The Jungfrau + Matterhorn tour provides perhaps the perfect combination of pretty villages and premier hikes in Switzerland. On one of our signature tours, we’ll spend 4 nights in Mürren, 2 nights in Grindelwald, 2 nights in Saas Fee, and 4 nights in Zermatt. We’ll stay in comfortable and classy 3 and 4-star hotels in each village, enjoying some of the finest hiking in the Alps on our 5-7 hour dayhikes, returning to the same hotel each night. See the main sights that you won’t want to miss, such as the Jungfrau, Eiger and Matterhorn mountains, and many small, off-the-beaten-path places as well. In general, we like to avoid the more crowded areas, and seek out the more peaceful trails. As a former year-round residents of Mürren, we enjoy showing off my favorite spots, often hidden gems you won’t find in a guidebook.
Our typical day starts with a continental buffet breakfast at our hotel – delicious fresh baked bread and croissants, local meats and cheeses, cereal, fruit, coffee and juice – which gives us the energy needed for the task ahead. Soon we’ll be out on the trail, where you’ll get to choose between an easier or more strenuous hike for the day. Each morning, you’ll be handed a lunch to carry, and at a mid-point along the way we’ll choose a beautiful spot to stop and enjoy our picnic. We get a lot of compliments on our imaginative lunches – making them something to look forward to as well!
We should finish our hike around 4 pm, giving you time to wash up, relax, or perhaps do a bit of shopping in town. After that, we’ll enjoy dinner together at our hotel or another local restaurant. These are multi-course feasts, often centered on local specialties like bratwurst, rösti, or cheese fondue, but may also feature chicken, fish, or other continental specialties. Our hotels all serve fabulous food, and dinners will be hearty, filling, well-earned and very delicious. We will leave one night in Mürren and one night in Zermatt free, so you will have a chance to explore on your own.
Mürren – Arrive in Switzerland, and transfer by train to our meeting point in Mürren. There is a train station in both the Zurich and Geneva airports, and transferring to Mürren will be an easy introduction to Swiss precision and friendliness.
The trip itself is incredibly scenic, and takes about 4 hours. Mürren is an idyllic, car-free village, perched atop a sheer 3000ft. cliff above the waterfall-filled Lauterbrunnen valley (picture Yosemite with a Swiss village on top). We’ll meet and talk about our tour before settling in for our welcome dinner at the Hotel Jungfrau. (Hotel Bellevue)
Mürren – One of our favorite hikes starts in town, and gently meanders up the hills to the pastoral setting at Spielboden. Here we cross the Schiltbach stream, and start a steep and invigorating ascent to the local peak of Bryndli.
We’ll take our lunch enjoying birds-eye views of Mürren and the Lauterbrunnen valley, perhaps with a soaring golden eagle for company. From here the trail levels off, and becomes a relaxing stroll through flowery meadows to a quiet alpine hut at Bogangen. The trail back leads over a small ridge for more great views, before dropping back down to Mürren. (Hotel Bellevue)
Mürren – The Upper Lauterbrunnen valley curls back beneath the white-capped Breithorn – considered by many to be the most perfect mountain in the region. It’s also a nature preserve, and contains many wonderful hiking trails.
One of our favorites takes us to the small farm at Obersteinberg, where the proprietors keep cows and make cheese by the same simple methods that have been used for centuries. This part of the valley also contains some of the area’s prettiest waterfalls. Dinner will be on your own tonight in Mürren. (Hotel Bellevue)
Mürren – We may start with a morning stroll through the sleepy village of Gimmelwald. From here a wooded trail leads down past impressive waterfalls to the floor of the Lauterbrunnen valley.
After a relaxing picnic lunch, a flat hike takes us through the center of this amazing valley. 3000′ cliffs tower on either side of us, bursting with some of Switzerland’s most famous waterfalls. After arriving in the town of Lauterbrunnen, we can transfer by cablecar back to Mürren. (Hotel Bellevue)
Grindelwald – A morning transfer brings us to the classic resort village of Grindelwald. Fronted by the impressive rock wall of the Bernese Alps, the ridge behind Grindelwald hosts some of the greatest panorama hiking in the Alps.
The Bachalpsee, a small glacial lake, provides the perfect mirror for enjoying the surrounding mountain scenery. We’ll follow less traveled trails through rocky fields and old pine forests to this lake and other favorite viewpoints. (Hotel Gletschergarten)
Grindelwald – Another energetic hike takes us right into the heart of the Grindelwald mountains. It starts with a densely wooded climb to the impressive Gletscherschlucht – a steep narrow gorge gouged out by the lower Grindelwald glacier.
From here, our path continues up, out of the woods, along an airy trail to Bäregg. This sunny perch sits in a cirque among the mountains, and is a wonderful place to watch birds soar as avalanches crash onto the glacier far below. (Hotel Gletschergarten)
Saas Fee – After breakfast together, we’ll say good-bye to Grindelwald, and board the train for Saas Fee, a high, car-free village in Switzerland’s southern Valais region.
In Saas Fee, a beautiful balcony walk through larch forests gives a great introduction to this glacier-ringed valley. We stay in the center of town in a comfortable 4-star hotel. (Hotel Metropol)
Saas Fee – We may cross the valley from Saas Fee and climb on quiet wooded trails to the remote Allmagelleralp, where we lunch at an historic hut before looping back to town. (Hotel Metropol)
We can either return the way we came for a shorter day, or take a high traverse across the hillsides with views of the mighty Mischabel mountains above Saas Fee before returning by cable car and bus.
Zermatt – After breakfast, we’ll take a morning transfer to Zermatt, the lively village at the base of the Matterhorn. It’s nice to start with a walking tour of the village that takes you past 400 year-old houses and into the history of this fascinating town.
You’ll have a chance to check out the town, take a short walk around Zermatt, or enjoy the wonderful pool and spa before settling in for our welcome dinner at the very friendly Hotel Europe. (Hotel Europe)
Zermatt – We like to get off the beaten path in Zermatt, and the Trift valley is ideal for quiet trails and sweeping views.
Take a secret trail to a favorite viewpoint high above town, then enjoy a refreshing stop at the Trift inn, known for their homemade ice tea made from local alpine herbs. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy exquisite food and great Matterhorn views from our hotel on the outskirts of town. (Hotel Europe)
Zermatt – Taking quiet trails through fields and forest, we have a range of choices up to the wide ridge of Gornergrat, past marmots and small glacial lakes, to what has to be one of the finest viewpoints in Europe.
The jumbled mass of the Gorner glacier stretches out before us, and behind that, Dom, Monte Rosa, the Breithorn, and the Matterhorn form a spectacular backdrop. Dinner will be on your own tonight in Zermatt. (Hotel Europe)
Zermatt – There are many peaceful trails criss-crossing the larch forests outside of Zermatt. We can take one that leads us to a suspended wooden walkway through a narrow river gorge.
After a thrilling walk through the gorge, we emerge and continue on to the enchanting, centuries-old hamlets of Zum See and Zmutt. Perhaps we’ll make the strenuous climb to the Schwarzsee lake, or even up to the Hornli hut (a sort of Matterhorn base camp) to enjoy fabulous, close-up views of the Matterhorn and and a sweeping look back at the valley below. (Hotel Europe)
depart – After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll say our good-byes and leave for our post-trip destinations.
Zermatt and the Matterhorn have filled people with awe and wonder for centuries. On this tour you’ll see the Matterhorn from many different perspectives.Learn more ›
On this village-based guided tour, discover Murren and Zermatt – arguably the two best hiking destinations in Switzerland…Learn more ›