Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Ultimate Swiss Alps
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Highlights

  • Experience the very best of Alpine Switzerland on foot and by train
  • Hike in the shadow of the iconic Jungfrau, Mönch, Eiger and Matterhorn peaks
  • Wander through idyllic meadows alive with the sound of cow bells and marmots
  • Ride the Glacier Express, one of Europe’s most beautiful train journeys
  • Stay in exceptional hotels and enjoy Swiss specialities like Raclette and Rösti

Immerse yourself in the magnificent Alps on this two week Grand Tour of Switzerland. Experience traditional, tranquil villages as well as vibrant towns such as Grindelwald and Zermatt, all perfect bases for classic local walks. Make use of the world-renowned Swiss train system to get from place to place.

Hike through Alpine meadows; soaking in the views of famous peaks like the Jungfrau and Mönch. Walk to Grindelwald on the iconic Eiger Trail, skirting the base of the notorious North Face, a truly memorable experience. Get to know Zermatt and take in views of the Matterhorn while enjoying a picnic on the banks of an Alpine lake. Take the Glacier Express to St. Moritz in the lush Engadin Valley, one of the most stunning rail journeys of the world.

After a day of exploring, relax at your comfortable hotel before refuelling on some delicious local food, washed down with a glass of Swiss red wine.

Day 1 Arrive Mürren

Whichever Swiss airport you arrive to, your travel pass has got you covered. Sit back, relax and experience one of the best public transport systems in the world on your way to Mürren, by train and cable car.


Nestled in the heart of the Bernese Oberland, Mürren is a charming alpine village which can only be reached by train. Mürren’s car-free streets are lined with wooden chalets, adorned with colourful flowers. Listen out for the tinkling of cowbells as you settle into your historic 4* hotel for a 2 night stay.


Overnight: Mürren


Day 2 Choice of Walks from Mürren

A leisurely walk brings you from Mürren to Lauterbrunnen on the valley floor. Wander through forest and fields, enjoying glimpses of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau (the Ogre, Monk and Maiden). This famous trio of peaks have lured tourists and pioneering mountaineers to the Bernese Oberland since Victorian times. Keep an eye out for waterfalls cascading from dizzying heights.


Alternatively, take the train to Grutschalp (15 mins) and return to Mürren via the Mountain View Trail for the most breathtaking views this region has to offer. An ascent brings you through forest, opening up into fantastic views of the surrounding peaks as you walk along a path surrounded by yellow, pink and purple alpine flowers.


Walks: 6-6.5 km, 0-450m ascent, 305-850m descent


Overnight: Mürren


Day 3 Train to Eigergletscher, Eiger Trail to Grindelwald

Start today with a train journey (1.5 hr) to Eigergletscher. The thrilling Eiger Trail is an iconic walk not to be missed. This scenic balcony route traverses the foot of the Eiger’s North Face. With a daunting vertical drop of 1,600m the alluring North Face has attracted the world’s best climbers for almost a century. Take binoculars and look out for climbers setting off on an expedition.


Soak up the views over the Wetterhorn which towers dramatically over the town of Grindelwald before continuing on a zig zag trail down to Grindelwald, your base for the next 2 nights.


People have been drawn to Grindelwald since the 18th century, due to its magnificent surroundings and a glacier which used to reach all the way into the town. Grindelwald continues to be a popular spot for tourists looking to get closer to nature.


Walk: 5-14 km, up to 240m descent, up to 1,500m descent


Overnight: Grindelwald


Day 4 Choice of Walks from Grindelwald

Ride the cable car and embark on a gentle walk to the impossibly beautiful Bachalpsee. An Alpine lake at 2,264m with a dramatic backdrop showcasing the pointed peak of Schreckhorn. Enjoy an idyllic picnic of  Gruyère and dried Wurst, while soaking in the views. From here, head back the way you came, or those wanting to continue can loop behind Grossenegg and Schwarzhorn to discover three secret mountain lakes.


