Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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The towering peak of the Matterhorn
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Highlights

  • Impressive views across to the Matterhorn
  • Wild, colourful alpine flowers
  • Exhilarating high alpine walking
  • Traditional, local Swiss cuisine at your overnight accommodation

The Matterhorn is one of the highest mountain peaks in the Alps, its dramatic pyramid peak stands proudly at 4478m. Discover the beauty of this wondrous mountain as you walk along the haute route from Brig down to Zermatt on our self guided walking holiday. Follow the trail along steep mountain passes with striking views of snow capped peaks. Experience the warmth of the locals in traditional Swiss villages and tuck into a cheese fondue at the end of a hard day of walking. Search for wild flowers and marvel at the landscapes on this wonderful walking adventure in the Swiss Alps.

Your journey begins in the small, charming city of Brig in south west Switzerland. Very soon you make your way up to the high walking trails overlooking pleasant valleys and along steep mountain passes. Follow ever changing scenery as you head south passing Simplon, Saas Fee and along the King's Route. An experience not to be missed is staying at the remote mountain hut - ‘Europahutte’, situated high in the mountains. Continue south following the trail and eventually you catch the first glimpse of the spectacular Matterhorn in the distance. The walk finishes in Zermatt the popular tourist town and its worth spending a bit of time here to relax after your walking adventure.

DAY 1: Arrive Brig

Brig is located in southwest Switzerland (The Valais). You can fly into both Zurich and Geneva Airports and take the direct train service to Brig. The journey times take (2hrs 20 mins) and (2hrs 45mins) respectively. Please check the Swiss Rail network for up to date timetables.


Brig is a small and charming town with many of its houses italian in appearance. Your information pack including route notes and maps will be waiting for you at your hotel in Brig, relax and unwind in the hotel before your walking adventure!


Overnight: Brig Hotel - Ambassador - DB&B


DAY 2: Walk to Simplon

Today starts with a short bus ride then a cable car journey up to Rosswald. You pass through little quaint valleys, crossing steams and travelling across steep and rugged slopes. A head for heights is recommended!


If you wish, you can shorten your walk by taking a bus from Rothwald to the Simplon Pass (payable locally)*.


Remember to pack your bag for your overnight as no luggage transfer is included today (it is possible to pay extra for a transfer; please see our option pricing).


Walk: 21km, 7.5 hrs, 1250m ascent / 1020m descent


*Shorter Walk: 14km, 5hs, 660m ascent / 700m descent


Overnight: Simplon Hotel - Fletschhorn- DB&B


DAY 3: Walk to Gspon

Start the day with  a minor ascent as you make your way across the Bistinepass (2417m). You will soon reach the beautiful untouched Nanz Valley. Alpine flowers guide the way down to the bottom of the valley with its impressive mountain range high above. Before long you will cross another pass and descend gently to the village of Gspon, high above the Matter Valley, where you will be staying tonight. 


Walk: 16 km, 6 hrs, 920m ascent / 1020m descent


Overnight: Gspon


DAY 4: Walk to Saas Fee

Leave Gspon behind and continue on the trail, following lush green covered fields and paths surrounded by beautiful alpine flowers. Slowly you ascend to the highest point of the day as you cross the steep slopes of the Weissmies. You then head down to the bottom of the Matter Valley, Saas Grund. From here you can either walk or take the bus for the final stretch to Saas Fee (payable locally)*.


Walk: 18km, 6.5 hrs, 700m ascent/780m descent


Overnight: Saas Fee Hotel - Tenne - B&B


DAY 5: Walk to Grachen

Todays route takes you high above the Matter Valley where you are rewarded with panoramic views over to magnificent snow covered mountains. It’s a very popular walk but you need to be careful as some of the slopes can be steep and exposed. You slowly ascend the Hanningalp from where you have the choice to either walk or take the cable car to Grachen where you hotel for the night is (cable car payable locally)*.


Walk: 19 km, 7.5hrs, 1000m ascent/ 1110m descent


*Shorter Walk: 16km 6h30, 1000m ascent / 600m descent


Overnight: Grachen Hotel - Sonne - DB&B


DAY 6: Walk to the Europahuette

Today you follow the start of the ‘Kings Route’ which connects Grachen with Zermatt. It is the highlight of the walk as you follow the high route along the Europaweg which is a demanding but very popular path. Staying at the Europahutte is a fabulous experience, it is a recently built mountain hut that is perfect for walkers. Wonderful views and the anticipation of the sight of the Matterhorn on tomorrow's walk will excite you.


Walk: 14 km, 7 hrs, 1030m ascent and 400 descent


Overnight: Mountain Hut - Europahuette - DB&B


The Europahuette is a wonderful mountain hut. You will be sharing a room with others and your luggage won't be transferred today. You will need to pack a sleeping liner for the mountain hut.


DAY 7: Walk to Zermatt

Today you will finally have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the famous Matterhorn mountain. It is one of the highest alps in Europe standing tall at 4,478 metres. From the Europahuette, you have a choice of walks.


Easier option: Descend into Randa and to the banks of the river Mattervispa, whose milky-blue waters you then follow upstream to Zermatt. This is an easy walk, allowing you to fully enjoy the views of the mountains surrounding you.


Challenging option: Continue to follow the Europaweg from the Europahut and cross the world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge. The track in places leads through short tunnels and through sections where the way has been carved into the rock face. Eventually you reach the Täschalp, a place with a small restaurant and a fantastic view of the impressive Weisshorn. From here you descend to the valley floor and you walk for the last 2 km through a lovely forest of larch trees to Zermatt.


