Zermatt is an enormously popular summer hiking destination, with around 400 km of trails. Picturesque lakes, hikes up to the snow line or down in the larch forests, views out to the 4000m peaks that surround this area (all 38 of them), picnic spots and gourmet mountain restaurants are just some of the things you can expect when you head out in your walking boots. Here are some of our favourites…
The Hanging bridge:
The 100m long hanging bridge just above Furi is an easy destination for a picnic or a short hike (around 30 minutes from Furi), great for kids and adults alike. To get to Furi you can either walk up one of the many paths from town or take the Matterhorn Express one stop. From Furi, you head up a walking path towards restaurant Les Marmottes. Continue up the way, walking up the end of the black piste, Furgg Furi, then you will see a little path on your left that continues on a wooden walkway over a stream (kids love this bit!). After around 5 minutes you will see the suspension bridge, crossing over the Gornerschlucht Gorge. It can be a little scary crossing but it’s totally safe!
On the other side of the bridge, there is a picnic area, barbeque spot and playground in the trees.
To get back to Furi you can either walk the way you came (kids usually enjoy this as you get to go back across the bridge and the wooden walkway) or stay on that side of the gorge and take the road back down to Furi.
Stellisee is just a short (around 15min) walk out from Blauherd on a rolling slightly downward traverse. Possibly Zermatt’s most photographed lake, it’s a great place to get your Matterhorn shot or even have a go and see if you can also get the iconic Matterhorn reflected in the lake photo.
It is still an easy walk for the kids but also a fun trail with plenty of marmot and sheep spotting along the way. The lake has lovely grassy areas all around making for good picnic spots or you could always walk a little further (another 10 – 15 minutes but up) and you will reach restaurant Fluhalp for a delicious lunch.
One of the most popular and beautiful hikes in Zermatt, the 5 lakes hike is perfect on a stunning day with plenty of photo opportunities and picnic spots on the way. The walk takes around 2.5hrs but it’s worth leaving plenty of time to soak up the views, have a picnic and maybe a swim.
The hike starts off at Blauherd and traverses off in the direction of Stellisee, the first of the 5 lakes. From here the hike heads down to Grindjisee and the on to Grünsee, which is an awesome colour and can be a refreshing place for a dip if you are brave enough. Moosjisee is next on the list and marks the lowest point of the hike, after this you head back up through Findeln (plenty of fabulous lunch spots if you didn’t fancy bringing a picnic, Paradies and Chez Vrony are the closest to the hiking trail) and up to the last lake Leisee.
Leisee has a large picnic area, playground, and plenty of water features to splash around in and when it’s time to head down the mountain you can take the Sunnegga Express back to town.
Sunnegga to Riffelalp traverse
This is a great walk, not too much vertical up or down and around 2hrs. Start off at Sunnegga and head down to Leisee, walk around the lake and then follow the trail at the other end. From here you walk down to Moosjisee and around this lake too. Some steeper switchbacks up through the larch forest brings you to Grunsee.
At this point, most of the steep up and down is over and you can enjoy a rolling traverse over little streams and through another larch forest to get around to the Riffelalp train station. There are plenty of lovely picnic spots on the walk but if you fancy enjoying another famous Zermatt lunch then walk along towards the Riffelalp hotel and have lunch on the large sunny terrace at Alphitta.
Rotenboden to Riffelberg
Taking the Gornergrat train up to Gornergrat (3089m) is usually high on the Zermatt summer tourists list (and well worth doing). After you have been up to the top, instead of taking the train back to town… take it just one stop to Riffelberg. From here follow the rolling trail down to Riffelberg.
It’s about an hour’s easy walk, and the trail passes another 2 beautiful lakes (offering Matterhorn reflections), the first and largest is the Riffelsee. The whole walk is above the tree line and you can soak up the spectacular views over the mountains. It is also one of our favourites in the autumn when the first snow starts to fall and the little puddles and streams by the lakes begin to freeze over.