Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays

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Alpine views from the comfort of your seat


  • Ride the Glacier Express, one of Europe's most beautiful train journeys
  • Enjoy classic walks in the shadow of the Matterhorn and Piz Bernina
  • Experience the glamorous and iconic alpine town of Zermatt
  • Stay in peaceful Pontresina in the lush Engadine Valley
  • Feast on Swiss mountain food such as raclette and fondue

Cross the Swiss Alps on the famous Glacier Express, a direct train from St Moritz to Zermatt; considered one of the most stunning rail journeys of the world. Get closer to the typical wooden chalets and sounds of Alpine cow bells on foot with a selection of walks from both Zermatt and Pontresina.

Start with 3 nights in Pontresina, a peaceful village nestled in the authentically Swiss Engadine Valley. Choose walks through tranquil forests, alpine meadows and lakes.

Take the Glacier Express to stylish Zermatt for four nights and choose from a selection of walks in the shadow of the Matterhorn. By night enjoy the exclusive town and its array of restaurants and bars.

Day 1: Arrive Pontresina

Fly into Zurich ,or Bern then continue by train with a couple of changes to Pontresina (3.5  or 4.5 hours)

Pontresina is a 10 minute train journey from St Moritz with connections every 20 minutes.

Pontresina is located at an altitude of 1,800m and has a luxurious feel, with its Swiss pine restaurants and gourmet cuisine.  With all the luxe of St. Moritz without the crowds and a more compact town centre, Pontresina is the perfect base from which to explore the Engadine.

Overnight: Pontresina

Day 2: Bernina Bahn and Circular Walk to Alp Grum

Take a short ride on the UNESCO listed Bernina Bahn, a train line which equals the Glacier Express for stunning views.  Disembarking at Bernina Hospiz station, follow the easy circular walking route skirting Lago Bianco to Alp Grum and hike up to the mountain hut at Sassat Mason. The peace and tranquillity of this area is inspiring.Return to Pontresina by train.

Walking: 7km, ascent/descent 140/315m

Overnight: Pontresina

Day 3: Walk the Valley Roseg or the Klimaweg

If you are looking for a challenge opt for the Valley Roseg walk with a steep ascent up to Fuorcla Surlej and its mountain restaurant —the perfect spot for a relaxed lunch. Continue to Corvatsch Mittelstation Murtel where you can descend with the cable car to Corvatsch Talstation. Descend to the valley and take the bus onwards to St. Moritz and train to Pontresina.

For a more gentle day, go for the Klimaweg. This walk makes ample use of cable cars and mountain railways so you will be walking at altitude with fabulous views and minimum effort!

Walking: various 6.5—13.5 km

Overnight: Pontresina

Day 4: Glacier Express to Zermatt

Sit back and relax on the Glacier Express from St Moritz to Zermatt. Regarded as the slowest ‘express’ train in the word, it takes about 8 hours to cover 290km and with views like this there really is no need to rush! Cross the Swiss Alps, 291 bridges, through 91 tunnels and the Oberalp Pass at 2,033m.  Lunch is included today and is served directly to your seat so you won’t miss a second of the panoramic views.,

The pyramidal peak of the Matterhorn towers over Zermatt, a renowned mountaineering centre and your base for the next 4 nights. Wander around the car-free centre and grab some classic Swiss food like roesti or fondue in one of the many restaurants in the village.

Overnight: Zermatt

Day 5: The Five Lakes Walk

Take the funicular from Zermatt to Sunnegga and then on to Blauherd station (approx. 10 mins in total) for the start of today’s walk. Starting at 2.571m, this walk visits 5 alpine lakes, all of which have fabulous views of the Matterhorn. On a clear day, 3 of the lakes hold the reflection of the famous peak.  Your walk finishes at Sunnegga from where you can either walk back to Zermatt or hop on the funicular.