Alternatively, walk from Grindelwald to Grosse Scheidegg. This walk is filled with cows, flowers, amazing views and is classic Switzerland in one hike!


Walks: 3-16km, 100-950m ascent, 50-1050m descent


Overnight: Grindelwald


Day 5 Train to Kandersteg, day at leisure

Today is a travel day so you can sit back and relax as you take the train through scenery straight from a storybook to Kandersteg (2 hours). A small alpine town, Kandersteg is a walker’s paradise. Surrounded by high peaks with the Kander river flowing through its bustling heart, it’s the perfect base for the next two nights.


Train: approx. 2 hours.


Overnight: Kandersteg


Day 6 Choice of walks from Kandersteg

Today you have a choice of three walks to explore the Kandersteg mountains. One of our favourites is to Oeschinensee Lake. Begin the day with a 10 minute cable car ride from Kandersteg to Oeschinensee.  From here, take the mountain path up to the Hueberg viewpoint for views over this iconic turquoise lake.  Descend over alpine meadows and follow a scenic path along the shores. After a relaxed afternoon exploring Oeschinensee, return to Kandersteg for a hearty alpine dinner.


Walks: 8.5-23.5 km, 315-680m ascent,


65 -835m Descent


Overnight: Kandersteg


Day 7 Walk to Leukerbad via Gemmipass

Take the cable car from the valley up to Sunnbuel.  A well-signposted route takes you through alpine meadows and ancient pine forest passing the Berg Hotel Schwartzhorn situated in a sheltered spot where alpine chough soar on thermals. Pause here for ‘Kaffee and Kuchen’ (coffee and cake) before continuing through the rugged landscape to reach the  blue waters of Daubensee. From the Gemmipass (2,270m) there are excellent views of the  jagged Plattenhorner peak and the spa town of Leukerbad below.  Descend to Leukerbad on the cable car to avoid the steep descent.


Walk: 14.5 km, 545m ascent, 155-1080m descent


Overnight: Leukerbad


Day 8 Choice of walks from Leukerbad

Set off early and enjoy one of two recommended walks in the Leukerbad area. The walk to Restipass (2,630m) is great for wildlife lovers as you are likely to spot marmots and ibex on the higher slopes in the distance. The views over the Rhone valley and distant snowy peaks are excellent. Spend the afternoon relaxing in your hotel’s spa facilities, or visit the 10 natural thermal baths which range from 28 degrees to 43 degrees Celsius. The perfect place to rest tired leg muscles! 


Choice of walks: 13 km, 540m-1040m ascent, 540m-1120m descent.


Overnight: Leukerbad


Day 9 Train to Zermatt

After a leisurely breakfast buffet, take the train from Leukerbad south to Zermatt, Switzerland’s famous outdoor capital (2.5 hours). The pyramidal peak of the Matterhorn towers over the village; a renowned mountaineering centre. Sitting at 1,600m, its main street is lined with boutique shops, cosy cafés and a range of restaurants.


Wander around the car-free centre and indulge in some classic Swiss food like roesti or fondue in one of the many restaurants in the village. 


Train: 2.5 hours


Overnight: Zermatt


Day 10 Choice of Walks from Zermatt

One of today’s choices is 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.


Walks: 5-10 km, up to 350m ascent, up to 1000m descent.


Overnight: Zermatt


Day 11 Choice of Walks from Zermatt

Take the Gornergrat cog railway from central Zermatt to Rifflealp station (15 mins) for a hike on the Nature Way. 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. Enjoy a final meal in one of Zermatt’s restaurants and why not treat yourself to some haute-cuisine? As well as everyday restaurants, Zermatt is home to 16 restaurants listed in the Michelin guide, and one has even been awarded 2 Michelin stars.


Walks: 5-10 km, up to 350m ascent, up to 1000m descent.


Overnight: Zermatt


Day 12 Glacier Express to St. Moritz

Sit back and relax on the Glacier Express from  Zermatt to St. Moritz. 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.


