Hiking paradise Switzerland
If a third of the entire surface of a country consists of forest, there are more than 3,300 mountains, 48 of which are higher than 4,000 metres and there are over 65,000 kilometres of hiking trails for every difficulty level, then we are talking about a country that couldn’t be more perfect for a hiking holiday – that’s Switzerland. The country’s diversity can be seen in 26 cantons and three landscape areas. Influences from neighbouring Italy, France and Germany merge and can be found in the official languages as well as in culture, customs and culinary art. From hiking, mountain hiking or trekking: the regions of Valais, Mont Blanc, Graubünden, Ticino, central Switzerland and the Bernese Oberland have tour options for every type of hiker.
Countless hikers from all over the world dream of this mountain, the ‘white mountain’, also known as the ‘roof of Europe’. For many Alpinists, Mont Blanc is the epitome of the hiking experience and is hard to beat. The legendary mountain is the third most visited natural site in the world and the Mount Blanc massif extends around 400km2 across national borders to France and Italy. An alpine adventure like no other awaits you on our Eurohike hiking tours such as the seven-day Tour Mont Blanc West, 7 days or the Tour Mont Blanc East, 7 days and the Tour du Mont Blanc, 12 days. And at the end of the trip, you can proudly claim to have hiked on one of the most desirable and beautiful peaks in Europe.
The third largest canton is located in the southwest of Switzerland and captivates with a unique landscape diversity. And with good reason, because hiking and active holiday fans in Valais are always accompanied by the warm rays of the sun – around 300 days a year. The power of the sun can also be found in the juicy fruits and wonderful wines. In addition, there are more than 8,000 kilometres of marked hiking trails and a natural landscape of mountain streams and lakes, valleys and vineyards as well as historical irrigation channels from the Roman era. The high alpine region also offers ideal conditions for wildlife, in order to give a home to endangered species such as the Valais black-necked goat. On our Eurohike hiking tour Aletsch Panorama Trail & Lötschberg South Ramp, 7 days you get to know the beautiful southern side of the Alps in all its beauty – a spectacular experience for mountain hikers.
Mountain hiking across national borders, through eight Alpine countries: That is what the famous Via Alpina Bear Trek in the Bernese Oberland offers. From Trieste to Monaco, the trekking tour leads five routes from Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Austria to Switzerland, on to Liechtenstein, France and finally to Monaco. Even if you can no longer find bears on the legendary Via Alpina 'Bear Trek', 8 days and the Via Alpina 'Bear Trek' with Charm, 8 days as the name suggests, the “Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau” rise majestically in front of you: The most famous peaks in the region. A perfect hiking experience for mountain hikers over eight days.
Switzerland has its origins in central Switzerland, the heart of the country. The three cantons, Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden were united in 1291 on the historic Rütliwiese. But inner Switzerland has much more to offer than just history. On our seven-day Eurohike Round tour Lake Lucerne, 7 days, mountain hikers travel from Lucerne to Küssnacht am Rigi and experience fantastic Alpine lake panoramas along hiking trails that are among the most beautiful in Switzerland. On other Eurohike tours such as the Jura Crest Trail, 7 days you will explore the beauty of central Switzerland with sights such as churches, monasteries and small chapels, all of which blend beautifully into the landscape.
As diverse as a rainbow: The canton of Graubünden in the east of Switzerland truly offers all the colours of the rainbow in its own way. With around 930 white peaks and glaciers, 615 blue lakes, 150 green valleys with lush meadows and more than 300 colourful bird species – a colourful variety with a special flair for mountain hikers. On the Via Spluga, 7 days, one of the most famous long-distance hiking trails in the Alps, as well as the Alpine Panorama Trail, 7 days you will be able to experience this colourful spectacle and much more.
Where Swiss charm meets Italian Spirit – here is the ‘gateway to the south’. Ticino is located in the southern part of Switzerland and is largely surrounded by Italy. This is not only evident in the canton’s Mediterranean flair, but also in the mild and sunny climate. Perfect conditions for a successful hiking holiday. On our walking holiday Highlights of Ticino, 7 days you can march individually from Bellinzona via Lugano and south to Mendrisio. And after a successful day of hiking, you can look forward to an excellent dinner, because the fine Italian influence is also noticeable here. Read more about the region in our travel report from Thomas in beautiful Ticino on our HikingBlog.
Climate in Switzerland
Diversity is also the motto when it comes to the climate in Switzerland. Because of the numerous altitudes and influences north and south of the main ridge of the Alps, there are big differences. Generally cooler and more humid in the north, there are even Mediterranean influences in the southern parts of the country. In summary, it can be said that the temperatures in Switzerland are primarily determined by the altitude throughout the year and especially the warmer months offer the perfect climate for a successful hiking holiday.
Culture and tradition in Switzerland
The neighbouring countries have also made their mark on Swiss culture in terms of the culture and diverse language. But as diverse as the regions may be, there are still some typically Swiss characteristics. Switzerland is a nation born with permanent neutrality, which means they voluntarily form a unit without being uniform throughout. The Swiss are particularly proud of their neutrality. They cannot be involved in disagreements and the country has been successfully staying out of armed conflicts for around 200 years. As punctual as clockwork: This character trait can also be transferred to the people with a clear conscience, because the Swiss are always punctual and expect this from others as well.
