Hut hike Switzerland: The 4 best options

By Sierd van der Bij

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Are you looking for mountains, endless trails, and the most hospitable mountain huts? Check. A hiking vacation in the Alps doesn't get better than a hut-to-hut tour in Switzerland. Switzerland is 70% mountainous, and mountain sports were more or less invented there. While vacations in Switzerland are sometimes considered expensive, a hut-to-hut hike in Switzerland

The trails are well-marked, well-maintained, and connected through hundreds of villages, hamlets, inns, and mountain huts where hikers can find clean, comfortable, and beautifully located accommodations. You can hike for days without descending, but you need to know where to start. Which hut tour, where do you begin, and how do you book it? "Booking a hut-to-hut tour in the Alps can be a challenge," says trekking expert Natascha. "Sometimes you really don't know where to start. Every year, we help hundreds of hikers find and organize their hut-to-hut tour."

A week on the Bernina Trek

"You have to plan some time for it, and it's not that easy, but the Bernina Trek definitely has its charm," says Sierd. "It's a bit like a Kesch Trek but with muscles." More about the Kesch later. The Bernina Trek of the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) not only passes by all the mountain huts of SAC Bernina but also through a breathtaking Alpine world: from the Albula Valley with Piz Kesch and the UNESCO World Heritage stretch of the Rhaetian Railway to the sublime Julier region with its impressive geological rock formations, and on to the Bernina region with the proud peaks of Piz Palü, Piz Moteratsch, and Piz Bernina, finally reaching the unique Italianità of the lovely Poschiavo.

The "Classic" route takes you through a magnificent Alpine landscape for seven days, passing by deep blue mountain lakes, icy glacier streams, and snow-capped peaks. For those seeking or needing more excitement, there's the "Summiteer" option, where the route is expanded for several peak experiences. But even families with children and groups of hikers with varying fitness levels will enjoy the beautiful mountain landscape on the "Pachific" route.

Short and sweet: the Kesch Trek

"On the Kesch Trek in 2021, we had to make do without the Grialetsch Hütte, one of the participating mountain huts on the Kesch Trek. We now know that this hut will be opened for 2022," says Natascha, Area Manager for the Alps. The reopening of the Grialetsch Hütte ensures that you can conquer not only the Albula Pass but also the Flüela Pass, both well-known points near Davos in Canton Graubünden. With 'only' 4 days and 3 nights, this is a popular option for the first hiking vacation in Switzerland.

All the huts on the Kesch Trek are run by the Swiss Alpine Club, the SAC. Natascha is in close contact with this club, which has been around since 1863. "For our bookings, we always have good contact with the operators. A SAC member is appointed to look after the hut for a season. This is not only our information point but also that of the hiker. Thus, the host or hostess of the mountain hut can always give you tips or warnings," says Natascha.

Hut hike in Switzerland for beginners: Bear trek

In a unique area and in front of one of the most beautiful backdrops of the Alps, the long-distance trail Hintere Gasse, also known as Bärentrek, leads from Meiringen over 8 Alpine passes to Gsteig. "This is a perfect option for beginners," says Rintsje. Why? "You don't have to stay in huts. On the Bärentrek, we book hikers in mountain hotels and hostels that are entirely geared towards mountain sports."

The Bärentrek is part of the Via Alpina 1. The Via Alpina is actually a network of five long-distance trails through the Alpine regions of Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Monaco. The Swiss part of the Via Alpina is 390 kilometers long and is divided into 20 stages. You can choose whether you want to do the entire tour or just a part of it. The Bärentrek is the most popular part of the Via Alpina 1 and is perfect for a hut-to-hut tour in Switzerland. Here you can read more about the Bärentrek and find a suitable offer for a hiking vacation here.

More than just a hut tour in Switzerland: Tour du Mont Blanc

Can't decide between a hut-to-hut tour in Italy, France, or Switzerland? The Tour du Mont Blanc is a combination of all three. It is one of the most famous hiking routes in Europe, which means you will meet people from all over the world in the huts and rifugios. "Hikers often tell us about the international character in the mountain huts. Like a backpacker hostel, but for adults," says Sierd, who has helped many people on their way. "Because the route is so well-known, the mountain huts are always well-organized. Breakfast in the morning, hot meals in the evening, it's always pleasant." Hikers typically cover the 170 kilometers of the Tour du Mont Blanc in 10 days. The traditional starting point is in Chamonix, on the French side of Mont Blanc. Sierd: "Chamonix, also called Cham, is the epicenter of mountaineering on the French side of Mont Blanc. Are you going to the French Alps or specifically to Mont Blanc? Then you go to Chamonix. That makes it a very lively small town.

