Murren and Zermatt are arguably the two best hiking destinations in Switzerland. Murren is nestled in the heart of the Bernese Oberland region, gazing directly at the Eiger and Jungfrau and surrounded by miles of quiet hiking trails. Zermatt is tucked at the end of a long valley dominated by the Matterhorn and numerous other impressive peaks. The two villages provide wonderfully contrasting experiences in the Alps, while giving you a chance to explore two of the premier hiking regions in the world. On this self-guided tour, we’ve combined 3 nights in Mürren with 3 nights in Zermatt. You’ll stay in comfortable and classy hotels in each village, taking 5-7 hour dayhikes each day, and returning to your hotel each evening.
Your typical day starts with a delicious buffet breakfast at your hotel – a feast of freshly baked bread and croissants, local meats and cheeses, cereal, fruit, eggs, coffee and juice – which gives you the energy needed for the day ahead. Before setting out on your hike, visit a bakery and market for lunch supplies, or bring some money for a stop in one of the alpine restaurants along your route. Soon, you’ll be out on the trail for 6-8 hours, with many hiking options to choose from.
You should finish your hike around 4 pm, giving you time to wash up, relax, perhaps settle into the pool, or just gaze upon the outside panorama from your room balcony. After that, you’ll enjoy dinner at your hotel restaurant most nights. These are multi-course feasts, often centered on local specialties but often featuring fine continental cuisine with plenty of options for vegetarians, gluten-free, and other dietary needs. Our hotels all serve fabulous food, and dinners will be hearty, filling, well-earned and very delicious.
Mürren – Arrive in Switzerland, and transfer by train to Mürren. The trip itself is incredibly scenic, and takes about 4 hours. Mürren is an idyllic, car-free village, perched atop a sheer 3000 ft. cliff above the waterfall-filled Lauterbrunnen valley (picture Yosemite with a Swiss village on top).
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. Enjoy your first evening in Switzerland before settling in to a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Mürren – One of our favorite hikes starts in town, and gently meanders up the hills to the pastoral setting at Spielboden. Here you cross the Schiltbach stream, and start a steep and invigorating ascent to the local peak of Bryndli.
Take your 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.
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 favorite hikes leads 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.
Zermatt – After breakfast, take a morning train to Zermatt, the lively village at the base of the Matterhorn, a towering pyramid that dominates the landscape. Perhaps you’ll 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 some time at the pool or spa before settling in for your first evening in Zermatt.
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, where you’ll find quiet mountain vieww with only the marmots and mountain goats for company. On the way down, enjoy a refreshing stop at the Trift inn, known for their homemade ice tea made from local alpine herbs and their fresh apple torte.
Zermatt – Taking quiet trails through fields and forest, you 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 you, and behind that, Dom, Monte Rosa, the Breithorn, and the Matterhorn form a spectacular backdrop. There are lots of options for longer or shorter hikes today.
depart – After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll say our good-byes and leave for our post-trip destinations.
The self-guided Mürren tour is the perfect combination of a quaint village setting, gorgeous hiking, huge waterfalls, and spectacular mountain sceneryLearn more ›
The Matterhorn is, quite simply, the most powerful mountain in the Alps and perhaps in the world.Learn more ›