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The Best of Via Alpina: 8-Day Hiking Trip in Swiss Alps

Hike on the #1 National Trail Via Alpina, one of world’s most spectacular hikes

Tour Overview

From $3,274 | Semi-Guided Private Hiking Tour | June to September

On our 8-day The Best of Via Alpina Hiking Trip you will hike on Switzerland’s National Via Alpina #1 signposted trail, constantly surrounded by breathtaking panoramas of the Swiss Alps. 

During your Best of Via Alpina Hiking Trip multi-day hike, you’ll experience breathtaking views of sky-high mountain peaks, impressive glaciers, and green pastures filled with the romantic chime of cowbells. 

Enjoy mesmerizing views along the way from Engelberg to Melchsee-Frutt, Grindelwald, and Mürren, visiting waterfalls, snow-capped peaks, and other natural wonders. Thanks to the semi-guided character of this trip, you can enjoy your independence without having to worry about the logistics.

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8 day via alpina hiking trip

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The Best of Via Alpina Hiking Trip Itinerary

This captivating journey will help you immerse yourself in the beauty of the Swiss Alps. The best of Via Alpina hiking trip has been designed to showcase the varied landscapes of Switzerland and deliver a well-rounded experience available to more and less experienced hikers. 

Via-Alpina-ECHO-Rails
Via-Alpina-Hiking
melschsee frutt
8 day via alpina hiking trip

Our ECHO Rails guide will meet you outside the customs area. Look for a person in a red or white t-shirt and a ball cap. After a warm welcome, the guide will help you carry the lugagge and guide you to the airport train station. They will also assist you on the train transfer to Lucerne and help you get to your hotel comfortably.

Our Guide will give you a detailed briefing of the itinerary and will provide you with all the documentation for the trip.

The rest of the day is on your own to explore Lucerne.

Accommodation: Hotel Walstätterhof (or similar accommodation). 

unique things to do in lucerne

Our Guide will meet you at the hotel at 7:45 am.

Place your luggage by reception with the ECHO Rails Tags in place. It will be transferred to your next hotel in Melchsee-Frutt.
Pack lightly – just sufficient things for the day.
You’ll take a 45 min train ride from Lucerne to Engelberg. Then we’ll being the day’s hike.

Our guide will accompany you on today’s hike to help you familiarize yourself with the Swiss hiking trails and trail signs. You have the entire day to ask all your questions about how the hiking trails in Switzerland works.

By the time you reach Melchsee-Frutt, you will feel very confident to continue your hike independently.

Today’s Hike
The hike is flexible and your Guide can adjust the route depending on your fitness level.
On average:

  • 4 to 5 hours total hiking;
  • 8 miles distance;
  • total day’s ascent 1,400 ft;
  • total day’s descent 1,600 ft.

After your first full day of hiking relax and recharge at your comfortable hotel with an indoor swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms.

Tip: bring your swimming suit with you as your luggage will arrive around 6 pm the latest.

Meals included: Breakfast. 

Accommodation: Frutt Mountain Resort (or comparable accommodation).

engelberg

At an elevation of 6,300 ft Melchsee-Frutt offers you that “Swiss Alps experience” you envisioned. It’s nestled in between green mountain pastures, the air is filled with clanging cowbells and the air smell impossibly clean and fresh. Now wonder: this place is only accessible on foot or by a cable car.

Today’s hike will be gorgeous. There will be alpine peaks in the distance and green valleys and pastures below. One of the Swiss hiking guides describes this segment as a “Hike near to heaven”, with Swiss peaks of the Wetterhorn, Mittelhorn and Rothorn in your sights.
First you will hike from Melchsee-Frutt to Mägisalp cable car station and take a ride down to Meiringen. Next you will take the local postal bus from the Meiringen train station to the resort of Grindelwald.
The guide will have explained the options of how to get to Grindelwald. Given the weather conditions you will want to choose the safest route possible.

Today’s Hike
On Average:

  • total hiking time: 3 to 4 hours
  • 6 miles distance
  • 700 ft up and hiking on level ridge trail.

In the afternoon you reach the alpine village of Grindelwald, surrounded by the majestic trio: Monch, Jungfrau and Eiger. 

Your luggage will be delivered not later than 6 pm. 

Meals included: Breakfast.

Accommodation: Hotel Alpina (or similar accommodation)

melschsee frutt

The Jungfrau region is a world famous mountain getaway that faces the Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau mountain peaks.

You will spend two days here, during which you can hike a selection of summit trails showcasing the best of the Jungfrau region. If you wish to do so, you can take the famous Jungfrau Bahn to visit Jungfraujoch located at a staggering 11,362 ft above the sea level. From here you can admire the panorama of Aletsch, Europe’s largest glacier. Your Half-Fare card provides you a reduction on the Jungfrau railway.

During the briefing with our guide in Lucerne, we will discuss the many safe, Grindelwald based sign-posted mountain trails. This way you choose your hikes on the day according to prevailing weather conditions and your energy levels.

