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The Via Alpina

18 Days & 17 Nights 5 Read 1 reviews
  • Complete the classic Alpine hike from east to west Switzerland
  • Walk in the shadow of the mighty Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger peaks
  • Conquer 14 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 specialties like Potato Rösti
Walk a complete traverse of Alpine Switzerland on this inn to inn trail. Start in East Switzerland near the Liechtenstein border and finish in West Switzerland on the glistening shores of Lake Geneva. This epic trail of 227km, crossing 14 Alpine mountain passes and passing through six different Swiss cantons. 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. 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.
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.

Tour Type:

Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!


Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Long-Distance Trails, Alpine Walking

Activity Level & 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.


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. 


Stay 14 nights comfortable 3* hotels in private en-suite rooms and 3 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. 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

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 in Montreux at the end of the trail? Contact us for more information. 


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 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. Once you are in French speaking Switzerland and over the so-called ‘Roesti-graben’ (Roesti ditch) which refers to the cultural, linguistic and gastronomic divide between French and German speaking Switzerland, you will notice the food becomes much more ‘French’. One popular Vaudois speciality is Papet Vaudois, a dish made from slow cooked potato, leek and succulent local sausage.

  • 14 Nights in 3* hotels, 3 nights in mountain hotels and guesthouses
  • 17 Breakfasts
  • 13 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
  • 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
  • Additional nights

When To Go

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

Grindelwald is hosting the famous Eiger Ultra Trail race (12th to 16th July). We recommend avoiding the Via Alpina at this time as the area is extremely busy, and most accommodations are full.

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:

Getting from the End

Take a train from Montreux to Geneva (1.5 hours) , Zurich (3hours)  or Bern (2 hours) airports. Train timetables and details of public transportation in Switzerland are available via the excellent travel planner at

Luggage 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.

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.

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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 / 24.7 km Day 10 Walk to Wengen 10 miles / 16.5 km Day 11 Train to Muerren and walk to Griesalp 11 miles / 17 km Day 12 Walk to Kandersteg 10.5 miles / 17 km Day 13 Walk to Adelboden 10 miles / 16 km Day 14 Walk to Lenk 9 miles / 14.5 km Day 15 Walk to Lauenen and bus to Gstaad 9 miles / 14.5 km Day 16 Walk to L’Etivaz 12.5 miles / 20 km Day 17 Walk to Montreux 14 miles / 22 km Day 18 Onward Travel

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