- Classic Walks in the shadow of the Matterhorn
- Experience Zermatt, an iconic alpine town
- Peaceful St Luc in the authentic Swiss Val d'Anniviers
- Flexible walking - this tour can be as easy or as demanding as you like
- Enjoying Swiss mountain food such as raclette and fondue
Follow in the footsteps of pioneering Victorian hikers and experience Switzerland’s most famous mountain, the Matterhorn, from two sides on this twin centre walking holiday.
With stylish Zermatt as your base for four nights, 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.
Jump on the train and head to St Luc for three nights, a peaceful village nestled in the Val d’Anniviers — an authentically Swiss valley. More great walks take you to historic mountain hotels, huts, alpine meadows and lakes.
DAY 1: Arrive Zermatt
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.
DAY 2: 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, 300m ascent/ 500m descent
DAY 3: The Matterhorn Trail or Walk to Zmutt
A choice of walks today; 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.
You can reach Zmutt also by taking the longer Matterhorn trail. This is an educational walk starting at Schwarzsee station and finishing in Zermatt. Follow the path and its information boards and learn about the history, folk tales and legends of the iconic peak. You are rewarded with views of the Matterhorn's North face before reaching Zmutt with its historic white chapel. Descend to Zermatt.
Walking: various; 5 - 10 km, various ascent/descent
DAY 4: The Nature Way
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, 330m ascent/260m descent
DAY 5: Train and bus to St Luc
Bid ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to Zermatt and ‘bonjour’ to the Val d’Anniviers. Sit back, relax and enjoy the seamless Swiss transport system. Take a train to Sierre via Visp, then continue into the valley by bus to St Luc, a sleepy alpine village perched on the valley slope. Its situation means it receives lots of sun as well as unobstructed views of the surrounding mountains, including the Matterhorn.
If time permits take a short walk on the fun ‘Planets Way’ en route to the historic Hotel Weisshorn, a former stomping ground of Victorian-era mountaineers.
Train and bus: 3-4 hours
Walking: 9 km, 250m ascent/descent
Overnight and dinner: St Luc
DAY 6: The Three Lakes Walk
Head to Tignousa (3 minutes from St Luc) by funicular for the start of today’s walk, a circular route which visits the alpine lakes of Lac de Combavert, Lac de Armina and Lac de la Bella Tola. Each lake is as serene as the last and you will soon find yourself at the foot of Bella Tola, which at a height of 3,025m is the highest peak in the area. The hardy may wish to continue to the peak for sublime views of the surrounding mountain range. Continue on the circular route and you will soon come across Cabane Bella Tola, a popular mountain lodge, also serving lunch. Why not try one of their gourmet salads topped with dried alpine flowers?
Walk: 11 km, 370m ascent/descent
Overnight and dinner: St Luc
DAY 7: Free day in St Luc or choice of walks
Spend the day relaxing in your hotel, exploring the town of St. Luc, or any of the neighbouring villages. For those keen to walk more, there are numerous walking trails in the area to choose from. Our info pack includes details of these walks.
Overnight and dinner: St Luc
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.
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.
Upgrade to Hotel Bella Tola
We recommend upgrading your accommodation in St-Luc to the fabulous 4 star historic hotel– the Hotel Bella Tola. Facilities include a library, sauna, hamman and an indoor pool with the most magical view of the mountains. For more details and prices please contact one of our team or refer to our website.
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.
Le Grand Chalet Favre – St Luc
A traditional chalet style hotel with individually decorated rooms, this hotel has been welcoming guests since 1933. With only 15 rooms you can be sure of personal service from the efficient team here. Relax on the terrace and take in the views of the peaks in the distance with a home-made aperitif before dining in the on-site restaurant.
This trip is available to start any day of the week, from the middle 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. Most of the walks on this tour in the Mattertal require a mountain train or funicular journey to the start or from the end of the walk back to Zermatt. In the Val d’Anniviers, most walks require a funicular or bus to the start/from the end of the walk. The busses used in the valley are called ‘post buses'. More info about the buses and timetables can be found here.
Pass Anniviers Liberté (Val d'Anniviers only)
At your hotel in the Val d’Anniviers you will receive a ‘Pass Anniviers Liberté which entitles you to free use of most of the postbus lines in the valley, some cable cars, swimming pools and other attractions. For a full list of inclusions, have a look here.
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 2: Zermatt– Sunnegga 24CHF return
Day 3: Zermatt—Schwarzsee 50CHF return, Furi—Zermatt 17CHF single
Day 4: Zermatt– Gornergrat 47CHF single, Sunnegga—Zermatt, 16CHFsingle
Grade & Terrain
This trip is graded ‘easy—moderate’ overall, as the walks are around 4-14km, and quite varied. 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; 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.
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.
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 Zermatt
For general travel planning and information in Switzerland, please go to: www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/transport-travel/getting-around
Fly into Geneva, Zurich or Bern then continue by train to Zermatt. (3.5 , 3.5 or 2 hours) Train timetables and details of public transportation in Switzerland are available via the excellent travel planner at www.sbb.ch.
Getting from Zermatt to St Luc
Take the train from Zermatt main station to Sierre via Visp ( approx 1.5 hours). From Sierre take a postbus to St Luc via Vissoie (approx 1 hour). Times can be found for the entire journey at https://www.sbb.ch/
Getting from St Luc
From St-Luc take the bus down to the valley floor to Vissoie, then change bus to return to Sierre (approx. 1 hour total). From Sierre train station, all airports mentioned above are easily reached, as well as a number of other Swiss and European destinations.
- 7 Nights in 3* hotels
- 7 Breakfasts
- 3 Dinners
- Detailed pre-departure information pack
- a list of suggested walks with maps, GPX tracks and access to our GPS app
- The “Anniviers Liberty Pass” which includes over 20 free activities in the Val d'Anniviers and most local bus services and cable cars/funiculars
- 24-hour emergency telephone assistance
- Flights to and from Switzerland
- Travel from/to airport to Zermatt/from St Luc
- Cable cars/funiculars/public transport in the Mattertal
- Travel between Zermatt and St Luc
- 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
- upgrade to Hotel Bella Tola in St Luc
How fit do I need to be?
This trip is graded ‘easy—moderate’ overall, as the walks are around 4-14km, and are well established paths. If you have a good level of fitness you will have no problem with this tour.
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.