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The Via Alpina East

10 Days & 9 Nights
  • Complete the east section of the classic alpine hike across Switzerland
  • Walk in the shadow of the mighty Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger peaks
  • Conquer 7 alpine passes and enjoy spectacular mountain views
  • Wander through meadows alive with the sound of cow bells and marmots
  • Stay in comfortable hotels and enjoy Swiss specialities like Potato Rösti
Walk the eastern section of the Via Alpina and explore alpine Switzerland on this inn to inn trail. Start in the town of Sargans near the Liechtenstein border and finish in the buzzing town of Grindelwald. Walk below countless peaks such as the famous Bernese Oberland trio; the Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger. Expect peaceful alpine meadows and quaint towns with wooden chalets bursting with colourful flower-filled balconies. Finish each day in a comfortable 3* hotel or mountain hotel in private rooms. Bag transfer is also included giving you the freedom to walk each day with just a light bag each day. With well-maintained and signposted trails, Switzerland is a self-guided walker’s paradise. Combine this with mountainous scenery, fresh Alpine air and seamless public transport, you have the perfect recipe for a fantastic adventure along the Via Alpina.

What To Expect

This tour is perfect for experienced long-distance walkers who like their creature comforts. Rated moderate to strenuous with significant ascent and descent each day; on average 1000m. There are some long days; on average 18km a day. The terrain is varied and includes short sections of aided ascent/descent in the form of cables. Daily bag transfer is included meaning you need only walk with a light bag each day. Accommodation is in comfy 3* hotels and atmospheric mountain hotels, always in private rooms.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.

Activity:

Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Mountains

Grade & Terrain

This trip is graded moderate to strenuous with the average daily distance being 18km.  Although almost every day there is the option to shorten it by using some form of public transport. Each day has significant ascent and descent and the paths are a mixture of woodland trails, rocky mountain paths, grassy paths, moraine, scree, and paved country roads. There is some light scrambling involved in places and there are cables, ropes, and chains to aid ascent/descent in some places. Please be aware that on the highest passes, there may be some residual snow lying in patches, but this will not require any special equipment or skills; just a steady foot, walking experience and a head for heights. Walking poles are essential. To get the most of this trip, you should be in good physical shape.

Navigation

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

Accommodation Information

Stay 7 nights in comfortable 3* hotels in private en-suite rooms and 2 nights in mountain hotels in private rooms with shared bathroom facilities. An example of the accommodation we use in some of the towns along the way can be found below. If these accommodations are not available, a hotel of the same or better standard will be used.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is not available to solo walkers due to the difficulty of the terrain. Single rooms are on request and a supplement is payable for this.

Hotel Upgrades

Why not upgrade your hotel in Grindelwald at the end of the trail? Please see below our standard upgrade hotel.

Meals

Breakfasts are included each day and tends to be a buffet selection with lots of sweet treats like pastries, home made jams, fruit and cereals. Savoury tastes are also catered for with bread, cheese, ham and eggs usually available. Packed lunch items can be bought locally from supermarkets or the local bakery. If you are staying in a small town without these facilities, order a packed lunch with your accommodation  upon arrival. Dinner is included at each overnight location with the exception of Zurich, Grindelwald, Gstaad and Montreux, where there are plenty of dining options to choose from. Meal times are a real highlight, and you can enjoy homemade Swiss specialties. If you have any dietary requirements, please tell us upon booking and we can arrange this with the accommodations. Swiss specialities are mostly based on cheese and potatoes, such as raclette and potato roesti.

Included
  • 7 Nights in 3* hotels, 2 nights in mountain hotels and guesthouses
  • 9 Breakfasts
  • 7 Dinners
  • Daily bag transfer
  • Detailed pre-departure information pack
  • Route notes, maps, GPX tracks and access to our Macs Adventure Navigation App
  • 24-hour emergency telephone assistance
Excluded
  • Flights to and from Switzerland
  • Travel to starting point/from finish point
  • Public transport such as cable cars
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program
Extras
  • Additional nights

When To Go

This trip is available to start any day of the week, from the start of July to early September. 

Getting to the Start

Fly into Zurich, Geneva or Bern then continue by train to Zurich (10 mins, 3 or 1 hours). For general travel planning and information in Switzerland, please go to: www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/transport-travel/getting-around

Getting from the End

From Grindelwald most train connections are via Interlaken Ost (35 mins).  Travel times are as follows from Grindelwald to city train stations (Hauptbahnhof/HB): to Bern (1h40), Zurich (2h40), Basel (2h40), or Geneva (3h30); please see SBB’s website for timetable planning.

Baggage Transfer

Baggage transfers are included in the price of your trip. We ask you to keep your baggage to a maximum of 1 bag per person with a maximum weight of 20 kg.

How fit do I need to be?
How does the bag transfer work?
How far in advance do I need to book?
What personal equipment do I need?

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Zurich Day 2 Train to Sargans and walk to Weisstannen 8 miles / 12.5 km Day 3 Walk to Elm 15 miles / 24 km Day 4 Walk to Linthal 12.5 miles / 20 km Day 5 Funicular to Braunwald, walk to Urnerboden 8 miles / 13 km Day 6 Walk to Unterschachen and bus to Altdorf 9.5 miles / 15 km Day 7 Bus/cable car to Bruesti and walk to Engelberg 13 miles / 21 km Day 8 Cable car to Jochpass and walk to Meiringen 13.5 miles / 21.5 km Day 9 Walk to Grindelwald 15.5 miles / 25 km Day 10 Onward Travel

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