From St. Moritz, take a short local train (10 mins) to the authentic village of Pontresina. Located at an altitude of 1,800m, the town has a luxurious feel, with its Swiss pine restaurants and gourmet cuisine. With all the luxe of St. Moritz but without the crowds and a more compact town centre, Pontresina is the perfect base from which to explore the Engadin.


Train: 8 hours


Overnight: Pontresina


Day 13 Choice of Walks from Pontresina

One of today’s options includes taking a 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.  Enjoy a glass of Swiss wine back at your hotel and toast to the end of a wonderful journey through Switzerland.


Walks: 6.5-13.5 km, up to 1010 m ascent, up to 400m descent.


Overnight: Pontresina


Day 14 Onward Travel

Enjoy a final Swiss breakfast before taking a train (included in your Travel Pass) to Zurich/Geneva airport, or your next Swiss destination. 


Accommodation

Spend 13 nights in  3* hotels. All of our accommodations are carefully hand-selected and offer a warm welcome to walkers.


You will find an example of the accommodation we normally use below. If these accommodations are not available we will use a hotel of a similar of better standard than those described.


Meals

14 breakfasts are included in the cost of your trip. Breakfast is always buffet-style with various options available. Expect a continental  breakfast with bread, jams, pastries, yoghurt and muesli available. Usually there are also local meats and cheeses, eggs and fruit on offer.   


Dinners and most lunches are not included so you have the freedom to choose from what’s on offer each day. You may be able to order a packed lunch at your accommodation for the following day, or you can find bakeries and shops in each town to stock up on food for your hikes. There are plenty of options for dinner each night, either at your hotel or in nearby restaurants. Lunch is included on our Glacier Express journey.


Food in this part of the Alps is hearty and traditional, with meat, cheese and potatoes being some of the dominant ingredients.



 

 

 




Hotel Alpenruh - Müren

Chalet Hotel Alpenruh is located adjacent to the Schilthorn cable car station, just minutes from the heart of Mürren. Dine in the popular restaurant or relax in the cosy small bar.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Gletschergarten - Grindelwald

Chalet Hotel Gletschergarten*** has been family-run since 1899, and is in the 4th generation of the Michel-Breitenstein family. There is a sauna, steam bath and relaxation room. All rooms have a balcony or terrace. Chef François Rollot prepares 4-course dining at the restaurant.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Chalet Hotel Adler - Kandersteg

Located in the heart of Kandersteg Chalet-Hotel Adler is a 5 minute walk from the train station. This small family-run hotel provides a friendly service alongside their restaurant, serving hearty homecooked alpine staples and stone-baked pizzas. The hotel has it’s own spa and pool where you can relax after a day on the trail.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Waldhaus - Leukerbad

Situated in a quiet spot overlooking the town, the hotel is a 5 minute walk from the centre and public thermal spa facilities. Experience a creative alpine-inspired menu at the Waldhaus restaurant—a member of the Swiss Guild of established gastronomers earning it a national reputation for culinary excellence


 

 

 


 

 

 




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.


 

 

 

Availability

You can start your adventure on any day between mid-June and mid-September.


Time of Year

Any time during the period of June to September is great for waking. Those travelling in
the ‘shoulder’ months of June and September will find the trails, towns
and hotels are quieter. July and August are peak Summer times and
places and trails will be busier.


Keep in mind that the weather
can be changeable at high altitudes, and cold fronts can occur even in
the summer (snowfall in the Alps at the height of summer is not unheard
of). If travelling in June, there may be snow still lying on some of the
trails, and some may still be closed to summer hikers.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

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


Grade & Terrain 

The trip is graded moderate; some previous walking experience and a good level of fitness is recommended so you can relax and enjoy the scenery. Our routes follow wide tracks, paths and sometimes narrower mountain paths occasionally with steep slopes above and below—as with most Alpine walking a good head for heights and sure-footedness is required. The incorporation of cable cars avoids most steep ascents and descents, but some steep sections are unavoidable—walking poles are highly recommended.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The network of paths and trails in Switzerland is comprehensively way-marked as are all the variations we suggest. Navigating is made even easier using the Macs Adventure Navigation App. Your daily walks will be mapped in the app with GPX tracks, route notes and directions. All of these resources are available to download for offline use, meaning you can put your phone to flight mode and preserve the battery.


