The Via Alpina crosses 14 of the most beautiful Alpine passes. It passes through six cantons of Switzerland, with a great variety of cultures, geology and topography. Broad roads give way to exposed ridge paths. The variety of flora and fauna along the route is among the most diverse in the world.
The Via Alpina goes from Vaduz to Montreux in 20 stages, staying north of the Swiss Alps. Over 390 km, hikers will enjoy the many highlights that Switzerland has to offer. While the sections initially pass through relatively flat terrain in St. Gallen, the altitude being climbed increases quite steadily in the Glarnerland. When it comes to that Alpine feeling, the highlight of the route can be found in the Bernese Alps. Day by day, hikers work their way through majestic mountain landscapes, with each pass crossed opening up a new world. This trail covers a total of 14 passes in six cantons, and involves 23’600 m of ascent and 24’800 m of descent. This route takes hikers to the secluded Surenen Pass, the famous Grindelwald, the Kleine Scheidegg pass with views of the Eiger, Mönch und Jungfrau mountains, the well-visited Blüemlisalp hut, perhaps one of Switzerland’s most beautiful lakes in Lake Oeschinen, the enchanting Bunderchrinde Pass and the sleepy Rochers de Naye mountains with unique views of Lake Geneva, to name but a few highlights.
Quite the challenge lies ahead for anyone wishing to see this extraordinary side of Switzerland. Your efforts each day will without doubt be more than rewarded. As strenuous as the ascents might be, the breathtakingly spectacular views are rich reward, as is knowing that this experience is down to personal hard work and therefore greatly deserved. Discovering the most beautiful parts of this country on foot is so much more than simply a sporting achievement. It gives you space away from the stresses of day-to-day life, is a chance to gather your thoughts, and offers a little escape from the world, far away from everything, with just fresh air and the mountains for company.
Via Alpina is a long-distance hiking trail which offers something for everyone. Any hiker who's not afraid of a little hard work may well treasure this as their greatest adventure ever.
Start Location : Vaduz (Gaflei, FL)
Destination : Montreux
Ascent : 23600 m
Descent : 24800 m
Distance in km : 390 km
Multiday route : 20 days
Technical requirements : Medium
Physical requirements : Difficult
Elevation profile : 23600 / 24800