Insider tip: we have local English speaking guides in Grindelwald available. They are experts on all the trails and will make this part of the tour even more stunning.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Accommodation: Hotel Alpina (or similar accommodation).

grindelwald

Today you will depart via train to Lauterbrunnen valley, famous for its 72 waterfalls. While here, we highly recommend a visit to the Trümmelbach falls gorge.

Afterwards we recommend that you ride a cable car or a train to Mürren. This mountain village located at 5,450 ft not only provides an eye level view of the Eiger, Mönch & Jungfrau, but also presents you with a panorama of more distant mountain peaks.

Once in Mürren you can continue your trek, hiking on some of the most beautiful Swiss Alpine trails.

Optionally, you can take the gondola up to the 9,744 ft Schilthorn and enjoy one of the most amazing Swiss Alps summit views. Your half-fare card also provides you reductions on the cable cars and trains.

Your luggage will be at your Mürren hotel by 6:00p.m.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Accommodation: Hotel Edelweiss (or similar accommodation).

8 day via alpina hiking trip

You have a full day to experience the beauty of Mürren and its surroundings. Your itinerary will contain some of our favorite hiking options in the region. If you didn’t have time to do it the day before, today you will have time to visit Schilthorn, mountain peak above Mürren. Here a James Bond movies, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, was filmed.

Enjoy a 360 degrees panorama through the window of the peak’s restaurant, which rotates on its axis. If the weather is good, here you can admire of the best Alpine vistas in the region. Here too you can use your Half-Fare card and receive a reduction on the cable car rate.

Meals included: Breakfast. 

Accommodation: Hotel Edelweiss (or similar accommodation).

8 day via alpina

Departure to your next destination after breakfast. 

We suggest that you coordinate the luggage transfer to the train station with the hotel desk. Remember to include enough buffor time. Take the train to Grütschalp and the cable car down to Lauterbrunnen. From here you can take the train to Interlaken and other destinations. Your Swiss Half-Fare card offers you a 50% reduction on all Swiss public transportation.

For those continuing on to Zermatt, plan about a 3 hour train ride with easy connections in Interlaken Ost, Spiez, and Visp.
For those traveling to the Zürich airport, also plan a 3 hour train ride with connections in Interlaken Ost and Bern.

Meals included: Breakfast.

alps hiking packing list

Not ready to go home?

The Post-Tour option extends your Via Alpina Hiking Tour with 3 nights in Zermatt. Via Apina Post-Trip Information and Pricing.

gornergrat cogwheel train

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Details and pricing

Adult Standard: US $3,274 per person, based on 2 people in a double/twin room

Single Supplement: 100$/night

10% deposit secures the booking – balance due 90 days before the departure date

  • Zürich airport Meet & Greet
  • Full Day hiking with our local English-speaking Guide – accompanying you on first hike from Lucerne to Melchsee-Frutt
  • 7 nights lodging in twin-bedded rooms in comfortable 3-4 star hotels/lodges including breakfasts
  • Luggage Transfers from Lucerne to Melchsee-Frutt, from Melchsee-Frutt to Grindelwald and from Grindelwald to Mürren
  • Half-Fare Card that offers unlimited half price tickets on trains, buses, boats and public transport in cities valid 1 month. Also offers reductions up to 50% discounts on most mountain excursions
  • Full set of travel documents including detailed itinerary, digital hiking routes, etc.
  • Dedicated helpline from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
  • First-Aid Safety Kit.
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Ground transportation – cable car, local postal bus, train tickets (with your Half-Fare card these all at 50% reduction rates)
  • Items of personal nature

See our Cancellation Policy for more details.

Visa, Maestro, and Mastercard are commonly accepted in Switzerland. American Express is not so popular and many businesses don’t accept it. The country is becoming more and more cashless with contactless and mobile payments (Google and Apple Pay). Still, it’s useful to have some cash on you while travelling. All banks provide currency exchange services at a favorable rate.

Good Fitness Required

This is a hiking tour and while most of the trail do not involve any challenging up or downhill stretches, you require good physical health, endurance, sense of balance and sure-footedness. 

Many paths are uneven and rocky, sometimes very narrow with steep hills on both sides. Previous experience in mountain hiking is advised. Make sure you bring good gear: sturdy hiking boots to protect your ankles, clothes made of breathable materials, a hat, a good backpack, sunblock and water bottle. For a full guide on packing list, click here. 

  1. Click on any of the “Book now” buttons on the page.
  2. You will be redirected to our dedicated booking platform.
  3. Choose a desired date for your trip and add number of participants. Select departure time, if applicable.
  4. Fill out the form with all travellers’ details and click “Confirm booking”.
  5. Once we receive your booking request you will be sent an email with payment instructions from our partner Flywire.
  6. Follow the instructions in the email.
  7. Once the payment is processed, your booking is confirmed.

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