Steam locomotives have given way to electric motors on the Swiss red trains but the magic is still working. In the heart of the Alps, the different lines weave between the valleys, passing from viaducts to tunnels, from forests to alpine pastures and leading to the most beautiful hiking spots. It is an opportunity to leave your car at home but above all to travel the country long, wide and across to take the time to contemplate the landscape. The various stops will allow you to soak up the local atmosphere, very diverse in this multilingual country, and to hike at your own pace!
This 10-day tour covers some of the most beautiful lines in the Alps: the Simplon tunnel, the Centovalli blue train on the border with Italy, the famous Bernina line, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Glacier Express line that runs from the Rhine Gorge to Zermatt. Whilst still staying in Switzerland, the stops will take you through the Italian-speaking Ticino Great Lakes region, the snowy mountains of Romansh Grisons and a finale at the foot of the Matterhorn in Zermatt.
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DEPARTURES AND PRICES
Departures from 15th June to 15th September 2024
€1245 per person for accommodation in a youth hostel.
€1490 per person in comfortable hotel accommodation.
Information and bookings by telephone or e-mail.
Information and reservation is simple by telephone or e-mail.
The price includes:
- Accommodation in B&Bs from the night of the 1st day to breakfast on the last day.
- Road book: description and Swiss maps (1 road book per registration dossier).
- The 4-Day Interrail Switzerland ticket, which gives access to all trains in Switzerland.
- Bus reservation for access to the Bernina line.
- Tourist taxes.
- Organisation and booking fees.
The price does not include:
- Picnic lunches.
- Drinks, visits, etc.
- All transfers not specified.
- Your return journey from home to the point of departure/end point.
- Cancellation assistance insurance (4.2% of the total cost of the stay).
The price applies from departure to end point.
Departure at 12.28 from Basel station, or at 12:11 from Geneva station.
TUNNEL DU SIMPLON - CENTOVALLI - LUGANO
This first day by train takes you to the Great Lakes region. After crossing the 100-year-old Simplon tunnel, the little blue train takes you to the heart of the Centovalli (the hundred valleys), winding its way through forests and wild gorges to Locarno. The journey ends along Lake Maggiore and finally in Lugano, where you will set down your luggage for the next 2 days.
5.30 hours train journey from Basel / Geneva to Lugano
BRE AND BOGLIA MOUNTAINS
After a morning visit to the town, climb up to the small village of Bre and its narrow streets overlooking the lake. The funicular makes it possible to shorten the stage by climbing to the summit. The hike continues along the ridge and the views gradually open up: Monte Rosa, Malcantone, Ticino... Once at the summit, there's just a long descent to Lugano.
6.30 hours walk / Elevation: +1250m -1250m from Lugano
5.30 hours walk / Elevation: +750m -1350m by taking the funicular
SAN SALVATORE - MORCOTE
From Lugano the view of Monte Salvatore is reminiscent of the Sugar Loaf of Rio de Janeiro. Today's hike climbs to the summit and continues south along a series of forest paths to Alpe Vicania and finally the small port of Morcote. Back to Lugano by bus or boat (50min)!
6 hours walk / Elevation: +900m -900m
BERNINA - BERGUN LINE
The day starts with a bus ride to Tirano along Lake Como. From this village, you can board the famous UNESCO-listed Bernina train: viaducts, lakes, villages, alpine pastures and glaciers link up to the Bernina pass at an altitude of 2250m. Descent to St Moritz and crossing the Albula tunnel to reach Bergun using many viaducts and tunnels at the end of a deep valley. Overnight in a hotel in the heart of the village.
3 hours bus journey along Lake Como
4 hours train journey on the Bernina line
LAKES OF RAVAIS - KESCH-HUTTE
Small transfer in the Val Thuors in the morning. Start of the hike in the hamlet of Chants and its small chalets where were shot several series of Heidi. The path goes up the wild valley of Ravais-ch to the lakes of Ravais. The bravest can climb to the Sertigpass. The trail then leads to the Kesch refuge at the foot of the Porchabella glacier.
Night in a refuge on half board, without luggage.
5 hours walk / Elevation: +950m -150m
THUORS - BERGUN BALCONY
The tour continues along the balcony path overlooking the village of Bergun. The path leads to the micro station of Darlux and the wild Val da Tisch. Possibility to take the chairlift of Darlux to save a bit of descent.
