Italy & Switzerland | Matterhorn Trek

Explore a spectacular alpine world in the highest mountains in Western Europe

  • Chairlift Matterhorn
  • Matterhorn Lake
  • Matterhorn
  • Lake on the Matterhorn trek
  • Matterhorn scenery

Trip Highlights:

  • Explore the Matterhorn, the most iconic mountain in the world.
  • Circumnavigate Monte Rosa, the Alps’ second highest peak.
  • Trek from Cervinia, Italy to Zermatt, Switzerland.
  • Visit medieval hamlets with cobbled streets and authentic shops and restaurants.

The highest mountains in western Europe, the Pennine Alps, offer a sensational opportunity for hikers to explore a spectacular alpine world.

This itinerary starts and finishes beneath the Matterhorn, the most iconic peak in the world, and circumnavigates the Monte Rosa, the Alps’ second highest peak. The Tour Monte Rosa has become a much sought after achievement in recent years, and our itinerary follows much of the same route. In Macugnaga we are treated to perhaps the Alps’ most spectacular mountain view, the East Face of the Monte Rosa, which is truly Himalayan in proportion, at 10,000 feet above the valley floor.

Ryder-Walker offers the Matterhorn Trek from Cervina to Zermatt in a nine day trip. This is a rare tour where the level of the challenge is equalled by the comfort of the accommodations. Along the way, we use the finest accommodations, all but one are four star, and some are truly exceptional. Luggage is transported every night, so you can go light and enjoy the mountains without the encumbrance of a heavy backpack. Hiking days are challenging, but the scenery is breathtaking, and at the end of the day a comfortable bed, hot shower, good meal, glass of local wine or beer, and the company of other hikers awaits.

Begin in Breuil-Cervinia, an Alpine resort town in the Valle d’Aosta region of northwest Italy. Continue east through small villages in very remote valleys. In Italy they are the Valtournenche, Val d’Ayas, the Valle di Gressoney, the Valsesia, and the Valle Anzasca. In Switzerland you visit the Saastal and Mattertal.

This is truly a remote outing, and it is possible on many days that you will not see any other hikers. About two thousand years ago, Walsers, one of Europe’s wildest ethnicities also settled in these valleys. To this day their distinct architecture is fascinating and beautiful.

The villages visited are truly charismatic. Champoluc and Gressoney are medieval hamlets with cobbled streets and odd shops and restaurants. Alagna defies description and seems time forgotten. Macugnaga is a Walser “capital” of sorts, and enjoys an absolutely magnificent setting. Saas Fee, the “Pearl of the Alps”, rests on a bench high above the valley, beneath the Dom (the highest peak entirely in Switzerland), and many square miles of glaciers seem to cascade straight into town. Zermatt rests at the foot of the Matterhorn and is the Alps’ liveliest and most captivating town.
This is a challenging trek with rewards that are unsurpassed.

Trip Itinerary

Transfer to Cervinia and check in to your welcoming hotel in this alpine resort in the Valle d’Aosta region of northwest Italy located directly under the South face of the Matterhorn.

This is a great, moderate day hike starting from tiny Cheniel. Ascend to the Col di Nana beneath the Grand Tournalin, and descent to the idyllic hamlet of St. Jacques. Continue on to Champoluc and overnight in one of the finest hotels in the Alps.

This is a more challenging hike, crossing over to Gressoney. Climb to the herder’s settlement of Cuneaz, and ascend from there to the Pentacol and the Col Pinter with big views past the gigantic Grand Combin to Mount Blanc itself. Not to mention unusual views of the Matterhorn itself of the South- West face aspect! Enter the Walser stronghold of the Val di Gressoney beneath the magnificent Lyskamm, one of the most powerful peaks in the Alps. Walk past ancient Walser farms to our excellent hotel in town.

You begin with a short bus ride east out of town. Today will be another longer and challenging day hike. After crossing out of the Val d’ Aosta and into the realm of Val Sesia, your descent can include the wonderful Val d’ Otro featuring many authentic and well cared for historic farming villages.

Hike over the magnificent Turlo Pass, the scene of many WWI battles. Follow a Roman road to the historic village of Macugnaga, nestled beneath the staggering 10,000 ft east face of the Monte Rosa. Overnight in a charming three-star hotel in the center of the village.

A cable car aids your ascent to a point near the Swiss border at the Monte Moro pass. Descend through a glacier scoured field of granite, with an occasional cable for help. Pass by the lovely Monte Moro lake, continue on foot or by bus to Saas Almagell, and then to Saas Fee on foot.

The Gspon Hohenweg is a charming way to experience all the magic of the Saas Valley. Hiking out of Saas Gund our path rises along the eastern side of the valley until ultimately reaching the small village of Gspon and a fun cable car ride to Stalden in the valley before finishing with a ride up the cog rail line to Zermatt!

Today’s hike takes you from the hotel on a varied outing above Zermatt, including one of the lovelier and leveler sections of trail along an old bisse (agricultural waterway). Your destination is Findlerhof, a gourmet mountain restaurant where we recommend you have lunch and soak in the breathtaking views and warm atmosphere. Enjoy all day views of the Matterhorn from its most classic perspective.

Matterhorn Trek | Italy & Switzerland

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Travel and the Coronavirus for Ryder-Walker Guests

Ryder-Walker is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and acknowledges that there is growing uncertainty about the safety of traveling right now. Currently, our guided and self-guided treks are on schedule to run. Should travel restrictions be implemented by local or global authorities we will post updates on this link.

For more information please visit the websites of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.