Mönch and Eiger. The shale continues as we descend down the western side of the pass, but is somewhat easier (and safer!), thanks to the wooden steps there and we drop down into lush alpine meadows, before reaching Griesalp, our base for the night.

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Access to luggage

Distance: 24km

Altitude gain / loss: +1850m / -1240m

Walking time: Approx 10 hrs

 

Day 7 – Trek from Griesalp to Kandersteg

Today is the last day of our week-long Swiss Via Alpina adventure and the trek is very varied to see us out on. It's high and demanding in places but, as with all stages on this trip, it's well worth the effort. As we leave Griesalp our ascent takes us through alpine forests and meadows, bringing us out in Bundalp, before we make our main ascent of the day. The terrain turns more rugged and glacial at this point, as we encounter the steep climb up to the Hohtürli pass; the ultimate place from which to view this untamed mountain terrain. As we descend, our efforts are rewarded once again as we pass the turquoise waters of Oeschinen Lake - one of Switzerland's most beautiful. It's oval in shape and amphitheatre-like, thanks to the mountains that protectively surround it. Passing several waterfalls, we continue down to Kandersteg for our final evening and a celebratory group meal.

 

Accommodation: Hotel, dinner included

Access to luggage

Distance: 18.5km / 11.5 miles

Altitude gain / loss: +1450m / -1680m

Walking time: Approx 8 hrs

Day 8 – Departure day

Our fantastic, week-long trek on the Swiss Via Alpina finishes after breakfast today.

Included

  • All accommodation

  • Breakfasts and evening meals

  • All transport as detailed in the itinerary

  • Fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader

  • Luggage transfers

Not Included

  • Flights

  • Travel insurance

  • Airport transfers

  • Personal drinks and snacks

  • Tips

Swiss Via Alpina Trail: Book Online

The Park, Waresley, Sandy, Beds SG19 3BS

+44 208 144 8102     

© 2018 Cloud 9 Adventure

info@cloud9adventure.com

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