Walking: 10 km, ascent/descent: 300m/500m

Overnight: Zermatt

Day 6: The Hoernliweg, Matterhorn Trail or walk to Zmutt

A choice of walks today; a challenging option is a hike to Matterhorn base camp; the Hoernlihut. Arrive at the Schwarzsee cable car station (12 mins journey from Zermatt) and a short but steep hike takes you to the hut where climbers set off for ascents of the Matterhorn. Soak up the excitement and atmosphere of base camp. You may be able to spot climbers in action while you relax on the terrace with a drink.

For something a bit easier, walk directly from Zermatt to the romantic hamlet of Zmutt with its traditional wooden chalets and impressive views of the Matterhorn’s north face. Continue on to Furi and jump on the cable car back to Zermatt, or walk back .

Walking: various; 5-15 km

Overnight: Zermatt

Day 7: The Naturweg (Nature Trail)

Take the Gornergrat cog railway from central Zermatt to Rifflealp station  (15 mins). Starting in the tree line, this trail is perfect for nature lovers with interesting fauna which has sprung up since the retreat of the Findel Glacier 100 years ago. Walk through serene forests and meadows carpeted in alpine flowers. Return to Zermatt via the Sunnegga funicular.

Walking: 6.5 km, ascent/descent: 330/260m

Overnight: Zermatt

Day 8: Onward Travel

After breakfast check-out of your hotel and make your onward journey.  If you are planning a longer European tour, the Italian Lakes combine perfectly with the Swiss Alps., contact us for more info.



Stay 7 nights in 3* standard hotels. The accommodation we normally use is detailed below however it is subject to availability and therefore alternatives of an equal standard may be offered.

Please be aware that twin & double rooms in Switzerland are typically 2 single mattresses side by side in one double bed frame with two separate duvet covers and pillows.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is not available to solo walkers. If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to
accommodate you but there is a supplement payable.

You can add on extra nights in any of the overnight locations on this tour.








Hotel Perren - Zermatt

Hotel Perren is centrally located and only a 10 minute walk from the train station and 5 minutes from Sunnegga funicular. The hotel is modern, clean and comfortable and has everything you may need for an enjoyable stay, including a Finnish sauna and a generous breakfast buffet.








Hotel Muller - Pontresina

Offering just 19 comfortable rooms which boast a natural décor. Enjoy a delicious meal in the modern restaurant or relax in the traditional cheminée-bar. Facilities include a sauna and steam bath to ease you into relaxation mode at the end of a memorable day.





This trip is available to start any day of the week, from the end of June to the middle of September. 

Time of Year

The best months for walking are in the summer months between June and mid-September when the wild flowers are in bloom and the weather is generally fair. 

Please be aware that earlier in the season there may be some residual snow lying in patches, but this will not require any special equipment or skills.

Travel During the Trip

Public transport in Switzerland is seamless and runs like Swiss clockwork. Most of the walks on this tour in the Mattertal and the Engadine require a mountain train/funicular/cable car/bus  journey to the start or from the end of the walk back to your hotel for the night.

Engadine Valley Travel Pass

At your hotel in Pontresina you will be given an area pass for public transport and mountain railways (issued at check-in and collected at check-out) including use of all chairlifts/cable cars/funiculars in the Engadine Valley. NB: Area pass excludes the ‘Bernina Express’ panoramic train, but includes the public train which runs on the same Bernina line. 

Unfortunately no similar scheme exists in Zermatt and all use of cable cars/funiculars etc. is payable locally.  Here is an approximate guide to costs if you complete the walks as outlined in this brochure.

Day 5: Zermatt– Sunnegga 24CHF return

Day 6: Zermatt—Schwarzsee 50CHF return, Furi—Zermatt 17CHF single

Day 7: Zermatt– Gornergrat 47CHF single,  Sunnegga—Zermatt, 16CHFsingle

Grade & Terrain 

This trip is graded ‘easy—moderate’ overall, as the walks are around 4-15km, and quite varied. Most walks are on the easy-moderate end of the scale however there are some walks like the Hoernliweg which are difficult. The beauty of this trip is that you can make it as easy or as difficult as you wish and a grade is assigned to each walk. Please be aware that earlier/later in the season there may be some residual snow lying in patches, but this will not require any special equipment or skills; walking poles are recommended.

Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

All trails are very well way-marked, and together with access to our GPS-following app and maps, you will have no problem finding your way on our suggested walks.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items,for example, proper rain gear (jackets and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking shoes or boots, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer and a day pack.



Getting to Pontresina

For general travel planning and information in Switzerland, please go to:  

Fly into Zurich or Bern then continue by train, with a couple of changes, to Pontresina (3.5 or 4.5 hours) Train timetables and details of public transportation in Switzerland are available via the excellent travel planner at

Getting from Zermatt

From Zermatt train station you can get to any major European destination easily. Trains to Zurich airport take about 3.5 hours, to Bern it is 2.5 hours and to Geneva 4 hours. For more information check



  • 7 Nights in 3* hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Train ticket and reservation from St Moritz to Zermatt (second class)
  • 1 Lunch (on the Glacier Express)
  • Detailed pre-departure information pack
  • a list of suggested walks with maps, GPX tracks and access to our navigation smartphone app
  • The Engadine Valley travel pass which gives free access on most local bus services and cable cars/funiculars
  • 24-hour emergency telephone assistance


  • Flights to and from Switzerland
  • Travel to/from Pontresina/Zermatt
  • Cable car/funiculars/public transport in the Mattertal
  • Travel Insurance Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program


  • Single room supplement(s) if applicable
  • Extra nights in Zermatt/Pontresina

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded ‘easy—moderate’ overall, as the walks are around 4-15km, and quite varied. Most walks are on the easy-moderate end of the scale, however, there are some walks like the Hoernliweg which are difficult. The beauty of this trip is that you can make it as easy or as difficult as you wish and a grade is assigned to each walk. Please be aware that earlier/later in the season there may be some residual snow lying in patches, but this will not require any special equipment or skills; walking poles are recommended.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this holiday is extremely popular especially in the summer months. Please note you can start this holiday on any day of the week.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack, warm clothing in the early/late part of the year and hats etc during the summer. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack.

Do you move the bags from place to place or do we?

You will be required to do both on our Rail and Hike itineraries, and on some days you will be required to take your bags with you or you receive baggage handling to your next walking location! Please check and refer to your specific Rail and Hike itinerary on our website, and visit the ‘Included’ section for clarification on this.

Great hiking in spectacular scenery


I was unaware that I was given the wrong room type until I viewed the room my friends had been given which was vastly superior to mine in size, comfort, furnishings and views. It would be helpful to include the room type in the information to ensure guests are aware of the room type they should be getting. I was happy that the problem was quickly sorted out by your team and only had to spend the first night in a room that resembled a youth hostel. Otherwise the selected accommodations were superior to my expectations and well located. The maps were great however it would have been good to include information on attractions, flora and fauna, closing times for cable cars etc along the trails Parts of the walks on the Zermatt sector of the trip were repetitions of other walks. It would be good if there were suggested walks that didn't overlap walks already done. We ended up sourcing a walk ourselves that didn't overlap.




What a wonderful trip


We discovered two of the most beautiful places in the world, Pontresina and the Engadine Valley, and Zermatt and it's surrounding area. We are going back there many more times as there is so much to see and do, we could not do it all in a week. We love to hike, and these two areas are a hiker's paradise! Even in the rain, our hike to Alp Grum was great fun, and the hut we stopped in for lunch "up above" was yummy and a fun place. Descending from the starting point of the hikes demands you must have hiking poles as there are some steep paths to descend. The two hotels, Hotel Mueller in Pontresina and Hotel Perrin in Zermatt, were comfortable, cozy, and in perfect locales for our activities. We had an outstanding view of the Matterhorn from our room window in Zermatt! After reviewing the train schedules we determined that the Glacier Express is the most efficient way to get from Pontresina to Zermatt. I have been trying to get my wife to see the Alps for years and when Mac's emailed her about this trip, she was ready to go. We have traveled with Macs Adventure before and recommend them wholeheartedly. If you want to not just "look" at the Alps, but instead immerse yourself in them, this is the way to go!

Retired and we are loving it

Asheville, NC


The Glacier Express Rail and Hike

4.5 2


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