Examples of 1 day hikes
The Tschärzis valley (cantons of Vaud and Bern): the Voré pass, at the heart of the Ormonts mountain country, gives access to a secluded and enchanting valley called Tschärzis. The pass can only be reached by foot and is one of these special places that you will remember long after you have left. Medium grade, 4 hours effective walking time.
The Tounô (canton of Valais): the Toûno summit (3018 m) in the Val d’Anniviers (Valais) is a great destination to reach the 3000 meters’ boundary on foot, with incredible views over the most famous 4000ers of the Swiss Alps (Weisshorn, Bietschhorn, Cervin, Dent Blanche). On the way up we pass by the beautiful Toûno lake and the vast plains surrounding it. A perfect rest place to prepare for the summit, and to relax on the way down. We then start the long descent back down to St-Luc, with a welcome break on the magnificent terrace of the Weisshorn Hôtel. Advanced grade, 6 hours effective walking time.
The Niremont (canton of Fribourg): come explore the Niremont! It's a kind of “altiplano” overlooking the swiss plains. We will learn to read the geomorphological history of the Alps by looking at the landscape. Great views over the Jura range in the distance and a rich flora that is at its best in spring. Medium grade, 4 hours effective walking time.
The Molard (canton of Vaud): the Molard is a vast pyramid overlooking Montreux, from which you get one of the most amazing views over the Lac Léman (Geneva Lake). It's an easy walk uphill, not too short and is so rewarding . This is where the first skiing schools were created in the 19th century and in these hills Ernest Hemingway could be seen strolling between the tall trees. Easy grade, 3.30 hours effective walking time.
The Fou (canton of Valais): this demanding hike starts at 1700 m altitude and leads us to a magnificent cluster of small freezing mountain lakes at 2500 m, close to the Verbier skiing resort. After a picnic and a siesta on the shores of the Lac des Vaux, we brace ourselves for a more technical section to cross over to the large and welcoming summit of Le Fou (2610 m), which literally means “The Crazy”. Amazing views over the Valais and the whole Northern Alps. We then make our way down the ridge of Le Fou, a wonderful path that leads from the steep summit ridge down through blueberry slopes, larch trees and the typical warm scent of dry pine tree needles cushioning our steps. Advanced grade/technical path, 5.30 hours effective walking time.
The Salt Trail (canton of Vaud): an easy walk along the historical salt trail above Aigle and Bex in the Chablais mountains, not far from Montreux. In medieval times, our hike would have taken us alongside wooden acqueducs and we would have met salt miners and large pits to evaporate the brines. A colourful hike in beautiful forests, and mostly downhill! We take the charming ASD train up the hillside and walk back down. Easy grade, 2.30 hours effective walking time.
Follatères (canton of Valais): a natural reserve and truly extraordinary place set on sunny slopes next to Martigny in Valais. Here you find species of flowers and animals that are normally seen much further south. Enjoy the sun and the unusual plants along a “trail with a view”: you will be reminded of the Mediterranean coast! Easy grade, 3 hours effective walking time.
Vanil de l'Ecri (canton of Fribourg): a hike that is not for the faint-hearted, but that is very rewarding! Come and test your step on this steep peak in the Gruyère mountains. A steady climb that leads up to a breathtaking viewpoint. Tough grade, 5 hours effective walking time.
Examples of longer hikes (2-4 days)
From Charmey to Simmental (cantons of Vaud and Bern) : 2 days playing hide and seek with the peaks between french-speaking and german-speaking Switzerland. We hike in pastureland, through dense forests and over dazzling ridges. Night in a small hotel or in a mountain farm. Medium to tough grade, 6 and 4 hours daily effective walking times.
Alpine traverse in 2 days (cantons of Valais and Bern): on this 2 day trek across the Alps, we will walk up to one of the historical passageways from north to south across the northern part of the alpine range. It doesn't get much better than this when it comes to crossing a pass: you'll feel like a traveller of the past! Night in a mountain lodge. Medium to tough grade, 5 and 6 hours daily effective walking times.
Tour des Muverans (cantons of Vaud and Valais): this 4 day tour is a classic of the Limestone Alps. We can start from the North side of the Muverans (Plans-sur-Bex) or from the South Side (Ovronnaz). In both cases the hike circles around the impressive Muverans, a wild and remote limestone massif. We move from hut to hut and in one small hotel, and traverse high enough to discover Edelweisses and other beautiful mountain flowers. Wildlife is garanteed (Chamois, Ibex, Marmots, Eagles and Bearded Vultures). A fairly demanding tour, although with not too much denivelation. Suitable for most. Between 5 and 7 hours effective walking times.
Dents de Morcles (cantons of Valais and Vaud) : starting from the resort of Ovronnaz in Valais, we stroll up to the Fenestral hut on the first day. The second day we make our way through a maze of gigantic fallen rocks and through the remnants of an ancient glacier bed before reaching the small cliffs leading up to the summit of Dent de Morcles. An amazing viewpoint over the whole Rhone valley and the Lake Léman (Geneva Lake) in the distance. We take along some rope for a small climbing section. Night in a small mountain hut. Tough grade, 5 and 6 hours daily effective walking times.
3 days in Emmental (canton of Bern) : so you think you know everything about Emmental (or yeah, the holes in the cheese, the plump farmhouses, the beautiful gentle grey cows with charming eyelashes), well think again and come with us to hike the land and you will be hooked anew! This 3 days walk is perfectly adapted to children and we can enjoy a bathe or two in rivers along the way. Nights in hotel and in a mountain lodge. Easy grade, 3, 5 and 4.30 hours effective walking time. Ideal family tour.
Mont Tendre and Jura ridge (canton of Vaud) : starting from the watch-making valley of Joux, we make our way through the deep forests (Jura comes from an old celtic word Jur meaning the tree) and the typical “pré-bois” pastureland. The night we will spend almost on the ridge in an hut with all the Alps as a 3D cinemascope night show at sunset. The second day is spent following the great limestone spine that joins Geneva to Basel. A “great escape” experience and a little known swiss natural wonder. Easy grade, 3 and 4 hours effective walking time. Ideal family tour. This tour can also be combined with a night in a comfortable hotel on a mountain pass instead of the hut version.
Argentine (canton of Vaud) : no this is not an offer for a cheap trip to south america! Argentine refers to the silver colours (argent=silver) of the wet slabs of rock that reflect the sun on these tall cliffs. This 2 days hike is a true immersion into the typical mountain swiss lifestyle: we taste local cheeses straight from the sheperd's hands, eat fondue in a mountain hut while wolves roam the mountains around us and sleep on hay. The following day we climb up and around the mountain and end up the tour on the other side of the mountain! Night in hay or in a Yurt. Easy to medium grade, 3 and 5 hours effective walking time. Ideal family tour.