Cuisine in Switzerland
The influences of the neighbouring countries also merge in the kitchen. Typical items from France, Italy and Germany are combined with the best from Switzerland. Many well-known national dishes such as cheese fondue and raclette, rösti, Bircher müsli, Toblerone and the sweet drink Ovomaltine are also popular internationally. Not to be forgotten are the more than 400 Swiss cheeses and around 350 sausages – an impressive selection. And did you know that the popular Bircher müsli was created by Maximillian Oskar Bircher-Brenner as early as 1900?
- Our tip: The healthy and nutritious Bircher ‘Müäsli’ made from grated apples, oatmeal, lemon juice, condensed milk (or milk alternatives) and nuts is the perfect base for a successful day of hiking.
Switzerland offers a particularly varied hiking offer for all target groups and levels of hiking. From the Bernese Oberland, central Switzerland, the Mediterranean region in Ticino, Graubünden, Valais or Mont Blanc – whether hiking, mountain hiking or trekking, in Switzerland there is always plenty of active time out to choose from.
Many of our active holidays in Switzerland are also wonderfully suitable for hiking with a dog. Whether on our hiking holiday on the Via Spluga, the Round tour Lake Lucerne, the hiking tour Alpine Panorama Trail, the trekking tour Via Alpina „Bear Trek“ with Charm, or the hiking holiday on the Jura Crest Trail – our diverse hiking holidays in Switzerland offer a wonderful experience for two and four-legged friends.
Switzerland is currently home to 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These include, for example, the old town of Bern, the Rhaetian Railway (Rhätische Bahn) between Thusis and Tirano, the prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps, the Abbey District of St. Gallen, the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch or Monte San Giorgio in Ticino.
Not only in terms of nature and culture, but also in terms of cuisine, Switzerland offers a broad variety with focus on regional products. During your hiking holiday in Switzerland be sure to try one of the 400 different types of Swiss cheese or one of the 350 types of sausage, enjoy a typical cheese fondue or a traditional raclette, try the Swiss potato rösti or the tasty Bichermüsli for breakfast or start your hiking tour with a sweet piece of Toblerone or the energy drink Ovaltine (original name Ovomaltine).
Switzerland has a total of 26 cantons and a land area of 41,285 square kilometers, one third of which is forest. In addition, there is the extensive hiking trail network of 65,000 kilometers of hiking paths, which offer the right level of difficulty for every level of hiking. Away from the hiking paths, there are numerous sights and highlights to discover. Immerse yourself in the warm hospitality of the Swiss, try one of the wonderful specialties and culinary delights and enjoy your active break while hiking in Switzerland.
- In our detailed travel documents you will find various tips and recommendations for sights and restaurants along the hiking routes.
Did you know … ?
That yodelling was once a widespread form of communication?
Strange but true. According to tradition, yodelling was already practiced in the Stone Age to drive in cattle and to communicate from alp to alp and from mountain to mountain. To date, yodelling has played an important role in Swiss customs. There are now around 2,000 pieces of music with this unmistakable Alpine sound.
That there are foods that are officially recognised as Switzerland’s real culinary heritage?
The ‘Culinary Heritage of Switzerland’ association, founded in 2004, has set itself the task of highlighting traditional Swiss food as well as its corresponding properties and ingredients, production process and the history behind it. Around 400 products have already been found and marked as a real culinary heritage.
That Switzerland doesn’t have an official capital?
This fact dates back a few decades, because when the state was founded in 1848, no decision could be made as to whether the country needed a capital and which city was best. It was agreed that the city of Bern would be the federal seat and that essential offices such as the federal government would be stationed here.
That Swiss chocolate is only considered ‘real’ if it appears under the ‘Switzerland’ brand?
The company ‘CHOCOSUISSE’ has launched the ‘Switzerland’ brand with its members and guarantees chocolate fans worldwide that the ‘Switzerland’ brand can only be found on chocolate packaging if it is ‘real’ Swiss chocolate.
4 reasons for a hiking holiday in Switzerland
There are enough reasons for hiking holidays in Switzerland. We have summarized four of them for you at a glance:
- The hiking trail network consists of around 65,000 kilometers of varied hiking paths and routes that lead through the most beautiful regions of Switzerland.
- Experience pure nature and lots of fresh air in beautiful Switzerland. A third of the total area in Switzerland consists of forest. Experience for yourself how easy it is to take a deep breath while hiking.
- There are also plenty of culinary reasons to spend a hiking holiday in Switzerland. Start your hiking day with a soothing and filling Bircher muesli or end your day's stage with a delicious raclette. You will definitely not be short of culinary delights in Switzerland.
- Whether hiking with kids, on an individual hiking holiday, while hiking with a dog or a more challenging trekking tour – Switzerland offers the perfect active experience for all levels of hiking.
Perfectly organised hiking holidays in Switzerland
It doesn’t take much to have a successful hiking holiday in Switzerland: Your luggage including hiking boots, as well as anticipation and motivation combined with the Eurohike Hiking Plus and the long-standing know-how of our Eurohike travel specialists. From tailor-made travel documents, warm service in advance, personal on-site support to our reliable and uncomplicated luggage service in the holiday destination, you will always feel like you are in good hands with us. We make sure your hiking holiday in the land of mountains, yodelling and chocolate is a perfect experience – see you soon in beautiful Switzerland!