If you ask us for our two favorite villages in the Swiss Alps, they would be Mürren and Zermatt. So different, yet so similar. Mürren is tiny pastoral paradise, surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, cows, flowers and trails. It’s the perfect place to get away from it all and relax. Zermatt is lively and thrumming with energy, dominated by the incomparable Matterhorn and boasting some of the best hotels in the Alps (which is saying a lot). We’ll send you out on hidden trails to powerful viewpoints, and pamper you with a luxurious hotel for the evenings.
If you want a stunning, rejuvenating trip to the Alps, you won’t find anything better than Mürren and Zermatt. There is beauty to staying in place for few days and getting to know a place, you will see. Wake up, exhale, explore, come home, relax, enjoy, repeat.
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… that’s Mürren.
There is a train station in both the Zürich and Geneva airports, and transferring to Mürren will be an easy introduction to Swiss precision and friendliness. Enjoy your first evening in Switzerland as you settle in at your hotel. You’ll be on your own for dinner tonight, and we will give suggestions for some of our favorite restaurants.
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. The Jungfrau, Mönch and Eiger form a dramatic backdrop, but it is the massive Gspaltenhorn at the head of the Sefinen valley that spurs you onward.
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 Rotstock hut. Stop for a drink and the views before heading back. The trail back leads over a small ridge – more great views! – before dropping back down to Mürren. You’ll be on your own for dinner again tonight, either at your hotel or somewhere nice in town.
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. You won’t want to miss this, as the Upper Lauterbrunnental has some of the most idyllic hiking around.
One of our favorite hikes leads through forest and meadow 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, as you will see gazing across the valley at the thundering Schmadri falls. Return to Mürren for one final night. Dinner on your own.
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. 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. 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.
If you’d prefer to hit the trails, we have you covered with a great half-day hike. Head to the meadows above Zermatt to the centuries-old hamlet of Zmutt. Stop at a mountain restaurant at the base of the Matterhorn, or take a nap on a sunny flat rock surrounded by mountains. Head back to Zermatt where you’ll enjoy a gourmet feast at your hotel.
Zermatt – We like to get off the beaten path in Zermatt, and the Trift Valley is ideal for quiet trails and sweeping views. There are no cable cars on this side of the valley, but plenty of great trails to choose from.
Take an airy trail to a favorite viewpoint high above town, where you’ll find quiet mountain view with only the marmots and mountain goats for company. On the way, enjoy a refreshing stop at the Trift inn, known for their homemade ice tea made from local alpine herbs and their fresh apple torte. Don’t forget time for a massage or a soak in the hot tub back in Zermatt. Dinner will be at your hotel again tonight.
Zermatt – Start with a cogwheel train high above town to your trail head today. Taking a quiet trails through scenic meadows, we’ll steer you away from the crowds on a favorite route to Gornergrat, past marmots and small glacial lakes, to what has to be one of the finest viewpoints in Europe.
From here, the jumbled mass of the Gorner Glacier stretches out below you, and behind that, Dom, Monte Rosa, the Breithorn and the Matterhorn form a glacier-clad wall separating Switzerland and Italy. It’s stunning. There are lots of options for longer or shorter hikes today. Return to Zermatt for a final night, where you can explore one of the many great restaurants in town.
depart – After breakfast at your hotel, head to the train station to depart for your post-trip destination.
5-star hotels, 1st class Glacier Express, Mürren, Zermatt, Pontresina. See the Alps in style.Learn more ›
Start in Grimentz and finish in Zermatt on this spectacular 6-night inn-to-inn hike.Learn more ›