The Via Alpina is the classic Swiss long-distance hiking trail. Almost 400 km and 14 Alpine passes connect the start in Vaduz with the finish in Montreux on Lake Geneva.
The trail connects glamorous resorts with unspoiled mountain valleys, offers breathtaking views of the impressive mountain world and tells exciting stories from here and there, to the left and right of the wayside, day after day. The Via Alpina, that is experiencing Switzerland, up close!
Part I - the Start: Vaduz - Montreux
You start in Vaduz, best of all comfortably on an e-bike, and only after Sargans you lace up your hiking boots. From the long Weisstannental you hike from the canton of St. Gallen into Glarnerland to Elm to the UNESCO World Heritage Tectonic Arena Sardona. With a view of the Martinsloch the next morning, you continue over the Richtelipass into the lonely Durnachtal and down into the Zigerschlitz. From Linthal on foot or by post bus to the Klausen Pass and across the alpine pastures along the Schächentaler high trail to Ruogig, Bürgeln and Altdorf to the national legend Willhelm Tell.
Part II - the Heart: Altdorf - Kandersteg
The heart of the Via Alpina leads from Altdorf to the monastery village Engelberg. Then past the place of energy Engstlenalp over the Balmeregghorn with a magnificent view of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau to Meiringen. Now you have the choice, whether comfortably by e-bike or on foot, either way it goes past the thundering Reichenbach Falls to the imposing Rosenlaui Glacier Gorge, over the Grosse Scheidegg to Grindelwald and under the spell of the Eiger North Face into the Lauterbrunnen Valley. At the end of the tour, from the sun terrace in Mürren to Griesalp and, as the highlight, over Sefinafurgga and Hohtürli to the Belle Epoque resort of Kandersteg.
Part III - the Finale: Kandersteg - Montreux
Indescribable landscapes line the way from Kandersteg to Adelboden into the Saanenland and all the way to Montreux. To begin with, the route leads over the Bunderchrinde to Adelboden to the Vogellisi, then over the Hahnenmoospass to the picturesque mountain village of Lenk and on to fashionable Gstaad. Now the trail leads across the language border to the cheese village of L'Etivaz. In the stage finale you conquer the Rochers de Naye and cross the finish line in Montreux on the final day. Congratulations on the Via Alpina!
Step by step, meter by meter and always further - long-distance hiking is the trend. Whether following in the footsteps of pilgrims on the Way of St. James, via the E5 through the Eastern Alps to Merano, or across Switzerland along the Via Alpina to Lake Geneva, more and more people are discovering long distance hiking for themselves. And as simple as it may seem to hike day after day, this decelerated form of travel is very fulfilling. Because hiking is revitalizing and yet relaxing, allows time to experience and enjoy, and is social and connecting at the same time. Yes, hiking makes you happy.