Alpine Hikers - guided hiking tours in Zermatt hiking in Zermatt
Self-guided Matterhorn (Village-based hiking/walking tour)
hike beneath the Matterhorn in Zermatt
Length: 7 days, 6 nights
Hike Rating: Moderate - Strenuous
Dates:   June-October
Budget Tour Cost:  $1690 per person
$200 single supplement
Standard Tour Cost:  $2390 per person
$250 single supplement
Deluxe Tour Cost:  $3290 per person
$300 single supplement

Swiss tour reservation

The Matterhorn is, quite simply, the most powerful mountain in the Alps and perhaps in the world. Famous for it's graceful and unique form, the Matterhorn attracts hikers, climbers and visitors from all over the world and is exceedingly impressive in person. Zermatt, the car-free village at it's base, is the quintessential mountain town, a hiker's paradise surrounded by dozens of Switzerland's highest peaks, and maintains a rustic alpine charm while offering some highest hotel standards in Switzerland. On this self-guided tour, we've combined 4 nights in Zermatt with 2 nights in nearby Kandersteg, a small, quiet village that offers numerous wonderful hiking opportunities to alpine lakes and through glacier-carved valleys. You'll stay in comfortable and classy hotels in each village, taking 5-7 hour dayhikes each day, and returning to your hotel each evening.

Your typical day starts with a delicious buffet breakfast at our hotel - a feast of freshly baked bread and croissants, local meats and cheeses, cereal, fruit, eggs, coffee and freshly squeezed juice - which gives you the energy needed for the day ahead. Before setting out on your hike, visit a bakery and market for lunch supplies, or bring some money for a stop in one of the alpine restaurants along your route. Soon, you'll be out on the trail for 6-8 hours, with many hiking options to choose from. hike beneath the Matterhorn in Zermatt

You should finish your hike around 4 pm, giving you time to wash up, relax, perhaps settle into the pool, or just gaze upon the outside panorama from your room balcony. After that, you'll enjoy dinner at your hotel restaurant. These are multi-course feasts, often centered on local specialties like bratwurst, rösti, or cheese fondue, but may also feature chicken, fish, or other continental specialties. Our hotels all serve fabulous food, and dinners will be hearty, filling, well-earned and very delicious. Typically we leave one dinner in Kandersteg free, so you will have a chance to explore on your own.

You'll have many hikes to choose from, but here are some of our favorites:

Day 1 Arrive in Switzerland, and transfer by train to the quiet village of Kandersteg, perhaps with time for a dayhike up to a spectacular emerald-green lake surrounded by cliffs, waterfalls, and glacier-clad peaks. Or just relax in this quiet alpine village. (Kandersteg)
Day 2 Among the great dayhikes from Kandersteg is a quiet path leading south towards the Klus gorge. The power of the Kander river is impressive, as you climb through this narrow gorge into the hidden Gasterntal valley. This is a picture-perfect hideaway - a small, U-shaped valley, carpeted with wildflowers and guarded by savage cliffs. Waterfalls bursting from the sides of cliffs add to the scenery. Dinner is on your own tonight in Kandersteg. (Kandersteg)
Day 3 Leaving Kandersteg, take the train to Zermatt, the lively mountain village at the base of the Matterhorn. Take a short hike above Zermatt for views of the surrounding mountains, perhaps to the centuries-old hamlets of Zum See and Zmutt, or spend the rest of the day exploring town. Zermatt also hosts some of the best hotels in Switzerland, with luxurious pools and spas and world-class cuisine. (Zermatt)
hiking above the Oeschinen lake in Kandersteg Day 4 Walking through the village takes you past 400 year-old houses and into the history of this fascinating town. From there, one trail takes you up to the Findeln glacier, hiking through larch forests and passing numerous small lakes with the Matterhorn towering in the distance. (Zermatt)
Day 5 Taking quiet trails through fields and forest, you have a range of choices up to the wide ridge of Gornergrat, past marmots and small glacial lakes, to what has to be one of the finest viewpoints in Europe. Once you gain the ridge, the jumbled mass of the Gorner glacier stretches out before you, and behind that, Dom, Monte Rosa, the Breithorn, and the Matterhorn form a spectacular backdrop. (Zermatt)
Day 6 There are many peaceful trails criss-crossing the larch forests outside of Zermatt. One favorite leads across a suspended wooden walkway through a narrow river gorge. After a harrowing (but safe) walk through the gorge, you'll emerge and continue on to the enchanting, centuries-old hamlets of Zum See and Zmutt. Perhaps you'll make the strenuous climb to the Schwarzsee lake, or even up to the Hornli hut (a sort of Matterhorn base camp) to enjoy fabulous, close-up views of the Matterhorn and and a sweeping look back at the valley below. (Zermatt)
Day 7 After breakfast, you'll say adieu and leave for your post-trip destinations.

Swiss tour reservation

Arrive: Plan to arrive the day your tour starts at the latest (flights from the US usually depart the day before). The closest airports to Zermatt are Geneva and Zurich. There are train stations in each airport that will take you to Zermatt.
Depart: Plan departure for the day after your tour ends at the earliest. The closest airports to Zermatt are Geneva and Zurich, both of which are about 3 hours away. Plan on one night at a hotel in your departure city if you have a morning flight, which we can help with if you like.

Want a guided tour? Check out our guided Matterhorn tour, or ask about a private guide for your family or group.

Self-guided Matterhorn tour, details:

taking your time on an indendent tour in Zermatt Our self-guided prices are per person, based on two people sharing a standard double room, and include:
Budget tour: 6 nights prepaid hotels in Kandersteg and Zermatt, private room with shared bathroom, 2 breakfasts, 2nd class 3-day Swiss flexipass rail pass for 3 free days of rail travel plus 50% discounts on most other trains and cable cars.
Standard tour: 6 nights prepaid 3-star hotels with private room and bathrooom, 6 breakfasts, 5 dinners (1 in Kandersteg, 4 in Zermatt), 2nd class 3-day Swiss flexipass rail pass.
Deluxe tour: 6 nights prepaid 4-star hotels, 6 breakfasts, 5 dinners (1 in Kandersteg, 4 in Zermatt), 1st class 3-day Swiss flexipass rail pass.

All self-guided tours include hiking maps, detailed route descriptions (including longer, shorter, and rainy day options), train schedules, sightseeing suggestions, and lots of useful information to help ensure a successful trip. You'll also have a local contact to call if you have any questions or problems during your trip.

Not included are lunches, drinks with dinners, extras (such as laundry, phone calls from the room, etc), or transportation outside this itinerary. The budget tour does not include dinners at all, and does not include breakfast in Zermatt.

On our deluxe tour, other options include the superb 5-star Riffelalp Resort in the mountains above Zermatt, which would be a memorable upgrade. Ask if you're interested.

If you'd like to lengthen or shorten this tour, add destinations, or create a customized tour of Switzerland from scratch, let us know. We have extensive experience all over Switzerland, and will be happy to work with you to build the hiking vacation that best suits your needs.

Learn more about custom and self-guided tours

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For info on the Matterhorn region,
call toll free: (888) 509-7810
or direct: (503) 459-3940
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