The best time to do the Tour du Mont Blanc is in the summer months of July and August when the trail has little snow, and the weather is usually good. Early in the season, the passes can still be covered with snow, and then it becomes difficult. Although the season only officially starts on June 15, it doesn't mean you won't encounter snow. "On the contrary," says Sierd. "It often happens that hikers encounter old snow in the first two weeks of the season. Crossing the Fenetre d'Arpette can then be challenging." The trekking experts at know the alternative routes and always send you with detailed directions. If you prefer not to encounter old snow, if we had to recommend a more precise period, it would be the second half of August. During these two weeks, the number of hikers and climbers is lower, and the weather is usually quite pleasant. Read more about the Tour du Mont Blanc here.

A safe hut tour in Switzerland

When embarking on a hut-to-hut tour in the Alps, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Even if it's not your first time, never underestimate the Dolomites. To ensure your hiking vacation is a safe and enjoyable experience, our trekking experts have the following tips for you.

Don't overdo it

Hiking in the mountains is the perfect escape from everyday life. But don't overdo it. "Overestimation and underestimation are dangerous. Don't overestimate yourself, and don't underestimate the route," says Sierd, also a Kilimanjaro expert at "Choose the slower option and take more time for your plans. Hiking under time pressure is not pleasant, and a fast pace can be dangerous. Don't forget the word 'holiday' in 'hiking holiday'."

Plan carefully

Good planning is half the battle! Hiking maps, literature, the internet, and expert advice are invaluable in tour planning, allowing you to determine the length, altitude difference, difficulty, and conditions of your hike. If you plan group hikes, always plan the tour for the weakest member of the group! The weather in the mountains can change incredibly fast, and rain, wind, and cold increase the risk factor. Always check the weather forecast in advance. Also, consult our trekking experts and gather information before you set out.

Fully equipped

Equipment is everything. In extreme cases, it can make the difference between life and death, and in all cases, it can make the difference between joy and suffering. Food, rain protection, cold protection, sun protection should always be in your backpack, as well as a first aid kit and a mobile phone (European emergency number: 112). Lighter luggage makes walking easier, so don't bring too much additional baggage. Your equipment should always be suitable for your planned tour.

Appropriate shoes

Trail running shoes are good for weekends in the mountains, but for longer tours, you should have at least Class A/B hiking boots. This means high mountain boots that are also waterproof. On the Alta Via 2, for example, a rather technical trail, your ankles need additional support, and you want to avoid sprains.

Stay on marked paths

In the Alps, there are endless marked hiking trails—well maintained and cared for. It may be tempting, but it's not a good idea to cut the trail or take alternative routes through unmarked terrain. If you do, you have a good chance of getting lost. Steep slopes with packed old snow are also often underestimated and can be dangerous. In doubt? Then don't do it.

Take regular breaks

As mentioned, you're on a hiking vacation. Take time for your walk and rest regularly. Our advice: If you have little time, it's better to take the short arrangement than to speed up the long one.

The kids have the power

If you're going on a hut-to-hut tour with the kids, the motto at is, "The kids have the say." The kids are happy, mom and dad are happy. Listen to them and don't exhaust them. Play a game on the way so they don't ask you every five minutes if you're there yet. Of course, always choose the child-friendly option.

Respect nature

Leave no trash behind, avoid noise, stay on marked paths, leave the animals alone, and respect the protected areas.

Weather on a hut tour in the Alps

The most important rule for hut-to-hut tours and hikes in the Alps or other high mountains is that the weather changes much faster in areas above 2,000 meters, and different climatic conditions prevail than at the altitudes where we usually travel. When planning a hut-to-hut tour and mountain hikes, always consider the weather forecasts. Even in midsummer, when the temperature in the valley is over 30 degrees Celsius, it can snow in the high mountains. The reason is that the temperature can drop by 5-6 degrees Celsius per 1000 meters of altitude. Since cold air can also store less moisture, it rains or snows more frequently in the high mountains than in the lowlands. In the high mountains, a thunderstorm can be particularly dangerous; generally, the likelihood of thunderstorms increases in the afternoon, and the weather can change very quickly due to the altitude.

You can recognize a possible thunderstorm by lightning strikes or the formation of small cumulus clouds. A significant drop in air pressure is also a sure sign of an approaching thunderstorm. During a thunderstorm, you should always avoid the via ferrata and other metal objects. Seek shelter in a cave or under a rock overhang as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, good protection from the sun is important. The tree line in the Alps is between 1,800 and 2,200 meters - above this altitude, you are exposed to the burning sun, which is always strong in the high mountains.

Where can I book my walking holiday in Switzerland?

At you can book many treks in Switzerland. We take care of all the details for you, give you personal trekking advice and give you the best service possible. Find all our offers for Switzerland here. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to browse and compare different trekking options and find the perfect fit for your interests, abilities, and budget.

If you have any questions about a specific trek or need help choosing the right one for you, our team of Trekking Experts is here to assist you. Simply reach out to us and we will be happy to provide you with personalized recommendations and advice to help you plan the trekking adventure of a lifetime.

Is a walking holiday in Switzerland not your cup of tea and are you looking for other epic adventures? Check out one of our following blog posts:

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