- 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.
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
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 kmOvernight: 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.
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/500mOvernight: 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 kmOvernight: 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: 330/260mOvernight: 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.
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 Pontresina
For general travel planning and information in Switzerland, please go to: www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/transport-travel/getting-around
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 www.sbb.ch.
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 https://www.sbb.ch/
- 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.