6.30 hours walk/ Elevation: +400m -1650m
RHINE GORGE - OBERALPPASS - ZERMATT
Last day along the Glacier Express line between St Moritz and Zermatt along the typical Swiss landscapes. The line alternates between the castles, the surprising gorges of the anterior Rhine and finally the alpine pastures up to the Oberalppass at 2000m altitude. The line continues in the upper Rhone Valley and finally Zermatt.
Night in a hostel in the centre of Zermatt.
7.30 hours train journey from Bergun to Zermatt along the Glacier Express
BALCONY OF EUROPE - ZERMATT
Balcony path overlooking the Zermatt Valley with the Matterhorn and its giant glaciers in sight. Descent through alpine villages to Zermatt.
Overnight in the centre of Zermatt.
5 hours walk / Elevation: +900 m -900 m
IN FRONT OF THE MATTERHORN
Climbing in a loop on the heights of Zermatt, along a superb balcony path at the foot of the Matterhorn and the other 4000's, sorrounded by small shepherd's villages. Descent to the village of Zermatt.
5 hours walk / Elevation: +950m -950m
ZERMATT - VISP
Return by train to Visp then Geneva or Basel.
3.30 hours train journey from Zermatt to Geneva or Basel
End of the hike in the early afternoon in Geneva or Basel.
Elevation: +/- 800m - 1000m approximately per day.
Walking time: 4 to 6 hours per day.
Type of trek: mountain hike on trails including gravel paths.
You have to be in a general good fitness level. Please practice a cardio sport such as hiking, running, cycling, from 3 to 4 hours a week.
Your physical preparation will enable you to enjoy your trek to the maximum.
Please find the description of the levels by clicking here: levels of difficulty
Before departure, we send you a travel folder containing:
- IGN maps with the route highlighted.
- 1 road-book containing all the necessary information for the trek.
- 1 waterproof map holder.
- Accommodation list.
In Switzerland, the hiking trails are very well signposted, with regular panels pointing the way.
It is preferable to know how to read a topographical map at 1/25000.
Without luggage transport: you carry all your luggage with you.
8 nights in B&B dormitory in a youth hostel
1 night in B&B bedroom with shared bathroom, in hotel
1 night on half board in dormitory in a refuge
8 nights in B&B bedroom for 2 persons
1 night in dormitory with half-board, in refuge (or night in B&B)
Breakfast is provided in each accommodation.
Dinners are not included (except on day 5 in the classic version) and can be taken in the various outlets or restaurants.
Picnics are not included and can be ordered the day before in some accommodation.
You can buy supplies in local shops.
Please inform us about your food allergies and special diets at the time of booking.
We do our best to accommodate special diets (gluten-free, vegetarian, etc.). However, we encourage you to bring some additional products for your own picnics.
During your stages in Switzerland, some shops do not accept euros, so you will need to bring Swiss francs with you.
We can personalise a tour according to your requirements (number of days, participants, level of route, accommodation, etc.)
Swiss map : 3328T Lugano-Mendrisiotto 1/33 333, 258 Bergun 1/50 000
From mid June to mid September.
Departure from Geneva or Basel at 10.30 am.
To and from the departure point: regular trains from Paris to Basel or from Lyon to Geneva.
The timetables given are for information only and must be checked with the SNCF.
End of the hike in the afternoon in Brig or Andermatt.
On request we can book a bedroom for you before and/or after your tour.
In accordance with regulations, we are covered by Professional Liability Insurance. Under no circumstances, we can replace your personal civil liability.
The repatriation insurance EUROP ASSISTANCE that we offer is dedicated to French speaking people living in Europe. If it is not your case, we advise you to subscribe to another travel insurance which will cover you in case of injury and repatriation during your trek.
If you chose to take out repatriation insurance with EUROP ASSISTANCE whom we propose, Altitude Mont Blanc will only serve as an intermediary between the client and the insurer. We cannot influence either party. We adhere to strict conditions of sale. You are responsible for compliance with the reporting procedures of any incident.
Before making any decision, contact EUROP ASSISTANCE.
If you are late please contact the agency as soon as possible on: +33 (0)4 50 79 09 16 or +33 (0)6 42 49 76 07
Bring a comfortable backpack of 30 to 40 litres for your personal belongings for the day (warm clothes, waterproofs, water, plate and cutlery for your picnic, sunscreen and your identity papers) and please keep a little room to carry a picnic and snacks.
Your extra belongings will have to be transported between the stations and the accommodation (max 1km). Please bring a suitcase in addition to your rucksack.