Walking through historic villages with wooden chalets and slate rooftops.
Hiking in the Pennine Alps, the highest mountains in Western Europe.
Finish the tour on a high level path with huge views over the Valais.
This self-guided trek links the Swiss villages of the Hiker’s Haute Route, but with simpler logistics, a shorter hiking time, and a grand finish along a high level route into Saas Fee.
You will cross the Valais by a number of high passes between small villages with blackened timber houses and slate roofs while enjoying outstanding views of the Pennine Alps, including the Dent Blanche, Obergabelhorn, Weisshorn, Matterhorn and the ring of 4000-meter peaks surrounding Saas Fee.
Accommodations include a mix of charming country inns and simple hostelries.
The towns along the way are mostly simple mountain villages that remain much as they were over 50 years ago. From Arolla, beneath the beautiful Mont Collon; Les Hauderes, in the atmospheric Val D’Herens with its well-preserved villages and intact culture; St. Luc, with its quirky flavor and unusual views of the western face of the Matterhorn; and at the end of the trail, to quiet Grächen at the base of the Mattertal; and on to the developed resort village of Saas Fee.
Choose from our standard itinerary or customize the trek by adding or subtracting days. We are happy to offer harder or gentler hikes where possible.
Transfer to Arolla and a comfortable three-star inn.
A spectacular hike lies ahead, with views of Mont Collon, L’Eveque, the Pigne d’Arolla, and the Aiguilles Rouges. Descend to the little village of Les Haudères, with its blackened timber homes, to spend the night in a lovely hotel.
Distance: 10 miles. Elevation gain: 2800 ft.
After ascending through pastures (one often sees women raking hay in traditional costume here) with views back to the Aiguilles Rouges, cross a high pass. Descend to the head of the Val d’Anniviers and transfer to St. Luc. Overnight in a superior four-star hotel filled with antiques and old world charm.
Distance: 11 miles. Elevation gain: 4500 ft.
Ascend a beautiful, remote valley to a spectacular pass with views back to the Aiguilles Rouges and the Dent d’Hérens, and forward to the peaks above Zermatt: the Matterhorn, Obergabelhorn, Dent Blanche, and Weisshorn. Descend into the Turtmanntal and overnight at its sole hostelry, a simple inn offering refuge to hikers and climbers from around the world.
Distance: 9 miles. Elevation gain: 3750 ft.
Another pass lies along a medieval trading route with views of the Mischabel range, separating Zermatt from Saas Fee, and the peaks of the Berner Oberland to the northeast. The descent ends in a tiny village perched high above the Mattertal and accessible only by cable car. Transfer to Grächen and a comfortable first-class inn with superb cuisine and every comfort and amenity.
Distance: 9 miles. Elevation gain: 3500 ft.
Enjoy a grand excursion along one of the Alps’ great Höhenweg, or high level paths, from Grächen. A lift ride gives you a boost, and you traverse the length of the Saastal with views into the Oberland and to the peaks and glaciers surrounding Saas Fee. Enjoy your final night in a beautifully appointed hotel in the center of this lively village.
Distance: 10 miles. Elevation gain: 2100 ft.