Baggage Transfers

Your bags will be transferred between Mürren and Grindelwald
on Day 3 and between Kandersteg and Leukerbad on Day 7. We ask you to
limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per
person. When travelling between destinations by train, you will take
your luggage with you on the train.


Travel During the Trip

This itinerary makes use of Switzerland’s extensive public transport system. Included in the tour cost is a 8 Day Flexi Swiss Travel Pass, a Glacier Express reservation and an Engadin Valley Pass. These will cover your travel on Days 1, 5,9, 12, 13 and 14. Travel on Day 3 is partly covered, and the Swiss Travel Pass offers considerable discounts on cable cars and mountain railways in the Bernese Oberland, Leukerbad and Zermatt areas.  As a guide, you should budget 200 CHF per person for additional public transport costs (cable cars, mountain railways etc.) This figure could be less, depending on the walks you choose to undertake.


You will receive all the information you will need regarding public transport connections in your information pack and route notes.


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 Mürren

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


https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-ch/transport-travel/travel-to-switzerland.html 


The only way to reach Mürren is by train; just 55 mins from Interlaken.  You can fly into Bern (2 hrs away), Zurich or Basel (3 hrs), or Geneva (3h45).Included in your arrangements is a 8 day Flexi Swiss Travel Pass. This ticket covers your train journey from any Swiss Airport or border train station to Mürren. From Geneva airport, Mürren can be reached by train in 4.5 hours. From Zurich, 3.5 hours.


Train timetables and details of public transportation in Switzerland are available via the excellent travel planner at www.sbb.ch


Getting from Pontresina

From Pontresina you can travel by train to any other Swiss destination, or to any of the above mentioned airports (approx. 6 hours to Geneva airport and approx. 3.5 hours to Zurich airport).


 

Included

  • 13 Nights in 3* hotels
  • 13 Breakfasts
  • 1 Lunch
  • 8 Day Flexi Swiss Travel Pass
  • Glacier Express journey
  • Bag transfers as per the itinerary (Day 3 and Day 7)
  • Route notes, map & info pack
  • 24-7 Emergency telephone support

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to and from Switzerland
  • Additional public transport costs not included in the Swiss Travel Pass (eg. mountain railways, cable cars, chairlifts, funiculars etc.)
  • Most lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk
  • Single room supplement

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the region is very popular, especially over the summer months. However we will always try our best to accommodate your plans.

How fit do I need to be?

The trip is graded moderate; some previous walking experience and a good level of fitness is recommended so you can relax and enjoy the scenery. Our routes follow wide tracks, paths and sometimes narrower mountain paths occasionally with steep slopes above and below—as with most Alpine walking a good head for heights and sure-footedness is required. The incorporation of cable cars avoids most steep ascents and descents, but some steep sections are unavoidable—walking poles are highly recommended.

How do the baggage transfers work? 

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. Your bags will be transferred between Mürren and Grindelwald on Day 3 and between Kandersteg and Leukerbad on Day 7. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person. When travelling between destinations by train, you will take your luggage with you on the train.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

You can fly into Zurich, Basel, Geneva or Bern Belp airports in Switzerland, check out the travel details section for more detailed information.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a day pack, 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.  

When is the best time of year?

Any time during this period is great for waking. Those travelling in the ‘shoulder’ months of June and September will find the trails, towns and hotels are quieter. July and August are peak Summer times and places and trails will be busier.
Keep in mind that the weather can be changeable at high altitudes, and cold fronts can occur even in the summer (snowfall in the Alps at the height of summer is not unheard of). If travelling in June, there may be snow still lying on some of the trails, and some may still be closed to summer hikers.

What happens if I can't walk a stage? 

Almost all of the walks on this trip are optional. If you cannot walk from Mürren to Grindelwald, or from Kandersteg to Leukerbad, simply take public transport instead.

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