Mürren and Zermatt are arguably the two best hiking destinations in Switzerland. Mürren 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 a dozen other impressive peaks. The two villages provide a great contrast to each other, while giving you a chance to explore two of the premier hiking regions in the world. With no huts, comfortable hotels, and flexible dayhikes, this is our most relaxing guided tour.
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 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.
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 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. 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. We’ll meet and talk about our tour before settling in for our welcome dinner.
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.
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.
We love to hike 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.
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.
The Hotel Europe is one of our favorite hotels in the Alps, with great food and views. Always memorable. You’ll have a chance to check out the town, take a short walk around Zermatt, or enjoy the some time at the hotel spa before settling in for our welcome dinner 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, 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.
Zermatt – Taking quiet trails through fields and forest, we have a range of choices up to the wide ridge of Gornergrat. We’ll hike 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. After a visit to Gornergrat, return to town by cogwheel train for a final celebratory dinner.
depart – After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll say our good-byes and leave for our post-trip destinations.
The Jungfrau + Matterhorn tour provides perhaps the perfect combination of pretty villages and premier hikes in Switzerland.Learn more ›
Zermatt and the Matterhorn have filled people with awe and wonder for centuries. Explore the regions hidden gems while keeping the Matterhorn in sight.Learn more ›