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Zermatt Luzern hiking n itinerary suggestions pls

I'm planning a trip in mid to late June and am trying to decide how to alot my time in Zermatt and Luzern. Currently I have 5-6 days for Luzern and 3-4 for Zermatt but am wondering if I should spend some more time in Zermatt instead of Luzern. I really want to focus on easy to moderately difficult hiking or biking on my trip and am in my early thirties in decent physical condition. I'm a musician so want to see the Wagner museums n related sites in Luzern and Pilatus n Rigi. Is 5-6 days too much for this and would more time be better spent in Zermatt hiking? I already will spend 8 days in Bernese Oberlands, but from pics it looks like the area around Zermatt has darker and deeper colors (more stoic scenery?) being closer to Italy which I like. I'm sure I could keep myself busy in Luzern, I just don't want to get to Zermatt and wish I had allotted more time there to hike and explore the scenery. My other concern is that I read it is a good area more for mountain climbers-I am no mountain climber so am wondering about paths for less experienced "mountaineers" to enjoy views up in the mountains, etc. Could you guys suggest moderate hikes in Zermatt (no equipment needed and not too steep)?

Posted by
12040 posts

There are plenty of non-technical hikes around Zermatt. However, the ascents from the town along most of the paths are quite steep (this is the opinion from someone who has hiked throughout the Alps). One of the routes that gives you a postcard view of the Matterhorn begins at the church, but the initial ascent is rather sheer. No special equipment needed, however.

Posted by
12939 posts

I would switch it up an dspend more time in Zermatt. it is a hiker's and photographer's paradise there, with all kids of terrain, from barren rock to green meadows to little alpine lakes. The zermatt.ch website has a suggested hut-to-hut ciruit one can do in the mountains and valleys around Zermatt, over 12 to 15 days: http://www.zermatt.net/hoehenweg/en/ You could do a section for 3 or 4 days and get a nice taste. The trails we have hiked there are all suitable for hikers, as opposed to mountaineers, although we did not hike up to Hörnlihütte. From what I have read that one can be exposed and gnarly. The circuit route has an alternate path that avoids it. Maybe do the first three, to Pension Edelweiss on th eflower trail, to Trift, to Schönbilhütte, then descend and have some time for the other side, up to Gornergrat or from the Sunnegga lift. many of the trails are open to mountain bikers as wellwe saw many coming down from Riffelberg as we were hiking up. This page has more general information on all the hiking trains and a link to a map: http://www.zermatt.ch/en/page.cfm/experience/summer_activities/hiking We were there at the very beginning of July, and the snow was gone but it did snow on us once. Most days were nice and the last day (July 3 or 4) was an amazing bluebird day. That was also the day of the Zermatt marathon (something to keep in mind, as lodging fills up). Unfortunately we had to depart by noon. . .

Posted by
12939 posts

Just to expand on Tom's comments-the hiking around Zermatt is divided by the tourist bureau into 3 areas, each accessed by a lift (Sunnegga, Gornergrat train, or Klein Matterhorn/Furi skilift complex). So you don't have to start from town. However, we did hike up to Riffelberg on the path starting from town (actually from winkelmatten at the far end) and it was a nice forest path, not at all steep. Lots of people ride up and then walk back to town, but we prefer hiking uphill so we did the opposite.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks guys for the info. Tom, is that path by the church known by a name? Is it the only path near the church or is there any way I can identify the specific trail so I can take it when I get to Zermatt? Thanks Lola, for the links, I will check that trail out-I do have to wonder about the weather for me in mid June, but I will only be able to assess that when I get there I suppose. Honestly, I am more into enjoying the views and scenery accompanying the hiking more than the actual hiking itself (though I do enjoy getting the exercise outdoors and the fresh air, etc.) What I typically like to do is find a spot on a trail with a great mountain view and preferably a bench or seat to sit down and enjoy a drink, listen to music, etc. while enjoying the views. Sometimes I'll have a cigar (is that okay and legal on the trails and in Switzerland in general??).
If you know of areas like this that you've discovered on your hikes, please let me know...if they are only accessible by a very difficult hiking path, maybe there is a way to get most of the way there by cable car or train(?). Thanks again for your tips.

Posted by
5 posts

I would suggest spending more time in Zermatt. There are many hiking trails in Zermatt. I think Tom was referring to the little Church in Winkelmatten. There are few churches in Zermatt. The main church is in town. As you proceed south, out of Zermatt (near the Furi lift in Zermatt) you will see sign for Winkelmatten. That will take you to the little church You will see signs for various hikes there. I would suggest you go on the Zermatt.ch website and look up the various hikes. There are many lower alps hikes which should not nornally put you into a dangerous snow area in June. However, the town is already a mile above sea level and it can snow at anytime. I have been there in July when there was snow! Have a great trip!
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