Easier Walk: 15km, 4h30, 250m ascent / 900m descent


Challenging Walk: 17km, 7h45, 850m ascent / 850m descent


Overnight: Zermatt Hotel - Alphubel - B&B


DAY 8: Onward Travel

This morning you are free to leave after breakfast or why not add on a few extra nights in Zermatt to experience the wonderful village and views of the Matterhorn.

Accommodation

We specifically select your accommodation to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We aim to give you an authentic experience and use local family run accommodations in a mixture of hotels, guest houses and one mountain hut. The hotels are generally chalet types with wooden interior which are typical of the region. The guest houses and mountain hut will have shared facilities.


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.


Alternate accommodation

During high season, you might be booked into a different accommodation which is not listed in the description, and the start or end of some of your walking routes may be slightly altered. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same standard as those described.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. This holiday is not available for solo walkers due to the tough and sometimes remote terrain.


Meals

A delicious breakfast is included each morning and an evening meal is included on 5 nights. Most accommodations are happy to provide a packed lunch - this should be requested on arrival. Or you can pick up lunch in the village or stop along the trail.

Time of Year

The best months for walking are in the summer months between July and September when the wild flowers are in bloom and the weather is generally fair.


Grade & Terrain

This trip is graded strenuous with the average daily distance being 17km. It is a tough, challenging and adventurous trek. Each day has significant ascent and descent, paths are often exposed and are a mixture of woodland trails, rocky mountain paths, boulder fields, moraine, scree, gravel tracks, 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. There are also a couple of suspension bridges to cross (including the longest pedestrian footbridge in the world!)




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.




You should be sure-footed, have a head for heights and be an experienced Alpine hiker to undertake this tour.


 


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

Most trails are way-marked, and together with our route notes and maps, you will have no problem finding your way. The way-marking in Switzerland is a mixture of basic red and white painted flashes on rocks, tree trunks etc. and more sophisticated metal signposts with destination information, direction and the estimated walking time until destination.


Baggage Transfers

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person. Please note on Day 2* and Day 6 your accommodation is quite remote and luggage transfer will not be provided on this day. You will need to carry a day pack with overnight essentials.



  • Luggage transfers are available at a supplement for Day 2, however this is quite expensive. Please see the options section below for an idea of price, or contact our team.


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 (jacket and pants), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer and a day pack.


Getting to Brig

Brig is located in southwest Switzerland (The Valais).


Air - You can fly into both Zurich and Geneva Airports in Switzerland. Many low cost airlines fly here from the UK and Europe.


Train - From both Zurich and Geneva you can take the direct train service to Brig. The journey times take (2hrs 20 mins) and (2hrs 45mins) respectively. Please check the Swiss Rail network for up to date timetables.


Getting from Zermatt

Zermatt is located on the south west corner of Switzerland only 10k from the Italian border. You can reach Zurich in approx. (3hrs 20 mins) by train with one change. Geneva can be reached by train in approx. (2hrs 45mins). Please check the Swiss Rail network for up to date timetables.

Getting to Brig

For general travel planning and information in Switzerland, please go to: www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/transport-travel/getting-around  


Brig is located in southwest Switzerland (The Valais).


Air - You can fly into both Zurich and Geneva Airports in Switzerland. Many low cost airlines fly here from the UK and Europe.


Train - From both Zurich and Geneva you can take the direct train service to Brig. The journey times take (2hrs 20 mins) and (2hrs 45mins) respectively. Please check the Swiss Rail network for up to date timetables.


Getting from Zermatt

Zermatt is located on the south west corner of Switzerland only 10k from the Italian border. You can reach Zurich in approx. (3hrs 20 mins) by train with one change. Geneva can be reached by train in approx. (2hrs 45mins).  Please check the Swiss Rail network for up to date timetables.  

Included

  • Accommodation for 7 Nights in a mix of hotels, guest houses and mountain huts
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 5 Dinners
  • Luggage transfers as per itinerary
  • Detailed route notes and maps on arrival
  • 24-hour assistance by phone
  • Return Travel by train from Zermatt to Brig

Excluded

  • Flights and transfers to first / from last accommodation
  • Travel to and from Switzerland
  • Any train/bus travel in case of bad weather or for shortcuts.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program
  • Bus from Brig to Brig-Ried
  • Cable Car up to Rosswald on Day 2 (approx. CHF20 per person)

Extras

  • Single room supplement(s) if applicable
  • Solo walker supplement if applicable
  • Airport transfers
  • Additional nights during the walk.
  • Luggage transfers on Day 2.

How fit do I need to be?

The walking is graded moderate to strenuous  so you will enjoy the holiday more if you already enjoy an active lifestyle.  Most of the paths are easy to follow with your route notes and maps but some paths are steep and strenuous. Days can be long averaging approx 6 - 7 hrs per day.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

You can fly into either Zurich Airport or Geneva Airport in Switzerland, check out the travel details section for more detailed information.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as this area is very popular especially as the season is short (July - Sep).  You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.

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.  

When is the best time of year?

The best months for walking are in the summer months between July and September when the wild flowers are in bloom and the weather is generally fair.

How do the baggage transfers work? 

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.  Please note on Day 2 and Day 6 your accommodation is quite remote and luggage transfer will not be provided on this day.  You will need to carry a day pack with overnight essentials. 

What happens if I can't walk a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to most overnight stops. However some accommodations cannot be reached by road easily. In these cases you would get in touch with our local partner or us and we can best advise you on how to proceed.

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